Safe - and Unsafe - Sources of Building Blocks for Muscle

Going to the gym, lifting all the heaviest weights, and achieving that sick pump is only half the battle when it comes to building muscle and getting the ripped, manly physique we all dream of. As most of you probably already know by now, you have to fuel your body with the right nutrition in order to really pack on the gains.

But what sort of nutrition gives your body the fuel and resources it needs to build muscle? What about feeding yourself for energy so that you can get wickedly intense workouts? You may have already searched high and low for good dieting tips. But in this article, we'll help shed some light on what you should - and shouldn't - be putting in your body to build an award-winning physique.

Be Smart About Your Protein Intake

You've probably heard a lot of complaining from every old-school nutritionist who hasn't changed their Food Pyramid guidelines since 1957 (and frankly, the fact that they're still using the "Food Pyramid" should be a giant red flag not to take their advice in the first place). They like to complain that "you need carbs, because too much protein is BAD FOR YOU". Presumably, they're most likely also waving their hands around and making spooky ghost sounds near the end of that statement for emphasis.

But as much as we hate to lend credit to anything these people have to say, even a broken clock is correct twice a day. And to that end, they aren't entirely wrong - eating too much protein, especially if it's cheap, low-quality protein, can be bad for you. Even worse, it can seriously sabotage your gains.

So what protein should you try to consume? Copy the list below, and tape it to your fridge:

  • Grass-fed protein, especially from beef, poultry, and dairy. These protein sources have everything you want, including greater amounts of Omega-3s, B-vitamins, and minerals.
  • Whey Protein. When you want to keep it simple, stick to whey. It is a very basic protein which contains many of the amino acids you need for building muscle - including Leucine - without any of the byproducts of more complex proteins (we'll talk more about those in a minute).
  • Protein from veggies. Broccoli, sprouts, chia seeds, and more contain great sources of protein for feeding your muscles. And all those different, complex sources of dietary fiber can improve your gut health, which will enhance your metabolism for that ultimate shredded look.

Why the Haters Have a Point

Your kidneys aren't just those internal organs which become your worst enemies after you've had a few beers. They're actually important to your overall level of health, and your ability to build muscle. And when something starts to damage your kidney health, like breaking down the toxic byproducts of excess protein intake, two terrible things will happen: you will become chronically dehydrated, and you might start to build up those toxic byproducts in your muscles because your kidneys can't filter them out fast enough. Both of these things will shrink your muscles and destroy your gains.

Of course, you could also take a supplement such as Growth Factor which is high in all the healthy amino acids you need for muscle growth, without all of those toxic byproducts.