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The Ultimate Muscle Building Diet Plan

The Ultimate Muscle Building Diet Plan

Table of content

1. Muscle building vs. bodybuilding:

A strong man means a muscular body (and not a fatty or fleshy body, and not even a proportionate attractive body which, many among the bodybuilders aspire to). Just as “The elephant is the biggest in size, but still it is the lion – the king of the beasts that rules and dominates over the animal world due to its strength, speed and agility“. However, both bodybuilding and muscle building include the development of muscle fibers through the combination of weight training, increased calorie intake, and the rest being quality sleep and more importantly, avoiding the alluring but unhealthy foods and drinks in addition to the 2 expensive bad habits (smoking and alcohol).

But in a competitive bodybuilding demonstration, the bodybuilders usually aspire to develop and demonstrate an attractive body structure and pleasing figure and posture having a big curved chest, thin and fatless waist, and a big showy buttock, putting less emphasis on muscular strength. Veritably, bodybuilders are not as strong as muscle builders (muscle building needs both muscle mass and muscle strength). However, the bodybuilders can be as close as muscle builders pertaining to muscle strength, if they especially focus on it. Still, the fact remains that the bodybuilders are strong, but overall the muscle builders are stronger.

2. Food vs. diet:

Before focusing on muscle-building diets, it seems quite important to distinguish between the terms “food vs. diet “ which are often used interchangeably. Food is a general term that is indispensable to all living beings including man and animals to sustain life on earth. Among the 3 basic needs for the sustenance of life on earth, food is one of them (the other 2 being water to quench thirst and oxygen to breathe). On the other hand, diet is a specific term consisting of selected foods as prescribed by the physician (to cure a disease or injury), or by the physical instructor (for muscle building or weight gain, or weight loss). Diet varies from person to person depending on age, gender, body characteristics, specific health problems, and more importantly, the geographical location and the seasonal variation of the country in which people live. Dietary habits and choices play a crucial role in the quality of life, general health condition, and longevity.

3. List of diets and their relative importance in muscle building

While focusing on a crucial role in muscle building, diets have been broadly categorized Under 3 main macronutrients: protein, carb, and fat which need to be taken at specific intervals throughout the day with regularity and consistency. All the 3 major nutrients are indispensable to building muscle. The importance of the 3 major nutrients (proteins, carb, fat) have been discussed separately. Milk-- an ideal and all-rounder diet for building muscle and providing a good balance of protein, carbs, fat as well as all other essential nutrients, has been separately discussed Additionally, a chart containing the nutritional facts and figures in respect of a few selected diets (falling under each of the 3 major nutrients: protein, carb, and fat that build up muscle) has been displayed in section – 4.

3.1) Importance of protein rich in muscle-building diet:

When protein is consumed (by eating, for instance, meat, fish, egg, etc), the digestive system in the human body breaks down the protein into amino acids (protein in food is broken down into amino acids essential for maintaining and building muscle tissue). Amino acid is used by the human body for performing a range of functions including muscle building.

3.2) Best 8 protein-rich food for muscle building diet

3.2.1) Egg scramble: It is a dish (usually made from a chicken egg) stirred or beaten together in a pan and mixed with salt, butter, and various other ingredients and then gently heated. According to nutrient-based facts, the food value of a scrambled egg is higher than that of a fully boiled egg. (one scrambled egg contains 100 calories and 7 grams of protein. One hard-boiled egg contains 80 calories and 6 grams of protein)

3.2.2) Shrimp and prawn: These are important seafood that is consumed worldwide. Almost pure protein is available from this seafood. Adding some shrimp and prawns to a regular diet is an easy way to build muscle. China is the largest producer and exporter. And USA and Japan are the largest importers.

3.2.3) Solomon sea fish: It is an important source of protein as well as healthy fats which are great for muscle building and overall health. Oily fish also supplies adequate nutrients including omega- 3 fatty acid (it is found in fish oil and is a nutrient quite important for preventing heart disease and lowering high blood pressure). China is both the largest producer as well as consumer of this oily fish in the world.

3.2.4) Tuna sea fish: It is a protein-rich fish and contains plenty of vitamins and minerals which are important for optimal health energy utilized in exercise performance needed for muscle build-up. Additionally, Tuna provides omega- 3 fatty acid that supports muscle health. The philippine is the largest exporter and Japan is the largest consumer of Tuna fish in the world.

3.2.5) Chicken breast: Chicken is the most commonly consumed meat in the world irrespective of religious beliefs, cultural differences, and territorial boundaries. It is rich in quality protein, plenty of vitamins and minerals which are important for those who are quite active in their job. For optimal muscle gain, people generally perform physical exercise in the interest of which food value contained in chicken breast plays a critical role.

3.2.6) Greek yogurt: All dairy products are not equal in terms of food value essential for muscle building. Greek yogurt contains approximately double amount of protein found in regular yogurt. While preparing Greek yogurt, it is strained to remove most of its whey resulting in a thicker consistency than unsaturated yogurt.

