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It's summer time and that means coming out of hibernation and losing the turtlenecks and sweat pants.While you may have been working out all winter, anticipating long days shirtless on the beach, you are likely still looking for ways to help those muscles pop. Besides exercise and a healthy diet, we can give you some tips to help build up those muscles and your confidence.

 

 Eggs

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While some still believe eggs clog arteries, research has shown that they are a healthy food and a serious muscle building ingredient.

 

Nuts

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This is a must for anyone trying to put on weight. One ounce of cashew or almonds will give you 150-170 high quality calories. They also give you protein, fats and fibre.

 

Protein Shake

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This is very important. Drinking a shake full of protein and carbohydrates before your workout if the perfect combo for muscle growth and nutrient usage.

 

Cottage Cheese

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Cottage cheese has a high proportion of casein, the slow digesting dairy protein. When you consume this your blood amino acid levels increase and stay high for a longer period of time. It also contains live cultures that are good bacteria and that will help you absorb all of the nutrients you need to get big and strong.

 

Chickpeas

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This is a great carb source especially if you are having trouble getting big. Just replace some of the rice and grain in your diet with chickpeas. It contains 45 grams of slow acting carbs per cup and 12 grams of fibre.

 

Lentils

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One cup of cooked lentils has 18 grams of protein and 40 grams of slow digesting quality carbs. They are also inexpensive and take little time to cook. You can add them to your rice or sprinkle them over a salad.

 

Lean Beef

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This is one of the top best muscle building foods. It is packed with protein and amino acids, B-vitamins and creatine. It also has a mixture of saturated fat – which is good for healthy testosterone levels - and monounsaturated fat – which is good for your heart.

 

Rotisserie Chicken

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This is a good emergency muscle food when you are in a hurry. You can buy it quickly at most grocery stores and can be sure you are getting a high quality protein meal.

 

Salmon

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This fish contains both high quality protein and the omega-3 fats EPA and DHA. These fats help improve your heart health, but are also known for inhibiting muscle breakdown while increasing the anabolic capacity of amino acids. If fish isn't your favourite meal try adding a fish oil supplement to your diet.

 

Fermented Dairy

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Fermented dairy products like kefir have been called the muscle building magic bullet. Instead of using water in your shakes try using 1 cup of kefir because it will add 150 calories to your diet. It will also help your meal be more easily digested because of its probiotics.