Every bodybuilding enthusiast wants to know what are the best bodybuilding foods? No matter how hard you perform workouts or use bodybuilding supplements, if you are not eating a proper diet, you will not build muscles. Almost every bodybuilder wants to build muscle fast. But when the body doesn’t receive sufficient fuel, it fails to build new muscles.
The best bodybuilding foods help to provide quality carbohydrates, proteins, and dietary fats. Remember your muscle are made in the kitchen and maintained at the gym. So without wasting your time, let’s share some of the best bodybuilding foods.
The Best Bodybuilding Foods
1. Dry Oatmeal
Breakfast is the first and most important meal of the day. Dry oatmeal is best for bodybuilding and also for fat loss. But don’t use hot oatmeal for breakfast. Sever it raw for maximum benefits.
You can top oatmeal with dried cranberries, slivered almonds and skim milk for delicious breakfast with a quality protein source.
2. Nut Butter
Though nuts are best, nut butter can be more effective food for bodybuilding. You can add it to your smoothies, make a sauce, smear it over fruits or simply eat it.
Nut butter is a perfect blend of quality proteins and healthy fats. Choose natural variety as most nut butters contain a high amount of sugar.
3. Grass Fed Beef
One of the best bodybuilding foods is grass-fed beef that contains a high amount of protein. Such type of beef contains CLA fats that are known for burning extra body fat quickly. The food is highly recommended for lean muscle builders.
Grass-fed beef also contains iron which is essential to keep energy levels up for harder and longer workouts.
Salmon is a protein-rich food with high levels of omega-3 fats. It helps to improve insulin intensity in your body which means you can easily build lean muscle mass.
Such type of fish is more calories dense when compared with white fish varieties like tilapia or bass. For instance, four ounces of salmon equals eight ounces of tilapia.
5. Whole Milk
Most people avoid whole milk as it contains saturated fat content. But some saturated fat is necessary to keep testosterone levels elevated. Men using low-fat diets have usually slow testosterone release which means slow progress in bodybuilding goals.
Whole milk is high in calories and offers a decent protein amount. Whether you use it with a morning bowl of oats or with smoothies, you can get maximum bodybuilding benefits from whole milk.
Quinoa is another best bodybuilding food to be included in your diet plan. This food is an ideal source of protein with slow digesting carbohydrates.
Quinoa helps to stimulate full and entire recovery after tough workouts. No matter how you use it, you are using the right bodybuilding food.
Never deny the importance of fruits for bodybuilding. They are loaded with natural beneficial nutrients. Banana is one the best bodybuilding foods with simple fruit sugars which makes it an ideal insulin responder after workouts. It also contains a decent amount of starchy carbohydrates which is slowly digestible that keeps your energy levels high for a long time.
This healthy source of fat is another best bodybuilding food. The food contains vitamin E which makes it a good food for healthy skin and hair. It also helps to improve the immune system and supply cholesterol lowering unsaturated fat. Another best thing about avocado is that you can use it in various ways such as green salads, sandwich or in a sauce.
Bagels are good carbohydrate source. You can use it immediately after workouts for maximum bodybuilding benefits. Bagels are much denser than bread. This rich carbohydrate source helps to promote massive growth.
10. Olive Oil
Whether you are preparing stir-fry’s or simple grill meat, always use olive oil. It is one of the easiest and fastest ways to get maximum calories and healthy fats. Olive oil has heart-healthy fats which are an additional benefit.
Here are more best bodybuilding foods.
Best Protein Sources for Bodybuilding
Eggs- A cheap but one of the very best bodybuilding foods
Skinless Chicken Breast- Inexpensive, lean and a high-quality protein source
Cod- affordable lean fish
Buffalo- Super expensive lean red meat with wonderful bodybuilding benefits
Lean Ground Turkey- Though expensive than chicken breast but a lean high-quality protein
Filet Mignon- Tasty but expensive lean cut of meat.
Top Round Steak- A lean cut of meat with more fat than chicken but ideal meat source.
Pollock- Lean Fish
Flounder- Cheap lean fish
Wild Swordfish- Expensive lean high-quality protein
Wild Sea Bass- Another expensive lean high-quality protein
Lean Ground Beef- Ideal off-season protein source
Turkey Bacon- Although leaner than normal bacon
Cottage Cheese- a Slow digesting type of protein
Canned Tuna- Lean Expensive fish
Wild Salmon- A Healthy fatty fish
Protein Foods to Avoid
Bacon- High in fat, though tasty
Deli Meat- A low quality of meat with too many chemicals.
