12 Affordable food to build lean muscle

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It is Everyone’s goal to achieve a lean muscle mass without gaining more body fat.

To achieve this , One must be extremely careful with his diet along with the constant weight training.

To gain lean muscle, We must rely on Protein rich food. It is strongly advised to consume at least 1-1.5 grams of Protein per pound of your body weight. i.e, 160-240 grams of Protein per day (If you are 160 lbs). At the same time, do not give up on carbs and fats (Mono unsaturated fats) for gaining energy for weight training.
Most of us think that achieving lean muscle mass is expensive and is not good for all.
In this article , I would be covering 20 Food items that you can rely on to pack those lean muscle mass without burning your pockets.

1. Eggs

Eggs are the most economical source of Protein and it is  the most favorite food of every body builder.
Considered as a whole food as it packs almost all the amino acids required for muscle growth.
As we are focusing on lean muscle mass, try minimizing the intake of Egg yolk, if you consume 6-8 eggs (Out of which include only 1-2 egg yolks) as the yolk contain more fat and would affect your results.
On an average, An Egg white contains 4 grams of Protein, 0 Carbs, 0 fat. This makes the best food for body builders who would like to stack only the Protein.
Note :- Do not skip the Yolk, Include 1-2 yolk per day as the egg yolk contains Vitamin A, B1, B6, B12, D.
Choline – For Nerve and Cell growth.
Antioxidants – Lutein and Zeaxanthin

2. Whey Protein

Whey Protein
Whey Protein would be the next in the list for body builders.

Bio availability of Protein In Whey protein is the highest!

There are different types of Whey Protein powder available (based on processing and purification). Always stick to Whey Isolate which has at least 90%+ concentration of Whey Protein.

Whey Protein effectively enhances the Muscle growth and also aids in Weight loss when consumed properly.

Always remember that, Whey protein must be consumed as a snack and do not over consume it.
FACT : Always blend the Whey protein with water instead of Milk for maximum absorption and faster digestion.
When to consume :
  • Post-Workout – For maximum absorption, It is advised to consume whey protein after your workout.
  • Before Sleeping – Feeds your muscle during resting phase and build the muscle effectively.
How much to consume:
  • One Scoop of Whey Protein every day : About 25 grams of Protein.

3. Peanut Butter

Peanut Butter

4. Quinoa

Quinoa is one of my favorite!
Quinoa would be a perfect replacement for the Rice and It provides a good amount of Protein over carbs and also aids in weight loss in an healthier way.
Quinoa is rich in protein, Vitamins and minerals and I would like to say that it’s a perfect replacement for Eggs for all those vegans as it contains all the essential amino acids.
 When to consume:-
  • As an evening snack with some veggies.
  • Post Workout.
How much to consume:-
  • Cook 100-200 grams depending on the amount of veggies you add.

5. Greek Yogurt

Greek Yogurt
Greek Yogurt does not only provide 8 grams of protein (Per 100 grams) but also aids in digestion of Protein.
You must consume Greek yogurt if you are working on those lean muscle and relying on Protein rich diet.
Health benefits of Greek Yogurt are many;
  • Smooth Functioning of Digestive system.
  • Keeps you fuller for longer time so that you can avoid Junk food.
  • Reduces Cholesterol and Increased Bone density.
  • Prevents vaginal infection in women.
 When to consume:-
  • Before sleep as it contains slow digesting Casein!
  • As a Evening snack with dry fruits.
How much to consume:-
  • 100 grams of Greek yogurt with 50 grams of nuts per day.

6. Soya Beans

Soya beans
Soya beans and Soya Chunks are the most cheapest vegetarian based protein for serious body builders.
100 grams of Soya beans can provide upto 30 grams of Protein with most essential amino acids, 30 grams of Carbs and about 5 grams of Mono unsaturated fat. This makes the Soya beans the most economical food for meeting out protein requirement.
Health benefits of Soya beans:
  • Boots Metabolic activity
  • Improves the functioning of heart and Blood circulation.
  • Reduces sleep disorders or Insomnia.
  • Prevents Colon cancer.
Note :- Do not over consume Soya beans as it would increase the estrogen levels.
When to consume:
  • Pre Workout.
  • Evening snack with veggies.
How much to consume:
  • Limit the Intake of Soya beans or Soya chunks as it increases the estrogen level leading to Sexual dysfunction or reduced sperm count.

7. Milk


8. Cottage Cheese

Cottage cheese/Paneer is one of the richest source of Protein for Vegetarians.
The benefits of Cottage cheese (Paneer) is very high.
Body builders do need to rely On Cottage cheese right after their Intense workout In as it helps in recovering from Muscle cramps.
Cottage cheese has a good amount of healthy fats, 22% Protein, 7% of healthy fats, 1% carbohydrates. Additionally it comes with Vitamin B complex
Health benefits of Cottage Cheese:
  • Aids in Digestion.
  • Strengthening of bones.
  • Reduces risk of Cardio vascular diseases and Bone weakening (Osteoporosis)
  • Boosts overall Immune system.
When to consume Cottage Cheese/Paneer:
  • Post Workout for relieving from Muscle cramps
  • Before sleeping.
How much to consume:
  • 100 grams of Cottage cheese comes with 22 grams of Protein, 7 grams of mono unsaturated fats

9. Oats


10. Chickpeas

100 grams of Chikpeas packs about 18 grams of protein and therefore do not give up on chickpeas.
Boil it and add it in your Salad for evening snacks for good quality protein.
Health Benefits of Chickpeas:
  • Improves Immunity and boosts the Energy.
  • Better functioning of Nervous system.
  • Help reduces blood cholesterol.
  • Improves Cardio vascular health.
When to consume Chickpeas:
  • As a evening snack.
How much to consume:
  • 100-200 grams per day.

11. Chicken Breast

Chicken Breast

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