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What to Eat to Gain Strength and Muscle

February 6, 2019 by

People always say that you can’t out-exercise a bad diet. And it’s true! If you want your body to be in great shape and healthy, you need to fuel yourself with healthy foods that work in synergy with your body to complete natural processes such as digestion, sleep, and muscle growth.

So if you are trying to gain muscle and strength, you probably want to do everything you can outside of the gym to complement your hard work inside of the gym. Here, we will talk about the best foods to eat if you want to gain strength and muscle.

If you want to grow or define your muscles, you can’t avoid exercising. One of the common myth about building muscle mass is you need to load up on protein and carbohydrates.

However, it isn’t that simple. Your body has ways to build muscle without carbs and protein, and amino acids and proteins do more than just build up tissue and muscles. For example, some amino acids prompt genes to create proteins when you are food deprived, as long as they are in your bloodstream.

It is true that carbs fuel muscle, but high-carb diets promote insulin and leptin resistance, which can lead to the development of a chronic disease. Also, eating more protein than your needs can lead to elevated blood sugar levels and kidney distress– and may ultimately promote cancer growth.

So, what should you eat? Let’s look at some healthy options.

Cottage Cheese

Cottage cheese is made up almost entirely of casein protein, which digests slowly, making it ideal for muscle maintenance. This is an especially great option for people who have to go for long periods throughout the day without a snack or meal. Cottage cheese is also a great source of important nutrients such as vitamin B12 and calcium.

Skinless Chicken

Chicken is a high-quality protein source, which is a critical factor for muscle repair and maintenance, bone health, and weight management. And, because chicken is so versatile, you can make it however you want to. Season them one at a time if you want and then you can grab one and cook it quickly when you’re on-the-go.

Eggs

Eggs are rich in high quality protein, nine essential amino acids, choline, healthy fat, and vitamin D. They are a valuable food in the sense that they give your body a lot of important nutrients while not costing you too much money. Also, eggs are not harmful for your health, as research has proven.

Oatmeal

Oatmeal is the person source of carbohydrates because it has a low glycemic index value and it is minimally processed. Eating a low-GI diet gives you a better micronutrient profile and more fiber, increases your feelings of fullness, decreases your hunger throughout the day, helps with fat loss, and lowers your desire to overeat.

Essentially, low-GI foods such as oatmeal can help with fat loss efforts and give you a constant source of carbohydrates for muscle preservation.

Fish

Fish is high in protein, low in unhealthy fat, and full of omega-3 fatty acids. These fatty acids are essential because they help with fat loss and work alongside your body to make sure it functions properly.

Whole Grains

Whole grains digest efficiently and give your body more nutrients than refined grains can, which helps you have sustained energy levels and great overall health. Specifically, brown rice can increase your growth hormone levels, which, in turn, encourage lean muscle growth, fat loss, and strength gains.

Fruits and Vegetables

Fruits and vegetables are both filled with antioxidants, which are vital to have in order for your immune system to properly function. These fresh foods also provide your body with other nutrients, like vitamins C and E, and beta-carotene. Also, your body needs the fiber provided by fruits and vegetables to help with proper digestion and nutrient absorption.

Final Thoughts

Ignoring your nutrition isn’t an option when you are trying to make positive changes to your body. Knowing how food can work with your body will help you use it correctly for your fitness and strength gains. This is true for everyone, both for overall fitness maintenance and for muscle mass gains.

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