Spending a ton of money on supplements and physique-boosters has a short but proud tradition among modern bodybuilders, while reliance on real, whole food for the purpose of meeting the nutritional demands of bodybuilding seems to become less and less popular. The result? Unsatisfying gains and an even greater motivation to spend your hard-earned dollars on miraculous liquids and powders.
Still, we’re not claiming that supplements are worthless in the process of building impressive bodies, we’re just saying that it’s unreasonable and almost ignorant to rely mostly on expensive supplementation to do the work – if you want lean muscles, food comes first, period. That being said, we’d like to remind you of these 4 classic muscle-building foods that are virtually unreplaceable in any bodybuilder’s diet according to both collective experience and major scientific studies, regardless of the anti-propaganda they’ve encountered during recent years. Want real growth? Read the truth about these crucial food items and add them to your shopping list right now!
#1. Full fat milk
A glass of full fat milk contains all essential amino acids needed for optimal muscle growth, recover and repair after a grueling workout. Milk is comprised of casein and whey proteins in a ratio of 80% casein to 20% whey, both of which are high-quality, easily-digestible proteins. Besides that, it offers a full package of electrolytes like calcium, potassium, magnesium and sodium. And finally, the dietary fats found in whole milk help slow down the absorption of protein while also reducing the release of insulin at those times of the day when the last thing you need is elevated insulin levels. If you want to get the most bang for your buck, drop the skimmed milk and return to the original, full fat version.
A medium-sized potato is a rich source of vitamins C and B6, potassium, iron and magnesium. In addition, potatoes offer a great amount of complex carbs, your body’s favorite source of energy during high intensity exercise. And if you’re worried about the high glycemic index of white potatoes, don’t be – those numbers apply only when a plate of plain potatoes represents your entire meal. When potatoes are consumed together with meat, vegetables and sources of dietary fat, as the typical bodybuilding diet suggests, the glycemic index of all included foods is changed, and thereby the glycemic index of the entire meal is lowered. Potatoes are a great choice for anyone looking to build serious mass and size.
#3. White rice
When it comes to dietary choices, not every “brown” version is better than its regular counterpart, and nowhere is this as true as in the case of white vs. brown rice. First of all, brown rice is not more nutrient dense than white rice – in fact, both of them offer pretty much the same package of calories and nutrients, with brown rice being slightly higher on the mineral front. However, the bad news are that brown rice also contains phytates and lectins, compounds which bind to vitamins and minerals and thereby prevent them from being properly absorbed.
Furthermore, phytates interfere with proper digestion by inhibiting the release of pepsin, an enzyme needed to break down protein and amylase, an enzyme needed to break down sugar. Nevertheless, rice is one of the ideal, cost-efficient and high-caloric sources of fast-digesting carbs that have the ability to support optimal performance and growth – you just need to choose the standard, white version.
#4. Whole eggs
Whole eggs pack high amounts of fat-soluble vitamins, healthy fats, cholesterol, which is necessary for the production of anabolic hormones, and high-quality protein (6-9 grams per one medium-sized egg) that contains all essential fatty acids. That being said, the egg yolk contains as much as 44% of the total protein of the whole egg. So if you’re looking to boost your protein intake, consuming only the egg whites won’t do much for you. Whole eggs are a superior food choice for bodybuilders – the dietary fat present in the yolk slow down protein absorption and enable the absorption of vitamins and minerals, the protein is of highest quality available, and they’re ridiculously cheap, versatile and easy to prepare. On top of everything, whole eggs are still a low-calorie food, considering the caloric demands of a bodybuilder’s lifestyle.