Training to gain strength is one of the most important parts of any fitness routine!!!
People take part in various strength building exercises that works out major muscle groups i.e. legs, hips, back, chest, abdomen, shoulders and arms.
Strength training includes lifting heavy weights, doing resistant training and so on.Apart from this, the daily activities that you do also help you to increase your strength, which includes walking, playing or doing other similar stuffs.
However, the best way to gain strength is by supporting your body with good nutrition. Getting carbohydrates, proteins and fats is essential , along with the daily calories that you need throughout the day.
Each macronutrient has a different impact on how you build your strength and so you need to know how it works for you.
Complex carbohydrates are known to be rich in starch and dietary fibers. This is a better form of carb as compared to simple carbs, as it does not contain white sugar, brown sugar, etc. that are readily absorbed in the blood and increase the blood sugar levels.
But the complex carbs, being rich in dietary fibers are digested slowly. It helps you to gain a lot of energy, thus form a great energy source for both muscle and mass. (1)
You can get Soluble fibers that help control the blood sugar levels and lower cholesterol levels, from fruits, nuts, seeds, oats, etc. and Insoluble fibers that help you to build up stamina from whole grain bread, rice, cereals, vegetables and so on. These foods break down to form glucose and thus become a great source of energy.
Proteins that we get from the food we eat are further broken down by our digestive system into amino acids. It plays a major role in muscle building and repair, building up hormones, increase red blood cells and other essentials in our body. (2)
Protein additionally also helps in the growth and development of a healthy immune system. It is also found that proteins have a higher metabolic rate as compared to fats and thus help in burning more calories. Fish, Eggs, milk, cheese, nuts, etc. are considered as the best sources of proteins.
When we talk about fats, it denotes eating healthy fats. Instead of being fat free, it is actually essential that you include good amount of healthy fats in your daily diet.
Our body often turns towards fats when in need of energy during various activities. (3)
The average consumption of fat should be around 30-35 per cent of the daily calorie intake.
In order to improve overall health and muscle strength it is important that you look for sources of healthy fats, which can include olive oil, almonds, avocados and fatty fish (salmon, trout, etc.). (4)
Also remember that fat contains twice the number of calories that you get from carbs and proteins. So it becomes important that you keep monitoring your daily fat consumption.
As you have learned about the essential macronutrients that you need for your body to build muscle and gain strength.
Next thing is to find out the right food sources that you can look for to get the nutrients that you need.
Here we have the 10 best foods that can help you to build strength
Considered as one of the most nutritious foods and an excellent source of protein, eggs have to be an important part of your diet. (5)
Being rich in proteins, it rightfully becomes the perfect ingredient for muscle building and maintenance too, as it contains calcium and vitamin b12.
Dietary protein is considered to be important, as it helps the body to get the essential amino acids, which further helps the body to build muscles and grow. Eggs form the best whole food choice to get the needed proteins.
Bananas are known as the best source of fuel and are also rich in potassium.
They are rich in complex carbohydrates (glucose, which is a highly digestible sugar) and gives quick energy to the body. The potassium content prevents the muscles from getting cramped during workout.
Banana is more likely to provide you with instant energy and boost your stamina during exercises.
Bananas have low glycemic index, it simply means the carbs are slowly released into the body, counter acting with low sugar levels and also assist in the process of muscle recovery. (6)
Beans are a good source of protein, it is a great ingredient for fat burning and muscle building diet.
Beans are also found to be rich in fiber, carbohydrates and other minerals. It adds to the nutritional value in the meal and also enhances your stamina by directly increasing the oxygen carrying capacity of your blood. (7)
Beans also consist of iron or folate, vitamin B that enhances muscle growth and copper that helps to strengthen the muscle fibers.
Almonds contains special fat burning properties and are recommended to be consumed before a workout.
L-arginine present in almonds not only helps to burn more fats and carbs in the gym, but it also helps to enhance or boost your energy and endurance. These properties become essential during muscle building. (8)
Apart from this almonds are considered as one of the healthiest foods. It contains Vitamin E and omega 3 fatty acids.
The fatty acids are a very effective source of energy and do not accumulate in the body. Moreover, almonds help to build strong bones, improve the heart rate and keep providing you energy throughout the day.
Avocados form one of the most prominent sources of vitamins, antioxidants and healthy fats. The healthy fats are utilized by the body as fuel during workout. Apart from this it also contains a long list of vitamins including Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Vitamin B6 being the most notable ones and folic acid as well. (9)
Avocados are also found to support strengthening of muscles; it is found that consuming healthy fats that are present in avocados are known to increase the secretion of the testosterone and growth hormone. Thus it becomes a great food source for muscle building and getting stronger.
6. Whole Milk
Milk is one of the most essential nutrients for muscle recovery and rehydration. (10) It consists of whey, casein, carbs, fats, water and other essential micronutrients and macronutrients.
Whole milk provides you with dairy protein that helps you to be satiated and also assists in muscle repair. The whey content in the whole milk, helps in muscle repair (you do not require additional supplementation for whey protein).
It also has carbs in the form of lactose, which helps you to get essential energy for workout and exercises. The calcium content helps to develop strong bones, which is very important if you want to get strengthened.
Peanuts are considered to be an important ingredient in preparing a healthy diet. (11) It contains more number of amino acid (leucine) in comparison to other plant products.
A half cup of peanuts is known to contain around 425-450 calories. Therefore, for individuals that are finding it difficult to increase muscle mass due to lack of energy, eating peanuts can provide them with the needed energy and nutrients to gain strong muscles.
Wild Salmon is one of the preferred sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Apart from this it is also loaded with other nutrients that improve the metabolic processes in the body.
The omega-3 fatty acids are known to improve the muscle strength of individuals when taken in optimum quantity. Moreover, it also increases the insulin sensitivity of the body that promotes muscle protein synthesis or muscle growth and increase glucose and amino acid absorption as well.
It also acts a fuel for the body and prevents muscle breakdown and enhances muscle recovery.
Chicken is one of the best sources of proteins. It not only helps to maintain a healthy body weight, but also assists in the growth and development of muscles.
Eating chicken helps you to have strong bones, build muscles and also improve your immunity.
It is also known to provide you with vitamins like Vitamin B, Niacin and B6 and macronutrients like leucine (amino acid responsible for muscle building) which is essential for working out individuals. (12) It promotes proper functioning of the body during exercises and other physical activities to ensure adequate muscle gain.
10. Cottage cheese
Cottage cheese another great source of proteins. It provides you with all the essential amino acids that work effectively to build muscles and tissues after exercising or workouts. (13)
It is a very well-known muscle building snack and similar to any other dairy products comes with varying fat content.
Cottage cheese is widely popular as a vegetarian friendly protein source, it contains a lot of nutrients including calcium (supports healthy bones), Vitamin B12 and selenium and a brief amount of amino acid leucine (it helps in building muscles).