A high-protein diet is often recommended by bodybuilders and nutritionists to help efforts to build muscle and lose fat. Foods that build muscle should not be confused with low-carb diets such as the Atkins Diet, which are not calorie-controlled and which often contain large amounts of fat. It is suggested that bodybuilder should consume a higher-than-normal protein intake to maintain optimal physical performance.

A good source for muscle building foods is protein which is often a combination of various foods, because different foods are rich in different amino acids. Meat, products from milk, eggs and fish are sources of complete protein. Whole grains and cereals are another source of proteins. However, these tend to be limiting in the amino acid lysine or threonine, which are available in other vegetarian sources and meats.

Vegetarian sources of proteins include legumes, nuts, seeds and fruits. Examples of vegetarian foods with protein concentrations greater than 7 percent include soybeans, lentils, kidney beans, white beans, mung beans, chickpeas, cowpeas, lima beans, pigeon peas, lupines, wing beans, almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, pecans, walnuts, cotton seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, and sunflower seeds.

This chart will help you determine the amount of calories, protein, carbs, fats, and fiber needed which is based on your specific nutritional goal, the amount varies from person to person.

Note: USDA nutrition database serving range from 6-8 ounces; the ranking by protein content does not take into account the slight weight variation of the meat and fish items.

Best Muscle Building Foods and Nutrition CHART

bodybuilding nutrition guide

chart by MUSCLEMAG
Compiled by Jacqui Hartley