When you’re bulking, you’re attempting to pack on muscle mass so you need the best foods for bulking. To pack on serious muscle and bulk up, you obviously need to eat. In order for muscles to “grow”, they need something out of which they can grow. That something is in the food. Your muscles are basically the foods that you eat. That’s why, in order to get the best results, you need the best foods for bulking. Not only those foods will help your muscles grow, but they can also help reduce post-workout soreness, enhance recovery, and fuel your intense gym sessions for better performance, leading to faster and better results. In short, the foods that you eat are going to make a huge difference in the way you feel, perform, and look.
The problem is that not everyone knows what are the best foods for bulking. So, if you’re unsure where to start, I strongly recommend you read this article. Whereas there are a lot of different food options for bulking, this article is going to be a good start in terms of searching for the best foods for bulking.
- Make sure to add them to your grocery list if you want to see yourself grow!
Foods to Eat To Bulk Up
To bulk up, build muscle mass, and become stronger, you need to have a daily calorie surplus. That surplus goes into building new muscle tissues. Usually, the surplus is about 500 calories a day. However, the surplus should be of the right foods as long as you want the best results. To achieve this calorie surplus, you need to eat a lot of high calorie foods that are full of the right nutrients which help you bulk up.
You could eat in surplus, but as long as the foods do not provide the right nutrients (micro and macro), you are still going to be disappointed with your results.
Before we start explaining it, it is essential to know that there are different macronutrients that have different amounts of calories. There are proteins and carbs having 4 calories per gram, and fat having 9 cals per gram. Moreover, different foods have different amounts of micronutrients such as vitamins and minerals. Junk food lacks or is very low in micronutrients. That’s why you need quality food. In terms of macronutrients – you need the right balance of fats, carbs, and protein. That’s why you need to follow the right balance of macronutrients diet that is dense in micronutrients.
Fat in Foods For Bulking
There is a lot of fear around fats because a lot of people assume that fats are dangerous and non-beneficial. That’s a huge mistake. While too much fat is indeed dangerous, the right amount of healthy fats is a perfect way to make sure that you’re hitting your daily calorie goals and staying healthy, achieving your goals. Research suggests that healthy fats, such as omega-3, can greatly increase your muscle protein synthesis – the process of building muscle.
Not only that, but fats are crucial for storing fat-soluble vitamins such as A, D, E, and K. Not enough fat will not be enough to store these crucial fat-soluble vitamins. Fat is important for lots of anabolic hormone production and numerous other important processes in the body. Ideally, for your bulking purposes, you need to ensure teeth about 30-35% of your daily calories are coming from healthy fats (remember 1 gram of fat = 9 calories).
Protein in Foods For Bulking
I guess you already know to this point that protein is essential in our diets, be it cutting, bulking, strength, body recomp, or even simply remaining healthy. Needless to mention it is important for building muscle mass, considering that about 80% of muscles are composed of protein. This macronutrient is especially important for athletes attempting to gain even more muscle. Ideally, you should get at least around 1.5 g of protein per kilogram of body weight, every day. Most athletes aim for 2 g/kg/d.
Not only that, but protein also has the highest impact on feeling full. That’s why those who are bulking aim to keep lower amounts of protein per day (around 1.6g/kg/day), in order to be able to increase their daily calories. Usually, protein is kept at about 20-30% of your total daily calories (where 1 gram of protein = 4 calories).
Carbohydrates in Foods For Bulking
Carbs are another vital macronutrient for your body and for muscles. They are extremely important for fueling those tough training sessions and helping you recover. The more carbs you get, the better you recover (leading to muscle growth) and the better you perform in the gym (leading to muscle growth). Nevertheless, not all carbs are created equal. That’s why pizza is not a good source of carbs, despite it being full of it. Complex carbs typically have more fiber, as well as a lower GI. Overall, complex carbs are generally considered a healthier option. Nevertheless, in case you’re searching to bulk up, simple high GI carbs could be a great option for bulking up. Yet, overdoing it can lead to health issues. When bulking up, especially with simple carbs, it is easy to fill up with the wrong foods.
