Body Building Resources

12 Best Foods For Bulking Up
For Bodybuilding

To gain weight in bodybuilding, you need to increase your calories but not all calories are the same though in terms of value. You can either get on a "clean bulk" or "dirty bulk". "Clean bulk" simply means eating healthy foods that will make you gain weight which is not the case with "dirty bulk" whereby you can eat anything including lots of saturated fats and this is not healthy. The "clean bulk" is usually the most recommended in bodybuilding and consists primarily of eating complex carbohydrates, lean protein and healthy fats. Here are 12 best foods for bulking up for bodybuilding:

Complex Carbs

Rolled Oats - As a complex carbohydrate, rolled oats are not only great in providing sustained levels of energy but can be used as a bulking food as well. In 1 cup(82 grams) of regular rolled oats, there are 380 calories. Rolled oats are also high in protein, healthy fats, fiber and magnesium which makes it a good bodybuilding food. Start your day with a big bowl of rolled oats.

Quinoa - Although not very popular in the nutrition world for bodybuilding, quinoa is a food which should have its own merit. Quinoa is a seed and when cooked, it becomes fluffy, creamy and slightly crunchy. Quinoa is definitely a great bulking food with 223 calories in 1 cup(185 grams) of cooked quinoa. While quinoa is basically a complex carbohydrate, it also packs protein, healthy fats, fiber and potassium. It's really a healthy food for bulking.

Brown Rice - Rice is a common staple food for many people and in the bodybuilding world, brown rice is favored more than white rice. Brown rice is a complex carbohydrate packed with fiber and anyone on a bulking diet can include it for its numerous health benefits as well. 1 cup(195 grams) of cooked brown rice yields 216 calories.

Sweet Potatoes - Sweet potatoes need no introduction as they are a popular bodybuilding food for good reasons. Packed with complex carbohydrates, fiber and potassium, they are one of the healthiest foods for bulking up at 114 calories in 1 cup, cubes(133 grams). They are also a good source of vitamin A. Eating sweet potatoes regularly will definitely allow you to make great muscle gains.

Lean Protein

Salmon - Commonly known as a fatty fish, salmon ranks as one of the best sources for protein as it also provides omega-3 fats which are vital for bodybuilding. So basically you get two in one: Protein + Healthy Fats. In ½ fillet(198 grams) of cooked wild atlantic salmon, you get 281 calories and 39 grams of protein.

Bison - Bison meat is one of the leanest red meats you can get. Packed with protein and low in fat, bison meat is quickly becoming more popular among bodybuilders. In 8 ounce(227 grams) of lean bison meat, you get 248 calories and 48 grams of protein.

Tuna - If there one fish most talked about in bodybuilding forums, it's tuna. One of the main reasons is it's so easily available and affordable notably the canned tuna but yet is packed with high amount of protein and healthy calories. In 1 can(6.5 oz) tuna in water, drained, you get 194 calories and 42.6 grams of protein.

Chicken Breast - One of the most popular protein in bodybuilding, the chicken breast has definitely made a big impact in nutrition. If you're bulking up, eating chicken breast on a daily basis will skyrocket your muscle building goals. Since you're on a "clean bulk", it's better to remove the skin which contains saturated fats. In 134 grams of boneless skinless chicken breast, you get 130 calories and 29 grams of protein.

Whole Eggs - Eggs are a staple food for many bodybuilders and popular for breakfast. If you're bulking up, eat whole eggs instead of just the egg whites. The egg yolk has lots of nutrients like protein, vitamins, minerals and healthy fats too but as it contains a small amount of saturated fats like 1.6 grams per 1 large boiled egg, it's best if you limit your intake to 2-3 whole eggs per day. One large egg contains 78 calories and 6 grams of protein.

Healthy Fats

Extra Virgin Olive Oil - If you're on a bulking diet, the best way to up your calories is to increase your fat intake notably from healthy fats. My first healthy fats choice is without any doubt extra virgin olive oil. Easy to ingest with a simple drizzle in foods, it's a fast way to increase your calories healthily. 1-3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil everyday can give you a calorie surplus of 119, 238 and 357 respectively. Extra virgin olive oil is high in monounsaturated fats notably oleic acid which is good for the heart but just because it's healthy doesn't mean you should abuse as it also contains a small amount of saturated fats per tablespoon like 1.9 grams.

Avocados - Commonly known as the fatty fruit, avocados are one of the best fruits in the world due to its high amount of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats. As a result, avocados are also renowned to be calorie-dense and can easily be included in a bulking diet. In 1 cup, sliced(146 grams), you get 234 calories. You should not eat too many avocados as they also have some saturated fats. Packed with a great amount of potassium at 708 mg per 1 cup, they are also effective for muscle recovery.

Natural Peanut Butter - Just like olive oil, you can load up the calories simply by using a tablespoon or more of natural peanut butter. Considered to be a great bulking food and enjoyed either in oats, bread or eaten alone, peanut butter is loaded with healthy fats and contains 100 calories per tablespoon and 5 grams of protein.

If you're skinny or an ectomorph, adding these 12 bulking foods to your nutritional plan will definitely give you the muscle gains you're coveting for with hard training, time and patience. Good luck.

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