How to Eat to Gain Muscle - Dr. Axe

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How to Eat to Gain Muscle


Eat to gain muscle - Dr. Axe

I get questions all the time asking, “How can I put on more muscle?” Inability to grow muscles may be related to lack of proper exercise and poor diet. Sufficient calories and protein are necessary to build muscle, and there are proven ways to eat to gain muscle.

There are many different body types. Some people put on weight easier than others, and some people lose weight easier than others.

For those who are looking to pack on some muscle, following the proper eating program is critical along with doing weight training exercise.

If you are wanting to gain weight and muscle naturally, here are the top tips on how to eat to gain muscle fast.

Top Foods to Build Muscle Fast

Here are the best foods to include in a muscle-building program:


  • Whole eggs. A whole egg contains vital nutrients, protein and fats to help build muscle.
  • Clean lean protein. Aim for five to eight ounces per meal of high-quality lean protein. Try some of the best high-protein foods here.
  • Broccoli. And other cruciferous vegetables can help with fat loss and have essential nutrients for building muscle.
  • Wild-caught fish. Omega-3s in wild-caught fish help reduce inflammation and are critical for muscle building.
  • Almond butter. Almonds nutrition provides L-arginine to increase NO2 and vitamin E that will help reduce damage from free radicals after a heavy workout.
  • Sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes and yams are excellent sources of carbohydrates that are alkaline and gluten-free and can help pack on some healthy pounds.
  • Banana. This smooth and sweet fruit is perfect for adding into smoothies for extra calories and is full of nutrients that support muscle health.

Foods to Avoid

  • White sugar. Will increase free radical damage from hard workouts, leading to fatigue.
  • Alcohol. Empty calories and can remove critical nutrients from your body.
  • White and wheat products. Stay away from bleached white products like white bread, white pasta and wheat products. They contain antinutrients that can slow muscle growth.
  • Hydrogenated oils. Found in vegetable oil, soybean oil, corn oil and canola oil, hydrogenated oils cause inflammation, which slows recovery of muscles.

Top 5 Natural Muscle-Building Supplements

On top of learning how to eat to gain muscle, here are the top five supplements to help you naturally build muscle:

1. Whey Protein (1–2 scoops daily)

Whey protein helps increase protein intake and is rapidly absorbed by the body so it’s a perfect protein right before or after a workout. Avoid whey protein powders that have artificial sweeteners. Look for undenatured whey protein preferably from grass-fed cows with natural sweeteners, such as stevia.

Whey is far from the only protein powder that can help build muscle, however. Try bone broth, collagen and other protein powders as well as part of your pre-workout and post-workout meals.

2. BCAAs (follow instructions)

Branch-chain amino acids (BCAAs) are critical for muscle formation and can help build muscle mass.

3. L-Arginine (1,000 milligrams twice daily)

L-arginine helps with blood vessel dilation and improves blood flow.

4. L-Glutamine (5–10 grams daily)

This amino acid helps with muscle recovery and preventing catabolism.

5. Creatine Monohydrate (1–3 grams daily)

Creatine monohydrate helps increase muscle strength so you can train harder. Be aware that consuming more than 1–3 grams daily may be hard on kidneys.

Other Tips

If you are trying to gain muscle, doing heavy weight training of 6–12 reps, five days a week for 45–75 minutes is ideal. Also, limit traditional cardio, and when you do cardio, opt for burst training instead.

Try this recipe for the Superhuman Shake — because if you want to pack on muscle, make sure to consume plenty of calories in liquid form. Consuming a shake a couple times a day with raw eggs, protein powder, coconut milk, raw milk and almond butter can help you get the extra calories you need.

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