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.


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