Overall, you need to aim to consume approximately 40-55% of your daily calories from carbs. If you struggle to eat enough food and build up a calorie surplus, watch out for your protein intake. Moreover, attempt to go for easily digested high-GI carbs, as they may help increase calorie intake. Moreover, higher GI carbs help replenish glycogen stores at a faster rate than complex carbs. They will help you recover quicker and train at a higher intensity during gym sessions. Work the other way around (less easily digested high-GI carbs and more protein) if you notice that your calorie intake goes way too high.
Examples of Best Foods For Bulking
Keep in mind that you need to calculate your calories and add about 500 calories more per day with the right balance of macronutrients, attempting to get enough micronutrients from the right foods too. The problem with foods for bulking is that it is easy to get “hooked up” and eat everything in sight. That can become a real problem. You still need to watch out for what you’re eating. Some foods are better than others when it comes to building muscle, helping you recover after a strenuous workout session, and fueling your workout sessions to give your best in the gym.
While these are by far not all the foods for bulking I can share, I am going to share a few examples, so you can know where to start.
Those people who are cutting are better off avoiding dairy. However, it is a completely different story when it comes to bulking up. When trying to bulk up, whole milk is an awesome way to stock up on protein, with additional fat and calories in your diet. Not to mention the fact that it is full of calcium which is very important for your bones’ health. Just one glass of whole milk has around 150 calories!
Besides whole milk, there’s cottage cheese. Both provide an awesome source of protein in order to help build muscle, while the fat and high GI carbs will greatly help you restore the muscle glycogen stores. This will help maximize muscle-building potential. You could increase the dairy intake in your diet when you’re bulking, as it is among the best foods for this purpose. You could easily have whole milk in your post-workout protein shake, or have a pot of cottage cheese before bed!
Nuts and Nut Butters
I’m truly sorry for people allergic to nuts, but if you’re not – eating nuts and nut butters is a great way to bulk up. Not only are they great-tasting, but they are energy dense, full of nutrients, packed with healthy monounsaturated fats, and provide lots of proteins too. These are the reasons why nuts and nut butters are just a perfect way to bulk up. If that’s not enough, nut and nut butters are packed full of essential micronutrients too. Some examples to mention are magnesium, phosphorus, selenium, and zinc. Each and every one of these is necessary for maintaining a healthy nutritional status and building muscle mass.
Only a small serving of nuts could add a lot of calories, protein, and fat. Roughly, they add 300 calories per 50 grams of nuts. Of course, their calories, macros, and micronutrient content may change based on the specific nuts type you get. This is another awesome bonus – you can always alternate between nuts for different nutrients and tastes.
Need I say how important fish is in any diet? While there are numerous other foods for bulking that can provide healthy fats, salmon as well as other fish types should be in your bulking diet. Fish oils are extremely important for your health, and crucial for building muscle. Aim to consume 2-3 servings of oily fish per week during your bulking plan.
While you may think that avocados are overly popular, they are actually very beneficial. We can mention avocado among other foods for bulking that provide healthy fats for your muscle building plans. Avocados have monounsaturated fatty acids like oleic acid, which is perfect for adding healthy calories and fat to your diet. Not to mention that your avocado habit will also add a large number of antioxidants and vitamins to your diet. Then again, these micronutrients are important both to stay healthy and bulk up. Avocados are definitely among the best foods for bulking, so make sure you add some to your diet, making it a great option to include as a snack or into your breakfast.
Have you seen a bodybuilder who doesn’t eat eggs? Yeah, neither did I. Eggs are crucial for building muscle. Yes, egg yolks get a bad reputation so many throw them away. If you do it too – stop it. They’ll actually help you bulk up. Whole eggs are perfect sources of fat and protein for bulking. Moreover, each egg has an average of about 70-100 calories. Not only that, but they are full of essential amino acids and micronutrients that help you get big.
