Who never thought about having a beautiful body combined with good health? Healthy eating is one of the main factors responsible for ensuring results in these two areas. Since food helps to gain muscle mass and still act directly on the body, offering more energy and high performance.

Therefore, it is essential to add foods to gain muscle mass to your meals , as this will improve results and achieve your goals in a shorter period of time. Want to know what these foods are? Read on!

What to include in the diet to gain lean mass ?

Having a balanced diet with foods that meet the body’s nutritional needs is essential for good physical performance and achieving results.

Protein-rich foods are very important for gaining lean mass, but carbohydrates and unsaturated fats are also necessary sources of energy.


Because it is a macronutrient, foods rich in simple carbohydrates are super-indicated for post-workout, as long as they are consumed in a controlled manner, as if ingested in excess, the body may experience glucose spikes. It’s important to avoid foods like white rice and thin pasta.

Foods that can be consumed pre and post workout are:

  • sweet potato
  • yam
  • cassava
  • whole grains
  • fruits,

Good fats

Good fats (also called unsaturated fats) should be included in your food plan. They collaborate to increase energy, act in the generation of muscle mass, help reduce bad cholesterol (LDL) and raise HDL levels (good cholesterol) .

Foods rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants are also important for healthy results.

Some foods with good fats are:

  • avocado
  • nuts
  • linseed
  • olive oil
  • olive
  • cold, deep-water fish such as salmon, tuna, and sardines


Protein – rich foods are essential to eat after training, as they help your muscles recover from possible injuries. Some recommended foods are:

  • legumes, such as beans, lentils , peas, and chickpeas
  • peanut butter
  • almonds
  • pumpkin seeds
  • eggs
  • cottage cheese
  • meats low in saturated fat, such as chicken, fish, and lean red cuts

How to gain muscle mass?

In addition to performing regular workouts, it’s important to invest in a food plan that will replace more calories than are spent during the day. Consuming protein foods rich in good fats can speed up muscle building .

However, it is important to invest in a healthy diet, as the results will be lasting and continuous.

Best foods to gain muscle mass

Below we list the foods that contribute most to gaining muscle mass and that also help to increase disposition and improve the results of activities . Check out!

1. Eggs

One of the most common foods consumed by peoples, the egg is rich in high quality proteins and vitamins A, D and E and the B complex , It contains leucine, which is essential for gaining muscle mass.

Alongside these vitamins, the egg also collaborates in the anti-inflammatory process, acting in the fight against injuries and pain during training and facilitating recovery. It should be consumed, preferably, cooked, between meals or even as a pre-workout or post-workout .

2. Chicken breast

Chicken is one of the main foods for gaining muscle mass and cannot be missing from the menu of those who focus on hypertrophy . Consumption variations are boiled, roasted, grilled and in sauce.

Each 100 gram serving of chicken breast has 31 grams of high quality protein. It is also a source of B vitamins.

Chicken is a food rich in proteins and has a low fat content, being a good ally during the training routine.

3. Red meat

Rich in iron and protein, red meat helps in the development of oxygen in the muscles. In addition, they are rich in B vitamins, zinc and creatine .

Give preference to lean cuts, such as soft coxão, rump and duckling, which have a lower fat content.

4. Salmon

Because it is rich in omega 3 , this fish is responsible for fighting inflammation resulting from physical activity, directly helping the muscles recover in case of any injury.

Each 100 gram serving of salmon contains 20 grams of protein, 1.75 grams of omega-3s, plus B vitamins.

Other fish that should be included in the menu if you want to gain lean mass with food are sardines and tuna, which can be used in pre- or post-workout snacks. Salmon is best suited to integrate main meals, such as lunch or dinner.

5. Cheeses

Cheeses are considered good foods for gaining muscle mass , especially those that are low in saturated fat, such as cottage cheese and fresh cheese. One 8-ounce cup of cottage cheese is packed with protein: 28 grams, including a healthy dose of leucine, an amino acid that helps build muscle.

Other types of cheese, such as cottage cheese, standard cheese, mozzarella, among others, also have their place in a food plan aimed at hypertrophy. The only caveat is with the amount of saturated fat, especially if your menu has any specific restrictions.

