Top Foods to Gain Muscle Mass

Top Foods to Gain Muscle Mass

Mass gain consists of promoting both faster muscle building, through a strict diet rich in proteins, good fats, and carbohydrates, while limiting fat intake. It is reflected in particular by an increase in meals and caloric intake, which can also be counted, in addition to a training adapted to the goal to be achieved, to gain muscle quickly and eliminate the calories swallowed. An efficient and successful mass gain is also, it must be emphasized, intimately linked to a good quality of sleep and irreproachable hygiene of life.

However, it is not about ingesting calories throughout the day, regardless of their quantity and especially their quality. Instead, learn about the most suitable foods for mass gains, such as those rich in healthy fats, and how to integrate them effectively into your daily routine.

So, what are these foods to favor for a clean mass gain? Here is a list of the best ingredients for building muscle mass.

Top Foods to Gain Muscle Mass

1. Wild red meat (bison, roe deer, moose, elk, wild boar, ostrich, etc.) or grass-fed beef:

Top Foods to Build Muscle Mass

When it comes time to choose red meats, it is very important to make sure you where and how the animals were fed. To be healthy and get the most nutrients, you need to eat healthy animals, which is why wild meats are recommended. They are also favored over vegetable proteins because the amino acid profile is much more complete and the protein content is much higher. These meats are often rich in omega-3s, minerals, B vitamins, creatine, carnitine, glutamine, glycine, and CLA. These are all amino acids that will help you build muscle and have an interesting hormonal profile.

2. Poultry (chicken, turkey):

Top Foods to Build Muscle Mass

As it has a high protein content and is low in fat (especially white meat), poultry is a must for getting its daily protein intake. In addition to its high bioavailability, it is an interesting food to include with your post-workout meal because it is digested quickly. Try to buy free-range or organic chicken as much as possible. Duck, guinea fowl, and other poultry are also excellent choices.


3. Eggs:

Top Foods to Build Muscle Mass

Eggs have been a popular food since the early days of bodybuilding. Having an interesting protein / fat ratio, eggs are also rich in amino acids, including leucine which is important in building muscle. Eggs are also highly concentrated in vitamin D and highly bioavailable, so they are absorbed very quickly. Once again, quality is very important, so make sure you are sourced (free-range hens) to get the best nutritional quality possible for your eggs.


4. Coldwater fish from wild fishing (salmon, mackerel, sardines, cod, haddock, trout):

Top Foods to Build Muscle Mass

Again, make sure the fish you buy is coming from to avoid high mercury levels. You've all probably heard, not too long ago, of the famous Atlantic salmon being gray at the base and injected with pink dye to make it that color. Since it comes from breeding and fed with food stuffed with GMOs, the fatty acids contained in salmon are then omega-6 (pro-inflammatory) unlike omega-3 (anti-inflammatory) that we are looking for. If you eat it canned, also make sure it is BPA-free to avoid toxicity. In addition to being anti-inflammatory, omega-3s will also improve your sensitivity to insulin (the anabolic hormone that must be brought under control when gaining muscle mass).

5. Seafood (shrimp, scallops, mussels, crab, lobster, etc.):

Top Foods to Gain Muscle Mass

Seafood is generally high in protein, low in fat, and rich in omega-3s. They are also rich in vitamins and minerals and more particularly in vitamin B12.

6. Coconut Oil:

Top Foods to Gain Muscle Mass

A medium-chain saturated fatty acid or MCT oil, coconut oil is rapidly absorbed and transported to the liver which uses it for energy (much like a carbohydrate, but without increasing your blood sugar). Coconut oil also has anti-inflammatory effects and improves insulin sensitivity. It is also recommended as a cooking oil since it does not become toxic when heated at high temperatures. Choose an unrefined and organic coconut oil.

7. Extra virgin olive oil:

A monounsaturated fatty acid, olive oil is a source of good fats to include in your diet both for health and for mass gain. It is rich in vitamin E and it helps fight against free radicals. It can be used as a dressing in your salads or simply on your vegetables to get the number of calories you need to achieve in your day according to your goals. Be careful, however, to choose extra virgin olive oil and not to heat it at high temperature, as it will become toxic, unlike coconut oil.

