16 Key Foods for a Natural Muscle Building [Bodybuilder’s Diet]

16 Key Foods for a Natural Muscle Building [Bodybuilder’s Diet]

Bodybuilding is a very competitive sport. The best way to get real bodybuilding results it by eating real food, not relying on supplements alone. Making smart decisions when it comes to food is the best way to fuel your muscles properly.

The three most important things to consider in your diet is the percentages of natural carbohydrate, protein and fat. Bodybuilders should try to aim for diets comprised of 40% carbs, 40% proteins, and 20% good fats. It’s easier to accomplish this by eating smaller portions more frequently, rather than bigger portions sporadically.

We’ve compiled some examples of easy to find and easy to prepare foods stock full of healthy carbs, proteins and good fats for a natural bodybuilding diet.



Bran Muffins

  • Bran muffins have plenty of carbs in them and are best if you make them yourself with high-fiber cereal and whey protein.
  • Nutrients: 4 oz – 52 g of carbs
  • Nutrients: 52g carbs per 110g muffin




Bagels, especially whole wheat ones such as pumpernickel and rye, are a great and wholesome source of carbs.

  • Nutrients: 1 large bagel – 70 g of carbs




One of the best natural bodybuilding food is quinoa. Not only is it healthy, but also stock full of carbs. The best part is the endless combinations of meals you can incorporate it to.

  • Nutrients: 1 cup cooked – 39 g of carbs



Raisin Bran

For natural bodybuilding nutrition, and to get both grains and fruit, try a bowl of raisin bran. It will fill you up and help you jumpstart your workout.

  • Nutrients: 1 cup – 46 g of carbs

bran flakes


Frozen Yogurt

There is no reason you need to give up your sweet tooth to get some natural carbs in your bodybuilding diet. Frozen yogurt is tasty and also stock full of probiotics.

  • Nutrients: 1 cup – 37 g of carbs

frozen yogurt



Rice, both white and brown, is another great source of carbs second to quinoa. Although it has a little carbs, it can be a great carb-stocking snack, or perfect in a meal.

  • Nutrients: 1 cup – 45 g of carbs

white rice




Egg Whites

Did you know that most of the protein from eggs comes from the whites? For best bodybuilding nutrition, snack on egg whites without the yolk.

  • Nutrients: 6 egg – 24 g of protein

egg whites


Lean Cut Steaks

Who doesn’t like steak? Top or Bottom Round cuts of steak are great for getting the protein a bodybuilder needs, just be careful to cook it to medium-rare or it might get super dry.

  • Nutrients: 3 oz – 23 g of protein

lean steak


Yellowfin Tuna

Don’t go for the canned tuna. Fresh tuna is one of the best foods for body builders. It also has a ton of B vitamins and antioxidants.

  • Nutrients: 3 oz – 25 g of protein

raw tuna


Haricot Beans

Simmer some navy beans in boiling water and serve by itself or in a soup or stew. Haricot beans also include a lot of fiber and pair nicely with turkey, chicken, lemon and vegetables.

  • Nutrients: 1 cup – 20 g of protein

baked beans



For one of the best natural bodybuilding diets, include a lot of chicken. This lean meat is easy to eat alone or paired in a meal.

  • Nutrients: 3 oz – 24 g of protein

grilled chicken




This fruit, yes it’s technically a fruit, is perfect for natural bodybuilding nutrition. Not only do avocados have plenty of healthy fats, they also are a superfood.

  • Nutrients: 1 avocado – 27 g of fat

avocado toast


Almond Flour

Trying to be more healthy while body building is important, and almond flour is better than enriched white flour. Not only will you get more Vitamin E, but it will also help your cognitive health.

  • Nutrients: 100 g – 14 g of fat

almond flour


Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Olive oil is one of the best foods for bodybuilding as well as anyone trying to be healthier. It is a great substitute for cooking oil and butter and helps your absorption of other vitamins and minerals in vegetables. And another plus for bodybuilders: olive oil has been found to show fewer signs of sun-related aging!

  • Nutrients: 1 tbsp – 14 g of fat

olive oil



One of the best natural bodybuilding food is salmon. Not only is salmon stock-full of protein, but it also contains a lot of Omega-3, an important fat that we need.

  • Nutrients: ½ fillet (124 g) – 5.5 g of fat




Rather than chips or chocolate, grab a handful of peanuts. These legumes are great for bodybuilders because they provide a lot of energy to help with your workouts.

  • Nutrients: 1 cup – 71 g of fat

peanut butter



Your diet is a key factor in your bodybuilding efforts. Not only will it provide you with the fuel you require, but your body will be thankful it’s being fed the real food it’s meant to have. By investing some time into the right eating regime, your efforts will turn into long term gains instead of short term bursts. To compliment your diet, look into our top natural bodybuilding supplements. 

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About the Author

Reggie Johal

Reggie Johal is the founder of Predator Nutrition, a UK based health and supplement store. Reggie owes much of his extensive strength and fitness knowledge to his former career as a Great Britain American Footballer.

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