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10 Superfoods for Muscle: How to Build Muscle After 40

Build muscles after 40

Build muscles after 40 - (Image Credit: Shutterstock)

Last year I crossed over into what most would consider “middle aged”. As you may have guessed that age was the big 4-0. At 40 I do not feel much different than I did at 30 (physically). Sure, the weight has been easier to put on than to lose, however I have continued to maintain the same workout routine that I have been following with a tweak or two over the years.

The one area that seems to be on the decline is the ability to keep the muscle maintained in the way of size or even building new larger muscles. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not looking to become a bodybuilder, but it would be nice to have that same look that I had in my 20’s.

Overall, my strength has not really dropped but muscle volume is starting to deteriorate. I have realized as I have gotten a little older and wiser that food plays an important role in building and maintaining muscle at any age but becomes more important once we hit 40 and beyond.

Here are 10 Superfoods that will help with the health of your muscles:

1. Almonds

Almonds contain protein that is necessary for feeding your muscles. One ounce of almonds contains 6 g of protein. Protein is arguably your most important resource for building and maintaining muscle mass. Nuts in general have the perfect blend of protein, fats, and fiber, allowing you to get the extra calories you need to your working muscles without having them add inches to your waistline. A nice easy and healthy snack you are looking for a quick fix that will give you a protein boost!

Almonds feeding your muscles

2. Lean Beef

Beef has been known to be a muscle builder for decades. It is one of the superfoods that is a great source of strait protein. Beef also contains creatine which helps with muscle building and performance when exercising or being active. Beef is great for muscle maintenance, but it is wise to be careful on how much of a portion you eat due to the fat level beef possesses. Look for lean cuts of beef to keep the fat content lower.

3. Broccoli

Believe it or not, broccoli is a great muscle building food known to boost DNA repair[1] in cells which would include repair of the muscles. In addition to repairing of cells, this vegetable helps with the generation of new healthy cells. Broccoli is also a great source of iron. Iron is an essential component of hemoglobin, required for normal blood formation and oxygen transport around the body, especially to the muscles. An excellent side to any meal especially dinner or lunch.

4. Quinoa

Often considered one of the healthiest foods in the world because of a well-rounded content of nutrients quinoa contains about 8g of protein per cup and has all nine essential amino acids to help activate muscle growth. Quinoa is high in complex carbohydrates and dietary fiber. Gluten-free, easy to digest, and full of vitamins. Try it as an alternative to rice or prepare salads that have quinoa as a part of it.

Quinoa healthiest foods

5. Spinach

Spinach made Popeye’s muscles grow. It contains a type of plant-based steroids called phytoecdysteroids. Phytoecdysteroids can increase the human muscle tissue growth rates by 20% when incorporated properly in your daily diet. That percentage leads us to believe that it is a component that will help with deteriorating muscles and is a great superfood to incorporate in your regular diet. Spinach is great in salads or can be blended in your favorite workout shake.

6. Skinless Chicken

Easy to digest and packed with protein chicken is fantastic superfoods for maintaining and building muscles. For every 3 ounces of chicken you can get up to 26 grams of protein per serving. Because of the low-fat content in chicken the delivery of protein to muscles is faster. This type of meat is also very cost effective can be prepared many ways so if added as a regular meal you do not get bored with it. Combo this with brown rice and you have a super muscle builder!

7. Eggs

Whole eggs (whites and yolk) have one of the best amino acid profiles of any food rich in protein. More repair occurs post workout when eating whole eggs. Most athletes and bodybuilders swear by eggs in their diets for muscle growth. Much like chicken there are multiple ways eggs can be prepared to keep mixing up your meals. Omelets are a great breakfast, post workout or dinner option.

8. Turmeric

Known as an Indian superfood, turmeric is excellent for muscle building. Because turmeric contains curcumin, this promotes muscle growth and repair. Most of the time you can get powdered turmeric and add it to soups, milkshake or post workout recovery shakes. Beyond muscle repair turmeric has be known to also build the body’s immune system improving overall health.

Turmeric for muscle building

9. Bananas

Bananas can boost your calorie intake in a good way and allow for excess calories to be used in the repair and growth of your muscle tissues. Since they are a great source of energy and is one of the superfoods, bananas allow you to work out for a longer period if you eat one before a workout. Add it to a post workout shake and it helps to restore the lost glycogen after physical activity or a strenuous workout.

10. Sweet Potato

Not one of my go to superfoods however sweet potatoes are a vegetable that need to be considered as a part of most people’s diets. Sweet potatoes contain fewer carbs than a regular potato. Sweet potatoes are also good sources of potassium, vitamin A, riboflavin, folic acid, pantothenic acid and copper.

All of this helps with replenishing energy and will even enhance the muscle repair and building process. This superfood also contains 28% more potassium than a banana[2] which we have already noted is a fantastic muscle builder. Not a fan of sweet potato? Try oven baked sweet potato fries.

In summery these 10 superfoods only scratch the surface of many healthy food options available to help with muscle building and repair. As we get older an increased awareness of, or diet is critical to maintaining our bodies and keeping them in tip top shape. If we are on top of our diets and workout routines, we can minimize the breakdown that can occur.

Disclaimer: This article is intended for informational purposes only. The content on our website is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or therapy. You should NEVER disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking treatment due to something you have read on our website and we will not be held responsible for any adverse health condition or injury that occurs as a result of doing so.
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Ryan Hennessey

Advocate with Fitness Businesses

Based in Ontario Canada, Ryan Hennessey is a long-time fitness enthusiast and healthier lifestyle advocate tha...

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