You are what you eat. Following a well balanced diet that’s high in protein and healthy fats is ideal to get strong. Your body needs essential nutrients to recover from every workout.
Not sure about your diet? Need to make healthier choices? Considering adding these foods and supplements to your meal plan.
You know that you need plenty of protein to build lean muscle. So don’t skimp in this area. A lack of protein can lead to extended recovery time, slow muscle growth, and even injury.
You might worry that foods high in protein are also high in fat. Or that eating lots of protein rich foods will counteract your weight loss supplements. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Here are some examples.
They're the gold standard of high protein foods. Eggs are cheap, healthy, versatile, and full of protein.
Another benefit: the nutrients in egg yolks can help boost your testosterone levels. A long term study from The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed “no relationship between egg intake and coronary heart incidence.” So don’t worry about fat or cholesterol - eggs should definitely be a regular part of your diet.
Choose wild salmon over farm raised fish. It has more omega-3 fatty acids and is rich in protein. Fatty acids are critical to recovery and muscle growth. To get the most benefit, use a fish oil supplement too.
Natural yogurt - that means no added sugars - is a great source of protein. It also promotes gastrointestinal health.
Add fresh or frozen berries and flax seed to your yogurt. It makes for a healthy, delicious snack. Or it can be a meal replacement. Either way, it's packed full of essential nutrients.
Mixed nuts are the perfect snack for weight lifters and anyone looking to build lean muscle. They’re full of healthy fats, proteins, and vitamins.
Peanut butter works too. But be sure to get natural peanut butter. It should retain its oils and fats without being packed full of added sugars and salts.
Red meat is full of protein. Other nutrients - like iron, zinc, and vitamin B12 - are also found in abundance in beef. Choose grass-fed beef and you’ll even get omega-3 from this food source.
Beyond it’s recent explosion in popularity, there are lots of good reasons to add quinoa to your diet. It’s not call the “king of grains” for nothing. It has more protein and fiber than oats or rice, is easy to cook, and is extremely versatile.
Strength training requires a lot of water. You need to stay hydrated for the best results. If you don’t drink plenty of water each day, your body will start to retain fluid - bad news. If you have a hard time drinking enough water, try this:
Beyond water, you should definitely include green tea in your diet. Green tea weight loss drinks have been used for centuries. Green tea is a natural diuretic and antioxidant. Replace your morning coffee with weight loss tea. It promotes better circulation and a host of other benefits.
If you’re lifting weights, you need lots of protein in your diet. Use these healthy food sources to keep your body fueled for building lean muscle.