Best Muscle Building Foods
If building muscle is your primary goal at the gym, then it’s time to start paying closer attention to your diet.
Many beginners are under the impression that weight gain (the good kind) all comes down to lifting heavy weights and enduring hours of excruciating muscle aches. But that’s a really dated image of weight lifting, and not at all reflective of today’s world of fitness.
How Your Body Builds Muscle
Muscles are made up of muscle fibers, which are then broken down into 3 components: sarcomeres (small protein filaments responsible for contraction), myofibrils (chains of sarcomeres that generate the force of contraction), and sarcoplasm (a fluid-like substance that surrounds myofibrils).
When you work out and put stress on your muscles, you are actually putting tiny tears in the myofibrils of your muscles. Your body then responds by increasing human growth hormone output and sending white blood cells to start repairing the damaged muscle tissue, and this is where gains in muscle size are made over time.
Not only does your body repair the damaged muscle tissue, but it also builds new tissue on top of the old. Over time, this leads to an increase in muscle size that becomes visible.
What Your Body Needs to Build Muscle
But here’s the catch. In order to build muscle as efficiently as possible, your body needs calories for energy and protein to build new muscle tissue. This is why it’s important to not only eat a high-calorie diet, but also consume a lot of protein on a regular basis.
It’s estimated that for every pound of body weight, it’s necessary to consume 1 gram of protein in order to make significant gains in muscle density and size.
What this comes down to then, very simply, is a need to shift your dieting focus to protein. You can see why it’s also important to eat a balanced, healthy meal rich in vitamins and minerals. This is particularly important given the role of your immune system in building muscle.