Your Muscle & Strength Authority Site Since 1999

Top 12 Foods for Growing More Muscle

October 23, 2010 by  
Filed under Articles, Muscle Building, Nutrition, Recent Posts

Guest post by the Muscle Cook Dave Ruel
author of the Anabolic Cooking Cookbook


The best muscle building foods are those which contain a well balanced variety of high quantity of carbohydrates, protein, and fats.

You have to remember that protein is the raw material in building muscle tissue. Carbohydrates in the meantime are stored as glycogen in your body which can be drawn out whenever energy is required. And fats look after our body’s vital functions….

Here’s my top 12 list!

Whole Wheat Products, Brown Rice, Oatmeal

These complex carbs are great for helping with carb intake. Brown rice in particular is slow digesting, which means it won’t spike your insulin levels. Whole Wheat products and Oatmeal are another excellent source of quality carbohydrates.


One of the best, cheapest foods for this purpose is potatoes. One medium-sized red potato has 25-30 grams of carbs.

Chicken/Turkey Breast

These are excellent source of protein and are very low in fat. They are the true best friend of any muscle building fitness expert. You can always eat chicken or turkey breast. Just make sure the skin is off and the chicken is broiled, boiled or coked over flame. You don’t want fried or battered.


Rich in magnesium & potassium & soluble fiber; prevents radical swings in blood sugar.


Good source of protein. Salmon has omega fatty acids in it. Its a serious mass builder. You should eat this at least three times a week.


One of the most alkaline foods. Spinach prevents muscle & bone loss, but also cancer and heart diseases because of its high nutrient profile. Try one of the spinach recipes I shared a while back.

Mixed Nuts

Contain mono- & polyunsaturated fats, proteins, fiber, vitamin E, zinc, potassium, magnesium, etc. Mixed nuts are caloric dense, anything works: almonds, walnuts, cashews, hazelnuts, peanuts, etc…


Strong antioxidants that prevent cancer, heart & eye diseases. Any kind works: cranberries, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, etc. Buy fresh or frozen berries and mix with oatmeal or in your shakes.

Red Meat

Good source of protein. Steak has vitamins and other nutrients in it that are crucial for muscle growth. The fats in steak has been shown to help increase your testosterone. If you’re serious about putting on muscle, add this to your meal plan. Just make sure you trim extra fat or have low fat content to begin with.


This is a must if you are trying to build muscles. Great protein source. Eggs are at the top of nearly every list because they are extremely easy to absorb–the body can easily break down the food into amino acids, the building blocks of muscle.

Whey Protein Shakes

Whey protein is quickly absorbed or digested by your body and this is what makes whey protein perfect to have within 2 hours after working out so your body can quickly get the protein it needs to help you recovery and build muscle faster after working out.


Your muscles are estimated to be somewhere between 70-to-80% water and 25% Protein so You should try to drink at least 2-3 liters of spring water everyday.

If you want to build muscles, it is not all about consuming all the food for growth. It’s about consuming the RIGHT food for growth. Every bodybuilder knows the importance of consuming protein for building muscle mass, but many don’t take into account the importance of carbs, fat and foods that influence the proper anabolic environment. Another thing to consider is consistency. You may have the best muscle building diet plan or training program but without consistency, it is all useless.


Those are my own favorites, what about you? Share your favorite muscle building foods below.


19 Responses to “Top 12 Foods for Growing More Muscle”
  1. Mike Westerdal says:

    Lots of people have emailed and commented on facebook that Tuna should be on the list and I agree. Mike

  2. Ian S says:

    One thing I have found to be of great benefit is a Juicer ! I can’t possibly eat all the fruit and veg to obtain all the good stuff that I need, so I’m a confirmed juicer, I add all natural veggy & fruit juices to my oatmeal/avacado/proteine etc smoothies and just drink natural juice through out the day, I even take it to work with me in a 2 litre black plastic, no light penetration, pre workout powder supliment container..

  3. ROBERT says:

    hi mike ihave recently started to do static trainning, ican bench press 230 kilos in this fashion.
    do you think that by doing static trainning that it will help me to increase my weights in my full range reps in say the bench press?

    kind regards


  4. This is a genuine and giving some true info for those that are new to the concept of muscle building. I Love this approach to do, To make me fit in my daily life . Thank you .

  5. Tim from aus says:

    Mike, Tuna is convenient but don’t agree it should be on the list, when as little as 170gms per day is enough to increase mercury, I think there are better protein/muscle building choices are out there.

  6. Ravy1956 says:

    Hey, great info, been reading some good stuff, but, when I see some steroid freak,( I have nothing against the steroids or the freak) as an example of what to eat (and look like him). Pipe dreams…………;) It would be nice but, hey who are we kidding!!!! Respectfully! Great Site!!!

  7. VitaSort says:

    Great read. I think people sometimes forget the importance of keeping their diet diverse. An article like this is a great way to remind us to keep things interesting. I personally experience the most gains when keeping my diet diverse. Great post Dave

  8. Myrle Trusso says:

    Even more so if you use a juicer regularly

  9. charles says:

    It funny I have been lifting sense I was 19 and got good results but had bad eating habits,It wasn’t untill I was 35 I figured out that my diet is the most important part. I have had great results eating exactly what whats on this site. I just got the top 10 best protein meals you sent I would like to say thanks its awsome

  10. Nick says:

    Mike you missed the holy grail of foods . . . Milk xD

  11. Gordon says:

    Excellently written!

    I would like to suggest, though, the nuts can be consumed as nuts, but are much easier to digest in other forms, such as tahini, almond spread, or natural peanutbutter, or as the milk version (Almond Milk).

    Just a thought


  12. Raad says:

    Thank you so much,this is really of great benefit.

  13. Richard says:

    Do you eat all your eggs raw. Do you think cooking
    Diminishes the benefits.

  14. Mike Westerdal says:

    I had always cooked my eggs up until about a month ago. I started getting eggs from a local farm and started mixing a few raw eggs in my shakes.

  15. Love the list, guys, but I’ll opt for sweet potatos (yams) over white or red potatos anytime…

    Thanks for the reminders!


  16. Russell says:

    I bought the cookbook and it is awesome. Eating healthy never tasted so good.

  17. Russell S says:

    I’m a vegetarian, I have had the best result since I become one. However I tend to put on more fat. Any experience or advice?

  18. Bob B says:

    I do agree! Tuna is my Top pick!! #1

  19. being a vegetarian, you’re probably loading up on carbs. they may be good carbs, but an excess of ANY carbs can turn to fat in the body. I think adding lean-protein sources and cutting back on the carbs would immediately stop the weight or fat gain.

    Jim Iannelli

Speak Your Mind

Tell us what you're thinking...
and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!