What if we told you that you could retain and even gain more muscle mass and strength with less training? The secret lies in your nutrition. To build muscle, it is important to consider nutrition alongside resistance training.
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In a nutshell:
To build muscle, it is important to consider nutrition alongside resistance training. Nuts are the perfect blend of protein, fats, and fiber, allowing you to get the extra calories you need without having them pad your waistline. Nuts are also extremely portable, making them the perfect thing to snack on during the day if you need to increase your calorie intake. Not many people know this, but cottage cheese is almost entirely pure casein protein. Casein is a slow-digesting protein, which means it is perfect for muscle maintenance. When you eat casein, your blood amino acid levels rise slowly and stay elevated for longer than if you would have eaten whey (the other dairy protein). A single-serve container of nonfat plain Greek yogurt provides 17 grams of protein along with nearly 20 percent of your daily calcium, a mineral that’s lost during prolonged sweating. Greek yogurt is a source of vitamin D, which helps your body absorb calcium and phosphorus. The three varieties of quinoa (red, black, and white) are terrific substitutes for starchy grains, and each also includes high amounts of crucial muscle-building compounds like iron, magnesium, and vitamin B-6. Quinoa is one of the few plant foods that contain all nine essential amino acids, with the added benefit of fiber, magnesium, B vitamins, calcium, phosphorus, vitamin E, potassium, iron, and the list goes on. Those golden orbs "eggs" contain large amounts of the amino acid leucine, which is essential for post-exercise muscle recovery. In fact, eating whole eggs after a workout elicits a 40 percent greater muscle-building response than consuming egg whites alone. Eggs have since returned to the spotlight as a healthy food, especially for building serious muscle. The cholesterol found in egg yolks serves as the scaffolding for steroid hormones, and the ½ a gram of leucine in each egg is like throwing gasoline on your muscle-building fire. Chia seeds are also a great source of protein. This is another reason this super seed is great to consume when trying to put on lean muscle, burn fat, and balance blood sugar levels. Epicatechin may be able to boost muscle growth by inhibiting a protein found in muscles known as myostatin. Myostatin is a protein that regulates muscle growth. When choosing carb sources, you should opt for foods that are mainly complex carbohydrates like oats. If you only opt to eat protein, your muscles will end up looking flat. Peanut butter is a source of protein, needed to build and repair muscles. Two tablespoons of peanut butter, the amount in an average sandwich, provides about 7 grams of protein. For 100 grams of protein, you’d have to eat the whole jar of peanut butter! To boost the protein value of peanut butter, simply accompany it with a tall glass of milk: a PB & J sandwich + 16 ounces low-fat milk = 28 grams of protein, a good chunk of your daily requirement. Milk simultaneously enhances the value of the protein in the peanut butter sandwich. That is, peanuts are low in some of the essential amino acids muscles need for growth and repair. Apples are a great source of fiber and vitamin C and a quick-and-easy snack. Most fat is removed from lean jerky during processing, so almost all calories in jerky come directly from protein. These animal sources of protein are high in quality and stimulate muscle growth. Seek out one that contains at least 20 grams of protein per bar, as well as some healthy carbs and dietary fats. Since you’re building muscle, you can afford a few extra calories in your diet.
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