Are there certain foods that are particularly suitable to have more muscles? If I want to build up strength and muscle mass, how can I feed myself?
Answer from Sukadev:
First of all, there are three things to consider. To really build muscle, there are three factors: first, training; second, genetic predisposition; third, diet.
Fourth, one would also say: a good regeneration.
Now the first question is, from which point of view do you want to build muscles?. Let’s say you’ve been bedridden for a while, or you’ve had an arm in plaster and now you’d like to build muscle again. Or you’ve been in the hospital for a while, your muscles have weakened, and now you want to rebuild those muscles.
Which nutrition do you need now?
Here the answer is relatively simple: eat normally and healthily and start doing physical exercises. Typically you will work with a physiotherapist. Or you do your yoga exercises or go to the gym. If you have had muscle loss due to illness and rest and want to get back to your normal muscle mass, you don’t need a special diet.
A normal diet – consisting of whole grains, legumes, vegetables, salads, fruits and a certain amount of nuts and seeds – is enough to give you enough protein.
The second option would be that you have a normal job and normal muscles, but would like to strengthen your muscles. Maybe your orthopedist told you that your back muscles are too weak, which is why you have back problems. Or your thigh muscles are too weak, which is why you have knee problems. Or you want to prevent knee problems in general. Or you want to increase your body’s basal metabolic rate and you’ve heard that muscles create a higher basal metabolic rate. Even if you want to lower the fat content of your body and reduce belly fat, it would be good to have more muscles. In this case, there is also no need for a special diet. Additional protein to the normal diet is not necessary. On the contrary, it puts a strain on the kidneys.
If you are a normal office worker* and want to strengthen your back, thigh or abdominal muscles, simply to be healthier, a normal, healthy and vegan wholefoods diet is perfectly sufficient.
Suppose you want to build muscle mass properly. Maybe because you are a strength athlete* or a bodybuilder*. Or you are vegan* and you want to show that you can build up "real muscles" vegan as well.
What diet do you need now?
First of all, do you have the genetic predisposition?? In sports science we speak of sog. fast twitch muscle fibers and slow twich muscle fibers. Only those who have a sufficient amount of almost twitch muscle fibers can actually build larger amounts of muscle mass.
So there are such people who are born runners*, born endurance athletes*. These people can do as much weight training and eat as much protein as they want – they will get some muscle strength but never muscle packs. There are other people who actually need little training and little protein and who, given the right conditions, gain muscle mass relatively quickly.
If you know that you may have built large muscle packs as a child, teenager* or early adult* when you did a little exercise, then you know you have a "gift" for it. But if you’re someone who doesn’t find it that hard to go for a brisk two-hour walk, a brisk or medium-fast two to three-hour bike ride, or a long jog with a little bit of training, then you know: You are most likely the endurance type (and not the strength type).
If you are an endurance athlete*, then you don’t even need to try to build muscle packages. But if you are someone who is suited to build muscle packs, then it is a matter of finding the appropriate strength training. It is also important to provide your body with enough protein. If you are a vegan, you could eat a lot of legumes, a lot of nuts (not too many, otherwise the fat content will be too high)!), whole grain products, maybe tofu and tempeh (because there the protein is available in an easily digestible form).
If you like, you can take vegan protein powders on top of that. In the meantime, there are various protein powders, especially for strength athletes*, which are also very healthy, which are also organic, which are purely vegetable and easily digestible. But you really only need these if you have the genetic predisposition and are willing to really exercise enough, have a very good strength training program and actually want to gain muscle mass.
Video: With which diet you build muscles?
Video lecture with the topic "With which diet you build muscles?"
A short treatise by the founder of Yoga Vidya, Sukadev Volker Bretz on yoga nutrition, perhaps helpful for you if you are interested in health.
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