So, you’ve seen the latest health magazine and thought how great it would be to have a six-pack like that guy or girl on the front cover. But exercise alone isn’t going to get you there; you need to eat right as well. Nutrition can make or break your physique. Here are eight foods that can help sculpt you into the next Greek god or goddess!

1. Salmon
Chock full of protein and omega-3 fatty acids, salmon is an awesome food that helps you repair torn muscle tissue and builds new ones. The omega-3 can also reduce muscle breakdown after workouts, which speeds up your recovery. More excuse to hit the sushi bars then!

Fresh salmon

2. Beef
Not only are these protein blocks delicious, they are high in zinc and iron which just so happen to be two key nutrients your body needs to bulk up muscles. Go for the leaner cuts such as loins or rounds as this minimises your calorie intake. And who can resist a perfectly grilled steak?

3. Eggs
Boiled, fried, scrambled, poached. There are countless ways to prepare your eggs, but the benefits are the same. Eggs are high in protein but some folks have avoided the yolk in the belief that it raises their cholesterol. The yolk contains vitamin B12 which is needed to break down fats, and also lowers the amount of bad cholesterol in your body. In short, eat the yolk!

4. Almonds
It’s easy to get proteins and fibre during meals, but what about snacking in between? Almonds can fill the gap, ensuring you feel full between meals while also providing your body with large amounts of healthy fats, fibre and protein. Snack on!

almonds

5. Yoghurt
Yoghurt provides your body with carbs and protein, making it one of the best foods that helps you recover after exercise and build muscle. That’s no excuse to go out for froyo though! Get yourself normal, sugar-free yoghurt and add some honey or fruit to it for flavour.

6. Water
Ok fine, while this isn’t a food, staying hydrated is extremely important to prevent dehydration and improve muscle recovery after workouts. Rehydrating is especially crucial after an intensive workout or strength training so don’t neglect it!

7. Brown rice
Whole grains are important, and brown rice digests slower than most; giving you energy that lasts longer during the day and can be used for workouts. It also increases the levels of growth hormones in your body, which helps reduce fat and encourages growth of lean muscle and strength gains.

8. Spinach
Popeye’s love for spinach due to its muscle building properties are no myth. It is rich in glutamine, which is an amino acid that helps the growth of lean muscle in the body. Spinach also boosts your endurance and muscle strength. Who said cartoons aren’t educational?

spinach

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