Proper nutrition

Top 10 best protein foods for muscle growth

Proteins (proteins) with food enter the digestive tract, where they are broken down into amino acids. This complex of substances is then used as a building material, without which the growth of muscles and tissues in general is impossible.

If you do not add the right amount of protein to the diet, then you will not be able to achieve relief, quality and muscle growth. Here’s a selection of muscle and muscle building protein foods to help you replenish your macronutrient stores.

Top 10 protein foods for muscles

Building muscle requires a full range of amino acids, both essential and non-essential. The former are synthesized from the precursors, while the latter come only with food. The sources are vegetable (cereals, nuts, beans) and animal (meat, eggs, fish) products.

Features of the type of proteins:

  1. Animal protein. A complete set of amino acids, close in composition to the human profile. Digestibility is up to 95–98%. The protein concentration is high here, therefore, a volume portion is not required to replenish the nutrient norm. Cons: Lots of saturated fat, sodium, and cholesterol.
  2. Vegetable protein. Incomplete amino acid range. For example, beans lack methionine, and rice lacks lysine. Digestibility 60%, rarely up to 80%. Because of this, a larger serving is needed to cover the protein requirement. The presence of healthy fats, fiber and trace elements is considered a plus.

When compiling a diet, you should not focus on only one type of protein. A complex intake of amino acids will bring more benefits. Therefore, muscle products should not be limited to chicken breast and eggs, because there is no less protein in nuts or beans, but there are many other equally important nutrients.


1. Eggs

What are the benefits for muscles: Stimulation of the synthesis of skeletal muscle cells, participation in the formation of insulin-like growth factor, decrease in the rate of breakdown of muscle protein. These properties are provided by leucine with zinc.

What else is the use of the product: Supports the metabolic process, the work of the liver, heart and brain, participates in the synthesis of testosterone, gives strength and energy. Sugar and triglycerides are stabilized, sleep is improved, bones are strengthened.

KBZHU per 100 g: Proteins – 13 g, fats – 11 g, carbohydrates – 1 g. Calorie content – 155 kcal per 100 g.

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Chicken eggs

2. Chicken fillet

What are the benefits for muscles: Providing the body with complete protein, but almost without fat and cholesterol. The growth of muscles is accelerated, and during drying, weight loss, a relief is drawn. The most popular muscle building product.

What else is the use of the product: Strengthens the immune system and the body as a whole, has a beneficial effect on blood formation, metabolism, liver and heart function. Nails, hair and skin become healthier, strength with endurance develops.

KBZHU per 100 g: Proteins – 23.6 g, fats – 1.9 g, carbohydrates – 0.4 g. Caloric content – 113 kcal per 100 g.

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Chicken fillet

3. Beef

What are the benefits for muscles: Increased protein synthesis, transition from heme iron meat, which saturates cells with oxygen. Zinc and amino acids are involved in the production of testosterone. Muscle growth is provided by B vitamins.

What else is the use of the product: It stabilizes cholesterol, strengthens the immune, nervous system and improves sleep. Hemoglobin in the blood increases, collagen and elastin have a beneficial effect on ligaments, cartilage tissue, and skin.

KBZHU per 100 g: Proteins – 19 g, fats – 12.5 g, carbohydrates – 0 g. Caloric content – 188 kcal per 100 g.


4. Salmon

What are the benefits for muscles: Supplying the body with easily digestible protein. In the composition of Omega-3, which accelerates muscle growth and increases the anabolic response to amino acids, increases the concentration of protein in skeletal tissues. Therefore, of the entire list, oily fish is the best product for muscle mass.

What else is the use of the product: Supports bone density, stabilizes blood cholesterol levels, improves the functioning of the central nervous system, gastrointestinal tract, thyroid gland, blood vessels and heart. Inflammation is stopped, immunity is enhanced, the body is cleansed.

KBZHU per 100 g: Proteins – 19.8 g, fats – 6.5 g, carbohydrates – 0 g. Calorie content – 142 kcal per 100 g.

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5. Squids

What are the benefits for muscles: Improving the metabolism of protein structures, participation in the synthesis of thyroid, steroid hormones. For muscles, the product provides vitamin B12, which regulates the transmission of nerve impulses from the spinal cord to the tissues.

