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Top 21 Protein Foods for Bodybuilding

Published on May 14, 2022


By Dr. Surya Bhagwati
Chief In- House Doctor
BAMS, DHA, DHHCM, DHBTC | 30+ Years of Experience

Top 21 Protein Foods for Bodybuilding

If you are looking to gain muscle mass, working out is paramount. But your body needs plenty of protein as it can’t build muscle out of thin air. And this is where protein foods for bodybuilding come in.

Gaining muscle mass and achieving a lean, ripped physique is a dream for a lot of people. But the standard Indian diet provides insufficient amounts of protein required to gain muscle mass. 

Herbobuild - Maximize protein absorption

The first step to remedy this problem is to eat the right protein-rich foods. 

This guide will list down non-vegetarian, vegan, and high protein vegetables for bodybuilding

But first, let’s understand the importance of protein for muscle gain. 

Is Protein Important for Bodybuilding?

Protein plays a vital role in bodybuilding and general health. It contains amino acids which are the building blocks for muscle tissue. 

Your body can activate muscle protein synthesis with sufficient amino acids (from your diet or natural supplements). Among these amino acids is Leucine. This well-researched amino acid is known to promote protein synthesis and combat muscle protein breakdown. 

This protein synthesis is what converts dietary protein into muscle mass! But of course, your body needs a rigorous workout routine along with eating protein foods for bodybuilding

In addition, with the right plant-based protein powder, it’s possible for you to follow a vegan diet for muscle gain.

High Protein Vegetables for Bodybuilding

Here is a list of vegetarian food for muscle gain:

  1. Broccoli is one of the best high protein vegetables for bodybuilding with 2.8 grams of protein per cup. It also contains plenty of fibre, Vitamins K, and Vitamin C.
  2. Almonds (Badam) have around 30.4 grams of protein per cup. They also support a healthy nutrient supply to the muscles, promoting faster recovery and muscle gain. 
  3. Mung Bean Sprouts pack a performance-boosting punch with several nutrients along with around 2.5 grams of protein per cup. 
  4. Edamame is a preparation of immature soybeans that are served boiled or steamed and perfect protein foods for bodybuilding. They contain around 17 grams of protein per cup. 
  5. Chickpeas are a nutrient-rich food commonly found in Indian cuisine with 39 grams of protein per cup of cooked chickpeas. 
  6. Asparagus (Shatavari) contains 2.9 grams of protein per cup of steamed Asparagus. It’s also a great diuretic, helping combat water retention for a leaner physique. 
  7. Paneer contains Casein protein which is great for a bodybuilder’s vegetarian diet. It boosts gut health and muscle gain with one cup of paneer containing 28.9 grams of protein. 
  8. Greek Yogurt is a filling snack with around 17 grams of protein per cup. It also contains probiotics that help improve digestive health and nutrient absorption.
  9. Pumpkin Seeds are a great roasted snack that can put chips to shame. Along with a host of health benefits, Pumpkin seeds contain 12 grams of protein per cup. 
  10. Brown Rice has one of the highest quality sources of protein. Each cup of cooked brown rice contains 5 grams of protein. 
  11. Peas are a cornerstone of any bodybuilding diet, the world around. Along with a good dose of vitamins and minerals, it also contains 9 grams of protein per cup. 
  12. Lentils are an Indian staple as well as a great source of plant-based protein. They contain about 18 grams of protein per cup of cooked lentils. 
  13. Soybean is one of two complete plant proteins as well as an important vegan protein source. This makes it one of the best veg protein food for muscle gain. One cup of cooked soybeans contains about 28 grams of protein. 

High Protein Non-veg Food for Bodybuilding

Here is a list of non-vegetarian food for muscle gain:

  1. Crabs may not be a regular meal for most people but are rich in calcium, zinc, and protein. 100 grams of cooked crab meat contains 19 grams of protein. 
  2. Oysters (Khubbe) are tasty shellfish with around 20 grams of protein in every 100 grams of cooked Khubbe. These bodybuilding foods are also great sources of Zinc, Magnesium, Iron, and other minerals that promote muscle protein synthesis. 
  3. Salmon is a premium source of non-vegetarian protein foods for bodybuilding that provides plenty of energy with no extra fat. 100 grams of cooked salmon contains 24 grams of protein. 
  4. Mutton (Lamb) is a source of red meat with the right nutrients and minerals that promote muscle mass gain. It contains 25 grams of protein per 100 grams of cooked meat. 
  5. Eggs for bodybuilding are a staple food for most bodybuilders looking to gain muscle naturally. One cup of boiled eggs contains 17 grams of protein. 
  6. Chicken Liver contains several Vitamins and minerals that boost athletic performance and muscle gain. It also contains 16.9 grams of protein per 100 grams of cooked chicken liver. 
  7. Chicken Breast is the most popular high protein non-veg food for bodybuilding. Every 100 grams of chicken breast contains 23.5 grams of protein that fuels natural muscle gain. 
  8. Prawns are a great way to enjoy your protein. Every 100 grams of cooked prawns contains around 24 grams of protein. This non-veg food also helps combat inflammations and combats free radical damage. 

