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.
By Matthew Kadey, MS, RD
In bodybuilding, there are two main parts to the hypertrophy equation: training and eating. The former breaks down muscle while the latter supplies the necessary macronutrients, vitamins and minerals to build it back up again, and then some. Sure, eating a wide variety of healthy foods is the best way to ensure you give your body the nutrients it needs to grow, but a handful of edibles go above and beyond the call of duty with respect to helping you chisel out the physique you yearn for. Here’s MuscleMag’s shortlist of foods you should always have in your pantry or fridge.
Why you need it: Sometimes called black cod, the sablefish’s buttery, pearly white meat is becoming increasingly popular. Ounce for ounce, its protein content is marginally lower than other bodybuilding-friendly fish such as salmon and halibut (sablefish contains about 26 grams of protein in a 6-ounce serving). But the best reason to reel in this slightly sweet-tasting swimmer is its soaring levels of omega-3 fatty acids — about 2.8 grams in a 6-ounce serving. Researchers from Gettysburg College (Pennsylvania) found that subjects who consumed high amounts of fish oil each day for six weeks shed bodyfat while simultaneously gaining muscle. This fish fat appears to reduce levels of cortisol, a stress hormone that can break down muscle and interfere with testosterone. Omega-3s may also rev up genes responsible for burning fat. What’s more, a British Journal of Nutrition study reported that higher intakes of fish omegas can improve how efficiently exercising muscle uses oxygen, helping to delay the onset of muscular fatigue.
Extra credit: This protein-packed catch of the day is also rich in selenium, a potent antioxidant that may help reduce the oxidative muscular damage that occurs with hardcore training.
Eat up: For a simple and tasty way to prepare sablefish post-workout, season fillets with salt, pepper and smoked paprika. Bake at 375 degrees F until opaque throughout, about 15 minutes.