Get Stronger With These Dietary Choices

By: Julia Mehalko | Published: Mar 06, 2024

When it comes to getting stronger and gaining muscle, most people hit the gym and start some form of strength training. However, to truly get stronger, it’s also vital to change up your dietary habits.

Creating a diet specifically designed to help you gain muscle is incredibly beneficial. What you eat matters. With a good diet and a proper exercise routine, you’ll find yourself getting stronger with each passing day.

Create A Plan

First, it’s important to create a nutrition plan as you begin your journey to get stronger. Staying organized during this time can help save you time and stress down the road.

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Create specific dietary goals for yourself alongside an exercise plan. Detail the types of foods you need to eat and plan meals ahead. If you need help forming a diet for your specific body, consider going to see a nutritionist.

Keep an Eye on When You Eat

As you start to eat a diet that is friendly to muscle growth, keep an eye on when you eat — and how you feel after. When you eat certain meals throughout the day, or when you take supplements, matters.

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For example, eating protein-based meals before or after working out can greatly help prepare and repair your muscles. However, every body is different. Listen to your own and figure out when you should snack and eat your meals.

Add More Protein to Your Daily Diet

Every body needs protein. Protein is essential to any person’s diet, regardless of whether they’re working out or wanting to get stronger. However, if your intent is to gain muscle, you should increase the amount of protein you eat on a daily basis.

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Many studies have proven that more protein can help with muscle development. Adding more foods with high protein — such as chicken, eggs, salmon, and even yogurt — is recommended. 

Increase Consumption of Healthy Fats

Macronutrients, such as fats, can also help you get stronger. Not every fat is good, so you’ll want to stay away from foods that are high in saturated fat. 

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However, foods with healthy fat should be consumed more, as they can help with overall muscle strength. These foods can include avocados, olive oil, nuts, salmon, and seeds.

Eat More Carbs

If you’re looking to get stronger, you should also eat more carbs in your daily diet. Carbohydrates are also considered macronutrients — and eating more macronutrients is necessary for those looking to gain muscle.

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Carbs can help with muscle recovery while also limiting muscle loss. While there are different types of carbs you can eat, eating foods like bananas before working out can greatly help with your overall mission to get stronger. 


Take a Look at Your Calorie Intake

There are a lot of myths surrounding how much you eat when you want to gain muscle. However, it’s important to know that anytime you’re physically active, you burn calories. You need to eat more calories than you burn in any given day.

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As a result, you’ll likely need to increase your calorie intake as you look to get stronger. If you’re looking at bulking up quite a lot (as a bodybuilder would), then you should consume about 10% to 20% more calories than what your body needs.


Avoid Certain Beverages

While there are many things to add to your diet while on a muscle-gaining journey, there are also many things to avoid. In some cases, you should eliminate these items altogether. For example, you should limit your alcohol intake as much as possible.

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You should also limit or avoid drinking carbonated beverages like soda or sparkling water. These types of beverages can impact how you build muscle. Drinking them before you work out can also be harmful.  


Avoid Added Sugars

Foods with added sugars may taste great, but they don’t have a lot of health benefits. These types of foods are often linked with obesity and heart disease. If you’re looking to gain muscle healthily, avoid them.

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Therefore, this means avoiding or eliminating foods like candy, cake, soda, ice cream, and other sweets from your diet. If you can’t eliminate these types of foods completely, moderate your intake of them.


Don’t Forget About Micronutrients

Micronutrients — also known as vitamins and minerals — are a necessary but often overlooked part of one’s diet. However, if you’re looking to get stronger, you need to pay attention to the micronutrients you are taking and ensure you’re getting enough.

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Micronutrients such as vitamin D and zinc are very helpful in maintaining the growth of your muscles. While you can get these vitamins naturally through foods like seafood, you can also take vitamins if you’re deficient in certain areas.


Add Probiotics to Your Life

If you’re not already eating foods high in probiotics, it’s time to start. Probiotics introduce healthy bacteria to your gut, which can then improve your health in a variety of ways. However, a study has recently shown that probiotics can also help limit muscle loss.

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It’s best to get probiotics from foods such as kimchi, sauerkraut, and yogurt. However, you can also take probiotic supplements or pills, if needed. 


Stay Hydrated Daily

We can’t survive without water. If you’re physically working out and building muscle, drinking water is imperative. Your muscles need water to be healthy, as water can help with muscle recovery.

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If you work out while you’re dehydrated, your muscles will cramp easier — and your entire workout won’t get the results you’re looking for. So, stay hydrated throughout the day by drinking an accurate amount of water.