When you’re chasing mass, it’s not enough to train hard. You also have to have a solid nutritional and supplement program. While there are certainly more than 8 quality foods that help build mass, this article focuses on the best choices. Not only that, we’ll see what sets 5% Nutrition protein and carbohydrate powders apart from the rest.
High Protein Foods
One large whole egg is just 72 calories with 6g of protein and provides 609mg of leucine. Imagine how much you’ll get if you mix up 4 or 5! Plus, a whole egg has an amino acid score of 136. That’s not bad - a score of 100 or higher indicates a complete, high-quality protein source. There’s also 4.8g of fat and 186mg of cholesterol. However, one whole egg provides 643mg of Omega-6 fatty acids.(1,2)
What about egg whites? Calories drop to 17, fat drops to .1g, and cholesterol plummets all the way to zero. What about protein? There’s still 3.6g. Given the nutritional benefits, it makes sense to include at least some whole eggs in your diet plan.(3)
For our example here, we’re using ultra-lean 95% ground beef. A 3oz serving contains 139 calories and provides 21g of protein. Ground beef has a surprisingly low amino acid score of 85. This means it’s not a complete protein. Still, it contains 1700mg of leucine. There’s also 5g of fat with 194mg coming from omega-6 fatty acids.(4)
Ah, the classic bodybuilding mainstay. In this example, we’re using oven-roasted, fat-free chicken breast. Chicken is a great source of protein with 17g and 79 calories per 100g. With an amino acid score of 130, chicken is a premium quality, complete protein. Plus, it provides 1200mg of leucine!(5)
Plain Greek Yogurt
Yogurt is a popular dairy product that was originally documented by the Greeks. In fact, the Greek style has the most protein. By choosing plain, you avoid the high sugar content that comes with the flavored kinds. Plus, you can flavor your yogurt to taste. A 7oz serving gives you 146 calories and 20g of slow-digesting casein protein. That means you can have some before bed, and you’ll stay in a positive protein state most of the night. You’ll also get 1060mg of leucine!(6,7,8)
The thing with fish is, you either love it or hate it. If it’s on your list of favorite foods, you’ll be pleased to know that it has an amino acid score of 148. That makes it a very high-quality, complete source of protein. Half a filet gives you 335 calories and 42g of protein, with a whopping 3440mg of leucine! Plus, you’re getting 17g of healthy fat. That’s 175mg of Omega-6 and 2200mg of Omega-3.(9)
The reason 5% protein powders are listed here is, unlike those other companies, they are real-food based. We’re talking about Shake Time and Real Carbs + Protein. The protein sources for these include beef, chicken, and egg. Plus, there’s Egg White Crystals - use it to make up omelets or scrambled eggs!
Of course, with a low Glycemic Index score (55), oats are an ideal carbohydrate. For a half cup, you’ll get 303 calories, 51g of carbs, 8g of fiber, and 13g of protein. The amino acid score is only 81, but you’re getting 1g of leucine. Mix up a hot bowl of oats, add some Shake Time, and maybe some nuts, and you’ve got a great breakfast!(10)
Another bodybuilding mainstay, brown rice has a moderate glycemic index score (68). A single cup gives you 216 calories and 44g of carbs. Brown rice is a great way to restore glycogen after a tough workout. Mix it up with some chicken and you have a classic bodybuilding meal.(11)
Yet another classic carbohydrate food! Sweet potatoes have a Glycemic Index score of 94. This makes them ideal for post-workout use. A single medium sweet potato will give you 24g of carbs with 12 of that from sugar. There’s not much protein or fat, but they are high in vitamin A (21,900 IU). If you prefer a low GI carb that’s similar to sweet potatoes, go with yams. They taste very similar and have a GI score of 55.(12)
No 5% Nutrition article would be complete without the product that started the trend of using real food sources - Real Carbs! This is a complex carb powder featuring Sweet Potato, Oat Flour, and Wild Yam extract. There’s also Real Carbs Rice, which uses brown rice flour. Plus, it’s chocolate flavored to taste like Rich’s favorite coco-rice cereal!
In this article, we’ve covered some great high protein and good quality carbohydrates - our Top 8 Foods For Mass. Set up your eating plan around these foods for great results - and don’t forget 5% Nutrition supplements!
- Calories in Whole Egg (nutritionix.com)
- Egg, whole, raw, fresh Nutrition Facts & Calories (self.com)
- Calories in Egg White (nutritionix.com)
- Beef, ground, 95% lean meat / 5% fat, patty, cooked, pan-broiled [hamburger] Nutrition Facts & Calories (self.com)
- Chicken breast, oven-roasted, fat-free, sliced Nutrition Facts & Calories (self.com)
- Kerksick, C. M., Rasmussen, C. J., Lancaster, S. L., Magu, B., Smith, P., Melton, C., Greenwood, M., Almada, A. L., Earnest, C. P., & Kreider, R. B. (2006). The effects of protein and amino acid supplementation on performance and training adaptations during ten weeks of resistance training. Journal of strength and conditioning research, 20(3), 643–653. https://doi.org/10.1519/R-17695.1
- History of yogurt and current patterns of consumption | Nutrition Reviews | Oxford Academic (oup.com)
- FoodData Central (usda.gov)
- Fish, salmon, sockeye, cooked, dry heat Nutrition Facts & Calories (self.com)
- Oats Nutrition Facts & Calories (self.com)
- Rice, brown, long-grain, cooked Nutrition Facts & Calories (self.com)
- Sweet potato, cooked, baked in skin, with salt [Sweetpotato] Nutrition Facts & Calories (self.com)