If you want a strong body and strong muscles, then you’ll be acutely aware of the fact that you need to work hard. Whether it’s in the gym, on the sports field, pounding the pavements out on a run or with your own equipment at home, you need to put the effort in with your exercise regime.
Yet if you think that’s enough, you’re mistaken. Your workout programme is merely half of the puzzle. Your efforts will be completely undermined if you don’t consume the right food or drink. This is not just about avoiding fatty foods that will scupper your efforts – although this is clearly important – but it’s also about ensuring that you’ve got the right fuel for your lifestyle. The right meals are crucial to help your muscles repair and recover after a tough workout and, over time, grow.
So, if you’re plotting the perfect meal to go alongside your muscle-building regime, what do you need to include? Here are some top tips on the ingredients to gather together for your meal:
Let’s not beat around the bush, your ideal meal needs a bit of meat in it and not just for taste reasons. The right meat can be a great source of protein and other essential nutrients. Beef, for example, might be maligned in some circles but, with the right lean cut can be just what you need for your ideal muscle building meal. A sensible amount in your diet will be a great source of iron, B vitamins, vitamin D, selenium and zinc. Chicken breasts are the staple for many people looking to boost their physique, though, and are a perfect, healthy way to up your protein count. Either would be fine.
So, what do you want alongside your meat? It’s important to eat your greens – and pick the best of these to help enhance your energy levels. Spinach may be famous for boosting cartoon character Popeye’s muscles but, while that is an exaggeration, it does help if you’re building your physique with iron and magnesium to help you build the best diet. Broccoli, meanwhile, is high in fibre, protein, calcium and vitamins K and C which all helps keep you in all-round good health and ready to face the challenge of the gym.
If you want potatoes on your plate, then why not make the switch to the sweet variety? Sweet potatoes are healthier than standard potatoes and are packed with vitamins A and C as well as calcium, potassium and iron – meaning that they get plenty of goodness onto your plate.
When you’re looking to boost your muscle power you need to be able to maintain your energy throughout a heavy workout. Brown rice is a great slow-digesting food that can gradually release energy and keep you going.
Fancy an alternative? Crack open a couple of eggs and break into a great source of protein that will help boost your strength. The whites contain zinc, iron, copper, selenium and vitamins D, B6, B12.
Yoghurt or fruit
What about something sweet to top it all off? How about a bit of Greek yoghurt? This has more protein and fewer carbs than regular yoghurt, making it a guilt-free treat. A portion of fruit is also a great idea – either with a yoghurt or on its own. Blueberries are probably the best of the bunch and are packed with antioxidants and fibre.