Food experts have hundreds of food options for helping athletes build muscles. What if you’re given only five kinds of food to eat to build your muscles? What foods will those be? Justin Grinnell of Muscle and Fitness discusses 5 muscle-building foods that should make up your weekly food plan.

Five protein-packed foods top the list. Protein helps build muscle and repairs worn-out tissue. Spread out protein consumption through the day’s meals and snacks. These five foods are:

  • Low-fat cottage cheese
  • Yogurt
  • Milk
  • Whey protein shakes
  • Hard-boiled eggs

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You must consume 1 gram of protein per pound of your weight. Studies show that the body doesn’t benefit more beyond this ratio. Other than protein, the body must keep regular supply of the following food groups:

  • Beneficial Fats: Don’t shy away from fats the way bodybuilders have in the past, just be sure you consume healthy fats. Fat reduces inflammation and helps in the production of beneficial hormones. If consuming healthy fats regularly isn’t feasible for you, supplement your daily diet with fish oil which is the best source of omega-3 fatty acids, helps lower risk of stroke and heart disease, and prevents muscle breakdown.
  • Phytonutrients: Support the body’s circulation and general health with phytonutrients, vitamins, and minerals. Protect yourself from free radicals by eating fruits and vegetables with high levels of antioxidants.
  • Carbs and Energy-Rich Foods: Consume nutrient-dense calories for an adequate supply of energy to support strength-building activities.

Pay as much attention to your diet plan as you do your muscle-building regimen. There is a huge body of research on food and nutrients, so take advantage of the available resources.