Skinned Chicken- Loaded with extra fat
Breaded Chicken- Breadcrumbs contain simple carbs which are not good for you.
Farmed Fish- Fewer omega-3s as compared to wild fish
Fatty Cuts of Red Meat- Adds too much fat to the body
Fatty Ground Beef- Good for making meatballs or tasty burgers but not a quality muscular body.
Best Carbohydrates Sources
Fruits- Fruits are always healthy but some are better than others for various reasons. For instance, a banana is an ideal food for post-workout carbs and blueberries are best amongst antioxidants.
Vegetables- Just like fruits, vegetables are considered ideal for all fitness goals. For instance, green veggies are perfect for offseason with fewer calories and net carbs. They also contain a high amount of fiber. Make sure to have few in every meal.
Oatmeal- Best slow digestion carbs
Steel Cut Oats- Just like oatmeal, they are also slowly digested.
Cream of Rice- Quickly digesting carb and a decent alternative for white rice
Cream of Wheat- Alternative for white rice and faster-digesting carb
Brown Rice- A staple of slow digesting carb
Whole Wheat Bread- Another ideal slow digesting carb
White Rice- One of the quickest digesting carb
Sweet Potatoes/Yam- A tasty slow digesting carb
Carbohydrates to Avoid
Candy- Too much sugar
Cereal- Loaded with extra sugar
Ice Cream- Sugar, sugar, sugar
Chips- Rich in simple carbs and bad fats
Soda- A regular stuff is a simple sugar water but diet one is fine
Sugar Juice- Almost all sugar juices are loaded with sugar water
Best Sources of Fat
Almonds- A perfect fat source with a small amount of protein
Flaxseed/olive oil- Best source of fat
Cashew Butter/Almond Butter- Another food source of healthy fats
Avocadoes- Health source of protein
Pecans- Less protein and high in healthy fat
Walnuts- the best fat source with fewer proteins
Natural Peanut Butter- Avoid processed, use natural peanut butter for healthy fats with some protein
Fats to Avoid
Butter and Margarine- Not a good option to be added to the bread, use oil instead
Fried Anything- Contains saturated and Trans fats
Vegetable Shortening- Not a healthy fat source
Coconut oil/ Palm oil- Don’t contain healthy fats
Best Bodybuilding Foods List
Here is the best bodybuilding foods list for you.
- Top round steak
- Cottage Cheese
- Chicken Breast
- Olive oil
- Natural Peanut Butter
- Fish oil
- Brown Rice
- Sweet Potatoes
Test Boosting Foods
Testosterone, popularly known as “male hormone” is naturally produced by the testes in men. Most of the men are suffering from low testosterone levels that cause low energy, fatigue, low focus, and weak bones. Testosterone plays a vital role in both men and women health for its anabolic properties. Some of the prominent high testosterone benefits include increase bone density, muscle growth, and improve strength, bone maturation and stimulation of height growth. On the contrary, low testosterone levels can lead to muscle loss, obesity, low sex drive, brittle bones, erectile dysfunction, moodiness, and impotence. Here are top 10 foods to boost testosterone level naturally.
1. Grapes- Sperm Raiser
Including a bunch of red grapes in the daily diet will boost your testosterone as the skin contain resveratrol that concentrates sperm. A research in The Republic of China proves that 5-10g of grape skins raised the testosterone level and promoted epididymal motility.
2. Tuna- Higher Sex Drive
Tuna contains vitamin D which is ideal for bone health. A study at Graz Medical University in Austria found that the vitamin boosts testosterone by up to 90%.
3. Pomegranate- Impotency Fighter
The International Journal of Impotence Research reported that about 47% of impotent men found a significant change after consuming a glass of antioxidant-rich fresh pomegranate juice daily.
4. Garlic- Muscle maintenance
Garlic has an active ingredient allicin, which lower stress hormone levels cortisol in the body. Cortisol fights with testosterone hormone for the similar sites within the muscle cells. Trench the cortisol and your testosterone will be able to work perfectly. Garlic is more powerful when used uncooked.
