Are Beans Good for Muscle Building? (Expert Answer)

Short Answer: Beans are good for muscle building. Because they have protein, carbs, fiber, and folate, and they can stimulate muscle growth, provide energy, improve digestion, and support oxygen delivery.

Muscle building is a goal that many people have, especially those who want to improve their strength, fitness, and appearance.

Muscle building requires not only regular exercise, but also proper nutrition.

What you eat can affect your muscle growth, recovery, and performance.

To effectively build muscle, you should consume protein-rich foods like chicken, eggs, and beans, and avoid foods high in saturated fat and added sugar like bacon, pastries, and soda.

Protein is the main building block of muscle tissue, and it helps repair and maintain your muscles after exercise.

You should aim for about 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day, or about 56 grams for an average adult male.

Now, beans are a type of legume that come in many varieties, such as black, kidney, pinto, and chickpeas.

People usually eat them cooked, either as a side dish, in salads, soups, or stews, or as a main ingredient in dishes like hummus, falafel, and burritos.

Beans are good for muscle building because they contain high-quality plant-based protein, as well as complex carbohydrates, fiber, and various vitamins and minerals.

One cup (171 grams) of cooked pinto beans, for example, provides 15 grams of protein, 45 grams of carbs, 15 grams of fiber, and 74% of the daily value (DV) of folate, a B vitamin that supports DNA synthesis and cell division.

Protein can positively affect muscle building by stimulating muscle protein synthesis, the process of creating new muscle fibers.

Carbs can positively affect muscle building by providing energy for your workouts, replenishing your muscle glycogen stores, and enhancing insulin secretion, which can promote amino acid uptake by your muscles.

Fiber can positively affect muscle building by improving your digestive health, lowering your cholesterol levels, and regulating your blood sugar levels.

Folate can positively affect muscle building by supporting red blood cell production, which can improve oxygen delivery to your muscles.

Furthermore, beans are a low-fat and cholesterol-free food, and low-fat and cholesterol-free foods are good for muscle building.

Because, excess fat and cholesterol can increase your risk of heart disease, which can impair your blood flow and oxygen delivery to your muscles.

You can eat about one to two cups of cooked beans per day safely.

More than that can cause digestive issues, such as gas, bloating, and cramps, due to the high fiber and oligosaccharide content of beans.

Oligosaccharides are a type of carbohydrate that your body cannot digest, and they are fermented by bacteria in your colon, producing gas as a by-product.

Also, you shouldn’t eat raw or undercooked beans, especially kidney beans, to prevent food poisoning.

Because, raw or undercooked beans contain a toxin called lectin, which can cause nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.

Lectin can be destroyed by soaking and boiling the beans for at least 10 minutes.

You can buy dried or canned beans in your local market or online.

Always choose beans that are free of added salt, sugar, or preservatives.

Because, these additives can increase your sodium, calorie, and chemical intake, which can negatively affect your health and muscle building.

You can store dried beans in an airtight container in a cool, dry place for up to a year, and canned beans in a pantry for up to five years.

Finally, remember, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, including a balanced diet, regular exercise, stress management, and essential medical care, is key to building muscle effectively.

I always recommend my muscle-building clients to follow a high-protein, moderate-carb, and low-fat diet to improve their muscle mass, strength, and endurance.

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About the Author

Abdur Rahman Choudhury

Abdur Rahman Choudhury is a nutritionist in West Bengal, India, with a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Biochemistry.

He has done his diploma in nutrition from Fabulous Body Inc (US), and completed various certification courses from several universities. He also has considerable research experience in PCOS.

Abdur currently lives in India and keeps fit by weight training and eating mainly home-cooked meals.

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