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Foods That Help You Build Muscle (list)

Building muscle is extremely important whether you are trying to be more active, reduce injuries, lose weight, or just look more attractive. Studies have also shown that building muscle can protect us against disease, fight obesity, maintain bone strength, and increase our resilience to stress and illness as we get older.

How much protein should you eat?

It’s important to eat enough protein if you want to gain and/or maintain muscle. Most studies suggest that 0.7–1 gram per pound (1.6–2.2 grams per kg) of lean mass are sufficient.

If your goal is weight loss however, a protein intake at around 30% of calories seems to be optimal for weight loss. It boosts your metabolic rate and causes a spontaneous reduction in calorie intake.

What foods help you build muscle?

First, it's important to know that while certain foods can help you build muscle, you must do resistance exercise in order to convert the extra protein you are eating into muscle. Whether you are looking to lose weigh or get stronger/build muscle, you need to do resistance exercise along with it.

That being said below is a list of foods that have been shown to build muscle:

  1. Eggs

  2. Salmon

  3. Chicken

  4. Greek Yogurt

  5. Tuna

  6. Lean Beef

  7. Shrimp

  8. Soybeans

  9. Cottage Cheese

  10. Turkey Breast

  11. Tilapia

  12. Beans

  13. Pork Tenderloin

  14. Edamame

  15. Quinoa

  16. Scallops

  17. Tofu

  18. Chick Peas

  19. Peanuts

  20. Buckwheat

  21. Milk

I listed both animal, vegan, and vegetarian foods here, but this is not an exhaustive list. There are other foods as well that have enough protein to help you build muscle.

Good luck. As always if you want some help with your diet and exercise to help you build muscle, or lose weight, let me know.

To learn more about how eating certain foods can promote your health and performance, get my book, The Short Fight, on Amazon at

Our members enjoy over 100 fitness and self-defense training videos, including discounts on live-online training at

Want to get in the best shape of your life? Check out my fitness training programs here

Stay Healthy,

Lawrence Castanon

Author, The Short Fight


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