Have you set out to start the volume season to get the fitness body you’ve always wanted? In that case, you’ll need to provide your body with the fuel (food) it needs to perform at its best in every workout. This article will tell you the best foods to increase volume and muscle mass.
Best foods to gain muscle mass
Eating high-calorie foods can help you get the caloric surplus you need to grow your muscles. When choosing the best foods to increase muscle mass, it is important to understand that each of the three macronutrients has different calories. For example, proteins and carbohydrates have 4 kcal per gram, and fats have 9 kcal per gram.
Therefore, a diet rich in healthy fats is a good way to increase caloric intake. There are also studies suggesting that healthy fats, such as omega-3s, can help increase muscle protein synthesis, which is the process that enables muscle growth.² Fats are also important for absorbing fat-soluble vitamins such as A, D, E, and K.
Protein is also essential for building muscle mass; optimal recommendations are 1.6 g/kg/d and 0.4 g/kg per meal.³ Protein is the macronutrient with the greatest effect on satiety, so, If you are having trouble getting all the calories you need, you can keep your protein intake to no more than 1.6g/kg and increase your carbohydrate and healthy fat intake to maintain your caloric surplus without sacrificing Protein.
Carbohydrates are also very important to have the energy necessary to train at full capacity to gain muscle mass and optimize recovery after a using boogieman pre workout. Not all carbohydrates are created equal, as complex carbohydrates tend to be higher in fiber and have lower GI than simple carbohydrates. But while complex carbohydrates are often best for people who want to lose or maintain body weight, high GI simple carbohydrates may be better for weight gain.
If you’re having difficulty eating enough to maintain a calorie surplus, consuming high-glycemic, easily digestible carbohydrates can help you do that. In addition, studies show that higher GI carbohydrates help replenish glycogen stores faster than lower GI carbohydrates, 4 helping to speed recovery and allowing you to train at your best every time. Training.
Many people associate a bulking diet with being able to eat anything at all times, but it is important to maintain a slight caloric surplus of 250-500 kcal a day and no more. It is also common for people to take advantage of the bulking season to gorge on junk food (hamburgers, pizza, cakes), so we wanted to gather the 15 best foods to increase bulk and muscle mass.
Milk and cottage cheese
Milk is a good source of Protein, calcium, fat, and calories, with about 150 calories per glass.
Both cottage cheese and milk are very good sources of Protein for muscle gain, and their fat and carbohydrate content help replenish muscle glycogen stores and maximize muscle growth.
For example, prepare your protein shake with milk or enjoy a delicious tub of cottage cheese before bed. You can also mix some cottage cheese with nuts and a scoop of our Chocolate Hazelnut Impact Whey Protein and have it between meals or as a dessert after meals.
- Calories per 100 ml of semi-skimmed milk – 46 kcal
- Protein (g) per 100ml – 3.1g
Nuts and Nut Butters
Nuts are high in calories and rich in healthy monounsaturated fats, so they are great bulking foods.
A small serving of nuts can provide a lot of calories, as well as Protein and fat, with up to 300 calories per 50g. In addition, nuts and nut butter are rich in essential micronutrients and minerals, such as magnesium, phosphorous, selenium, and zinc, all essential for maintaining good health and gaining muscle mass. You can eat a handful of nuts when you get hungry mid-morning or mid-afternoon, or you can make yourself a delicious snack with a banana and peanut butter.
- Calories per 100 g ( Myprotein Natural Peanut Butter ) – 614 kcal
- Protein (g) per 100g – 30g
Continuing with the theme of healthy fats, salmon and other fatty fish should be included in your bulking diet. Salmon is rich in monounsaturated fatty acids, which are healthy and great for gaining clean weight.
Additionally, the omega-3 fatty acids in oily fish may help improve joint care and cardiovascular health. In times of intense training, try to consume about 2-3 servings of fatty fish a week.
- Calories per 100 g (salmon fillet) – 202 kcal
- Protein (g) per 100g – 21g
Avocado contains monounsaturated fatty acids such as oleic acid, which are perfect for increasing your intake of calories and healthy fats. Avocado is also rich in antioxidants and vitamins, including vitamin E.
Vitamin E performs many important functions in the body that are vital to your general well-being. So, try mashing an avocado with a fork and spreading it on rice cakes, dicing it into salads, or making delicious homemade avocado brownies or an irresistible cheesecake.
- Calories per 100 g – 160 kcal
- Protein (g) per 100g – 2g
How many times have you thrown away the egg yolks because you believe they harm your health? The whole egg is a very good food that is high in Protein and fat, with only about 75-90 calories per egg.
Many people believe that eggs are unhealthy because of their saturated fat content and high cholesterol, but did you know that eggs are high in healthy cholesterol? Unless you eat 12 eggs a day, the saturated fat content of the egg doesn’t have to be an issue.
