Protein is an important nutrient, but vitamins, carbohydrates, and fats cannot be neglected either.

To have the desired squares you will have to work many more muscles than you think.

Summer is officially starting and there is still time: this may be the perfect time to redefine the body and gain muscle mass. “It is important to understand that the energy balance must be positive, that is, there must be a surplus of energy in the diet to build muscle“, Explains to EL ESPAÑOL María Carmen Japaz, dietician and nutritionist.

This is because the body will prioritize using energy (kcal) for vital functions. Only if it exists extra protein combined with proper exercise, weight gain will occur in the form of muscle mass.

“This is where the importance of diet lies, which must be adequate and designed for the patient, since an excess of calories could lead to an increase in fat mass and a caloric deficit“, Adds the nutritionist. It is therefore essential to increase your protein intake to gain muscle.

According to a UNED eating guide, the amount of protein required each day depends on many factors, such as age, pregnancy, intestinal and liver health, or nitrogen losses through stool and urine. In general, a value of 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of weight per day is recommended.

Taking into account these values, and that to increase muscle the protein intake should exceed them. Y apart from your favorite high protein food, chicken, there is much beyond.

Dairy Products

As a dessert or complement to daily meals, it can be added low-fat yogurt or cheese such as fresh, quark, or smoothie as a complement, they are also rich in calcium and potassium. They are also perfect at any time of the day.

Blue Fish

Rich in omega 3, tuna, for example, has 23 grams of protein per 100 of food, almost 25% protein content. However, its daily intake is not recommended due to the levels of mercury that this fish can contain. It should be noted that blue fish also offer all the essential amino acids; that is to say, they are the so-called “complete proteins”.


A single egg contains 7 grams of excellent quality protein, of which albumin is the most important, and it is also easy to digest. It is so versatile that it can be combined with almost anything, sweet or savory. In addition, they are a source of vitamin E, D, potassium, antioxidants and fat that, if you do not have any cardiovascular disease, can be consumed every day.


Cristiano Ronaldo made it clear a few days ago when, during a press conference, he put aside the soft drinks that were on the table and pointed out to the journalists present that he preferred to drink water. This basic liquid keeps the body hydrated and encourages the creation of new muscle fibers.


They are so beneficial for the muscles that, in 2019, a study published in the journal Toxicology Archives, concluded that spinach builds muscle thanks to ecdysterone, a steroid hormone It has been known since the 1980s. At that time it was associated with the strength of Soviet athletes at the Moscow Olympics, classifying it as ‘the Russian secret’.

The consequence after the publication of the German study has been that the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) announced that it will “put this substance under surveillance”, including it in its Monitoring Program to evaluate patterns of abuse.


Can not miss the complex hydrates of legumes on any diet to gain muscle mass. They provide magnesium, vegetable proteins, as well as minerals such as potassium and iron, perfect for achieving healthy muscles.


Perfect for breakfast, oats are the energy cereal par excellence. It is very versatile and can be accompanied by fruit, nuts or cocoa. The key to its caloric intake is in its slowly absorbed hydrates that will be consumed throughout the day.

Peanut or nut butter

It has become one of the most consumed healthy fat sources because it contains up to 16% protein. The key is to look on the label that it only has crushed peanuts, without salt or sugar.. A perfect combo would be to mix it with oatmeal for a complete meal.


Foods such as bananas, oranges, red fruits, tangerines or kiwi, in addition to contain vitamin C, contribute to the formation of collagen, which makes them ideal for increasing muscle mass.

“In summary, the star nutrient would be protein, but we must ensure an adequate supply of carbohydrates and fats, as well as vitamins and minerals, for this anabolism to take placeJapaz explains. “My advice is always to start with what we do on a daily basis, which is to eat and optimize our diet,” says the nutritionist.