When it comes to building muscle, there are a few cornerstones that must be present. First, your muscles will only grow if they are challenged, which means regular exercise is essential.
Adequate rest is also essential for muscle growth. If your muscles are overworked and not getting enough rest, it can slow progress towards your muscle building goals and even increase your chance of injury.
Nutrition is the final piece of the muscle building puzzle. Eating enough protein and total calories at the right time is essential in the muscle building process.and there are several other nutrients that also play an important role.
Building strong muscles requires effort and attention to nutrition. Using these simple and delicious recipes can speed up your progress and help you get the most out of every workout. Remember to consume a source of protein and carbohydrates within 30 minutes of each workout, and add fruits and vegetables to your meals for extra vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants.
Here are the best breakfast options for strengthening muscles. Then, for more healthy breakfast tips, here are 5 breakfast combos to help you live longer.
To build muscle, you must consume enough protein and essential amino acids. One egg contains 6 to 8 grams of protein, depending on size, making eggs a rich source of this muscle-building nutrient. Another benefit of eggs for breakfast is that they are quick to prepare, versatile, and pair well with many other flavors.
Paired with the black beans in this recipe, you get a complete breakfast that contains protein, fat, carbohydrates, and fiber, as well as many other essential vitamins and minerals. Protein should be included in every one of your meals, but for those who exercise first thing in the morning, having a protein-rich breakfast within 30 minutes of finishing a workout is especially beneficial for recovery and muscle building.
Get our vegan black bean omelet recipe.
Another option for a protein breakfast, this recipe is sure to please those with a sweet tooth. While protein is the most important nutrient for muscle recovery and recovery, especially after a workout, carbohydrates are also essential.
When you exercise, especially cardio, your body uses carbohydrates as its main source of energy. Eating enough carbs throughout the day fuels your workouts and allows you to get more out of every workout.
When your carbs come from quality ingredients like bananas and whole grain flour, you get the added bonus of fiber and a host of micronutrients that support everything from your immune system to muscle contraction and fluid balance.
To include healthy fats in this dish, try sprinkling pancakes with nut butter or chopped nuts. These ingredients can also help fight inflammation that naturally occurs during exercise.
Get our recipe for light and fluffy banana pancakes.
While eggs are considered a complete protein because they contain all nine essential amino acids, getting extra protein and amino acids from other sources, such as chicken sausage, ensures you’re getting enough of these essential nutrients. The egg and chicken sausage in this recipe provide plenty of protein and are complemented by sweet potato carbs and fiber.
In addition, sweet potatoes are a source of potassium, a micronutrient that promotes muscle contraction and is excreted in sweat. When doing intense sweat-inducing exercise, especially in hot and humid climates, you can lose enough potassium to affect muscle function, so it’s important to choose potassium-rich foods to make up for what may be lost during exercise. While potassium alone won’t build muscle, having enough of this electrolyte in your body can help with proper muscle activation during your workout, helping you reach your full potential with every workout.
Get our Easy Breakfast Hash Recipe with Sweet Potato and Chicken Sausage.
This recipe contains protein from Greek yogurt, carbohydrates from fruit and muesli, and antioxidants from various fruits. For those who are keeping a close eye on their sugar intake, simply reduce the amount of homemade ginger syrup you pour over your yogurt.
Like potassium, antioxidants won’t lead to stronger muscles on their own, but they still play an important role in the muscle-building process. Exercise can cause oxidative stress in your body, and while this is a normal physiological process, too much can interfere with your muscle growth goals. Antioxidants found in fruits and other foods such as vegetables and nuts help mitigate oxidative stress and free radicals generated during exercise, which can speed up muscle recovery between workouts. Aim to eat at least 5 cups of fruits and vegetables each day to meet your antioxidant and fiber needs.
Get our Greek Yogurt Recipe with Pineapple, Kiwi, Mango and Ginger Syrup.
For those on a plant-based diet who prefer to limit their intake of animal products, this oatmeal recipe is a great way to get the protein your muscles need in a vegan meal. Nuts and seeds, including nut butter, contain about 8 grams of protein per serving. While one serving of peanut butter is not enough for muscle recovery, when combined with the almonds and oats in this recipe, you can get enough protein to start the recovery process.
10 to 20 grams of protein within 30 minutes of finishing your workout is a good target for muscle recovery. While this recipe provides the lower end of that range, you can easily top your oatmeal with extra peanut butter or almonds, or add a protein source like veggie sausage, egg, or Greek yogurt to boost your protein intake.
Get our Healthy Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal Recipe.