Nutrients that Help You Build Muscles

It’s not enough to only workout to build muscles. For best results, you also need to make sure your body gets the nutrients needed to build those muscles. For the most part you can get these from a proper diet.

muscle building


Beta-Alanine is a non-essential amino acid that helps prevent muscle cramps. Beta-Alanine helps produce carnosine. Carnosine balances the pH or acidity in muscles. Carnosine also fights against lactic acid buildup. Lactic acid buildup leads to fatigue and cramping.

You get beta-alanine from animal proteins and plant foods like asparagus, edamame, seaweed, turnip greens and watercress.


Carbohydrates or carbs are the best building blocks of muscles. Carbs support muscle growth and repair. In addition, carbs help form glycogen, which helps fuel your workouts and rebuild muscles after your workouts.

You get carbs from whole grains, vegetables, fruits, beans, and other legumes.


Calcium helps build strong bones. Also, calcium helps trigger muscle contractions. Muscles are made of two protein filaments: myosin and actin. When muscles contract, these filaments slide over one another to convert adenosine triphosphate (ATP) to energy. And, the more you exercise, the more ATP your body needs to move your muscles.

You get calcium from yogurt, fortified milk, fortified cereals, cheese, tofu, spinach, almonds, sesame seeds, and sardine.


Glutamine is a conditionally essential amino acid that helps repair muscle tissue, including the lining of the digestive tract, especially after intense workouts. Glutamine helps maintain gut function and boost the immune system.

You get glutamine from chicken, fish, beef, dairy, eggs, spinach, Brussel sprouts, and fermented foods.


Iron helps build red blood cells. And the red blood cells bring oxygen from the lungs to muscle tissue. Without enough iron, your red blood cells can’t carry enough oxygen to the muscles and tissues that need it. Iron also promotes a healthy immune system. Finally, iron helps metabolize proteins and fats for use in muscle building and repair.

You get iron from dried apricots, leafy greens, lean beef, venison, poultry, fish such as sardines, eggs, and fortified whole grains.

muscle building


Magnesium is essential for relaxing muscles and preventing cramps. Also, together with calcium, magnesium helps to reduce blood pressure. Magnesium is found in muscles, soft tissue and body fluids. Moreover, magnesium helps muscles contract and, also boost your energy levels. In addition, magnesium can also reduce fatigue. Finally, magnesium helps improve sleep. Indeed, sleep is important because that is the time your body works to repair damaged muscle tissue from your workouts.

You get magnesium from leafy greens, squash, garlic, nuts, seeds, whole grains, bran, beans and other legumes.


Potassium is a key electrolyte helping muscles contract. Potassium also helps carry nutrients such as water to muscle cells. And, potassium helps your kidneys flush out excess sodium in the body.

You get potassium from bananas, squash, sweet potatoes, broccoli, chicken, and salmon.


Because they contain amino acids, proteins are needed for muscle growth and repair. In fact, it’s important to eat proteins after a workout to restore muscle building macronutrients. Finally, proteins are a core part of enzymes and hormones that help communicate with the body to repair itself.

You get proteins from dairy, lean meats, seafood, soy, eggs, beans and other legumes.

Vitamin B-12

Vitamin B-12, or cobalamin, helps build red blood cells. Red blood cells contain hemoglobin. And, hemoglobin binds to oxygen. Next, this oxygen is delivered to the muscles. In addition, vitamin B-12 assists in metabolizing proteins and fat. Furthermore, the amino acids produced when protein is metabolized helps repair and build muscles. Meanwhile, fat is a source of energy. Finally, vitamin B-12 helps the brain and muscles to communicate efficiently, which helps muscle growth and co-ordination.

You get vitamin B-12 from poultry, meat, fish, eggs, and dairy.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D helps build strong bones, glutes, and biceps. Vitamin D helps healthy hormones like testosterone, which, in turn, helps muscle maintenance and growth. In addition, Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium and phosphorus. In the meantime, calcium helps muscle contractions. While phosphorus helps in the synthesis of ATP, the useable form of energy in the body.

You get vitamin D from fatty fish like salmon and sardines, fortified yogurt, milk, orange juice, mushrooms, olive oil, sunflower seeds, and eggs.