How do you find low-cost foods to help you bulk up? Bulking up or building muscle may seem like a daunting task. It can also be expensive since you will spend a lot on equipment, healthy foods, and supplements for muscle building.
However, building muscle doesn’t have to be costly, and it is also possible to achieve lean muscle mass even if you’re on a budget. We’ve gathered five healthy and affordable foods that you can add to your bodybuilding diet. You might even find some of these foods in your kitchen already.
If you’re interested to know more about the five low-cost foods to help you bulk up, keep reading.
What to look for in a low-cost food to help you bulk up?
Protein is one of the most important ingredients you should look for when bulking up. Foods that contain protein help you build muscle and assist with rebuilding muscle fibers that tore after an intense workout. Some affordable foods rich in protein are whole eggs, canned tuna, chicken breasts, almonds, ground beef, and many more. However, you can also try protein shakes such as the Optimum Nutrition Serious Mass.
2. Amino acids
Branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) are another essential component for building muscle. BCAAs contain leucine, which increases muscle growth. It triggers muscle growth synthesis by activating a pathway. Some examples of food rich in amino acids are milk, chicken, eggs, and beef.
Iron is another vital ingredient to look for as it brings oxygen to your muscles. Without proper oxygen, you cannot work out properly. Iron also helps with your metabolism, which will help you if you want to lose weight fast.
4. Low calories
One thing to keep in mind when starting a bodybuilding diet is to lower your calorie intake. Therefore, you might also want to eat foods that contain low calories. Overeating food with calories might prevent you from achieving your weight loss goals, especially if you don’t exercise regularly or sleep eight hours a night.
Five low-cost foods to help you bulk up
Eating eggs is an affordable way to bulk up or build lean muscle mass if you’re on a tight budget. One thing to admire about eggs is that they’re very versatile, and you can eat them with almost anything. Eggs include complete and highly bioavailable protein that gets easily digested and gets to work fast. One egg provides you six grams of protein and only five grams of fat, with only 1.5 saturated fat. Aside from protein, eggs are also a source of choline. Eating two whole eggs can offer you up to 300 mg of choline, a precursor to the neurotransmitter acetylcholine.
According to research, acetylcholine precursors can boost the production of human growth hormone (HGH). This advantage makes it a perfect low-cost food to consume for gaining muscle. Other essential vitamins and micronutrients that eggs offer are Vitamins A, D, E, zeaxanthin, and lutein. However, you’re focused and serious about staying lean and clean bulking. You can add some egg whites to your egg-based meal. You can buy egg whites for a cheap price, and you don’t have to worry about your fat content getting higher.
Canned tuna is another low-cost food you can consume for bulking up. Tuna may be highly affordable but is also high in protein and low in fat! It doesn’t include any carbs and fat. Like eggs, canned tuna is easy to prepare and is also a cheap, lean source of protein. A 100 grams of canned tuna offers you 30 grams of protein, which will surely help you gain muscle. Other micronutrients that you can find in canned tuna are Vitamin B, Selenium, and Phosphorous. Canned tuna also contains Omega-3 fatty acids.
According to studies, Omega 3-fatty acids can help you prevent the decrease of your muscle growth and strength. As a part of aging or getting older, our muscles become weaker. However, eating canned tuna can help your muscles stay strong. However, we highly suggest you consume canned tuna only a few times per week. Consuming canned tuna daily might increase your risk of excessive mercury intake.
As we all know, chicken is one of the cheapest and most widely consumed meat sources worldwide. However, it’s also one of the best budget-friendly, muscle-building foods and sources of protein. Chicken is also versatile, and you can cook it in various meals such as pasta, wraps, salads, quesadillas, rice, and sandwiches. However, avoid the winged parts if you have cholesterol problems. Typically, 100 grams of the chicken breast offers you 25 to 31 grams of protein and a few grams of fat. You’re on a tighter budget; you can also purchase chicken breasts in larger packages.
You’re looking for a quick snack to eat before undergoing an intense muscle-building session. Avocados are a great option. We know avocados for being a calorie-dense food for bulking. One pear of this fruit contains 29 grams of fat and around 320 calories. They also serve as a significant source of fiber and Vitamin K.
A scientific review of Dr. Heben’s Team has stated that eating foods that contain healthy fats such as avocados boosts hormone growth and testosterone. These two essential components are necessary for muscle building. Avocados also contain more potassium than a banana, containing over 60% electrolytes. Nature also loaded avocados with vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats, with excessive calories. You can eat it, whether hot or gold; you can also eat it right away or pack when on the go. If you’re looking for an easy way to consume more vitamins, eating avocados is good for you.
5. Whole Milk
Milk is another low-cost and straightforward option for bulking. One cup of skim milk or low-fat milk contains about 8 grams of protein. Milk is not only cheap but is also versatile and offers a decent source of protein.
Dr. Stuart M. Philips Ph.D. and his researchers conducted a study by comparing the effects of nonfat milk, soy protein drink, and carbohydrate milk on building muscle and burning fat after completing a weight lifting workout. According to Dr. Phillips, drinking milk received the best results. Another ingredient we find in milk is calcium, which strengthens your bones. You can also add whole milk to protein shakes.
Last words on low-cost foods to bulk up
Bulking up may seem like a daunting task, but it can also be costly. However, it is also possible to build muscle while you’re on a tight budget. With regular exercise and regular sleep, you can still create a bodybuilding diet that includes affordable foods. We highly recommend you to eat foods that are rich sources of protein, such as chicken, eggs, and tuna. These are not only affordable, but they can also support you in bulk up and achieve muscle growth.