25 Best Muscle Building Foods

Posted by on March 14, 2012

Everyone wants muscle. Maybe not necessarily the big body builder kind, but let’s face it, even you ladies out there would prefer to be “tone”. Getting to that point, however, is no easy task. It takes time and training consistency to build the type of muscles you want. While working out is half the battle, the food you eat is just as important. So, while some of these foods may come as a shock here are the top 25 foods you need to help you reach you goals in the weight room, whatever they may be. Update: We have launched a new site about health fitness called SteadyStrength. Please check it out.

Black Beans

This particular bean is rich in vitamins B, K, C and A and low in saturated fats. Along with its high protein and fiber content, this bean has 15 grams of fiber and protein per cup. Black beans provide a caloric dense carbohydrate perfect for muscle building.



High in Calcium and vitamin D, this dairy product provides protein for muscle growth and probiotics to aid digestion.



Mussels for muscles! Low-fat, high protein. Mussels contain B12 and selenium, both are essential to the active person. Chow down on these salt-water clams to repair hungry muscles.


Cottage Cheese

For starters, one cup of low-fat cottage cheese has 28 grams of protein! It also contains high amounts of casein protein, (which provides a sustained protein release over a longer period of time) great for night time. A low-fat cottage cheese makes a great protein packed snack anytime and can be eaten with pretty much anything.


Olive Oil

This may seem strange, but olive oil is a great source of monounsaturated fats and omega-3 fats. These good fats are heart healthy. Olive oil also contains oleocanthal, which in an anti-inflammatory component. This helps with muscle pain and inflammation, aiding recovery.



You may not eat  venison often, but consider this, venison is high in iron and low in saturated fats. This meat is a great source of protein without the excess fat, but with all the taste.



Some people say it tastes better than beef and has 80% less fat and 50% less cholesterol. It’s also higher in protein, iron, and amino acids. Sounds like a deal.



A great post workout food. Great source of carbs, electrolytes and fiber. Apples are a healthy snack for muscle building.



A very nutritious legume; containing loads of fiber and minerals. This muscle building food provides a great carbohydrate, which is slow burning. These can help power training sessions and replenish lost nutrients.



Popeye ate it for a reason. Spinach has super food qualities containing several vitamins and it contains calcium. The calcium in spinach may help relax the muscle to prevent cramping during training.


Brown Rice

Brown rice is a staple in many body builder diets. This complex carbohydrate is a sustained release of energy for athletes. Brown rice can be essentially eaten with any meal which makes it a great source of carbs for building your muscles.



Rich in the mineral zinc, oysters are great for raising a man’s testosterone levels. Oysters are also rich in protein, proving the perfect muscle replenishment source.



This nut is a perfect snack for your muscles. Full of protein and fiber, almonds helps you feel full while repairing worn muscles.


Bok Choy

Almost no calories, yet packed full of calcium, vitamin C, potassium and iron. Throw this leafy Chinese plant into your muscle bound diet



With a 9:1 Protein to carb ratio and slammed with B12 for energy… why not?

Matt McCollum


Matt works for Bio Strength Labs developing sports nutrition products. When he is not working, he's likes to spend his time on the beach. You can follow him on twitter @bslmatt

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  • simon

    Lots of silly comments on a sensible list of foods, but truly remarkable how illiterate people are. Don’t worry if you’re a bit chubby – learn to write English!

  • http://musclebuildingcookbook.net/ Lukas

    Thx for pointing out these foods. Serious bodybuilder should know them in order to cook tasty meals that are not boring.

  • http://www.palenciatv.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=249:pulso-y-p%C3%BAa-astudillo-31-10-2010 Cellan

    My brother recommended I might like this website. He
    was entirely right. This post actually made my day.
    You can not imagine just how much time I had spent for this info!

  • jahangir

    good information but still need to be more in details, like content and benifits.

  • Gail

    I like to keep it simple and basic,natural foods like fruits and vegetables should be your main focus,
    as for your workouts,practice and master this way of working out and everything else will follow:
    Learn To Enjoy Your Workouts,And Get results.
    Teach yourself to be with every rep,This will give
    you more energy and you will enjoy your workouts
    and have more fun,then you will get results in every way.