5. Honey- Better Blood Flow
Honey is an ideal food for health especially for boosting testosterone. The natural food contains mineral boron which is directly linked to high testosterone. Honey is rich in Nitric Oxide that is vital for opening up blood vessels which improve erectile function. You can easily boost nitric oxide levels by 50% with four teaspoons of honey.
6. Milk- Improve Lean Muscle
Fat blokes contain more estrogen. Milk can effectively boost testosterone levels. It contains amino acids for boosting anabolic hormone production that can trim fat and build muscles. Health experts recommend three 200ml glasses per day.
7. Eggs- Hormone Booster
The egg yolk contains cholesterol which is known as the pioneer for testosterone. Don’t worry about the cholesterol level of the heart as three eggs a day are not going to affect cholesterol levels.
Cabbage is also known as the king of veg patch. It contains chemical indole-3-carbinol which cleanses your blood of female hormones. 500mg a day halves estrogen levels and makes testosterone even more effective.
How to Boost Testosterone Naturally
Extra body fat is responsible for the production of oestrogen (female sex hormone) that results in testosterone decrease. Lowering your body fat can help you to boost testosterone level naturally.
Most people cut on caloric intake which is the worst mistake one can do. During such diet, brain modifies a starvation mode and decreases the testosterone production until the deprivation is over. It is due to the fact that high testosterone levels help to burn more fat quickly. A human body needs consistent calories supply to produce testosterone properly. So never skip a meal especially the breakfast.
Heavy Weight Training
Include compound weightlifting session for two or three days a week. Exercises such as squats, dead-lifts and bench presses incorporate large muscle groups. Studies have proved that compound weights motivate the testosterone production in the body effectively as compared to isolated workouts.
Get at least eight to nine hours sleep at night. People with less than recommended sleep suffer from low testosterone problems. So you must get a quality, sound sleep to boost testosterone production in the body.
Best Foods for Cutting
Cutting is one tough task for bodybuilders where they cut the excess body fat. After bulking, the cutting phase is quite irritating one as you have to follow a strict diet plan. Here are some best foods for cutting.
1. Sesame Seed Oil
Sesamin is a lignan found in Sesame Seeds. It helps to decrease fat storage and improve fat oxidation and therefore it can be an ideal food for cutting and weight loss.
Protein is essential to prevent muscle loss and there is no better choice than salmon. It contains fewer saturated fats with valuable omega 3’s. Omega 3 DHA and EPA helps in fat loss by maintaining insulin levels which are the prime cause of excess fat storage and helps in energy production. Salmon also protects against cardiovascular diseases.
3. White Kidney Beans
Such type of kidney beans contains the health benefits of legumes. The enzymes present in white kidney beans helps the body to absorb less carbohydrate and avoid excess fat storage.
Kidney beans are highly nutritious foods with high protein, low fat and essential vitamins and minerals.
4. Green Teas
Green tea is one of the most popular and effective fat-loss foods. Whether you prefer in raw or tea bags, consume 2-3 cups of green tea per day for best food loss. Green tea has compounds like Catechins and Polyphenols that works as an ideal antioxidant in the body.
5. Leafy Green Vegetables
The leafy greens are the highly nutritious choice for cutting. They contain ideal amounts of fiber which aid slow down the absorption rate of other foods in the meal. Eating vegetables is beneficial for overall health. Some good leafy greens are bok-choy, romaine, spinach, raw salads, cabbage, sprouts, and silverbeet.
6. Flaxseed Oil
Flaxseed oil is one of the most concentrated forms of Omega 3 acids. This type of oil has essential fat burning properties with energy boosting, brain health and heart benefits.
Grapefruit is known as fat loss food. It is a low GI food with a rich level of vitamin C and flavonoids for immunity and energy production. But remember it is highly acidic in nature. Don’t consume too many grapefruits. A half grapefruit is recommended for weight loss and fat burning diet plan.
Tomatoes contain fewer calories and help to regular appetite with increasing mood levels. It has naturally occurring brain chemicals known as serotonin and endorphins. Serotonin plays a significant role in suppressing your appetite by sending signals to the brains which make you feel satisfied. Lypocene is another compound found in tomatoes that protect against cancer.
