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20+ Foods That Help You Gain Muscle Mass

When it comes to muscle building foods, proper nutrition plays a crucial role in supporting your body's growth and recovery. The food you eat can significantly impact your muscle-building progress and overall performance.

Jul 10, 202368 Shares22556 Views
When it comes to muscle building foods, proper nutrition plays a crucial role in supporting your body's growth and recovery. The food you eat can significantly impact your muscle-building progress and overall performance.
Whether you are an athlete, bodybuilder, or someone looking to improve their fitness level, understanding and incorporating the right muscle-building foods into your diet can make a significant difference.
In this article, we will explore a variety of nutrient-rich foods that can help you on your journey to achieving stronger and more defined muscles. Let's dive into the world of muscle-building nutrition and discover the key components that can contribute to your success.

The Best Meal Plan To Build Muscle Faster (EAT LIKE THIS!)

Gaining Lean Muscle Mass With 20+ Muscle-building Foods

You need a wide range of foods, not only protein shakes, to successfully gain muscle and shed fat. Muscle growth and maintenance are both aided by a diet high in protein. Protein, which has a greater thermic impact than carbohydrates and lipids, also aids weight reduction.
You can't lose weight if you don't consume fats, since your body stores fat if it doesn't get any. Fruits and vegetables are packed with vitamins and minerals that aid in muscle repair after exercise. And carbohydrates provide energy for exercise, so you may push yourself harder.
Many of you have a hard time obtaining these meals. Sometimes it's because you're too preoccupied, and other times it's because you're clueless. Use this list as a guide.


Eggs are packed with high-quality protein, healthy fats, and essential nutrients like B vitamins and choline. They are rich in the amino acid leucine, which is crucial for muscle gain, and B vitamins that support energy production.


Salmon is an excellent choice for muscle building due to its high protein content, omega-3 fatty acids, and B vitamins. Omega-3 fatty acids play a vital role in muscle health and may even enhance muscle gain during exercise.

Chicken Breast

Chicken breast is a staple for muscle gain as it is a great source of lean protein. It is also rich in B vitamins, particularly niacin and B6, which are important for energy production during physical activity and may aid in fat loss.

Greek Yogurt

Greek yogurt is not only a high-quality protein source but also contains a blend of fast-digesting whey protein and slow-digesting casein protein. It can support lean mass gains when consumed after a workout or before bed due to its mixture of proteins.


Tuna is rich in protein and provides essential vitamins such as A, B12, niacin, and B6. It also contains omega-3 fatty acids, which are beneficial for muscle health and can help prevent muscle loss in older adults.

Lean Beef

A Protein-Packed Option for Muscle Gain Lean beef is a nutritional powerhouse, rich in high-quality protein, B vitamins, minerals, and creatine. Research suggests that incorporating lean red meat into your diet can enhance muscle mass gained through weight training.
However, when aiming for muscle growth, it's important to choose beef that supports muscle development without excessive calorie intake. For instance, opting for 95% lean ground beef provides slightly more protein, with lower calories and fat compared to 70% lean ground beef.


A Low-Calorie Protein Source Shrimp is a protein-packed seafood option, nearly devoid of fat. A 3-ounce serving of shrimp offers 19 grams of protein, along with minimal fat and carbs.
Adding shrimp to your diet can provide muscle-building protein without significant calorie intake. Additionally, shrimp contains an ample amount of leucine, an essential amino acid crucial for optimal muscle growth.


Plant-Based Protein Powerhouse Cooked soybeans are a fantastic source of protein, healthy unsaturated fats, vitamins, and minerals. With 16 grams of protein per half a cup, soybeans also supply essential nutrients such as vitamin K, iron, and phosphorus. Iron plays a vital role in oxygen storage and transport within the blood and muscles, making soybeans an excellent choice for maintaining proper muscle function.

Cottage Cheese

A Protein-Rich Snack Low-fat cottage cheese is a highly nutritious snack option, containing 28 grams of protein per cup. It also includes a significant amount of leucine, the amino acid essential for muscle building.
Cottage cheese is available in various fat contents, allowing you to control calorie intake based on your dietary needs while reaping the benefits of its muscle-building potential.

Turkey Breast

Lean Protein with B Vitamins Turkey breast is a lean protein source, offering approximately 26 grams of protein per 3-ounce serving, with minimal fat and carbs. It is also rich in niacin, a B vitamin that aids in processing fats and carbohydrates. Optimal levels of B vitamins can support muscle gain by enhancing the body's exercise capacity.


Tilapia, although not as rich in omega-3 fatty acids as salmon, is a protein-packed seafood choice. One 87-gram fillet contains around 23 grams of protein and good amounts of vitamin B12 and selenium. Vitamin B12 is vital for blood cell and nerve health, enabling you to perform the necessary exercise for muscle development.


Various types of beans, such as black, pinto, and kidney beans, offer approximately 15 grams of protein per cooked cup. Additionally, they are excellent sources of fiber, B vitamins, magnesium, phosphorus, and iron. Beans not only provide plant-based protein for muscle growth but also contribute to overall health and disease prevention.

Protein Powders

While whole foods should be the focus of any diet, protein powders can be beneficial when it's challenging to meet protein requirements through food alone. Protein shakes, made from dairy (whey, casein), soy, pea, beef, or chicken protein, can supplement your daily protein intake. Choose protein powders according to your preferences and dietary needs.


