Protein has become the de facto for almost all major muscle building diets. Also, judging by the insane diets of action movie stars like “The Rock” Johnson or Henry Cavill (Superman) you also need to eat tons of food, 6 times per day and your diet list will probably be like: 35 pounds of boiled chicken, half a cow and tubs of casein.
The truth is that you cannot get ripped by protein alone and you must understand that preventing muscle from breaking down is just as important as building them up.
In the interest of getting you fit for the upcoming summer, here are 8 foods that will help you build muscle like a superhero:
1. Olive Oil
Tumor necrosis factor-a (I know that it sounds creepy, but don’t worry about it) is a cellular protein which increases the inflammation, but also breaks down muscle cells. In simple words, it burns muscle for energy. The biggest strength of olive oil in the muscle building process is its ability to prevent muscles from breaking down or burning out by lowering the level of tumor necrosis factor-a.
Since 80% of our muscles are made from water anyway, it makes sense that we find this important ingredient on our list. Instead of giving you all the scientific data about the importance of water, let me put it this way – if you don`t drink enough water and stay hydrated your body will burn muscle to keep its energy levels as needed.
Beets are known for being high in betaine, an important nutrient for increasing muscle mass as well as helping in joint repair and liver-enhancement. This essential ingredient will help you do more weight and strength training with more reps. Beets = muscle growth.
You probably eat carbs before working-out, but as soon as you`re done, you`ll need something to replenish your glycogen stores. Pineapples are perfect for this job because they are rich with an enzyme (bromelein) that helps your body to better absorb dietary protein. And as an added bonus, pineapple will also help in reducing inflammation and muscle pain.
Quinoa is the most perfect post-workout food ever. It contains high levels of protein, it’s gluten free, easy to digest and rich with amino acid, fiber, magnesium and iron – all essential in the protein synthesis process. It will also help your body to recover faster.
I bet you didn’t expect to find coffee on this list, but as it turns out coffee does much more than just fueling your workday. Two cups of coffee one hour before working out will increase your endurance and give you more energy. Researchers also believe that coffee directly stimulates the muscle, which eventually leads to better muscle mass.
Oysters are the perfect choice if you want to boost protein intake without increasing your fat consumption. A regular 6-ounce portion contains around 16 grams of protein and only 4 grams of fat. They are also rich with zinc, which is a very important mineral for protein synthesis.
8. Chocolate Milk
A recent study from the International Journal of Sports Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism states that chocolate milk may be the best ever post-workout recovery supplement. It turns out that chocolate milk contains the ideal carbs-to-protein ratio needed to maximize your body`s rate of glycogen re-synthesis. So, after a hard workout try chocolate milk instead your regular sugary sport drink.