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Milk has been used as a weight gainer or muscle builder for decades. It provides a good balance of proteins, carbs and fats and is a good source of calcium, as well as other vitamins and minerals.
For those trying to add more muscle, milk is an excellent protein source that provides both casein and whey proteins. Research has even shown it can help you add muscle when combined with weight lifting.Additionally, studies have found that milk, or whey and casein combined, can lead to greater mass gain than other protein sources.
Try drinking around one or two glasses as a snack, with a meal, or before and after a workout if you are training.
Rice is a convenient, low-cost carb source to help you gain weight. Just 1 cup (165 grams) of cooked rice provides 190 calories, 43 grams of carbs and very little fat. It is also fairly calorie-dense, meaning you can easily obtain a high amount of carbs and calories from a single serving. This helps you eat more food, especially if you have a poor appetite or get full quickly.
When you’re on the go or in a rush, two-minute packs of microwavable rice can be easily added to other protein sources and pre-made meals. Another popular method is to prepare a large pot of rice for the week and combine it with some proteins and healthy fats.
However, extremely large amounts may not be wise due to their potential arsenic and phytic acid content. Arsenic can cause toxicity and phytic acid can reduce the absorption of zinc and iron.
Nuts and Nut Butters
Nuts and nut butters are a perfect choice if you’re looking to gain weight. Just one small handful of almonds contains over 7 grams of protein and 18 grams of healthy fats.
Since they’re very calorie-dense, just two handfuls per day with a meal or as a snack can quickly add hundreds of calories. Nut butters can also be added to a variety of snacks or dishes, such as smoothies, yogurts and much more. However, make sure you pick 100% nut butters with no added sugar or extra oils.
Potatoes and Starches
Potatoes and other starchy foods are a very easy and cost-effective way to add in extra calories.
Try to choose one of these healthy sources of starchy carbs:
• Potatoes and sweet potatoes
• Winter root vegetables
• Beans and legumes
Not only do potatoes and other starches add carbs and calories to help you gain weight — they also increase your muscle glycogen stores. Glycogen is the predominant fuel source for most sports and activities. Many of these carb sources also provide important nutrients and fiber, as well as resistant starch, which can help nourish your gut bacteria.
Salmon and Oily Fish
Like red meat, salmon and oily fish are excellent sources of protein and important healthy fats. Out of all the nutrients that salmon and oily fish provide, omega-3 fatty acids are among the most significant and well known.
They offer numerous benefits for your health and fight diseases. Just one 6-ounce (170-gram) fillet of salmon provides around 350 calories and 4 grams of omega-3 fats. The same serving packs 34 grams of high-quality protein, helping you build muscle or gain weight.
Taking protein supplements is a common strategy for athletes and body builders who want to gain weight. Whey protein supplements and mass gainers can be a very easy and cost-effective strategy to gain weight, especially when combined with strength training.
Some people think whey protein is unhealthy or unnatural, but this isn’t the case. Whey protein is made from dairy and has been shown to improve markers of health and reduce disease risk.
It may be even more important if you’re also training since your daily protein requirements increase. Like meats and other animal products, whey protein contains all the essential amino acids required to stimulate muscle growth.
High-quality dark chocolate provides a ton of antioxidants and health benefits. Most people recommend getting dark chocolate with a cocoa content of at least 70%.
Like other high-fat foods, dark chocolate has a very high calorie density, meaning it’s very easy to get many calories from it.
Each 100-gram (3.5-ounce) bar has around 600 calories and is packed with micronutrients and health-promoting compounds, including fiber, magnesium and antioxidants.
Cheese has been a staple food for centuries. Like dark chocolate, it’s high in calories and fats. If you eat it in larger quantities, it’s also a very good source of protein.
Since cheese is incredibly tasty, you can incorporate it into most dishes and easily add several hundred extra calories.
Eggs are one of the healthiest muscle-building foods on the planet. They provide a great combination of high-quality proteins and healthy fats. It’s also very important to eat the whole egg. In fact, almost all of the beneficial nutrients in eggs are found in the yolk.
As long as you don’t have an intolerance to eggs, there is no need to limit your egg consumption — you can easily eat three eggs per day if you want. In fact, many athletes or bodybuilders will eat six or more daily.
Full-fat yogurt is another healthy and convenient snack. It has a great nutritional profile, including a well-balanced mix of protein, carbs and fat.
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