Vegan Diet for Muscle Gain 

Your body can get great muscle gains, even without eating any animal-based products. When it comes to a vegan diet for muscle gain, you can expect similar results as with a non-vegetarian diet. 

Of course, this is provided you have sufficient dietary protein intake and that you hit the gym regularly. 

The difference between vegetarian, non-vegetarian, and vegan diets for bodybuilding just stems from your beliefs. So, rest assured that you can get the desired muscle gains with either food type. 

If you are looking for vegan protein foods for bodybuilding, you’ll find plenty of overlap with the vegetarian food list. You can also try peanut butter for bodybuilding which has 4 grams of protein per spoon. 

As for how much protein you should be eating, studies suggest you take 1.6-2 grams of protein per kilogram of bodyweight. You should also vary your protein sources as most vegan protein sources don’t have all the essential amino acids. 

You can also find vegan protein powders on sale that are made from peas, brown rice, or soybean. For vegan bodybuilders, this can be a great option for natural muscle gain. Adding a 100% vegan Ayurvedic muscle builder like Herbobuild DS can also level up the bodybuilding results. 

Herbobuild DS: For Maximizing Muscle Gain

When it comes to gaining muscle mass, you need to be eating protein foods for bodybuilding. But while protein-rich foods or natural supplements are important, your body needs to convert the protein into muscle mass. And this is where Herbobuild DS comes in!

Herbobuild DS is specially formulated for gym-goers to maximize your muscle protein synthesis (MPS). Simply put, this Ayurvedic muscle builder helps maximize the results of your protein powder and protein foods for bodybuilding gains. And in case you’re vegan, don’t worry as gaining muscle with a vegan diet is possible with this muscle gainer. 

Final Word on the Best Protein Foods for Bodybuilding

When picking the best protein foods for bodybuilding, you can’t just look at the amount of protein per serving. The quality of protein along with the other micronutrients is essential for better health and muscle gain. 

Convenience is also a major factor.  After all, high protein non-veg food for bodybuilding may not suit everybody. 

But if you are looking for a few picks at the best protein-rich foods, we recommend:

  • Vegetarians should eat more brown rice, paneer, and chickpeas
  • Non-vegetarians should eat more chicken breast, eggs, and prawns
  • Vegans should eat more peas, soybean, and pumpkin seeds

Therefore, the best protein-rich bodybuilding foods are a great way to build a foundation of strong and stable muscle gain. In addition, taking Herbobuild DS simply skyrockets your potential muscle gain by maximizing your muscle protein synthesis. 

Simply put, Ayurvedic muscle gainers let you get the most out of your protein intake from protein foods for bodybuilding

FAQs on Protein Foods for Bodybuilding

Which protein food is best for muscle gain?

Soybean, paneer, and chicken breast are great for muscle gain. Just ensure that you take in sufficient protein to promote muscle protein synthesis. 

What are the top 10 protein foods?

The top 10 protein-rich foods include fish, seafood, chicken breast, soybeans, yoghurt, paneer, eggs, beans, lentils, and pumpkin seeds.

What foods help build muscle?

A diet that’s rich in protein foods for bodybuilding can naturally help build muscle.

How many eggs is enough protein?

When it comes to eggs for bodybuilding, most people can benefit from eating 3-6 whole boiled eggs per day. 

Which vegetable is rich in protein?

The best veg protein food for muscle gain include broccoli, soybean, and asparagus. 

What foods are high in protein for muscle building?

Gaining muscle vegan diet is possible with foods like peas, soybean, and pumpkin seeds that are rich in proteins. 

Can you eat peanut butter for muscle gain?

Yes, you can eat peanut butter for bodybuilding as each tablespoon contains 4 grams of protein. It also contains monounsaturated fats, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants for healthy and natural muscle gain. 

What are 5 bodybuilding foods for vegetarians? 

For a bodybuilder’s vegetarian diet, the top 5 bodybuilding foods for vegetarians include soybeans, paneer, beans, lentils, and pumpkin seeds.

Dr. Surya Bhagwati
BAMS (Ayurveda), DHA (Hospital Admin), DHHCM (Health Management), DHBTC (Herbal Beauty and Cosmetology)

Dr. Surya Bhagwati is an established, well-known Ayurvedic expert with over 30 years of experience in treating and consulting in the field of Ayurveda. She is known for the timely, efficient, and patient-centred delivery of quality health care. The patients under her care receive a unique holistic treatment comprising not only medicinal treatment but also spiritual empowerment.

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