Strength is our body’s ability to exert physical force on objects—like being able to push through a heavy set. Following a progressive overload program is one way to boost muscular strength, but sometimes it can come from the food that you eat. Packing away enough calories, macros, and nutrients can help you muster up that extra strength necessary to hit your fitness goals.
Get the edge that you need in a workout by incorporating some of these strength-enhancing foods.
Consuming all essential amino acids is a necessary component to building and repairing muscle—stimulating muscle proteinsynthesis. A 3.5-ounce serving of chicken contains 190 calories, 29 grams of protein, and 3 grams of fat. It’s also a good source of niacin and vitamin B6 and B12—all of which work together to metabolize your macros.
Originating from South America, this ancient grain is considered a complete protein and contains the highest amount of the amino acid leucine, which instigates muscle protein synthesis, so the more the better. At 155 calories per ¼ cup serving, this nutrient dense grain contains 6 grams of protein, 29 grams of carbohydrates, and is an excellent source of magnesium, iron, and potassium. Magnesium and potassium help regulate muscle contractions—preventing those dreaded muscle cramps.
Throw Greek yogurt in your shakes or have it as a snack. It’s rich in calcium, which may prevent osteoporosis, reduce musclecramping, and protect your bones from fractures. A typical single serving container of non-fat plain Greek yogurt contains 187 milligrams of calcium in addition to about 17 grams of protein. Blending Greek yogurt with two percent milk and fruit would bump up the nutrient profile for a more balanced and enriched addition to your daily muscle-building intake.
Eggs are a lifter’s best friend. They’re a complete protein that’s packed with muscle-enhancing nutrients. One large egg has 75 calories, 7 grams of protein, and 5 grams of fat. The fat content in the egg is crucial in helping maintain t-levels—enhancing your physique goals.
Green tea is one of the most versatile foods because it aids in digestion, reduces the risk of certain cancers, atherosclerosis, strokes, and it may help in weight loss. A recent study claims that green tea supplementation may protect against exercise-induced oxidative damage. Moreover, the caffeine found naturally in green tea may give you an extra boost during your workout.
Watermelon. contains the amino acid, citrulline, which gets converted to arginine. Arginine is the precursor to nitric oxide (NO) — a compound that widens your blood vessels, producing a greater pump and nutrient delivery to your hard-trained muscles.
BY COURTNEY ANAYA, CPT