15 Muscle-Fueling Foods

If you want to get big, you have to eat big.


All cheese starts out the way cottage cheese does: as a big mash of milk and enzymes that cause the milk to curdle. Although other cheeses get drained, pressed and aged, cottage cheese remains in this nascent form. Much of the whey (the milky liquid that you’ll sometimes find at the bottom of the container) is removed, which means cottage cheese is a fantastic source of casein, the slow-digesting protein that will keep catabolism at bay during long periods between meals or overnight. This is why we recommend a nightly cup of cottage cheese. Another reason: it’s also high in glutamine, which can increase growth hormone levels. We suggest you spend your money on organic cottage cheese, as research shows it’s higher in omega-3 fats and the healthy fat CLA than the nonorganic variety. (CLA increases muscle mass and strength while simultaneously helping to drop bodyfat.) Also, do not choose fat-free cottage cheese. Stick with regular or low fat instead; the saturated fat present is important for keeping testosterone levels high.

  • Serving Size: 1 cup 2% cottage cheese 
  • Nutrients: 200 calories, 30 g protein, 8 g carbs, 5 g fat
  • Value Added: casein (slow-digesting protein) and 6 g glutamine


It’s not just the protein that makes the egg one of the most perfect foods a bodybuilder can eat. The cholesterol in the yolk — previously considered an evil ingredient — has positive benefits as well, such as maintaining muscle cell membranes and keeping testosterone levels high. And research shows that eating whole eggs provides a boost in both lean mass and strength. In one study, a low-cholesterol diet led to significantly less strength and muscle gains than a high-cholesterol diet. In another — from Texas A&M University in 2007 — those who ate three whole eggs a day while following a lifting regimen experienced double the mass and strength gains of those who ate one or no eggs daily. What’s more, University of Connecticut (Storrs) researchers found that subjects who took in 640 mg of extra cholesterol per day from eggs actually had a decrease in LDL (bad) cholesterol.

  • Serving Size: 3 whole eggs 
  • Nutrients: 222 calories, 18 g protein, 1 g carbs, 15 g fat 
  • Value Added: 640 mg of extra cholesterol per day from eggs can decrease LDL cholesterol


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