The Best Protein Foods For Building Muscle

post workout nutrition

The Best Protein Foods For Building Muscle

It is no secret protein is the building block of your muscles. If your goal is to build muscle mass you should be consuming a minimum of 1.5 grams of protein per pound of body weight every day. For instance, if you weigh 80 lbs, your daily protein consumption goal should be 120 grams. The FDA will recommend fifty grams per day, but that is for the average person, and we want to be above average.

Here we provide you with the best protein foods for building muscle.

Protein Overview

Fish Oil

Protein is the most important macronutrient when it comes to building muscle mass, even more important than the other macros including carbohydrates or fats. While protein powders, protein bars, and other supplements like meal replacements can be convenient, nothing can beat the effectiveness of consuming protein-rich real foods. But if you need hard numbers: 1.5 grams per pound of bodyweight is perfectly good, and more than 2 grams is probably unnecessary, as your body really cannot handle all that.

These Are The 11 Best Protein Foods

1. Eggs

It is no secret eggs are rich in protein. Most people start eating eggs from a young age because they are rich in vitamins, minerals, healthy fats, eye-protecting antioxidants and brain nutrients. Whole eggs are rich in protein whereas egg whites are almost purely protein.

2. Chicken Breast

Chicken Breast is one of the favorites of bodybuilders, part of the classic “meathead” diet of just chicken and rice 24/7. All jokes aside, chicken is one the easiest foods to cook, you can do a lot with it, and if you do it right, it tastes delicious. Chicken breast should be a part of your daily nutrition plan if you’re looking to gain muscle mass as most of the calories in this food come from protein.

3. Fish

A wise shark once said in a classic film “fish are friends, not food”, but that is not the case here at all. Fish are a goldmine of protein, so they certainly are food. Apart from the protein, fish is rich in various important nutrients and have a high percentage of omega-3 fatty acids which are healthy for your heart and joints.

4. Turkey Breast

Turkey breast can be a popular substitute for chicken breast, or just a nice option to switch up what you are consuming. Turkey breast has lesser fat and calories as compared to the chicken breast or other meats. If you are in a cut trying to preserve muscle or looking to get more protein in and build it, the next time you have an option between the two, opt for the turkey breast.

5. Tuna

Although it is technically a type of fish, tuna deserves a special mention as it’s macros are undeniably ideal for building muscle. Tuna is high in protein, but also is low in fat and calories. A tuna canned in water has 94% protein content, how can you beat that? A single cup of tuna fish contains 154 grams of protein and only 179 calories.

6. Shrimps

Shrimp is another type of seafood that does not count as fish, and it is rich in protein and other nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids. Shrimp contains ample amounts of protein and can replace meat and poultry as a source of protein in your diet.

7. Milk

Milk is one of the healthiest food. It contains a little of every nutrient needed by the human body. This is the reason babies are fed milk. Milk is high in calcium, phosphorus, and vitamin B2. Milk is an easy and convenient way to consume which makes it one of the best protein foods.

8. Greek Yogurt

Greek yogurt is also known as strained yogurt and has a thick and creamy texture. Greek yogurts are delicious and nutritious at the same time. Make sure you choose a fat-free yogurt with no added sugar.

9. Almonds

Almonds are rich in nutrients like fiber, vitamin E, manganese, and magnesium. They are one of the best options if you like snacking on nuts high in protein but low in saturated fat. Almonds are also easy to pack for when you’re on the move.

10. Peanuts

Peanuts are another type of nuts which are rich in protein, fiber, and magnesium. While peanuts are rich in protein, they can also help you in losing weight. Peanut butter is a hit in the fitness community.

11. Lean Beef

Lean beef is one of the best protein foods. It is delicious and has a very high protein content. Protein makes up 53% of the calories in lean beef. 85 grams of cooked beef with 10% fat contains 22 grams of protein, with 184 calories.

Looking to become a Serious Bodybuilder?

Amateur bodybuilder Dylan Wolfinger

We often meet many amateur bodybuilder’s looking to become IFBB Pro’s and stage-ready, and this is certainly not the easiest task to complete. While training in the gym may seem simple, the diet is where things get difficult. Knowing what to eat and what to avoid can make or break your physique, especially in a bodybuilding prep. The vast recommendations above will work just fine for a good majority of people and their body composition goals, even for serious athletes training for other sports.

One of the diets, or eating patterns that has risen in popularity in recent years with most in the health/fitness space is intermittent fasting, often abbreviated to IF. We all know that fasting refers to the abstinence from food, but what else does it entail? And is it even beneficial to those looking to gain muscle and make overall improvements in their body composition?

The traditional time-restricted feeding model, otherwise known as the 16:8 protocol, as it is the most commonly used format of IF in fitness realms, and now you’ll find out why that is. It is the most commonly used protocol, especially in bodybuilding, as it allows the individual full control of the planning of their meals around their workouts. Timing your meals can take you to the next level, and the pre and post-workout meals are often regarded as the most important meals of the day. Most traditional forms of IF would not allow this type of flexibility and control.

If you have a very significant amount of muscle mass you want to preserve while shedding fat? We recommend a natural fat burner to help. Yeah, there’s a chance that even more protein might be smart.

Wrap Up

Overall, protein is the most essential macronutrient for the muscles. The protein powders and supplements to help you hit your numbers are great and certainly come in handy, but nothing beats good old fashioned whole food.

Which is your favorite protein food? Let us know in the comments below. Also, be sure to follow Generation Iron on Facebook and Twitter.

Dylan Wolf
I work mainly in content writing, focusing my free time on bodybuilding and strength sports. I was introduced to fitness in high school and after watching Generation Iron movies. I love to train. I have competed multiple times, even winning a junior title in classic physique. I have a bachelor's in criminal justice and business obtained through Alvernia University. When I am not focused on work or training, I enjoy watching films or reading about anything and everything.