Chicken. Oatmeal. Egg whites.
What do these foods have in common? They’re all bodybuilding staples –and for good reason. Classic muscle building foods are popular because they work -but that doesn’t mean that in order to build muscle you have to nix variety in favor of sticking exclusively with the same old stuff.
In fact, there are certain foods that you may not ever hear discussed most weight-rooms, but are amazingly effective at packing on muscle.
Secret Weapon Food #1: Salmon
When it comes to dinner-time meat, many bodybuilders shun fish in favor for lean chicken breast. They’re making a huge mistake: salmon is jam-packed with omega-3s, which not only help you burn fat and build muscle, but can offset chronic disease down the road.
Secret Weapon Food #2: Beans
Beans are another food that gets no love in bodybuilding circles. That’s mostly because of the misconception that because beans aren’t a complete protein, that they aren’t valuable. This couldn’t be further from the truth.
Not only are beans high in protein, as long as you eat a balanced diet, your body will have no problem fashioning complete protein out of them.
Secret Weapon Food #3: Game Meat
If you think that any animal that isn’t raised on a farm is “exotic”, it’s about time you branched out. Alternative meats like ostrich and bison are not only lean and tasty –but are packed with quality protein.
Secret Weapon Food #4: Leafy Greens
Sure, you may have broccoli at every meal, but there is a whole world of veggies out there! Leafy greens like spinach and kale (not iceberg lettuce) are fantastic sources of fiber and antioxidants –both of which help you recover after a hard-as-nails workout.
Secret Weapon Food #5: Quinoa
Quinoa is a grain that’s been popular for centuries, but has had a resurgence as of late. That’s because, unlike rice and wheat, it’s super-high in protein and antioxidants. Also, quinoa tastes great –and helps break up the monotony of eating brown rice as your only grain.
Secret Weapon Food #6: Nuts
If you’ve been avoiding nuts like the plague because of their fat content, you’ve been missing out on one of nature’s best sources of healthy fats. It’s true: fat is fuel, and nuts are one of the healthiest ways to make sure you’re getting enough.
Secret Weapon Food #7: Low Glycemic Index Fruit
Sure, fruit has sugar, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have a place in your diet. In fact, many fruits like cherries and grapefruits have a lower glycemic index than oatmeal! Plus, fruits have antioxidants that you won’t find in your multivitamin.