Studies prove that eggs, despite being full of saturated fat content and high cholesterol, are not actually as bad for the cardiovascular system as many may think.
Another food that many people restrict in their diet is the intake of red meat. While there indeed should be a moderate consumption of red meat, because overconsumption of it may indeed lead to health concerns, red meat can be a great protein source, among numerous other micronutrients (such as vitamin B) and vital nutrients for muscle-building processes. In the end, during the bulking phases, increasing your lean red meat intake can be an excellent idea, as it is an excellent way to help you bulk up.
Lean beef, for example, helps increase the amount of fat and protein, but it is also high in heme iron – another essential nutrient for building muscle and working out hard.
Coconut and Olive Oil
Coconut and olive oils are full of versatile micronutrients, add a lot of healthy fats to your diet, and also add calories without leaving you too full. If you struggle to eat while attempting to bulk up, try coconuts and olive oil and you’re likely to see great results.
As I earlier mentioned, you need to make sure that you’re having a carbohydrate-rich diet when you’re trying to bulk up. In fact, about 40-55% of calories in your diet should come from carbs. Well, sweet potatoes are full of carbs. Not only that, but this is the right type of carbohydrate that helps you recover and fuel your workout session.
The average sweet potato has about 40g of carbs and is full of vitamins and minerals. Moreover, as long as you follow a clean bulk cycle without refined sugar (this is the type of bulking cycle we would recommend), sweet potatoes can help you reduce the sweet cravings, helping you stay on track!
Oats are another awesome source of complex carbs that are very helpful in providing a significant boost during the bulking period. Not only that, but oats are very popular as a fantastic source of fiber and complex carbs that help digestion. Moreover, they are popular to provide a stable release of energy, and this makes them an awesome pre-workout meal.
White pasta is a high GI carb. It is important to avoid getting too much of it because you can easily do so. Nevertheless, if you cannot eat enough, pasta can help you increase those numbers. Only 100g of pasta (dried weight) portion is going to provide you with roughly 350 kcal and 70 grams of carbs. This makes it an amazing post-workout meal, allowing you to quickly recover, and fueling you up for the next gym session. Generous amounts of pasta can greatly help you boost the daily calorie surplus and bulk up, you just need to make sure you’re not overdoing it as long as you have an appetite.
Rice is another extremely important food for bulking due to its high carb content, necessary for recovery and fueling workouts. White rice is similar to the past – also being a high GI carb. Moreover, because of its lower fiber content, you are likely to eat more without feeling too full. So, you can easily add rice to salads and other main meals in order to boost your calories and carbs as long as that’s what you’re searching for. In addition to that, rice can greatly help fuel your training sessions.
For those who are craving sweets, dark chocolate can be a life savior. That’s because this is a great way to satisfy your sugar cravings. That’s why dark chocolate can be included in our list of best foods for bulking. Besides that, chocolate with over 75% cocoa content is packed with antioxidants and monounsaturated fats.
So, this is pretty much the list of best foods for bulking. It goes without saying that there are numerous other foods for bulking. Nonetheless, this list is a great way to start your bulking cycle and it includes foods that you must include in your diet.
In the end, if you do not have some of these foods for bulking in your kitchen, it is no wonder that you are struggling to pack on serious muscle mass. It is extremely important for you to remember that you should hit your macro- and micro- nutrient goals, with the right balance of macros and the right amount of calories you eat every day. Besides food, it’s pretty obvious that you should work your best in the gym to achieve your goals.
Bulk Up Now!
Are you searching to bulk up fast? Your diet is essential! You want to work out religiously and correctly, but you definitely need to pay attention to the foods that you eat. Include the best foods for bulking in your regimen and you’re sure to achieve awesome results.
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