8. Nuts or nut butter (Brazil nuts, cashews, almonds, macadamia nuts, walnuts, pecans, pistachios):

Unsurprisingly, nuts are one of the foods to target during mass gain. . Each nut has different properties, so like any other type of food, it's important to rotate and vary them as much as possible. Nuts are high in good fats, fiber, and antioxidants.

For those wondering why I don't mention peanut, it's because it is not a nut contrary to popular belief. It is part of the legumes and tends to have inflammatory properties in people (something we try to avoid).


9. Protein powder (whey, ISO, beef, vegetable):

Protein powder is very interesting for several reasons. They are easy to access and transport. Bioavailability is also very fast (the speed at which it will be absorbed by the body). However, I also recommend alternating your sources of protein powder to try to avoid intolerances. For those with lactose intolerance, aim for ISO, SBP (organic grass-fed beef protein), or OVB (plant protein) from ATP Labs. Protein powder made by ATP is also sweetened with organic stevia. Watch out for companies that sweeten their protein with sucralose, aspartame, or other artificial sweeteners. These sweeteners have detrimental effects on your health and digestive system in the long term.

10. The sweet potato or sweet potato:

Top Foods to Gain Muscle Mass

Mainly made up of carbohydrates, the sweet potato is a very popular food in the world of bodybuilding. In addition to helping you replenish your muscle glycogen stores, this food is rich in fiber and will help you have good bowel movements, balance your blood cholesterol levels and maintain healthy blood sugar levels.

11. The white potato:

Like the sweet potato, the white potato is a food made up mainly of carbohydrates. However, this food is preferred for those with better insulin sensitivity or those with a lower fat percentage, as the glycemic index and load are higher and the impact on blood sugar will be greater. If you have to consume them, try to take them around your workouts and more mainly with the meal after your workout.

12. Berries (raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, strawberries):

Since they are rich in antioxidants, berries will help you eliminate waste and toxins caused by your intense workouts. Your body will be able to heal more quickly if you eliminate them. They are also great for people who have lower insulin sensitivity due to their low glycemic index and high fiber content.

13. Pineapple:

Top Foods to Gain Muscle Mass

Pineapple is a fruit to consider for muscle building. In addition to helping you gain muscle, it will also help you in your recovery since it is rich in vitamin C. This is essential for the growth and healing of muscle tears. Pineapple is great when paired with your protein in your post-workout shake because it's rich in bromelain, an enzyme that helps digestion and protein synthesis.


14. Powdered carbohydrates:

For people who have a low percentage of fat (around 12% and less), powdered carbohydrates are extremely interesting for faster improving your muscle gains, your performance, and replenishing your muscle glycogen stores quickly. . They can be consumed in a shake after an exercise or in a drink during training.You could also add your creatine to your shake (protein/carbohydrate), as creatine is better absorbed by the body in the presence of carbohydrates.


15. Quinoa:

Quinoa is a food mostly made up of carbohydrates, but it is higher in protein than rice or other plant-based foods. It also stands out from other proteins or plant foods because it contains 9 amino acids. In addition, it is rich in magnesium, which is considered one of the main minerals for insulin sensitivity.


16. Beetroot:

Top Foods to Gain Muscle Mass

Rich in nitric oxide, beetroot is a root vegetable that will help you with your muscular endurance and will have an interesting effect on vasodilation (muscle pump) during your workouts.

17. Green vegetables:

No matter the reason or your goals, green vegetables should always be part of your diet. Rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals, green vegetables will also help with your digestion. Since you need to consume fairly large amounts of protein (which often leaves an acidic residue), green (alkaline) vegetables will balance your pH and promote a good acid-base balance in the stomach.

While there are plenty of other great muscle-building foods out there, I consider these to be my favorites. I've included the protein and powdered carbs because they will speed up your results, but I prefer to focus on real food. Humans are made to eat real food and too often we look for shortcuts. I always prioritize health because it will inevitably produce results. Aim for quality foods, well-bred and healthy animals, fresh and local fruits and vegetables if possible (without pesticides or as little as possible) as well as a wide variety in your food choices to have as many vitamins and minerals as possible.

Related article: The Top 10 Foods for Building Muscle

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