Almonds. Although it may seem an unusual source of protein, 1/4 cup of almonds has 8 grams and makes an easy snack if you're on the go. Almonds also aid protein metabolism and give you energy for working out. They have the most protein compared to other nuts.
Beans. Beans offer a healthy dose of muscle building protein. 1 cup of cooked garbanzo beans contains 14.5 grams of protein. Beans are also a great energy food, as each cup contains 45 grams of of low-glycemic carbohydrates; with a glycemic load (blood sugar spike) of only 18 out of 250. Add some rice to your bean meal for a complete vegetable protein.
Chocolate Milk. Chocolate milk may seem like an odd choice of muscle-building food, but low-fat milk is packed with amino acids and has shown to be a great post-workout recovery drink. According to a study, published in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, chocolate milk may be as good -- or better -- than sports drinks like Gatorade at helping athletes recover from strenuous exercise. It also contains key nutrients, such as calcium and vitamin D, in quantities that sports drinks can't match.
Eggs. Besides being a tasty breakfast food, eggs offer a powerful dose of protein after morning workouts; one egg contains 5 to 6 grams of protein. Eggs are also rich in vitamins and amino acids, making them an effective energy source when you need a boost to exercise. Eggs today also contain 64% less cholesterol, according to the new United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) nutrition data. One egg 41 IU of vitamin D, 10 percent of the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA). Vitamin D plays an important role in immunity building, and calcium absorption, helping to form and maintain strong bones. The nutrients in eggs can play also play a positive role in weight management, and muscle strength At less than 15 cents each, eggs are also very affordable. Stick to 1 yoke per 5 egg whiles to limit fat, cholesterol and calories
Fish. Fish have all the protein of red meat, without the fat and subsequent health risks. They also have lots of omega-3 fatty acids. In the July 2007 issue of the "Journal of Physiology," researchers from the University of Montreal, Laval University and Baylor College of Medicine found that omega-3 fatty acids aid protein metabolism for effective muscle growth.
Lean Meat. If you need a break from fish, lean beef is a smart choice for the health-conscious exerciser. Choose high protein low fat cuts like top pork loin chops (both have about 7g fat and 170 cals), beef bottom sirloin (6g fat, 150 cals) and top round veal (3g, 128 cals). Bison (AKA buffalo) is also a great choice that is now readily available in most markets. Bison has has fewer fat and fewer calories (2 grams and 122 calories per 3-ounce serving) than skinless light meat chicken (3g and 144 cals). Plus, bison a terrific source of protein (24g) and iron. The taste? Similar to beef, though slightly richer and sweeter.
Quinoa. Quinoa is a seed grown high in the Andes Mountains of South America. What makes "keen-wah" so nutritious? Quinoa is packed with protein (8 grams per cup), is gluten-free and has all the necessary amino acids for muscle growth. It is also a great energy food, as each cup contains 40 grams of of low-glycemic carbohydrates; with a glycemic load (blood sugar spike) of only 18 out of 250. Other benefits per cup: 5 grams of fiber (20 percent of daily value), 20 percent of daily value of folate (various forms of Vitamin B), 30 percent of magnesium daily value (beneficial for people with migraine headaches); 28 percent daily value of phosphorous; manganese (almost 60 percent), iron (15 percent); and copper (18 percent).
Peas. Don't be fooled by their small size: 1 cup of cooked peas contains over 6 grams of protein.
Soy. Soy is a complete protein, similar to animal protein. Soy is packed with protein, vitamins and amino acids that help regulate protein metabolism and tissue growth. Because of potential endocrine disruption, soy should not be your sole source of protein. With that being said, it is still a great muscle building food.
Turkey Breast. Skinless turkey breast is "one of the leanest sources of protein," according to Jeff Behar, CEO of www.MuscleMagFitness.com -- and one of the tastiest. Turkey contains about 2/3 of the calories contained in chicken breast. A 3 ounce serving of boneless, skinless turkey breast is only 90 calories with 10 calories from fat. It also has a whopping 14 grams of muscle building protein and an excellent post-workout meal.
Why These Are Muscle Building Foods
I chose these foods as the best foods for building muscle because these muscle building foods are...
- High in Protein
- Easy to Prepare
- And Have Nutritional Benefits Beyond Just Containing Protein
Muscle Building Foods Need Help
To build lean muscle you need to get enough high quality protein and you need to eat more calories than you burn. Getting enough protein daily from high quality protein sources, like the top 10 muscle building fods above, should be your primary focus. And remember, besides eating enough high quality muscle building foods, you also need a good workout program to put on the mmuscle and blast away the fat.
About the Author Jeff Behar
Jeff Behar, MS, MBA is a former natural bodybuilding champion, well sought after personal; trainer and author with over 30 years of experience in the health, fitness, and bodybuilding fields. He regularly writes for several magazines about top health, fitness, disease prevention, diet, nutrition, natural healing, and anti aging issues that are being discussed today. He has authored over 1000 articles regarding health, fitness, nutrition, weight loss, and is the author of the best selling Ebook, Top 100 Superfoods - 100 Healthiest Foods on the Planet.
Jeff Behar is also the founder of www.MuscleMagFitness.com, a very popular health and fitness websites and social networking community for people into Health, Fitness and Bodybuilding.