Although building an impressive set of pectorals -- the muscles of your upper chest -- requires dedication to an effective workout plan, you also need to make good nutritional choices. Even if you have the best chest-building workout plan in the world, poor nutrition impairs your progress toward building a big upper chest. Consult a doctor before starting a workout plan or altering your diet dramatically.
Video of the Day
Salmon can build chest muscle because it is calorie-dense, with 233 calories in a 4-ounce fillet. This is beneficial because you need to eat a surplus of calories to gain muscle mass. Additionally, salmon is high in protein, the nutrient your body uses for muscle repair and growth, with 25 grams per 4-ounce serving. Last, salmon is high in fat, with 14 grams -- less than 3 grams saturated. Fat can promote a beneficial hormonal environment for building upper chest muscle. According to "Effects of Dietary Fat and Fiber on Plasma and Urine Androgens and Estrogens in Men" by J.F. Dorgan et al, increased dietary fat intake promotes higher levels of testosterone, a primary muscle-building hormone.
Another beneficial food choice for bulking up your upper chest is eggs. Like salmon, eggs are rich in both protein and fat. A large egg contains 72 calories, with 4.8 grams of fat and 6.3 grams of protein. Additionally, eggs are a good source of vitamin D. In "Effect of Vitamin D Supplementation on Testosterone Levels in Men," S. Pilz et al. indicate that higher intake of vitamin D promotes increased testosterone levels, which promotes muscle growth.
Quinoa is a whole grain that provides a rich source of carbohydrates, with 31 grams in each dry 1/4 cup. Your body uses carbohydrates to provide energy for activities such as workouts, so consuming a carbohydrate-rich diet can promote improved exercise performance. Additionally, carbohydrates are vital for muscle recovery after workouts.
Chocolate milk can help enhance your upper chest in conjunction with a well-designed workout plan. Chocolate milk provides both carbohydrates and protein, which are helpful for fueling workouts and recovering from exercise. According to "Acute Effects of Chocolate Milk and a Commercial Recovery Beverage on Postexercise Recovery Indices and Endurance Cycling Performance," K. Pritchett et al. indicate that chocolate milk is as effective as commercial exercise recovery beverages for promoting workout recovery.
- Applied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism: Acute Effects of Chocolate Milk and a Commercial Recovery Beverage on Postexercise Recovery Indices and Endurance Cycling Performance
- The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition: Effects of Dietary Fat and Fiber on Plasma and Urine Androgens and Estrogens in Men: A Controlled Feeding Study
- USDA National Nutrient Database: Egg, Whole, Raw, Fresh
- Hormone and Metabolic Research: Effect of Vitamin D Supplementation on Testosterone Levels in Men
- International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism: Nutritional Strategies to Promote Postexercise Recovery