Foods to Eat for More Anabolic Gains
The past couple years have been a strange time for diet and fitness. We are at a crucial point in the healthcare industry where many people are starting to become educated in all facets of human performance, while some old-school strength experts remain.
While we go through the process of installing new, research-based health principles some people may be wondering if the old-school methods for anabolic strength still stay true. Could eating a diet high in protein really be effective for strength – or are the detriments on your liver and heart going to push you away.
In this guide, we try to walk you through the most effective foods and dietary allowance to train hard and lift heavy.
Is there An Anabolic Diet?
This is the biggest question that we must try to answer. On a very fundamental level, the answer may seem simple. In order to become anabolic, you must eat more. This is because anabolism is a metabolic state that is driven by the amount and frequency of food consumption.
By this definition we can start to understand that there could be an anabolic diet – but it just is not that simple.
Comparing Our Traditional Diet
The traditional North American diet is quite unhealthy. Copious amounts of fast and processed foods may provide the bulk of calories, but they will not help us to become more anabolic.
In fact, some fast food can even slow down your metabolism and lead to diminishing returns. This, in theory, would not be an effective way to boost anabolic strength.
Our current diet lacks true nutritional value. Yes, it will provide the bulk of calories like carbs, proteins and fats – but this is not where anabolic strength comes from.
Foods for Strength
When we look at the most effective ways to put on mass or lean muscle we always want to start with protein. Yes, protein has gotten some bad rep lately from the community of high-carb intake, but it is important to note that if you are bodybuilding or training for strength you will need to consume protein – its essential.
In order to become anabolic here are some of the best foods you should consume:
Hands down one of the best foods you can consume to put on lean muscle. Not only do fish contain a very wide spectrum of amino acids – perfect for muscle growth, but they also contain a good serving of omega fatty acids – which have been shown to be effective for immunity and metabolism.
Consuming fish should be done carefully, as some research will show that the high mercury levels can be detrimental to your health. Your best bet is to stick with freshwater fish like salmon, bass, walleye and other fish you can catch in North America.
Globally recognized as one of the greatest superfoods we have, quinoa is a great source of complex carbohydrates, fibre, complete amino acids and even has some good dietary fat. This truly is a grain you will not want to avoid. You can cook it into almost any of your favourite dishes and will go well with a big salad.
In fact, quinoa actually contain an ingredient called ecdysteroids. They are actually a group of compounds that function as androgens (in humans, that would be testosterone) and are natural steroids alternatives.
Consume this food every day and know that you will have good results in strength and anabolic returns.
Highly rich in good fats and plentiful in healthy calories, avocados are a very healthy source of nutrients for your diet.
Avocados contain a huge source of vitamins and minerals that are important to your health and vitality, but they also contain a very good serving of monounsaturated fats, which is the important ingredient for increasing and naturally stimulating your testosterone levels.
I think Popeye was right. Spinach is one of those magical superfoods that many of us ignore because we might not like the taste.
Truthfully, spinach is a great source of magnesium, protein, good carbs and many other important nutrients.
Keep in mind, since spinach has such a low caloric value you may need to eat a bunch of this to experience the same effects that you are looking for. We’d recommend eating around 300-400g of spinach daily to experience the benefits of its high magnesium content.
Perhaps the most underutilized food on the planet. Pumpkin seeds are wildly nutritious and offer a full spectrum of nutrition for the body and muscles. There might not be a food source that is more likely to help you put on strength and pumpkin seeds.
Pumpkin seeds contain a very good serving of healthy fats, plenty of vitamins and minerals but they rise above the rest when you look at their protein content. Since pumpkin seeds need to grow such a large fruit the content of protein and specific amino acids like Leucine is very high.
These amino acids go to work to help you grow stronger in the same way that seeds can help to provide the essential nutrition to grow a large fruit or vegetable.
Weird right, but it seems that asparagus contains a very healthy serving of d-aspartic acid – an amino acid that has been found on many accounts to help develop lean muscle tissue and even increase fertility in men.
D-aspartic acid has been used since second century ancient Greece as a natural enhancement to strength and male fertility – and today that same trend continues. Consuming a healthy serving of asparagus with other vegetables rich in d-aspartic acid (like hemp and peas) can help to provide you with long-term anabolic strength.
Anabolic Gains: Eat Your Vegetables
This might seem a little counterintuitive to what you have heard, but when it comes to making anabolic gains the real work will occur when you have a balance of all your vitamins and minerals.
Although plenty of meats will contain a good serving of protein, they lack the nutritional value like you see in fruits and vegetables. Yes, the protein content may be slightly lower in these foods, but when you consume them in accordance with your protein requirements you will find that your anabolic strength will dramatically increase.
If you have been looking to make anabolic gains there is nothing more promising than a balanced diet filled with fruits, vegetables and healthy proteins. It’s not rocket science, but it does take some time and dedication.
Gabriello is a writer and strength expert best known for his science-based and practical approach to Exercise Physiology, Nutrition and Strength. After serving in a directors position for The Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology Gabriello moved towards writing to help more people understand the importance of living a healthy life. Gabriello’s writings have been published in several languages on some of the largest health and fitness websites helping people learn, grow and understand the complex components of optimizing human performance in a simplistic way.
Gabriello also takes on specialized, high-performance athletes who are in need of strength, mobility and conditioning programming to optimize their fitness through his Earned Fitness program.
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