What else is the use of the product: It normalizes iron absorption, relieves headaches, fights free radicals, strengthens teeth and bones. Relaxes the seafood of the central nervous system, eliminates muscle spasms, accelerates metabolism.

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KBZHU per 100 g: Proteins – 19 g, fats – 2.5 g, carbohydrates – 1.8 g. Caloric content – 98 kcal per 100 g.

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6. Curd

What are the benefits for muscles: Saturation of the body with casein and calcium. The first is slowly absorbed and keeps the level of amino acids in the blood for a long time, while the second is involved in muscle contraction. Plus calcium maintains the supply of creatine to help build volume. Curd is an ideal product for muscles.

What else is the use of the product: Improves fat metabolism, improves mood and restores the functions of the central nervous system, heart, blood vessels, liver. Teeth and bones are strengthened, intestinal microflora is balanced, hair and nails are healed.

KBZHU per 100 g: Proteins – 16.3 g, fats – 1 g, carbohydrates – 1.3 g. Calories – 79 kcal per 100 g.

Cottage cheese

7. Beans

What are the benefits for muscles: The percentage of easily digestible proteins is similar to that of fish, meat and eggs. Iron helps build blood cells, which carry oxygen to muscle tissue. The growth of muscles is influenced by B vitamins, zinc, calcium.

What else is the use of the product: Cleans the body, strengthens blood vessels, heart muscle, improves hormones with metabolism. Sleep and mood are normalized, fatigue disappears, and a healthy immunity is formed.

KBZHU per 100 g: Proteins – 21.1 g, fats – 1.2 g, carbohydrates – 41.4 g. Calorie content – 265 kcal per 100 g.

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8. Chickpea

What are the benefits for muscles: Increased muscle volume, direct participation in the synthesis of creatine. The first property is provided by leucine, isoleucine and valine, and the second is provided by glycine, methionine and arginine. Zinc also makes a useful product for muscles, which is included in the structure of anabolic hormones.

What else is the use of the product: Regulates mood and sleep, delivers energy in the form of complex carbohydrates, strengthens protective barriers. Cell regeneration processes are accelerated, digestion improves, and a feeling of satiety appears.

KBZHU per 100 g: Proteins – 19 g, fats – 6 g, carbohydrates – 61 g. Caloric content – 364 kcal per 100 g.

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9. Walnuts

What are the benefits for muscles: Action on testosterone production and maintenance of anabolic processes. Omega-3 acids make walnuts an essential food for muscle mass as they replenish fiber.

What else is the use of the product: Strengthens the walls of blood vessels, eliminates vitamin deficiency and enhances the immune defense. Energy is given, the work of the digestive tract with metabolism is stimulated, brain functions and hormonal levels are stabilized.

KBZHU per 100 g: Proteins – 15.2 g, fats – 65.2 g, carbohydrates – 7 g. Caloric content – 654 kcal per 100 g.

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10. Greek yogurt

What are the benefits for muscles: Maintains muscle tone, replenishes potassium lost during exercise. B vitamins, protein and calcium help build and maintain bulk, making yogurt a must-have for muscle mass. Vitamin A is involved in the breakdown of protein structures.

What else is the use of the product: It normalizes blood sugar and improves the protective functions of the body, the work of the digestive tract, metabolic processes. Physical activity increases, mood improves, and the risk of kidney stones decreases.

KBZHU per 100 g: Proteins – 5 g, fats – 3.2 g, carbohydrates – 3.5 g. Calorie content – 66 kcal per 100 g.

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If your goal is to build muscle volume, then just incorporating muscle-building foods into your diet won’t be enough. To achieve the desired result, you will need to change your lifestyle. An integrated approach is important in this matter.

Additional recommendations for muscle growth:

  • consuming more calories than spending;
  • find the optimal balance of proteins, fats, carbohydrates;
  • switch to fractional meals – up to 6 meals a day;
  • observe the drinking regime – up to 2.5 liters of water per day;
  • focus not on simple, but on slow carbohydrates;
  • increase the proportion of vegetable fats in the diet;
  • give preference to strength training with weight;
  • get enough sleep, recover between classes.

It is important to add calories with healthy foods. These include cereals, berries and fruits, cereals, whole grain breads, oils, nuts and seeds. You need to remove sugar, sausages, smoked meats, and other “junk” food. Although the effect will not be quick, it will not add too much excess fat to muscle growth.

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