You may find that many athletes place a lot of emphasis on finding the perfect workout plan or the perfect supplement. However, building muscle also requires a lot of food. A proper nutritional plan can make the difference between gaining pounds of lean muscle and spinning your wheels.
The secret to gaining quality mass is eating a lot of calorie-dense foods, such as peanuts. Peanuts are a portable, tasty snack. Approximately 32 nuts contain 163 calories. Peanuts contain ample amounts of protein and unsaturated fats.
Tuna is high in protein and low in cost. Tuna contains very little fat, but that which is present is of the omega-3 variety, which the American Heart Association points out can offer a protective effect against cardiovascular disease and slightly lower blood pressure.
Another inexpensive protein source is eggs. Eggs can be prepared in a variety of different ways and are fairly dense in calories, with about 70 per egg. Be sure not to consume raw egg yolks, however, as they might be contaminated with food-borne illnesses such as salmonella.
Milk offers a mix of carbohydrates and protein with minimal fat. In addition, milk is a liquid, so it's easier to consume and won't fill you up as much as solid food. Milk is composed of two potent protein sources -- casein and whey -- the first of which offers an extended release of protein while the latter is absorbed rapidly. In addition, milk can easily be mixed into cereal, protein shakes and oatmeal and is inexpensive.
While muscle-building requires adequate amounts of protein, carbohydrates are also important to fuel you through workouts and assist in recovery. Pasta is a calorie-dense food that is inexpensive and easy to prepare.
Potatoes are another inexpensive source of carbohydrates. Despite only containing approximately 2 grams of protein, they have no fat or cholesterol and provide the body with many vitamins, such as vitamin C and vitamin B. Potatoes can be cooked in a variety of ways -- microwaved, baked, sauteed -- so you should be able to find some way to enjoy them. Potatoes are often topped with cheese, which is a calorie-dense source of protein.
- contents of fridge image by Christopher Hall from Fotolia.com
This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.