3.2.7) Jerky: Different types of lean meat can be made into jerky, but with varying contents of protein. However, while processing, most of the fat are removed, cut into strips and then dried to prevent spoilage. Jerky is an excellent choice for muscle development as it contains all the essential nutrients, notably high amount of protein.

3.2.8) Soya-bean: It is a species of legume grown in many countries including USA and East Asia. It has wide uses. It is a rich source of significant protein and hence is an excellent diet for muscle building. In addition to plenty of protein, it contains healthy unsaturated fats and several vitamins and minerals including iron. (iron is used to store and transport oxygen in the blood as well as muscle. An iron deficiency can impair these important functions). Soya-bean must be cooked as it is poisonous in raw form. USA is the leading producer of soya-bean in the world.

3.2) Importance of carb-rich diets in muscle building:

Muscle building requires energy through high carbohydrate intake. Although protein intake on large scale is essential, consumption of carbs is not less important for playing a key role in muscle development. Because gaining bigger muscle requires filling muscle with glycogen which is found in abundance in the consumption of carbohydrates. (Glycogen is the body’s backup source of fuel. Hence it is important to regularly consume carbs to preserve the adequate level of glycogen in the body system. Due to the loss of glycogen, the blood glucose level in the human body may hit the bottom, which may render a person feel extremely fatigued and risk loss of energy)

3.3) 7 Best carbs for muscle building diet

3.3.1) Potato: It is a staple food in Holland including in many other European countries. It is ranked as the 4th most common staple in the word (followed by rice, wheat and corn). It is available throughout the year and less costly food item that significantly adds extra calories in addition to plenty of vitamin- C and potassium. It promotes overall health and prevents cell damage in body and muscle.

3.2.2) Sweet potato: It is nutritious, high in fiber, very much filling and delicious with sweet taste. It is directly related to regular potato. It is a calorie rich diet and is helpful for development of muscle and overall health.

3.2.3) Oatmeal: It is prepared from hulled oat grain that has been milled, steel cut or rolled. Ground oats are also called white oats. Steel cut oat is called coarse oatmeal. Rolled oat can be either thick or thin.

3.2.4) Brown rice: Due to increasing preference for nutritional value and growing health consciousness, the eating habits of brown rice are increasing globally. Unlike refined rice, brown rice is the least processed, it contains high nutritional value which is essential for overall health development including muscle buildup.

3.2.5) Bean: There are approximately 40000 varieties of beans around the world. Popular varieties include black pinto and kidney bean. Bean is an excellent source of vitamin-B, fiber, magnesium, phosphorous. It is one of the best plant based proteins for strength as well as gain of muscle.

3.2.6) Pasta: It is a staple food of traditional Italian cuisine with old reference dating back to 1154 AD in Sicily. It is a calorie dense carb supplying adequate energy for intense workout needed to build muscle.

3.2.7) Beet: For muscle buildup, beet is an excellent source of essential nutrients and vitamins (Vitamin-B 6. Vitamin-C, folate, magnesium, potassium, iron, manganese and dietary fiber). It is produced in abundance in North America.

3.4) Importance of fat rich diets in muscle building: Fat is the prime source of energy for human body. Fat in general and fatty acid in particular, play crucial role at the cellular level that are needed to build and repair muscle tissue. Fat also plays an important role in the production of hormones needed to build muscle. Although, carb supplies energy to the body, but right after the laborious job and physical workout (for building muscle), the energy is released from the body and the body gets exhausted. As such regularly eating healthy fats can greatly help hormonal function, especially testosterone for muscle growth. ( testosterone is the primary male sex hormone and an anabolic steroid. In male hormones, it plays a key role in the development of male reproductive tissues, such as testes and prostate. As a secondary function, it promotes increased muscle and bone mass).

3.5) Best 3 good fat rich for muscle building a diet:

3.5.1) Flax seed oil: Flax seed oil or linseed oil or flax is a colorless oil (or yellowish color found in case of some types) obtained from dried, ripened seeds of the flax plant. The oil is obtained by pressing or sometimes by solvent extraction. It is a drying oil, meaning that it can polymerize into a solid form. It is a healthy fat containing omega--3 fatty acids. Flax has multiple benefits including muscle building. In the whole process of muscle building, omega—3 fatty acid plays a dominant role.

3.5.2) Extra virgin olive oil: It contains plenty of mono-saturated fats to stimulate the production of protein for muscle growth. Additionally, it increases the rate of protein synthesis, promotes the function of the joints, and halts the collapse of muscle tissue. 3.5.3) Fish oil supplement: It benefits muscle building, and limber joints and reduces inflammation.

3.6) Importance of milk—an ideal diet for muscle building: From time immemorial milk has been recognized as an ideal drink throughout the world for building muscle and overall health. It is a white, liquid, and nutrient-rich food produced by the mammary glands of mammals. Milk is the primary and the only source of nutrition for infant mammals including humans (until they are able to digest other types of foods).

