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Gaining Muscle – What to Eat and What to Avoid

gaining muscle

There are various methods available today if you’re planning to lose weight or gain some muscle. Whatever way you use, you must pair it with the right diet. Otherwise, it would only be a waste of time. Your body needs all the proper nutritional support, especially if you want to gain some muscles.

Building lean muscles requires rigorous physical activity, such as exercise, which is why you need every bit of energy you can get. To help you in your endeavor, below are a few of the best and worst foods to take when your goal is to gain muscle mass. 

What to Eat

There are plenty of nutrients and minerals that can be found in your food. Knowing what these nutrients are and how it affects your body is an essential knowledge that you can utilize to build your muscles and overall improve your health and body.

When gaining muscle mass, it is essential to include high protein foods in your diet. Foods rich in carbohydrates and good fats are also advised because they are great energy sources that your body will desperately need when undergoing intense physical exercise. 

The following foods are rich in the nutrients mentioned above and more. They can be easily integrated into your diet and can be paired perfectly with other sustenance here. Each food has multiple benefits, but most importantly, they greatly help achieve a more defined and toned muscle. 


Eggs have been an integral part of our breakfast diet, and clearly, there is a reason why. Besides being delicious, they are full of high-quality protein, healthy fats, nine amino acids, and choline, which are vital for muscle gain. It’s also full of B vitamins that will help your body in energy production.

Aside from being healthy, eggs are cheap, tasty, and can be cooked in multiple ways. They are always a good choice to start your day. 

Lean Beef

Beef is among the most popular foods for people who want to build their muscles. It is because they are the number 1 source of creatine that is vital for muscle growth. They have generous amounts of anti-inflammatory fatty acid, CLA, high-quality protein, and high-level amino acid. Lean beef is also rich in B12, magnesium, and iron that promote muscle development. 

Lean beef is a star food for gaining muscle mass. They are also a great addition to your diet if you want to lose weight because beef is packed with protein but with very low amounts of calories. 

Skinless Chicken Breast

When gaining muscle mass, it is important to load your diet with protein, and chicken is a great source of high-quality protein for muscle growth. A 3-ounce serving of breast chicken contains 26 grams of proteins. They are also packed with B6 and B vitamins niacin that helps in energy production to fuel your body while doing exercise and other various physical activities.

Try to avoid eating chicken skin because they contain unhealthy fats and calories even though they are tasty. When building muscles or losing weight, it is advisable to eat the chicken but without the skin. 


It is no mystery that fish is high in protein, rich in omega-3 fatty acids, and low in fat. Salmon is the very definition of this. They are a great choice to include in your diet because omega-3 fats have the ability to improve your heart health and increase muscle gain while you undergo various exercises. 

Salmon is also a great food if you wanted to lose weight and improve your metabolism. Not only that, but the omega-3 acids of the fish can also impede muscle breakdown, hold back the loss of muscle mass, and strengthen the muscles over time. 

What to Avoid

Aside from knowing the best food to eat when building your muscle mass, it is also crucial to know what foods you need to avoid. Here are some examples of what you shouldn’t eat when you want to gain muscle mass.


If you want to build your muscles, you need to stop drinking alcohol on a daily basis. Normally, your body produces antioxidants to aid in muscle recovery; however, that wouldn’t be the case when you’re drinking alcohol. Instead of helping your muscles, the antioxidants will be wasted on metabolizing the alcohol in your system. Also, alcohol is just a lot of unnecessary calories that you will have to burn.


Soda offers no nourishment or benefits to your muscles. They are basically sugar mixed with water with a dash of caffeine that can do more harm than good to your body. Caffeine tends to weaken your bones. Soda is full of needless calories, and it would be better if you stay away from them, especially if you’re building your muscles.

Salty Snacks

It is common knowledge that salty snacks or junk foods are never good for your body. They are filled with unneeded calories, and they have no nutritional value. Instead of having a bag of chips as a snack, opt into eating beef jerky or fruits when you are hungry. They are more nutritious and healthy, and it’s better for you to avoid salty chips altogether.  


You have to watch out for what you eat, especially if you have a certain goal in mind. Don’t forget to rest once in a while to let your body heal from all the exercise and physical activity you go through to gain muscle mass. 

Gaining muscle mass is no easy feat, but with dedication, perseverance, and the right attitude, you can surely achieve it. However, exercise with the right diet is the main key to achieving this goal. 

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The Rx Review is an independent fitness website, reporting on the Sport of Fitness, functional fitness news, The CrossFit Games, health and diet related information, and also provides reviews on sports performance products.