If you want to build muscle and gain strength, there's more to it than spending an hour in the gym. Supercharge your results by tailoring your nutrition to suit your goals. How does this help? Well, when you're weight lifting and trying to build muscle - getting bigger or leaner – you create small tears in your muscle tissue, which need to repair (and rebuild) using amino acids.
This is where protein comes in! Without an adequate amount of protein (1-1.2g per kg of bodyweight depending on your lifestyle), your body won’t be able to recover properly and you won't see the results you're after.
Carbohydrates and fats are also crucial to make sure your body has everything it needs to operate at its best. Food is energy after all!
To help get you started, here are some of our favourite foods that will fast-track your progress...
An awesome source of calcium, packed with protein, and great for satisfying your sweet tooth - when it comes to building muscle, look no further than a high quality Greek Yoghurt! Whether you need an easy breakfast, tasty dessert or mid-afternoon snack, choose a light or full-fat option depending on your goals.
Your Saturday brunch order might be the secret to your recent muscle gain! Eggs are a nutritional powerhouse; packed full of protein, essential fatty acids, B vitamins, iron, and so much more.
If you don't want them scrambled or fried, add them to a batch of protein pancakes instead!
Protein powder is pretty great, especially when it comes to building muscle. When mixed with water, it'll reach muscles more quickly than solid food to start repairing those tears. Shake up a 30g single serve sachet with water to refuel on-the-go, or add it into your post-workout smoothie for something more filling.
Tofu or Tempeh
Plant-based protein doesn't need to be difficult. Hit your macros with ease by including tofu and tempeh in your diet. They're super versatile and are low in fat, perfect for throwing in a curry, stir fry or salad.
For some plant-based power on the go, try our vegan hemp & pea protein blend instead…
Carbs are crucial post-workout in order to replenish depleted glycogen stores and, along with good quality protein, will help to rebuild muscle tears. They're also the body’s main source of energy, so if you want to perform well in the gym and get those PB's, slow-releasing carbohydrates such as rolled oats are a total winner.
Yes, fats are energy dense, but this means they'll keep you fuller for longer and will keep your mind sharp. They are also super helpful when you're looking to build muscle or put on size. The density means they are great for adding extra energy to meals. Add a large tbsp to your favourite smoothie, spread it on toast or even make a batch of peanut butter and choc chip protein balls…
We've talked a lot about the importance of different macronutrients - proteins, carbs and fats - but don't forget about your micros! When you're trying to build muscle and gain strength, make sure your body is functioning optimally by giving it a full range of vitamins and minerals, and plenty of fibre too.
Yes, eating dessert CAN help you reach your goals! Here at Neat, we believe in a sustainable approach to nutrition. When we cut out all of our favourite foods, we find this only leads to one thing - a big, uncomfortable blow out. Instead of leading yourself into a binge-restrict cycle, take things slow and enjoy your favourite sweet treats, just with a little moderation. A little bit of ice cream will keep you sane!