4. Comparison among the muscle-building diets (per 100 grams) based on nutritional facts

Total fat, protein, and carb unit in grams. Cholesterol, sodium, potassium in mg. Others in percent Diet/Nutrient: Cal. Fat. Carb. Prot. Chol. Sod: Pot. Ca. Mag. Iron. Vit-A. Vit-B12. Vit-B6. Vit-C. Vit-D

4.1) Protein:

Name Cal. Fat. Carb. Prot. Chol. Sod: Pot. Ca. Mag. Iron. Vit-A Vit-B12 Vit-B6 Vit-C Vit-D
S.Egg 148 11 1.6 10  277 145 132 6% 2% 7% 11% 13% 5%  0% 18%
Shr, Pr 99 0.3 0.2 24 189 111 259 7% 9% 2%  0% 0% 0% 0% 0%
Solomon  200 13 0 20 55 59 363 - 6% 1% 1% 53% 30% 6% -
Tuna  184 6 0 30 49 50 323 1% 16% 7% 5% - 25% - -
Chicken.B 165 3.6 - 31 85 74 256 1% 7% 5% - 5% 30% - 1%
G.yogurt 59 0.4 3.6 10 5 36 141 11% 2% - - 13% 5% - -
Jerky  410 26 11 33 48 2081 597 2% 12% 30% - 16% 10% - 2%
S.Bean 446 20 30 36 0 2 1797 27% 70% 67% 0% 0% 20% 10% 0%



4.2) Carb: Fat Name Cal Fat Prot Prot Chol Sod Pot Ca Mag Iron Vit-A Vit-B12 Vit-B6 Vit-C Vit-D Potato 77 0.1 17 2 0 6 421 1% 5% 4% 0% 15% 32% 0% 0% S.potato 86 0.1 20 1.6 0 55 337 3% 6% 3% 0% 0% 10% 4% 0% Oatmeal 68 1.4 12 2.4 0 49 61 8% 6% 33% 8% 0% 15% 0% 0%

4.2.4) B.rice 111 0.9 23 2.6 0 5 43 1% 10% 2% 0% 0% 5% 0% 0%

4.2.5) Bean 347 1.2 63 21 0 12 1393 11% 44% 28% 0% 0% 25% 10% 0%

4.2.6) Pasta 131 1.1 25 5 33 6 24 0% 4% 6% 0% 1% 0% 0% 0%

4.2.7) Beet 43 0.2 10 1.6 0 75 326 1% 5% 4% -- -- 6% 8% --

4.3) Fat: Fat Name Cal Fat Prot Prot Chol Sod Pot Ca Mag Iron Vit-A Vit-B12 Vit-B6 Vit-C Vit-D F.S.oil 884 100 0 0 0 0 0 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0 Ex.olive - 87 0 0 The modest amount of Vit-E, VIT-k, and plenty of fatty acids F.oil Contains plenty of omega--3 fatty acid

4.4) Milk Name Cal Fat Prot Prot Chol Sod Pot Ca Mag Iron Vit-A Vit-B12 Vit-B6 Vit-C Vit-D

Milk 42 1 5 3.4 5 44 150 12% 2% -- -- 12% -- -- --

Note: Cal(calorie), Carb(carbohydrate), Prot(protein), Chol (cholesterol), Sod(sodium), Pot(potassium), Ca (calcium), Mag(magnesium), Vit(vitamin), S.Egg(scrambled egg), Shr,Pr (shrimp, prawn), Chicken. B(chicken breast), G.yogurt(Greek yogurt), S.Bean(soya-bean), S.potato (sweet potato), B.rice(brown rice), F.S.oil(Flax seed oil), Ex.olive(Extra virgin olive oil), F.oil(Fish oil supplement)

5) Concluding remarks:

5.1) For focusing on the important role played by muscle-building diets, some selected diets have been brought under the categories of 3 macronutrients (protein-rich, carb-rich, and fat-rich). In fact, there is no sharp line of demarcation among the selected muscle-building diets, as almost all of them contain (more or less ) all the 3 main nutrients (protein, carb, fat). For instance, milk, which is the champion among the food items and an ideal diet having all the essential nutrients (protein, carb, and fat) has been discussed separately.

5.2) Often the relevant question may be raised “Do diets alone build muscles”. In fact, physical workout (in addition to healthy diets) is indispensable to muscle buildup. After the intense physical workout, the body repairs or replaces damaged muscle fibers through a cellular process where it fuses muscle fibers together to build new muscles. The repaired muscles increase in number as well as in thickness to create additional muscles. As physical workouts burn more calories, so for effective and sustained growth of muscle, it is essential to gain more calories (than one burns while taking physical workout for effective muscle buildup) through regularly eating more healthy, nutritious, and calorie-dense diets.

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