  • earnestmelvin

    A macromolecule made diet may be simply useful for you for increasing your muscles growth.

  • roland

    I’m surprised tuna didn’t make the list

    • lelelel

      Tuna is fish °~° fish is at 4

  • shravan

    this artical is very nice.its very useful specialy to body building people……….i liked it im frm hyderabad

  • Akshay Korlekar

    that was of of very good help …

  • Anita

    Peanut butter is definately a great source of protein. I have an allergy to peanuts, so I was wondering if Peanut-Free Peanut Butter can serve as a substitute

    • RobN

      Peanut butter is primarily a fat source, that just happens to have protein. Consider this…. A serving of Skippy Natural peanut butter is 190 calories. That serving also contains 16g of fat, and 7g of protein. At 9 calories per gram of fat, the fat is worth 144 calories. At 4 calories per gram of protein, the protein is worth 28 calories. So:

      - the fat makes up 75% of the total calories for that serving, and
      - the protein makes up 14% of the total calories for that serving.

      If you wanted to get a 25g serving of protein, you would take in 665 calories of peanut butter….. along with 56g of fat.

      So while it does contain protein, it should be thought of, and used as, a fat source. Just ‘food’ for thought! :)

      Now, how about a nut butter from some other type of nut? Almonds, cashew, hazelnut, pistachio butter…. all good alternatives.

      • Matt

        Yes that’s true which is why it works wonders while bulking.

    • yoman

      simpli drink milk

  • Best Diets For Women

    Good day my children new member! I have to point out that this particular article rocks !, excellent published obtainable together with close to just about all important infos. I want to notice extra blogposts similar to this .

  • yasitha akash

    very good boadybulding food schadule. i m from srilanka

  • Greg

    is there a recommended time to eat any of these foods for the best results

  • Ilya

    Most of these foods can be found in the old country or chinese buffet lol. Probly not the best quality tho. Great foods you posted up and I like most of them except the beans I’d say. It is very important to eat the right foods when building muscle. But also it is very imortant what to eat and when and have a workout routine. I see lot’s of peole are posting that they eat and gain weight. That could be a big mistake just to eat the right foods and not know when and how much to eat, because that can leave you with extra calories. I’ve made some blog posts talking about it if you like to read it here is the website http://www.musclebuildingnutritionandtraining.com

  • khadar salad

    actually i dont eat most of them but i will start eating majority of them but some of the researchers alse believe some thing which is different from this any way thnks for this

    • joe

      you know what wasn’t useful…. what you just said.

    • Matt

      I felt some of my brain cells die from reading that

  • Shamnad Xtrend

    Thankz for info ,,verry usefull for me

  • Rahul

    Usefull info. i want to loose fat from my stomach lower back n to grow muscles of my arms n have abs. please help me to do so.

    • michael boyd

      cardio! everyone has abs under a layer of fat. lower your calorie intake and do some type of cardio. running bike riding etc. be committed to losing the fat and as for your arms just do curls, scull crushers, and pull ups just look up arm workout on youtube lol

  • Dumbo Maharaj

    I think the best thing for muscles is human meat

  • Malcoolm

    This is totally incorrect. You should read a book called “The China Study” and after that read “Forks over Knives”. You will have a crucially different point of view.

    Dairy is especially detrimental to human health.

    • M2

      How about a list 25 of ways to tell if your friend is a vegan?

      1. They tell you they are vegan
      2. They constantly tell you why they are vegan
      3. They argue with you on why you should be vegan.
      4. They think they know it all.
      5. They can’t gain weight.

      Repeat 5 times. Pay ‘em back for all of times you have had to listen to them harping on about it.

      • John

        He offered the most comprehensive study in the history of nutrition and you offered a tired and practically cut-and-pasted joke about vegans? Like that joke is reason enough to overlook the serious health risk posed by excess dairy consumption? Man, I’m no vegan, but it’s no wonder there are some who think they’re smarter than us. You’re making us meat-eaters look bad, bro.

  • gifer

    I eat most of them, before building muscle I just get more weight as in become more fat :/