The ten best muscle building foods

The ten best muscle building foods

When it comes to building muscle there’s a fine line between putting on the bulk, and adding pounds to your waistline. By sticking to the right foods you can make sure you stay toned and built, without getting too heavy round the middle.


Egg yolks are seriously hot stuff when it comes to building muscle. Once thought of as bad for us due to high cholesterol – it seems that the good cholesterol in eggs is actually a perfect building block for the steroid hormone.


Just one ounce of cashew or almonds contains 150-170 of great calories. With the perfect blend of protein, fibre and fats, nuts are winners when it comes to getting extra calories without compromising your waistline.

Beef (grass-fed)

Beef from grass-fed cattle is important for building lean muscle as it contains protein, cholesterol, zinc, B vitamins and a high iron content. Grass fed cattle contain far higher levels of conjugated linoleic acid which boosts the loss of body fat and increase in lean muscle.

Brown Rice

Brown rice digests slower than its white counterpart, giving you long-lasting energy throughout the day. It can help to boost your growth hormone levels, critical for building muscle.

Cantaloupe Melon

Maybe not an obvious choice, but thanks to its low fructose content, this melon is a fast-digesting carb making it one of the few good fruits to eat after workouts.


Sticking with the fruit theme, oranges can actually boost muscle growth, strength and endurance, particularly when eaten before workouts.

Organic Milk

Contains both whey and casein and is rich in the amino acid glutamine. Organic milk has about 70% more omega-3 fatty acids than conventional milk.

Greek Yoghurt

Rather than regular yoghurt, the Greek variety contains 20g per cup more protein and less carbs. It’s also a great source of casein protein.


Spinach is a good source of the muscle growth amino acid, glutamine. It can help increase muscle strength and endurance.


Apples contain specific polyphenols to prevent muscle fatigue which enables you to train for longer. These polyphenols can also help with fat burning, so it’s a good idea to eat apples for your pre-workout carb source.


The Author

Laura Briggs

Laura is a fitness writer who loves running, strength training, Pilates and Yoga. When she's got time to herself you might find her knitting, or in the kitchen trying out an elaborate recipe - healthy of course!.


Emma C.
14 April 2016

Emma C.

It's good to see promotion of real food rather than fake protein shakes and powders. If you eat clean then you can get all the protein you need.

Sasha B.
12 April 2016

Sasha B.

There are plenty of vegetarian bodybuilders so you don't necessarily need beef to bulk up. Nuts and eggs are definitely on my regular list, though it's interesting to see fruit on the list too.

Mike D.
12 April 2016

Mike D.

Great quick tips. I only wish grass-fed beef was cheaper.

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