When it comes to building muscle mass, nutrition is a prerequisite and a key factor for achieving visible results (along with regular physical activity).
If you are starting a new training program you should know that there are specific exercises that will provide the best results and they should be the basis of any training program (bench-press, squats, pull-ups, dead lifting).
When it comes to nutrition, the consumption of several different types of food will allow entry of all nutrients (macronutrients and micronutrients) and proper nutrition is the best way to maintain a healthy and strong body.
But there are certain products (which contain a great amount of quality protein, complex carbohydrates and healthy fats) that ensure better results in the process of building muscle mass and they should be part of any exercise nutrition.
In continuation of this article you will be given one of the best, cheapest and most easily available products which when combined with regular physical activity will provide excellent results.
Chicken breasts – Chicken breasts are very cheap and quality source of protein.
They are easy to prepare and can be eaten at any time of the day.
Chicken breasts belong into the category of pure protein and the percentage of calories from protein is over 70.
In average, 100 grams of chicken breasts contain 110-120 calories of which 22 grams of protein and 2 grams of fat which makes chicken breasts excellent source of protein after an intense workout.
Cottage cheese – Cottage cheese is high quality protein food and contains a great amount of casein ( casein represents a slowly degradable protein ) which belongs to the category of complete protein sources and provides a long-term anti-catabolic state resulting in better quality muscle growth and better and faster muscle recovery.
Fish – Fish is a healthy protein food that provides easily absorbable amino acids, Omega-3 fatty acids that contribute to a faster metabolism and a number of nutrients such as selenium and vitamin E.
But, out of the most of the available kinds of fish (tuna, sardines) salmon is the best source of protein for proper muscle growth.
It contains a large amount of protein and Omega-3 fatty acids, which are two key nutrients for building muscle mass and faster muscle recovery.
100 grams of tuna without oil contains an average 110-120 calories and about 23 grams of protein, 100 sardine in a can in average contains 200 calories and 22 grams of protein ( anchovies with salmon contain a great amount of healthy fats ) and 100 grams of salmon contain 150 -160 calories and 20 grams of protein.
Eggs – Eggs ( egg whites ) are the most commonly used source of protein by all active practitioners containing 100% pure protein and are a complete protein source.
Also the large number of different ways of consuming eggs makes them the easiest and simplest way to bring a great amount of protein, vitamins and minerals into your nutrition.
Some of the studies recommend to avoid frequent consumption of egg yolk because it contains all the fat found in eggs (a yolk of one large egg contains 4.5-5 grams of fat and 184 mg of cholesterol).
But it should also be noted that while the yolk contains a large percentage of the cholesterol, it contains almost all vitamins and nutrients that are found in one whole egg.
Pea – Pea is one of the best sources of vegetable protein which contains a great amount of glutamine and BCAA amino acids.
100 grams of peas contain 80 calories and 6 grams of protein.
What you need to know about pea is that, unlike other sources of protein, pea does not contain anti-nutrients that can prevent the absorption of vitamins and minerals during digestion.
Soybean – Soy protein is one of the few plant sources of protein containing all the essential amino acids that makes soy protein effective in building muscle mass.
Oat flakes – Oat flakes are an excellent and quite inexpensive source of slowly degradable carbohydrates and fiber that have a low glycemic index (low glycemic index of oat flakes provides better macronutrient profile and a growing number of fiber resulting in reducing and regulating hunger and providing satiety for longer period) which are an excellent food choice for all those active practitioners who have the goal to reduce excess fat and are in need of long-lasting source of carbohydrates in order to prevent muscle breakdown.
Oat flakes also contain important minerals like zinc and magnesium.
Sweet potato – Of all the carbohydrates which contain starch, sweet potato is the best option. 200 grams of sweet potato contain 180 calories, 41 grams of carbohydrates of which 13 grams sugar, 6 grams of fiber and 4 grams of protein.
Sweet potato is rich in vitamins B6, C and D, and is an excellent source of magnesium and potassium.
The glycemic index of sweet potatoes is 72, so it is an excellent choice for a meal before a workout, after a workout or at any other time of the day.
Fruits and vegetables
First and foremost, fruits and vegetables are excellent sources of antioxidants that are essential for the proper functioning of the immune system.
Second, they are an excellent source of fiber, vitamin C, vitamin E and beta-carotene.
All active practitioners should include the following vegetables in their nutrition which will contribute to the consumption of a great amount of nutrients: broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, spinach, cucumber, tomatoes.
While bananas, apples and forest fruits are an excellent choice of fruit.
Nuts and seeds – Nuts (almonds, Indian nuts, peanuts, walnuts) and seeds are a great source of food for all active practitioners because they contain a large amount of minerals, vitamins, amino acids and healthy fats and therefore these products should be included in each training diet.
Of all nuts, almonds have the highest protein content and are a great source of food for vegetarians.
Almonds also contain a great amount of minerals, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus and are especially rich in calcium.
Seeds such as sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, flaxseed and sesame seeds are an excellent source of healthy fats that lower cholesterol.
Flaxseed also contains a large amount of fiber and is an excellent complement in the preparation of salads and some pastries.
Pumpkin seeds are considered a kind of super food because they contain a great amount of glutamine, alanine, glycine and larger quantities of zinc and are a great choice for snacks for all vegetarians.
Avocado – When it comes to food that improves and maintains the heart, avocado tops the list of products.
Avocado is effective in reducing bad cholesterol (LDL), and thereby increases the intake of good cholesterol (HDL).
Avocado helps the body absorb vitamins, lycopene and beta-carotene which are important for heart health.
Not only that avocado improves and maintains the heart rate and lowers bad cholesterol (LDL), avocado also contains high amounts of healthy fats that help maintain the transmission of information in our nervous system.
Olive oil – Olive oil is an excellent source of healthy fats that can be used to prepare salads. 1 tablespoon of olive oil contains 110 calories, 14 grams fat of which 10 grams of monounsaturated fat.
Dark chocolate – For many of the active practitioners this product has no place in the proper training diet, but dark chocolate contains enough nutrients and when eaten in moderation, it can be an excellent supplement to the training nutrition.
Dark chocolate should be consumed in moderation as it contains a greater amount of sugar, but at the same time it is rich in fiber, manganese, zinc, selenium and caffeine.