9. Whole Grain Bread
Bulking and cutting foods are entirely different from each other. Bulking foods are rich in concentrated carbs like wholemeal bread and rice. Cutting foods should contain fewer carbs like whole grain bread. Such bread contains only half the amount of carbs per serve as compared to rice but at the same time, they are loaded with protein, essential nutrients and encourage you to eat less. Soy and linseed bread is an ideal choice as it contains high Omega 3s, proteins and is very slowly absorbed.
10. Lean Beef
Now let’s talk about some meat. The beef has rich iron, creatine, and b-vitamins that work together to improve ATP and provide your harder, longer workouts. Lean beef is an ideal choice. Remember the pinker the color of the beef, the less fat it has.
Other best foods for cutting includes Brewer’s yeast, kelp, turkey breast, chicken breast, cottage cheese, red lentils, mushrooms, soy lecithin, apples, and pears.
Best Foods for Bulking
Winter is a perfect time for bulking where you aim to gain some strength and quality mass. In fact, it is the most favorite part of bodybuilding where you can eat whatever you want. You don’t need to worry about fat or calories. There are three types of bulking.
- Clean Bulking
- Regular Bulking
- Dirty Bulking
Here are some best foods for bulking.
1. Whole Milk and Cottage Cheese
Whole milk is loaded with protein, calories, calcium and additional fat which make it the best food for bulking. Cottage cheese and whole milk are decent sources of protein to build muscle while the carbohydrate and fat restore muscle glycogen stores and improve muscle building potential.
Use whole milk as a post-workout protein-shake and enjoy the cottage cheese pot before bed.
2. Nuts and Nut-Butters
Nuts are rich in monounsaturated fats and energy-dense. That’s why nuts and nut butter are best for bulking. A small serving of nuts provides huge calories with protein and fat. Both foods are loaded with essential macronutrients and minerals such as magnesium, selenium, phosphorus, and zinc. All of these are considered ideal for building muscle mass.
When looking for best bulking foods, fatty fishes like salmon should be a part of bulking diet. Salmon contains a rich level of monounsaturated fatty acids which are ideal for health and clean bulking. Omega-3 fatty acids help to improve cardiovascular and joint health.
Avocadoes contain monounsaturated fatty acids like oleic acid that are perfect for adding healthy fat and calories to your diet. Eating avocados as bulking foods provide a rich amount of antioxidants and vitamins like vitamin E which improves cardiovascular health and overall wellbeing.
5. Whole Eggs
Whole eggs provide you decent proteins, fats, and calories. Most people don’t like eggs for their saturated content and rich cholesterol level. But this is healthy cholesterol and good for your overall health. So, consume eggs without worrying about cholesterol and enjoy muscle mass improvement. Beside all facts, the egg is one of the cheapest bulking foods.
6. Lean Beef
Lean sources of protein are most perfect for getting a great physique. Red meat is the best food for bulking in many ways. For instance, red meat contains fat and protein which helps in the growth of muscle mass. The type of meat is also rich in heme iron. There are two types of iron consumed in the diet- heme iron and non-heme iron. Our body absorbs heme iron easily as compared to non-heme iron. Getting the proper amount of iron is necessary for muscle building and long hard training sessions.
7. Coconut and Olive Oil
Coconut and olive oil are the perfect addition of fat to your bulking diet. Use coconut oil and olive oil in cooking and meal preparations for adding healthy fat and extra calories to the diet.
8. Sweet Potato
Most people think that fats and proteins are necessary for bulking but carbohydrates are essential too. Sweet potatoes are fully packed with carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals. Add a portion of sweet potatoes to your meals and enjoy bulking season.
Oats are great sources of complex carbohydrates that must be included in bulking foods. They contain fiber and complex carbs that help in digestion and supply a sustained release of energy. Also, they add healthy fat and calories to your diet.
10. Dark Chocolate
Dark chocolate is another best way to fix sugar cravings. Chocolate with over 75% content is full of monounsaturated fats and antioxidants. You can use it for bulking in various forms like with banana covered in melted dark chocolate and peanut butter. Other best foods for bulking include White chicken breast, turkey breast, Tuna, rice, pasta, low-fat yogurt, fat-free milk, bread, fish, peanut butter and steak.
Avoid foods with empty calories and zero protein like candy and soda. Some bad foods for bulking are
- Sweetened juices
- Potato chips
- Simple carbohydrates
- Big Macs and other unhealthy fast foods