What foods are the best for bulking up? Find out here...
Bulking Foods - Which Are Best?
In this article we take a look at the best foods to aid your bulking phase.
For bulking on the cheap, tuna is a brilliant choice, you can buy cans in bulk and each one will provide your meals with around 30 grams of protein, omega 3s, selenium, niacin, magnesium and B vitamins. Salmon, sardines and mackerel are great healthy choices too but they can be very expensive depending on where you get them from. Tuna steak is even better than the can but again it's more expensive usually.
Chicken is probably one of the most well known staples in a bulking diet or just about any bodybuilding meal plan. It's convenient and easy to prepare, going with just about any meal you're having and can last almost a week once cooked and left in the fridge. Depending on where you get it from it can be very cheap, especially the cheap cuts. Some people go so far as to buy a whole chicken pre cooked and frozen. If you take off the skin during preparation then the chicken can provide a brilliant protein to fat ratio almost equivalent to turkey.
Almost always eaten as oatmeal for breakfast, oats can be easily prepared with milk or water or you can even mix them in with your shakes provided you have a blender. For more bulking calories many people add peanut butter to their shake as well. Oats themselves contain lots of fibre and nutrients and the reason oatmeal takes on a thick consistency is due to beta-glucans, the name for a soluble fibre, these beta-glucans move at a slow pace throughout your digestive system so you'll feel full for much longer, possibly even until lunch!
Containing a massive 70% protein, cottage cheese is great for a clean bulk and possibly one of the best sources of casein at an affordable price. Casein contains lots of essential amino acids, calcium and naturally occurring glutamine, digesting at a slow and steady pace, drip feeding protein to your muscles and making your body anti-catabolic in the process. For this reason, people often eat cottage cheese just before bed so they're protected by the casein from anti-catabolism during their 7-8 hours of sleep. If you don't like the taste of cottage cheese there are many quality brands of casein powder out there that come in many delicious flavours and the powder also absorbs faster too.
When you're bulking you need the extra calories so keeping the yolks in your eggs is a great idea. Though the white contains more protein the yolk still has a respectable 3 grams and you'll be wasting less nutrition! The yolk is full of important vitamins and has a decent complement of fats. Depending on which eggs you get you can utilise them to make your bulking diet much cheaper. Eggs are just like cottage cheese, tuna and chicken in that they're extremely versatile. You can fry eggs and scramble them or if you want a really clean bulk you can poach or hard boil them.
Mass Gain Powder
Mass Gain Powders usually consist of both carbohydrates and protein from different sources in a ratio of 1:2 and contain roughly 60 grams of carbs in each serving as well as 30 grams of protein. If you're bulking then your caloric intake will be much higher than usual, if you're only getting these extra calories through solid foods such as chicken and eggs then you may become too full to eat all these extra calories, that's why it's a great idea to include Mass gainers in the diet so you can make sure this doesn't happen. As shakes come in liquid form, they're portable in airtight containers and don't require cooking so they're the ultimate convenience food for those looking to bulk up.
Peanut butter has always been a staple of bulking diets due to its high calorie content. It's very easy to add to protein shakes or to your oatmeal in the morning though its worth remembering how filling it can be because of its high fat content. It's always better to get organic and natural peanut butter whenever you possibly can so you can avoid the hydrogenated oils that are often found in regular versions of peanut butter. Peanut butter's fat content is usually made up of a healthy mix of both mono and poly-unsaturated fats.
Ground beef is a great source of protein, packed with fat and calories too. You can easily cook it in bulk and add it to a pasta or a chilli so its an easy way to pack on extra calories. Beef is a brilliant provider of Vitamin B-12, important because it's only present in animal meats. If you're concerned about the extra fat from beef you can always get the extra lean variety which is only a bit more expensive. Also to be found in beef is a large amount of iron. Iron is responsible for assisting haemoglobin in the blood, taking stores of oxygen to each and every cell in your body.