5 Meal Ideas Throughout the Day For Gaining Muscle
Building muscle takes a lot of hard work both inside and outside the gym. While strength training challenges your body and stimulates muscle growth, a proper diet supplies your body with the nutrients it needs to recover and gain muscle mass.
Instead of relying on a single meal or post-workout protein shake to meet your body's nutritional demands, spread out what your body needs over all your meals during the day. In this article, you will learn about a few meal ideas that you can use throughout the day to gain muscle mass.
1. Morning Smoothie with Protein
A morning smoothie with protein is very different from a traditional post-workout protein shake. With a milk base (e.g., almond milk), you can add a lot of things to your morning smoothie to make it filling and protein-packed. A combination of fruits (e.g., mangoes), vegetables (e.g., spinach), greek yogurt, seeds (e.g., chia, flax, and hemp) and protein powder can make for a fantastic smoothie that will keep you full until lunch.
2. Lentils & Rice
Lentils are not only packed with protein but are also a great vegan option. Many people think that meat and other animal-based foods are the only major sources of protein; this is not true. Several different types of lentils are delicious options for those who follow a vegan or vegetarian diet. Combining lentils with a side of rice and vegetables leaves you with a balanced and healthy meal.
3. Hummus, Veggies and a Handful of Nuts
This combination of protein-packed hummus, vitamin-rich vegetables and calorie-rich nuts will fill you up and help you gain muscle mass. While separately, these all represent snacks, putting them together into a small meal is a great idea before a workout. Add some energizing pre workout to the mix, and you will feel ready to hit the gym hard. Similar to previous meals, this small meal is all about balance. While the protein will serve as the building blocks for your muscle, this meal's calorie-dense and vitamin-rich nature will supply your body with the right fuel.
4. Baked Salmon, Risotto and Salad
Fish is an excellent source of lean protein that will help you put on muscle mass. Salmon is a very popular choice and pairs very well with many things, including a bed of risotto and a salad on the side. To maximize your protein intake in this meal, you can add various nuts to your salad (e.g., walnuts, almonds) or replace the risotto with quinoa.
5. Chicken, Quinoa and Salad Bowl with Pita
Another fantastic, well-balanced meal is a chicken, quinoa, salad in a pita bowl topped with a delicious tzatziki sauce. This bowl is very filling and contains the perfect mix of carbohydrates, fat and protein. This meal is a perfect post-workout dinner that will satisfy your cravings and supply your muscles with all the right nutrients to rebuild and recover.
There are many healthy options for meals to help you gain muscle. A nutritious diet that complements your training in the gym does not have to be bland or boring. There is a common misconception that healthy food is not tasty. After reading this article, you have learned that there are many delicious ways to make the most of your training by supplementing it with a well-balanced meal plan.
These are a small handful of meal ideas to inspire you. Once you try them and realize how delightful they are, you will surely feel motivated to put your spin on these ideas or create your own using your favorite ingredients. You have to remember to make meals that are not only protein-dense but also nutrient-rich and packed with healthy carbohydrates and fat.
Gaining muscle requires efforts in the gym and the kitchen. By mastering a healthy diet, you will make the most of your hard work in the gym and will see the best results when you look in the mirror.