Eat your way to bigger stronger muscles
By MH Staff - Posted on 15th April 2015
Eat your way to bigger stronger muscles
1 Grass-Fed Organic Beef
Nothing beats pure beef protein for building muscles. It’s also a rich source of creatine, which according to a Canadian study increases muscle mass, decreases body fat and improves endurance. Make sure it’s grass-fed – grazing cattle have a higher CLA content in their flesh than those lazy hay-munchers.
It’s the fishy omega-3 fats that reduce protein breakdown after a workout. This is important because to build muscle you need to store new protein faster than your body breaks down the old stuff. Whack it on toast for a breakfast boost.
Not an airborne disease, but a great source of chromium, which improves glucose uptake into muscle cells, giving you extra energy to power through your workout. Wheatgerm is also high in arginine, an amino acid needed for the production of nitric oxide, which enhances blood flow to muscles.
You should always eat your greens, especially spinach. It’s a source of octacosanol, a substance which has been shown to increase muscular strength and endurance. It’s also high in vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant.
5 Cherry Juice
A study in the British Journal of Sport Medicine found that cherry juice reduces muscle pain and the damage caused by prolonged exercise. The study also found an improvement in muscle strength in those drinking the juice.
Your muscles are comprised of 80 percent water, so keeping them hydrated plays a key role in getting ripped. Even slight dehydration will significantly hamper exercise performance and recovery.
A nutrient-packed green algae, spirulina is 65 percent protein. It’s also a source of beta-carotene, an antioxidant important for your post exercise muscle recovery. Add it to your breakfast smoothie. And no, drinking pond water isn’t the same thing.
8 Red Peppers
Peppers are rich in vitamin C, which acts as a powerful antioxidant and aids muscle recovery by preventing free-radical damage. The red ones contain 60 percent more vitamin C than their green equivalent.
Not to be confused with the Thai city known for its burgeoning sex industry, this juicy gem contains the compound papain, which breaks proteins down into easily absorbable compounds. Serve sliced with ginger and lime.
10 Almond Butter
Almond butter adds a muscle-building protein punch to food. It’s also rich in magnesium, which aids muscle contraction. It tastes good on salads or spread over taut female bodies.
Everyone’s favourite Christmas bird contains glutamine, an amino acid found in muscle tissue. It increases protein synthesis, which leads to greater muscle mass. Don’t forget to baste it or you’ll still be chewing come Easter.
Despite a regrettable history of innuendo, the cucumber can still afford to be cocksure (they just trip off the tongue): its skin contains silica, which is an essential component of healthy connective tissue.
Made from sesame seeds, tahini is loaded with zinc. This mineral plays a role in cell growth, DNA and protein synthesis. Have it on toast instead of butter in the morning and spoon some onto your tie to save it the trouble of making its own way there.
14 Kiwi Fruit
Vitamin C is involved in the formation of collagen, which keeps your muscles and joints strong and healthy. An average size kiwi fruit has 74mg of this free-radical busting vitamin, which is your RDA and then some.
15 Ricotta Cheese
The pizza staple is made from whey protein, which is rich in the branch-chain amino acids that help boost muscle growth. Add it to scrambled eggs in the morning, or spread it on toast and jam instead of butter. Alternatively, blend some into your fruit smoothie.
Forget your usual starchy carbs and go for quinoa (keen-wah) instead. This seed comes from Peru and is one of the few vegetable sources of complete protein, which means it contains all essential amino acids without the fat. As tasty as cardboard, but then Nature’s always throwing curve balls…
This superfood is packed full of iron, which according to a Cornell University study has been shown to reduce muscle fatigue caused by strenuous exercise. It’s also rich in vitamin C. Mix it up with other salad leaves to really live dangerously.
18 Live Natural Yogurt
The probiotics in live yoghurt increase the good bacteria in your gut, which helps protein digestion as well as being vital for the absorption of other important muscle nutrients.
To prevent stiffness, perk up your meals with inflammation-reducing ginger. A study in the Journal of Medicinal Food found that ginger alleviated muscle pain more effectively than taking aspirin.
20 Full-Fat Organic Milk
A glass of full-fat is rich in CLA (conjugated linoleic acid), which reduces fat and preserves muscle tissue according to a study in the Journal of Nutri-tion. Leave the “skinny” lattes to the girls.
Scientists at the University School of Medicine in Atlanta found that curcumin, the active compound in turmeric, triggers cell growth, thus promoting muscle repair and growth after injury. One curry coming right up…
Like Marmite and Cristiano Ronaldo, you either love anchovies or you hate them. But there’s no denying they’re full of healthy omega-3 fats. Taping one to the underside of your boss’s desk will also boost schadenfreude and temporarily beat depression.
23 Sunflower Seeds
Apart from being a great source of protein, these seeds are full of muscle-building nutrients, as well as vitamin E, a potent antioxidant that can prevent free-radical damage after heavy workouts. A handful makes a great snack.
The quickest route to more muscle (and, incidentally, the loo) is a shot of espresso. A study by the University of Georgia found caffeine improves endurance by easing muscle pain, so you can train for longer. So that’s no pain, more gain and just a few toilet twitches.
Apart from containing the essential amino acids to build and repair muscles, egg yolk contains a high level of vitamin D needed to maintain healthy muscle tissue. Breakfast of champions indeed.
Don’t pull a face. These little bonsai trees of goodness are a great source of vitamin C. A study at the University of South Carolina found that high-doses of this before and after exercise reduce muscle soreness. Just steam it lightly.
The lean meat of our wild friends is high in protein and vitamin B12, without which your body cannot utilise protein effectively. Buy it minced to make your own burgers, or pull on your camo bush hat, head to the nearest game farm and wrestle one yourself. Actually, best not.
28 Olive Oil
The favourite of virile, 80-year-old Tuscan chin-up champions, olive oil is like liquid life. The monounsaturated fat in it works to stop the breakdown of muscle tissue and it can also protect your joints, just what you need after a workout.
29 Edamame Beans
Also known as soy beans, they’re a great low-fat form of vegetable protein containing all the muscle-building essential amino acids. Throw into salads for a Japan-easy lunch.
Rich in a protein-digesting enzyme called bromelain, pineapple is also effective in reducing post-training muscle and tissue inflammation, making it the ideal post-workout snack for inside and out.