6. Quinoa

With amino acids present in supplements used by athletes (leucine, valine and isoleucine), quinoa stands out from other vegetables. Because it is a food free of fats, gluten and cholesterol, it helps and accelerates lean mass gain.

In addition to the aforementioned advantages, the food is rich in minerals, vitamins and carbohydrates that contribute to metabolism and energy gain for physical activities.

Quinoa can be consumed in juices and smoothies or in main dishes, before or after training.

7. Plain yogurt

Dairy products, in general, are recommended to be consumed post-workout, as they are rich in protein and help in muscle recovery. In addition to having essential vitamins for the body, yogurt is easy to digest and provides satiety, directly helping to control appetite.

It can be consumed plain or mixed with honey or some type of cereal, such as granola or oatmeal. Avoid buying yogurt with added sugar, always opt for skimmed yogurt and add fresh fruit. Give preference to products with few and good ingredients.

8. Red fruits

Because they are sources of antioxidants, red fruits are great to eat after training, as they relieve muscle pain and protect cells. Polyphenols, present in blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, blackberries and grapes, are allies of health and act on the functioning of the heart, prevent cancer, fight obesity, control blood sugar levels and regulate intestinal flora.

The darker the berries are, the more antioxidants they have, that is, the more suitable they are for consumption. One of the ways to consume them is to buy them fresh or frozen to make smoothies or juices.

9. Chestnuts

Although they cannot be consumed in large quantities because they are very caloric, chestnuts are rich in proteins and vitamins, such as potassium and zinc.

They are found in several types, the most common to be consumed are: walnuts, cashew nuts. The average recommended consumption is two units per day.

10. Soldier

Soy can replace animal protein and is considered one of the most complete foods of plant origin. It has great acceptance among vegans and vegetarians for its versatility in the kitchen.

A 100 gram serving of cooked soybeans contains 18 grams of protein, healthy fats, various vitamins and minerals. The grain is also an excellent source of iron, phosphorus and vitamin K.

Soy has a high protein and fiber content, helping to maintain bone health and controlling bad cholesterol (LDL).

11. Shrimp

Shrimp is practically 100% protein. A 100 gram serving of crustacean contains 22 grams of protein, 1.7 grams of fat and only 1.17 grams of carbohydrates.

Even though unsaturated fats and carbohydrates are fundamental in an ideal mass-gaining diet , adding portions of shrimp to some meals is a strategy that works to get a high dose of protein without a lot of extra calories.

But pay attention to how the shrimp will be consumed. Deep frying is not a good idea because of the high saturated fat content that accompanies this type of cooking.

12. Beans

Want an example of food for mass gain ? Bean! And all its varieties: black, carioca, white, red, polka dot. One cup of the legume has 15 grams of protein.

In addition, beans are a source of fiber, B vitamins, rich in magnesium, iron and phosphorus. The legume works very well as a substitute for meat in vegetarian menus.

13. Peanut

Peanuts are made up of a mix of proteins, fats and carbohydrates — the three basic macronutrients in our diet. A 30-gram serving contains 7.5 grams of protein, 6.4 grams of carbohydrates and large amounts of good fat .

Peanuts also contain large amounts of leucine, an amino acid that acts in muscle building, and potassium, a mineral that is essential for muscle formation and helps prevent cramps.

14. Leite integral

Whole milk is an important food in bulking , a phase focused on lean mass gain, as it is a source of protein and good fats that will help the body sustain muscle growth.

As it is a versatile and practical food, it is very easy to add milk to your daily routine, which is great for increasing your adherence to the diet.

Milk is also a source of calcium, a mineral that strengthens bones, but also contributes to muscle hypertrophy by assisting in the metabolism of fats.

15. Water

Hydration is essential for the body not to suffer from fluid retention and, consequently, not to impair performance during training. Water is a fundamental part of the health of the muscles and the whole body.

In pre-workout, coconut water can be a viable option, but it is important to always opt for natural. Health professionals recommend an average intake of 35 ml of water per kilogram of body weight daily. Therefore, a person weighing 70 kg should drink 2,450 liters of water per day.