5 Foods You Gotta Eat to Grow
Pass on the plain chicken again. Here are the fab 5 foods you should eat every day for explosive muscle growth.
Why you need it: In recent years, the yogurt aisle at the supermarket has experienced something of a cultural revolution. Made by straining away liquid, Greek yogurts are packed with twice as much muscle-friendly protein and fewer carbohydrates as regular versions. One key amino acid that Greek yogurt has in spades is leucine, a branched-chain amino that appears to be an anabolic activator and a vital part of muscle protein synthesis. Choose lower-fat plain varieties (which are just as creamy and thick) for a better protein-to-fat ratio, and less gut-busting sugar and calories than flavored yogurts. Expect to pay a little extra for Greek versions because of the labor required to make them, but this must-have item is worth the dough.
Extra credit: Dairy products such as Greek yogurt are among the best sources of calcium, a mineral shown to help boost fat oxidation, and research shows its fat-burning prowess is more potent when consumed via whole-food dairy vs. supplements. Case in point: A 2011 Journal of Nutrition study reported that subjects eating a high-protein, high-dairy diet gained more muscle and shed more belly fat than subjects on a low-dairy plan.
Eat up: For a muscle-building snack, combine Greek yogurt with omega-rich walnuts and antioxidant-rich blueberries. You can also use it to replace mayonnaise and sour cream in recipes.
Why you need it: There are plenty of reasons to hoof it over to your butcher for this game meat. Bison — buffalo in layman’s terms — delivers a hefty 42 grams of protein per 6-ounce serving and is generally leaner than beef, with only about 6 grams of fat in the same-size portion of lean cuts such as rib eye and top round. As a red meat, it’s also among the best dietary sources of creatine, which is well-documented in helping bodybuilders heave more iron and paving the way for muscle growth. As more people warm up to bison as one of the healthiest and most sustainable red meats you can sink your teeth into, it’s becoming easier to locate at grocery stores, butchers, farmers’ markets and on restaurant menus. Try it and you’ll quickly realize why its rich flavor with lingering sweetness won’t leave you pondering: “Where’s the beef?”
Extra credit: This all-star meat is also abundant in zinc, a mineral purported to boost testosterone production.
Eat up: Since bison is naturally lean, don’t cook steaks past medium-rare or you’ll risk biting into something that tastes more like shoe leather. Use ground bison for making meat sauces and burgers.