Top Muscle Building Foods

Keeping muscle is important for a healthy, active lifestyle at any age.

According to the 2019 European consensus on sarcopenia published in Age and Ageing, after age 50, strength decreases by 1.5% to 5% per year, and muscle mass, especially in the legs, drops by 1% to 2% annually. You can reduce or prevent this muscle loss, known as sarcopenia, by making two simple lifestyle changes: eating the right nutrients and doing resistance exercises.

In this discussion, we’ll talk about nutrients that help muscle growth and look at how resistance exercise benefits our muscles and bones.

How to Eat to Gain Muscle

The food you eat plays a big role in how well your body can keep or build muscle. Eating a diet rich in protein is crucial for both gaining and maintaining muscle mass. A 2018 study published in Nutrients says people need to consume 1.6 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight each day to grow muscle. For someone who weighs 150 pounds (68 kg), this means eating about 109 grams of protein daily.

Top Muscle-Building Foods
Top Muscle-Building Foods

While protein is important for maintaining muscle mass, it’s not the only thing to consider. Research suggests we should focus on an overall healthy eating pattern. A 2019 study in Frontiers in Nutrition supports this idea. Carolyn Williams, Ph.D., RD, a registered dietitian, agrees. “It doesn’t matter how much protein you’re getting if you’re not getting enough calories overall,” she says.

To ensure your body gets what it needs to maintain and build muscle, include complex carbs, lean protein, and healthy fats in your diet.

Williams suggests eating four to five small meals throughout the day, each with 20 to 30 grams of high-quality protein, complex carbs, and healthy fats. She advises not consuming more than 40 grams of protein in one sitting. “You need enough carbohydrates and overall energy,” she explains. “Otherwise, your body will break down the protein you’re eating to use for energy.”

10 Best Muscle-Building Foods


Avocados are full of healthy fats, like monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.

They have the most protein of any fruit and can help increase good cholesterol (HDL) while reducing bad cholesterol (LDL). Avocados are also a great source of potassium and magnesium, which help with muscle recovery. Plus, they have a lot of folic acid, which might help muscle growth according to a 2019 study in the Archives of Pharmacal Research.


Beans are low in fat and full of plant-based protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals.

They have a lot of leucine, an amino acid that helps build muscle and provides energy during exercise. Plus, beans are affordable..


An egg is a great addition to your post-workout breakfast.

A 2021 study in The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found that people who ate a whole egg, rather than just the white, after a resistance workout had higher protein synthesis, which can help build muscle.

Fatty Fish

A 2020 article in Frontiers in Nutrition found that omega-3 fatty acids, a type of polyunsaturated fat, can help reduce muscle loss and may even boost muscle growth. Tuna, salmon, snapper, and yellowtail are all great sources of omega-3s.

Not a big fan of fish? Try taking a fish oil supplement instead.

Greek Yogurt

Nonfat plain Greek yogurt is rich in protein and good bacteria for your gut, making it a great choice for anyone trying to lose weight and keep muscle mass.

A 2019 study in Frontiers in Nutrition found that people who ate nonfat plain Greek yogurt after a workout had better body composition, strength, and muscle thickness than those who ate a snack without protein.

Just be sure to avoid flavored yogurts, as they often have lots of added sugar that can cancel out the health benefits.

Also Read: 4 Week Beginner Workout for Fast Muscle Gain


Your body needs complex carbs from whole grains to work well. Oatmeal is a great choice because it has fiber, minerals, plant-based protein, and carbs, which can help you stay full between meals.

Just like with Greek yogurt, steer clear of flavored oatmeal, as it often has a lot of added sugar. Go for plain oats and add a touch of natural sweetness with some dried fruit for extra vitamins.


Lean protein, which is essential for building and maintaining muscle, is found in skinless white-meat poultry and turkey (like breast rather than thigh). These proteins also provide leucine, a key amino acid, along with B vitamins and minerals.

A 2022 review in Nutrients showed that adding poultry to a diet rich in vegetables can also help lower the risk of heart and metabolic diseases.

Nuts and Seeds

Nuts and seeds are great sources of protein, carbs, and healthy plant-based fats. They’re packed with fiber, vitamins, and minerals that support various body functions.

While all nuts and seeds are healthy, pumpkin seeds stand out for boosting and maintaining muscle mass. They’re rich in polyunsaturated fats, leucine, iron, magnesium, folate, and vitamin K. A 2019 study in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences found that vitamin K supports bone health, muscle maintenance, and recovery.


Like oatmeal, quinoa is a whole grain packed with plant-based protein, vitamins, minerals, and complex carbs. What makes it special is that it’s a complete protein, meaning it has all nine essential amino acids your body can’t produce on its own and needs from your diet.

A 2019 study in the International Journal of Food Science found that quinoa is also rich in antioxidants, fiber, iron, folate, magnesium, and lysine, which is essential for protein synthesis.


Soy-based tofu has earned the title of “king of plant-based protein” thanks to its high protein content, impressive nutritional value, antioxidant properties, and versatility. It’s a staple in vegetarian and vegan kitchens for a good reason.

Research shows that tofu’s main ingredient, soybean protein, is great for building muscle, much like whey protein. Plus, it offers cardiovascular benefits that you might not get from animal-based proteins.

On top of that, soy has some extra perks. It contains probiotics and prebiotics that are good for your digestive system, as well as isoflavones that help keep your bones healthy.

Chocolate Milk

You might be surprised to hear that chocolate milk is actually a fantastic choice for a post-workout snack. It has a great balance of carbs and protein.

Williams says, “I love chocolate milk! Just be sure to check the labels and pick options with less added sugar.”

Best Exercise to Build Muscle

To build and keep muscle, you need to do resistance exercises in addition to eating well.

Resistance training, also known as strength training, is all about building muscle by working against opposing forces. It’s one of the best ways to build and maintain lean muscle mass, which helps protect against bone loss conditions like osteopenia and sarcopenia. Strong muscles also keep you moving well, reduce the risk of injury, and support your bones.

Plus, adding resistance exercises to your routine can make reaching your weight-loss goals easier. Muscle burns more calories than fat, even when you’re resting, so the more muscle you have, the more calories you’ll burn every day.

Resistance Training: How Often and What to Do

The American College of Sports Medicine suggests doing resistance training at least twice a week.

If you’re not keen on using weights or going to the gym, you can use your own body weight as resistance. Try exercises like wall squats, body-weight squats, planks, push-ups, and lunges. These moves give you a great workout and can be done right at home without any equipment.

By admin

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *