Yash Birla, the fitness icon, says that the ability of your body to maintain or gain muscle is significantly influenced by the meals you eat. The ability to create and maintain muscle mass is greatly aided by eating a sufficient amount of protein. According to a 2018 study that was published in Nutrients, people need to ingest 1.6 grammes of protein per kilogramme of body mass each day in order to gain muscle. This is equivalent to 109 grams of protein per day for a person weighing 150 pounds (68 kg).

Protein is important for maintaining muscle mass, but it is not the only factor to take into account, says Yash Birla. Research suggests that we should adopt a comprehensive strategy and put an emphasis on an overall healthy food pattern, such as that described in a 2019 paper published in Frontiers in Nutrition. No matter how much protein you consume, if you are not consuming enough calories overall, nothing will matter.

Your body will get the resources it needs to maintain and grow muscle if you include complex carbohydrates, lean protein, and healthy fats in your daily diet.

Yash Birla suggests attempting to have four to five small meals throughout the day that each contain about 20 to 30 grammes of high-quality protein, coupled with complex carbs and healthy fats while being careful not to exceed 40 grammes of protein in any one sitting. These meals should be consumed at regular intervals. You must consume enough carbohydrates and total energy. If not, the protein you consume will be broken down by the body and used as fuel.

Top 7 Foods to Gain Muscle Mass

  • Avocados

Avocados are a great plant-based source of “healthy” fats that are monounsaturated and polyunsaturated.

Avocados have the highest amount of protein of any fruit, and they also help lower bad cholesterol (LDL) and raise good cholesterol (HDL). Magnesium and potassium, nutrients that aid in muscle rehabilitation, are abundant in them. Additionally, they offer a rich supply of folic acid, which may promote muscle growth, per a 2019 review published in Archives of Pharmacal Research.

  • Beans

Beans are low in fat and high in fibre, vitamins, minerals, and plant-based protein.

Leucine, one of the three amino acids utilised by muscles to provide energy during exercise and believed to enhance muscle building, can be found in them in good and affordable amounts.

  • Greek Yogurt

Nonfat plain Greek yoghurt is a great option for people trying to maintain or increase muscle mass and reduce body fat because it is packed with protein and gut-healthy bacteria.

According to a 2019 study that was featured in Frontiers in Nutrition, participants who had nonfat plain Greek yoghurt as part of their post-workout meal experienced improvements in strength, muscle thickness, and body composition over those who only received a low-protein snack.

To avoid any potential health benefits, avoid blended, flavoured yoghurts as they frequently include significant levels of added sugar.

  • Oatmeal

A great source of the complex carbs your body needs for energy is whole grains. Muesli offers a balanced combination of fibre, minerals, plant-based protein, and carbohydrates that can help you feel fuller for longer in between meals.

Remember to avoid flavoured oatmeal because it frequently contains a lot of added sugar, just like Greek yoghurt. Choose plain oats instead, and for more vitamins and a touch of natural sweetness, try adding dried fruit.

  • Nuts and Seeds

A good amount of plant-based healthful fats, protein, and carbs is found in nuts and seeds. Additionally, nuts and seeds contain fibre, vitamins, and minerals that assist numerous bodily systems.

All nuts and seeds have health benefits, but when it comes to maintaining and building muscles, pumpkin seeds are one of the standouts. They are rich in leucine, iron, magnesium, folate, and vitamin K, as well as polyunsaturated fats. According to 2019 research in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences, vitamin K has been demonstrated to contribute to bone health, muscle maintenance, and rehabilitation.

  • Quinoa

In the same way that muesli is a whole grain, quinoa is also a great source of complex carbs, plant-based protein, vitamins, and minerals. It is, however, one of only a few whole grains that are also a complete protein, meaning that it has all nine essential amino acids that must be obtained from the diet.

According to a 2019 article published in the International Journal of Food Science, quinoa is a rich source of antioxidants, fibre, iron, folate, magnesium, and lysine, an essential amino acid crucial for protein synthesis.

  • Tofu

Because of its high protein content, antioxidant capabilities, nutrient richness, and adaptability, soy-based tofu has long been regarded as the king of plant-based proteins.

Additionally, studies show that the main protein in tofu, the protein from soybeans, is similar to whey protein in how it affects muscle growth and delivers cardiovascular benefits that animal-based proteins might not.

Additionally, soy may have advantageous qualities, such as probiotics and prebiotics that are good for the gut, as well as isoflavones that support bone health.

Yash Birla says that to increase muscle mass and function, nutrition and exercise complement one another.

The data is conclusive: You can gain muscle at any age by following a balanced diet that includes essential muscle-building foods and exercising, with a specific focus on resistance training at least two days per week.