Incorporating nutritional foods into your diet goes hand in hand with muscle building. Whether it’s eating to bulk up or eating to reduce body fat, what you eat is just as important as when to eat and how much to eat. Doing a bit of planning towards what you keep in your pantry and in your fridge is part of the process to achieving your muscle building goals. 


Types of foods

Your diet should consist of a mixture of the following food groups:

  • Lean protein
  • Vegetables
  • Fruits
  • Dairy
  • Whole grains and nuts
  • Beans and legumes
  • Healthy fats and oils

Check out the foods to avoid here

Supplements and protein powders can help with increasing muscle mass and repair during recovery periods.  


Frequency of eating

There are benefits to eating throughout the day rather than eating big meals. Eating a decent breakfast, lunch, dinner with some snacks in between will help your body get the energy you need.   

Before workout

have a light meal or snack 30-40 minutes before workout

Refuel after workout 

have a meal or snack / protein drink to help muscles repair and recover

Hydrate with water 

have a bottle of water during and after workout


How much to eat

What is the right amount to eat for your body? 

Increasing calories to bulk up will help your body burn fat and replenish energy especially after a workout. However eating too little calories can break down muscles instead. 

A great rule of thumb is to portion your food groups to the percentage shown below.

Portion of food groups

Lastly, planning for meals 

Having nutritious food is about planning so write out a list of food you need to buy. By doing this you will have the essential foods at hand at home, in the office or on the run and prevent you from stopping for a burger or for that doughnut. 

Set out meal plans for the week and know what you’ll need to shop for for the week. It really helps if you have a busy work schedule or busy lifestyle. Get all the essentials before your week starts. Prep any meals you can for the next day. Pack any snacks or protein powders you may need for pre and post workouts.