The Best Foods for Building Muscle

The Best Foods for Building Muscle

The Best Foods for Building Muscle
The Best Foods for Building Muscle

The Best Foods for Building Muscle
Apart from your workout, what you eat is the most important aspect of building muscle. If you’re giving your body the nutrients it needs, you’ll lose fat and build muscle much faster.

On the other hand, if your body doesn’t get what it needs, it won’t be able to build the muscles you want. A lot of workout effort can be wasted if it’s not backed up by a proper diet.

Here are some of the best foods for building muscles.

==> Whole Eggs

Whole eggs contain proteins that are easier for your body to process than any other kind of protein. That includes beef, chicken and milk.

In addition, whole eggs contain a whole host of other vitamins and nutrients, including Vitamins D and B12, zinc and iron.

Don’t worry about eating cholesterol in the egg yolk. Research study after research study has proven that cholesterol in food has little effect on the cholesterol in blood vessels.

==> Whole Wheat Pasta

It’s unhealthy to cut out all carbohydrates from your diet. In order for your body to have the energy to work out and to build muscles, it needs to have healthy glucose that it can turn into useable energy.

Protein provides the body with the building blocks, while healthy carbohydrates give the body the energy to build those blocks.

Avoid carbohydrates based in white wheat. They burn too fast and cause energy spikes and crashes. Instead, opt for whole wheat carbohydrates like whole wheat pasta. Get organic if you can.

==> Fresh Salmon

Salmon contains a very high concentration of much-needed omega-3 fatty acids. This helps brain functioning and concentration while also facilitating muscle growth.

The omega-3 fatty acids in salmon will speed up muscle growth after a workout, which translates to more muscles being built faster.

==> Almonds and Other Nuts

Raw almonds and other nuts contain a lot of proteins that can help build muscle. They’re easy to carry around as a snack and are actually healthy, unlike many other snacks.

Nuts contain Vitamin E, potassium, zinc, magnesium and many other essential minerals and vitamins. They also contain digestion-helping fibers.

When buying nuts, avoid anything that’s deep fried in oils or covered in salt. If possible, try to buy plain raw nuts with minimal processing.

==> Eat Beef

Beef is perhaps the best kind of meat for muscle builders to eat.

It contains high amounts of creatine, which gives your body a huge boost of energy for working out. Anyone who’s taken a creatine supplement can attest to creatine’s explosive energy.

By eating beef regularly, you’ll be providing your body with this much-needed source of energy.

These are some of the best foods for muscle building. By providing your body with all the nutrients, proteins, vitamins and minerals it needs, you’ll build muscles at a much faster pace.


How Your Body and Mind Are Intimately Linked Through Your Hormones

How Your Body and Mind Are Intimately Linked Through Your Hormones

Body and Mind
Body and Mind

Body and Mind

In the book Calm Mind, Healthy Body, we discuss in detail the importance of having a calm mind and we look at how controlling and calming your thoughts can ultimately improve your health by removing the stress response.

But did you know that this also works just as potently the other way around? That is to say that your health can also impact on your stress levels? Even your hunger can impact on stress – which in turn impacts on hunger again. It’s a complex interplay and in a moment, we’ll see more about this works and why your lifestyle is a key factor in controlling your stress.

What Happens When You Eat

If you’re stressed right now, then one method you might be able to use to fix that is to eat more. When you eat, your blood sugar spikes. This is then in turn followed by a spike in insulin, which triggers the body to remove the sugar from the blood along with any nutrients.

If you’ve eaten carbs (which provide the fastest sugar spike) then you will also have tryptophan in the blood. Tryptophan is an amino acid that also happens to be a building block of the neurotransmitter ‘serotonin’. Because tryptophan can cross the brain barrier and because it gets left behind by the insulin response, this then leads to a sudden spike in serotonin in the brain and you feel very good.

This is why you feel in a good mood after you’ve eaten!

What’s more, is that serotonin eventually converts into melatonin – the sleep hormone. That’s why everyone always falls asleep after Christmas dinner!

What Happens When You Get Hungry

But let’s say you haven’t eaten for a while. What happens then?

Well, you now have very low levels of tryptophan in your brain and this in turn increases cortisol – there is no way to impact a single neurotransmitter in isolation; levels of one will always impact on levels of the other.

Cortisol then replaces serotonin and this increases the production of ghrelin – the hunger hormone. That’s what makes your stomach start to rumble. It also increases stress and triggers anxious thoughts. This is why we get ‘hangry’ and why you’re ‘not you when you’re hungry’.

Other Things That Impact on Your Mood

There are plenty of other ways we can impact on our levels of neurotransmitters and hormones too though.

For example, when you wake up first thing in the morning you will have been fasting all through the night. At this point your serotonin levels are incredibly low and you have high cortisol making you stressed. At the same time, the light from the sun also increases the release of cortisol which wakes you up (stress hormones are stimulatory whereas relaxation hormones tend to be sedative). Cortisol removes melatonin from the brain and also widens the veins via nitric oxide.

Then there are other things you can do: exercise for instance is well known to increase serotonin and other endorphins and boost the mood. It’s time to stop thinking of your brain as an isolated thing!