20 High Protein Foods for Muscle Building (Low Carb)

When you’re looking to build muscle mass, you need to be providing your body with low carb, high protein foods.

Whether you’re looking for a high protein diet plan to gain muscle, muscle building foods for skinny guys, or want to be on a lean muscle diet for a female, foods high in protein are going to be the key to get you there.

Ever since I was a boy, my metabolism has been through the roof.

My diet consisting of high carb, low protein foods just wasn’t cutting it.

It wasn’t until I really started to consistently consume high protein foods that I finally began to see real results.

I began to consume high protein foods for breakfast, lunch and dinner, in any way I could.

But as a poor college student, I needed to figure out how to eat 150 grams of protein a day on a budget.

I didn’t know where to begin, so I just started to eat eggs for breakfast and chicken for lunch and dinner.

This worked for a few days, but I eventually got bored of these foods and slowly reverted to what I knew best – my high carb, low protein diet.

As I continued to work out daily, I knew I had to take my eating more seriously and find some protein intake recommendations that would keep me on a more rigorous diet plan for building muscle.  

I did a bit of research, and to my surprise found an excellent list of high protein foods for muscle building.

A List of High Protein Foods:

  Food Protein (g) Carbs (g) Fat (g) Calories Serving Size
1 Chicken Breast 26 0 2 120 1 breast
2 Turkey Breast 25 0 8 178 4 oz.
3 Whey Protein 23 3 2 120 1 Scoop
4 Salmon 23 0 12 203 4 oz.
5 Pork Roast 23 0 11 196 3 oz.
6 Ribeye Steak 20 0 25 311 4 oz.
7 Greek Yogurt 19 9 5 150 1 cup
8 Cottage Cheese 13 4 3 97 1/2 cup
9 Lentils 12 29 1 169 1/4 cup
10 Tuna 11 0 0 50 2 oz.
11 Milk 8 12 5 120 1 cup
12 Pinto Beans 8 22 1 122 1/2 cup
13 Peanut Butter 8 6 16 188 2 tbsp.
14 Oats 7 26 3 152 1/4 cup
15 Eggs 6 0 5 72 1 Egg
16 Edamame 6 5 3 65 1/2 cup
17 Almonds 5 5 11 132 1/4 cup
18 Walnuts 5 4 20 196 1/4 cup
19 Quinoa 4 20 2 111 1/2 cup
20 Shrimp 4 0 0 20 4

As you can see, a list like this makes putting together a high protein meal plan a breeze.

If I wanted to get my 150 grams of protein in for the day, I would just eat 2 eggs and a protein shake with milk for breakfast, a chicken breast for lunch, a cup of almonds and cottage cheese for a snack, a salmon and some lentils for dinner, and some Greek yogurt for dessert.

Throw in some fruits and veggies and you got yourself a quality, well balanced diet plan for the day.

If you need to account for 200 grams of protein intake in a day, just add a cup of oats for breakfast and another protein shake with milk and Greek yogurt between breakfast and lunch.

Account for the other carb, calorie, and fat columns above if you want to modify your high protein diet for weight loss, athletes, or women or men specifically.

How Do I Calculate My Protein Intake for Muscle Growth?

If you are eating my list of high protein foods for muscle building, you need to be able to calculate the amount of protein you are putting in your body. The rule of thumb in the weightlifting industry is 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight.

One study showed that eating just over 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight is best.  

A 200-pound person should eat about 200 grams of protein a day to put on muscle mass.

I have gotten away with about .6 grams of protein per pound of body weight and have still seen excellent results.

Just test and find out the best amount of protein for what your body needs and how much muscle you want to put on.

How Much Protein is Too Much?

It’s very hard to consume too much protein.

There really isn’t a limit to how much you can intake.

People are often concerned about their kidneys if they eat too much protein.

I’ve trained a kidney doctor in the past and they said protein has no bad effects on a healthy kidney.

What are the Benefits of a High Protein Diet?

A diet rich in protein helps to build muscle mass, build and repair tissue, is used to make hormones, enzymes, and body chemicals, and is important in the structure of bones, cartilage, skin and blood.

What are the Best High Protein Foods on a Budget?

For the money, the best high protein foods are going to be eggs, chicken, turkey, whey, beans and oats.

What are the Best High Protein Foods for weight loss?

For weight loss, you are going to want to choose the high protein, low carb foods, with a low number of calories.

Stick with your lean meats, and whey protein to accomplish this.

The keto diet might be just what your looking for if you want to go this route.

Check out my article: #1 Ketogenic Diet Guide for a breakdown of the diet.

If you’re looking for a great source of whey protein, try the Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey Protein Powder.

I take a scoop of this 1-2 times a day in my protein shakes. I especially love the double rich chocolate flavor.

Summary: 20 High Protein Foods for Muscle Building (Low Carb)

If you are serious about putting on muscle, you need to consider how much protein you are putting into your body daily. Use the list above to construct a diet plan that fits your needs. Consistency is key, and if you focus on getting the daily amount of protein intake your body needs, you will see results in no time. If you want the most bang for your buck, concentrate on consuming lean meats, whey protein and dairy products.

Have you been having a hard time getting the right amount of protein in your body? Did this help you out? Let me know in the comments!!

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