Eat to Grow: How Nutrition Can Help You Build Muscle and Endurance

When it comes to building muscle, it's not just about lifting weights and doing resistance training - nutrition plays a crucial role in supporting muscle growth and recovery. If you're looking to build muscle and boost your athletic performance, there are certain fitness foods that you should focus on incorporating into your diet. In this post, we'll take a closer look at some of the top fitness foods to help build muscle.

Lean protein

Protein is an essential nutrient for building and repairing muscle tissue. When you engage in strength training or other types of exercise, you create micro-tears in your muscles, which need to be repaired in order to grow and become stronger. Eating enough protein can help support this process.

Some of the best sources of lean protein include:

  • Chicken breast
  • Turkey breast
  • Fish (such as salmon, tilapia, or tuna)
  • Tofu
  • Legumes (such as chickpeas, lentils, or black beans)

Aim to get at least 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight each day in order to support muscle growth. This can be challenging to achieve through diet alone, so consider supplementing with protein powders or bars as needed.

Complex carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are the primary fuel source for your body during exercise, so it's important to make sure you're getting enough of them in your diet. Carbs also play a key role in replenishing glycogen stores in your muscles, which can become depleted during intense workouts.

Focus on incorporating complex carbohydrates into your diet, such as:

  • Whole grains (such as brown rice, quinoa, or whole wheat bread)
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Oats
  • Fruits (such as apples, bananas, or berries)

Try to avoid simple carbohydrates like candy, white bread, or sugary drinks, as these can cause spikes in blood sugar that can lead to crashes and fatigue.

Healthy fats

Fats are an important source of energy and can also help support hormone production, which is important for muscle growth. However, not all fats are created equal - focus on incorporating healthy fats into your diet, such as:

  • Nuts (such as almonds, cashews, or walnuts)
  • Seeds (such as chia, flax, or pumpkin seeds)
  • Avocado
  • Olive oil

While it's important to get enough healthy fats in your diet, it's also important not to go overboard. Fats are calorie-dense, so it's easy to consume too many calories if you're not careful.

Fruits and vegetables

Fruits and vegetables are packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that can help support your immune system and aid in recovery. Aim for a variety of colors and types to get a range of nutrients.

Some of the best fruits and vegetables to focus on include:

  • Berries (such as blueberries, raspberries, or strawberries)
  • Leafy greens (such as spinach, kale, or arugula)
  • Cruciferous vegetables (such as broccoli, cauliflower, or Brussels sprouts)
  • Citrus fruits (such as oranges, grapefruits, or lemons)

Greek yogurt

Greek yogurt is a great source of protein and calcium, and can also help support healthy digestion with its probiotics. Look for low-fat or fat-free options to keep calories in check.


Eggs are another good source of protein and healthy fats, and can be easily incorporated into a variety of meals. Consider making an omelet for breakfast or hard-boiling some eggs to snack on throughout the day.


Quinoa is a unique source of protein, as it contains all nine essential amino acids that your body needs for muscle growth and repair. It's also a good source of complex carbohydrates, fiber, and other important nutrients like iron and magnesium. Try using quinoa as a base for salads, as a side dish with dinner, or as breakfast porridge.

Chicken or vegetable broth

Bone broth or vegetable broth is a great way to get some extra protein and nutrients in your diet. It's also easy to digest and can help support healthy gut function. You can sip on broth as a snack or use it as a base for soups or stews.

Peanut butter

Peanut butter is a calorie-dense food that can help support muscle growth and recovery. It's high in protein and healthy fats, and can be easily incorporated into smoothies, oatmeal, or as a dip for fruits or veggies.


Milk is a great source of protein, calcium, and vitamin D, all of which are important for muscle growth and bone health. Choose low-fat or fat-free options to keep calories in check.

Remember, it's not just about focusing on one specific food - a well-balanced diet is key for supporting muscle growth and overall health. In addition to these foods, make sure to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water, and consider talking to a nutritionist or registered dietitian for personalized recommendations based on your specific fitness goals and needs. With the right nutrition and exercise plan in place, you can make great strides towards building muscle and improving your athletic performance.