They say that abs are made in the kitchen, but in actuality, what you eat will dictate muscle gain in all parts of the body. Knowing what to eat to build mass will help to ensure that your hard work in the gym is not for naught, so we put together this list of the very best proteins for muscle gain to help you get swole for the summer months.
1. Whey Protein
Sometimes, the most obvious answer is the correct answer. Whey protein is highly bioavailable, meaning that it will replenish your nutrient stores quickly after a strenuous workout. With a protein shake, you’ll know the exact breakdown of the macronutrients and calories you are putting into your body, which is ideal for bodybuilders of all experience levels.
Best of all, whey protein is perfect for meals on the go, meaning that you can fix a shake in seconds when you’re rushing out the door to go to work, heading to the gym to work out, or leaving the gym. Whey protein is No. 1 on our list of what to eat to build mass and it should be at the top of yours as well.
As we’ve noted before, not all whey protein is created equally. Some protein powders are filled with excess sugar and unnecessary calories, which can negate the positive aspects of your healthy meal replacement. And, as any gym rat can attest to, some powders simply do not mix well and can leave you with an unpleasant aftertaste.
With BPN’s reputable and high-quality whey, your body will take in just 130 calories per 25 grams of protein. BPN also offers a wide variety of mouthwatering flavors such as mint chocolate chip ice cream and strawberry shortcake, allowing lifters to shake up the monotony of plain chocolate and vanilla.
Fish is one of the greatest proteins for muscle gain but is often one of the most overlooked. Almost all varieties of fish are packed with protein while offering a wide array of nutrient profiles and varying fat content. That means that you can turn to the fruits of the sea regardless of your specific diet.
Canned tuna fish, for example, offers roughly 6-7 grams of protein per one ounce serving with minimal fat. Meanwhile, one ounce of Atlantic salmon offers about six grams of protein per ounce with 3-4 grams of total fat, including valuable omega-3 fatty acids. Fish can also provide you with healthy amounts of nutrients not always found in other protein sources including B vitamins, potassium, selenium, and antioxidants such as Astaxanthin.
Where’s the beef? Well, it’s right here.
When you work hard to maintain your physique, it’s only right that you treat yourself with a delicious steak or burger when your diet allows for it. A flavorful steak is not only a great reward for a hardcore workout, but sometimes it’s the best solution when wondering what to eat to build mass.
There are a dizzying number of beef cuts at your disposal and knowing the nutritional breakdown between each slab of meat is essential when targeting proteins for muscle gain. The eye of round, for example, offers seven grams of protein to every single gram of fat, which makes it ideal for those who are looking to fit red meat into their diet when cutting.
Ribeye steak, meanwhile, is one of the most delicious cuts available, but comes with a nearly 1:1 ratio of protein-to-fat, so it’s a smart choice for those who are bulking or who have yet to achieve their daily fat target for the day.
4. Cottage Cheese
Fast-acting whey protein is excellent for before or after your workouts, but quick protein isn’t always what your body needs. Casein protein, on the other hand, moves slower through your body and gives your muscles a steady release of nutrition. That’s where cottage cheese comes in. Cottage cheese offers greater protein density than milk and its slow release makes it a suitable snack for night time.
Many bodybuilders enjoy cottage cheese for its lack of needed preparation time and versatility. Craving a dessert substitute? Cottage cheese and blueberries can satisfy your sweet tooth. If you’re looking for something more savory, cottage cheese plus a dash of hot sauce can give you the savory snack you’re after and the necessary proteins for muscle gain.
The egg, as you may have heard, is incredible and edible. What many don’t realize is that eggs are one of the cheapest proteins for muscle gain that can be found in stores.
Egg prices will vary from location to location, but assuming a price of $2.00 per carton of large eggs, a serving of two eggs costs roughly $0.33. A pair of eggs will give you 14 grams of protein plus solid amounts of selenium, vitamin D, zinc, iron, and multiple essential B vitamins.
In the past, eggs have gotten a bad rap for HDL cholesterol, or so-called “bad cholesterol.” However, eggs also contain HDL (“good cholesterol”) which can effectively make it a wash. To minimize cholesterol concerns, you can prioritize egg whites over whole eggs, but be sure not to 86 the yolk entirely as it contains healthy fats.
What should you eat to build mass when you’re in the mood for vegetables? We’re glad you asked!
Lentils are an affordable and delicious source of proteins for muscle gain that do not involve any animal by-products. For those workout warriors who are eager to swap out their headband for a chef’s hat, a Mediterranean-inspired lentil soup can be a tremendous option for lunch or dinner. Alternatively, you can purchase pre-cooked lentils for on-the-go consumption, which makes for an excellent snack between meals.
When lentils aren’t available, Bare Performance Nutrition’s Vegan Protein Powder can provide an excellent source of veggie power using a combination of proteins derived from peas, watermelon seeds, and pumpkin seeds.
Working out without a proper diet is like a “Q” without a “U” – it just doesn’t work. By knowing what to eat to build mass, zeroing in on the best proteins for muscle gain, and enhancing your diet with BPN’s supplements, you can get the most out of every gym session and reach fitness goals that previously seemed impossible.