- Calories per egg – 60 kcal
- Protein (g) per egg – 13 g
When it comes to getting a muscular and defined fitness body, lean meats are one of the best options to increase protein intake, and coincidentally many people reduce the consumption of red meat. However, eating red meat can help bulk up in several ways. For example, if consumed regularly (but not abused), it can help to gain muscle mass thanks to its Protein and fat content.
Also, red meat is high in heme iron. In our diet, there are usually two types of iron: heme iron and non-heme iron. Our body can absorb heme iron more easily than non-heme iron. Maintaining adequate iron intake is essential when trying to gain muscle mass and training hard.
- Calories per 100 g – 172 kcal
- Proteins per 100g – 24g
Olives and healthy cooking oils
Olives are a good source of healthy fats and a perfect snack or addition to many main meals.
Healthier cooking oils like olive, sesame, and avocado are great as salad dressings or cooking oils that help boost energy intake without consuming unhealthy fats.
- Calories per tablespoon – 115 kcal
- Fat (g) per tablespoon – 14.5 g
The increase in muscle mass is usually associated with Protein and fat intake, but carbohydrates are also necessary. If you want to gain muscle mass, forget about reducing your carbohydrate intake and enjoy a good plate of meat and potatoes without regrets.
The sweet potato is rich in carbohydrates, with about 40 g (for a medium-sized piece) and many vitamins and minerals. Also, if you are following a strict diet and avoiding refined sugar, the sweet potato is ideal to satisfy sweet tooth cravings and as a garnish for many dishes.
Sweet potato is a low GI carbohydrate source, which makes it a good pre-workout meal thanks to its sustained release of energy.
- Calories per 100 g – 86 kcal
- Proteins per 100 g – 1.6 g
Oats are another good source of complex carbohydrates that make things easier for you in bulking season. Oats are high in fiber and complex carbohydrates that, in addition to aiding digestion, provide a sustained release of energy, which is also ideal as a pre-workout meal. In addition, oatmeal is also a good way to increase your intake of healthy fats and calories without the typical “stuffed” feeling.
- Calories per 100 g – 360 kcal
- Protein (g) per 100g – 11g
White pasta is a high GI carbohydrate rich in carbohydrates and calories, making it a fantastic post-workout meal, as it will help you recover faster and fuel you for your next workout. A generous serving of pasta can also help maintain the caloric surplus you need to gain weight. You can prepare a delicious Bolognese with pasta and lean meat as a reward after a hard workout.
- Calories per 100 g (raw pasta) – 357 kcal
- Protein (g) per 100g – 12.24g
Like pasta, white rice is also a high GI carb, and because it’s low in fiber, you’ll be able to eat more without feeling as full, which is great if you’re having trouble keeping up the calorie surplus you need.
To increase your diet’s carbohydrate and calorie intake, you can add rice to your salads and stews, which will allow you to maintain your peak performance in each workout, which is an important factor in gaining muscle mass. 5
- Calories per 100 g (raw rice) – 359 kcal
- Protein (g) per 100g – 6.56g
Protein supplements are one of the best foods, if not the best, for increasing your overall protein intake. They are the highest quality type of Protein that we currently know and are very versatile since you can take them alone (with water or milk) in the form of shakes, make delicious recipes, as a snack at any time of the day, or combine them with any of the rest of foods to gain bulk from this list.
- Calories per 100 g ( Impact Whey Protein ) – 412 kcal
- Proteins (g) per 100 g – 82 g
Protein bars are one of the best snacks on a diet to gain muscle mass. As their name suggests, they are high in Protein but also a good energy source and, in some cases, fiber.
At Myprotein, we have a wide range of protein bars, from delicious and fluffy protein brownies to crunchy cereal bars.
- Calories per bar ( Layered Protein Bar ) – 256 kcal
- Protein (g) per bar – 20.5 g
Beans and lentils
Beans and lentils are undervalued; some even think they are foods only for vegans and vegetarians. But the truth is that they are rich in Protein, fiber, and many vitamins and minerals. Also, they are very affordable and versatile for cooking.
- Calories per 100 g (cooked white beans) – 83 kcal
- Protein (g) per 100g – 5.80g
Last but not least, Chocolate. If you have a sweet tooth, dark Chocolate is a great way to satisfy your sugar cravings. Chocolate with a cocoa percentage greater than 75% is rich in antioxidants and monounsaturated fats. Do you want to prepare a delicious dessert that will help you gain muscle mass? Very easy; Place a peeled banana on a plate and top it with a generous amount of peanut butter and melted dark Chocolate. You are welcome.
- Calories per 100 g – 529 kcal
- Protein (g) per 100g – 5.80g
If you have started the bulking phase and you have yet to include some of these foods in your diet, it may be more difficult for you to achieve it than it should be. If you want to get the most out of each workout and take advantage of its benefits, it is very important to maintain an adequate intake of macronutrients and micronutrients. So, include all the foods you can from this list in your diet, and remember to include fruits and vegetables.