Edamame refers to immature soybeans found in pods, commonly used in Japanese cuisine. One cup of frozen edamame offers around 18 grams of protein, 8 grams of fiber, and significant amounts of folate, vitamin K, and manganese. Folate aids in amino acid processing, supporting optimal muscle mass and strength, especially in older adults.


Carbohydrates are essential for providing energy, especially for physical activities. Cooked quinoa contains approximately 40 grams of carbs per cup, along with 8 grams of protein, 5 grams of fiber, and substantial amounts of magnesium and phosphorus. Magnesium plays a crucial role in muscle and nerve function, supporting your active lifestyle.


Scallops, like shrimp, tilapia, and lean poultry, offer protein with minimal fat content. A 3-ounce serving of scallops provides around 17 grams of protein and fewer than 100 calories. If you aim to increase protein intake without consuming excessive calories, scallops are an excellent choice.

Lean Jerky

When you're on the go, lean jerky made from different types of meat can be a convenient high-quality protein source. During processing, most fat is removed, making jerky primarily protein-packed and calorie-dense. Animal sources of protein found in jerky can stimulate muscle growth effectively.


Chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, offer a combination of carbs and protein. A 1-cup serving of canned chickpeas contains approximately 15 grams of protein and 45 grams of carbs, including 13 grams of fiber. While the protein in chickpeas is considered lower quality than animal sources, it can still contribute to a balanced diet for muscle gain.


Peanuts contain protein, fat, and carbs, making them a well-rounded snack. One ounce of peanuts provides 7 grams of protein, 6 grams of carbs, and significant amounts of unsaturated fat. Peanuts are also rich in leucine compared to other plant products, making them an ideal choice for additional calories and nutrients when aiming for muscle growth.

How To Gain Muscle Fast?

Gaining muscle fast requires a combination of proper nutrition, targeted strength training, and adequate recovery. Here are some tips to help you gain muscle efficiently:
  • Calorie Surplus- To build muscle, you need to consume more calories than your body burns. Aim for a calorie surplus of about 250-500 calories per day. Focus on nutrient-dense foods that provide a balance of protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fats.
  • High Protein Intake- Protein is essential for muscle growth. Aim to consume around 1.6-2.2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day. Include lean sources of protein such as chicken, fish, eggs, dairy, legumes, and tofu in your meals.
  • Resistance Training- Incorporate strength training exercises into your workout routine. Focus on compound exercises like squats, deadlifts, bench presses, and rows that target multiple muscle groups. Lift heavy weights with proper form and gradually increase the intensity and volume of your workouts over time.
  • Progressive Overload- Continually challenge your muscles by increasing the weight, reps, or sets in your workouts. This progressive overload stimulates muscle growth and adaptation.
  • Rest and Recovery- Allow your muscles time to recover and grow. Adequate sleep (7-9 hours per night) and rest days between workouts are crucial for muscle repair and growth.
  • Stay Hydrated- Drink plenty of water throughout the day to support optimal muscle function and recovery.
  • Balanced Diet- Besides protein, ensure you're getting enough carbohydrates for energy and fats for hormone production. Include a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats in your diet.
  • Consider Supplements- Supplements can complement your diet and training, but they should not replace real food. Consult with a healthcare professional or registered dietitian before considering any supplements.
  • Consistency and Patience- Building muscle takes time and consistency. Stay committed to your training and nutrition plan, and be patient with the results. It's a gradual process, and sustainable muscle growth is more important than quick but temporary gains.
Remember, it's always a good idea to consult with a qualified fitness professional or a registered dietitian who can provide personalized guidance based on your specific goals and needs.

People Also Ask

How To Gain Muscle Fast?

To gain muscle fast, focus on resistance training, progressively overload your workouts, consume sufficient protein, maintain a calorie surplus, and prioritize rest and recovery.

What's The Right Diet If You Want To Build Muscle?

The right diet for building muscle includes sufficient protein intake to support muscle growth and repair, complex carbohydrates for energy, healthy fats for overall health, and proper nutrient timing.

What Foods Are Best For Gaining Lean Muscle?

Foods that are best for gaining lean muscle include lean proteins like chicken, fish, and tofu, whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and sources of healthy fats like avocados and nuts.

How Can I Build Muscle While Eating Only Three Times Per Day?

While it's ideal to spread meals throughout the day for optimal muscle growth, you can still build muscle by ensuring sufficient caloric intake, focusing on nutrient-dense foods, and making the most of your three meals by including protein, complex carbohydrates, and healthy fats.

Final Thoughts

Incorporating muscle building foods into your diet is an essential aspect of any fitness or strength-training regimen. The right combination of protein, carbohydrates, healthy fats, and micronutrients can fuel your muscles, promote growth, and support overall recovery.
By including a variety of nutrient-dense foods such as lean meats, poultry, fish, dairy products, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, you can provide your body with the necessary building blocks for muscle development.
Remember to stay consistent with your nutrition plan, maintain a balanced diet, and pair it with a well-designed exercise routine to maximize your results.
With a dedicated focus on muscle-building foods and a commitment to a healthy lifestyle, you can enhance your physique, improve your performance, and achieve your fitness goals. Start fueling your body with the right nutrients and watch your muscles thrive.
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