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5 foods you should add to your diet to build lean muscle faster

Tuna/Tunafish. Add these foods to your diet while doing your weightlifting program to build more lean muscle fast.
Tuna/Tunafish. Add these foods to your diet while doing your weightlifting program to build more lean muscle fast.
Photo by Ethan Miller

When it comes to building muscle on your body, what you eat is just as important as how hard you train. During a sufficient weight training workout, the muscle fibers should break down and create tiny microscopic tears that will allow for the absorption of protein and other nutrients to help the muscle grow back bigger, stronger, and more defined. (View the Slideshow)

If your diet is lacking in adequate protein and nutrients, then no matter how hard you lift in the gym, it will be difficult, if not nearly impossible, to add lean muscle to your body. The key is to know the best foods and the best forms of protein.

Protein can be looked at in 3 ways to distinguish how potent it is and how effective it is in helping to build lean muscle mass:

1. How Lean Is It?

The protein you consume should be lean. There is no reason to add excess fat to your diet if unnecessary, and fortunately there are plenty of lean protein selections that work.

2. How much can the body absorb at one time?

Some protein sources are more structured and solid than others, allowing for 100% total absorption of the grams at one serving, whereas other sources are less complete and may only allow for 50-60% of the absorption of the grams at one sitting. When a food says 35 grams per serving, you ideally want to be able to absorb as much of those grams as you can. Why let valuable protein go to waste?

3. Does the protein source contain any other valuable nutrients?

Some protein sources also contain valuable omega 3 fatty acids, poly- and mono- unsaturated fats, vitamins, and essential nutrients, while other sources are more lacking in these areas. To maintain an overall healthy lifestyle, you should consistently consume protein that also has additional health benefits.

Beyond Protein

It is not just protein that triggers muscular growth after a workout and during a training program. It is equally important to add complex carbohydrates to your diet as well. These are quintessential forms of nutrients when it comes to replenishing the muscle glycogen storages lost during a weight training routine that will help aid in muscle recovery and assist in protein absorption.

Although carbohydrates get a bad rap in the media today, they are extremely important in the muscle building process. As long as the pasta or complex carbohydrate source is lean, low in fat, low in saturated fat, and of a brand that reduces the sugar content, it is important to combine it with protein and a moderate to small amount of fats, preferably healthy fats such as avacado, peanut butter, nuts, and olive oil when adding lean muscle mass to your body.

A healthy diet with the right foods will speed up the muscle building process. So go to the nearest grocery store and stock up on these 5 foods. (View the Slideshow to Find Out)

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