To bulk up, you have to fuel up. Lifting heavy weights alone isn’t enough for muscle-building. To really maximize your sweat sessions you need to do some heavy lifting in your diet too. That means adding an extra 300–500 calories to your plate — and no, we don’t mean chips and beer. We’re talking muscle-building food, such as lean sources of protein (chicken, lean beef, beans) and healthy carbs (whole grains, veggies, fruit). It’s all about timing as well.
“The best way to make sure that protein and nutrients are absorbed by your body and muscles is to eat within 30 minutes following an intense strength workout,”
explains says Gregory Florez, CEO of V2Performance and a spokesperson for the American Council on Exercise. “Exercise breaks down tissue, and eating a 3:1 to 4:1 carb to protein meal within that half-hour window helps repair those damaged cells.”
Add these five-heavyweight champ muscle-building foods, plus lots of water, to your diet and you’ll be invited to the gun show in no time.
Crack open these heroes in a half shell. “A cheap source of protein, eggs are a good sources of Vitamins A, D and E,” says Jim White, RD, ACSM, spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Vitamin A helps regenerate muscles, Vitamin E increases blood circulation through the body and muscles and Vitamin D ushers calcium into your bones. Eat the yolks too — that’s where all of the nutrients live. And contrary to popular belief, the cholesterol in eggs won’t up your heart disease risk. Huevos rancheros anyone?