Last Updated 18/08/2023

Looking for Nigerian foods for muscle gain?

Then you're in the right place.

Because in this post you'll discover Nigerian foods that can help you build lean muscle mass fast.

Let's get started right away.

Nigerian Foods For Muscle Gain

Nigerian Muscle-Building Foods List

Here are 17 Foods you can find in Nigeria that can help you build muscles:

1. Eggs

You hardly ever see a muscle building diet without eggs, and for good reason.

You see, gach egg contains about 6-8 grams of high quality protein [1].

Eggs are one of the best sources of the amino acid leucine, which helps stimulate muscle protein synthesis and recovery after exercise [23]

They provide additional nutrients like healthy fats, B vitamins, and choline to support energy levels and overall health (45).

2. Chicken Breast

Chicken is a body builder's best friend for obvious reasons.

A 175g serving of cooked chicken breast provides around 55 grams of protein  [6].

Chicken breast is high in the mineral selenium, which helps protect cells from oxidative damage caused by exercise. This promotes quicker recovery.

3. Beef

Beef is a weight-lifting essential foods for many reasons. 

First and foremost, Beef contains about 26 grams of protein in each 100g serving [7].

Secondly, beef is packed with vitamin B and much needed creatine [8

It is also high in zinc, which is essential for maintaining healthy testosterone levels needed for building muscle mass.

Even studies have shown beef to be particularly useful in building muscles [9]

Choosing leaner cuts of beef can help maximize protein and minimize fat and calories.

3. Turkey Breast

Turkey is another often forgotten great muscle building foods. 

85g of turkey breast delivers about 26 grams of complete protein [10].

Turkey breast is also an excellent source of niacin or vitamin B3, which assists in processing fats and carbohydrates for energy production [11]. All of which supports the body's ability to exercise over time [12].

4. Pork

Pork is another often overlooked muscle building food. 

A serving of pork tenderloin provides 21 grams of protein and only 4 grams of fat, making it very lean.

It contains high amounts of vitamin B2 or riboflavin, which helps break down proteins, fats, and carbs to be used for fuel and energy.

5. Tilapia

Tilapia is a great source of protein among seafood, providing approximately 23 grams per 87 gram fillet [13].

Although not as high in omega-3s as some fish like salmon, tilapia still contains noteworthy amounts of vitamin B12 and the antioxidant mineral selenium.

Vitamin B12 plays an important role in forming red blood cells and maintaining healthy nerves [14]. This enables you to perform the strenuous exercise required to stimulate muscle growth. Selenium helps protect cells from oxidative damage that can occur during exercise.

6. Tuna

Tuna is an inexpensive, versatile fish that can be a beneficial addition to a muscle building diet.

A 3 ounce serving of tuna supplies about 20 grams of high quality protein [15].

Tuna also provides generous amounts of vitamin A, several B vitamins including B12, niacin, and B6, as well as omega-3 fatty acids. The B vitamins help support energy production and exercise performance [1617].

Research suggests omega-3s may help maintain muscle mass and strength, especially as we age [1819]

However, tuna also contains mercury so it’s best consumed in moderation as part of a balanced diet and not as a primary protein source.

7. Seafood

Most Seafood in general are usually for building muscle mass because they are rich in protein and other muscle building nutrients. 

For example...

Oysters contain over 20g of protein and a good amount of zinc per 100g serving. Zinc supports testosterone and muscle building.

85g of shrimp provides 19g of protein along with high levels of the muscle building amino acid leucine [20].

8. Beans

Beans has to be one of the best muscle building plant sources. And one of the most tasty too, if I may add. 

Different types of beans like black, pinto, and kidney beans contain about 15g of protein per 1 cup cooked serving.

Beans are high in fiber, B vitamins, iron, and magnesium - all nutrients important for energy production to power your muscle building workouts [212223].

9. Greek Yogurt

Not all Yogurt are created equal. Greek Yogurt contains about double the protein content of regular yogurt [24]

Greek yogurt provides around 10g of protein per 100g serving  [25].

It contains both whey and casein, which are fast and slow digesting dairy proteins ideal for sustained muscle protein synthesis.

10. Cottage Cheese

One cup of cottage cheese delivers 28g of protein including the important amino acid leucine [26].

The casein protein in cottage cheese digests slowly, providing a steady supply of amino acids overnight.

11. Milk

Milk contains both fast digesting whey and slow digesting casein proteins [27].

Research shows drinking milk combined with weight training can boost muscle growth [2829].

12. Soybeans

Soybeans are one of the few plant-based proteins that contain all essential amino acids.

A 100g serving of soybeans packs about 36g of high quality vegan protein [28].

13. Almonds

Almonds provide 6g protein and vitamin E per 1 ounce serving [29].

Research shows vitamin E helps repair cell damage caused by exercise.

Almond also contain magnesium and phosphorus to help with energy production.

Limit portion sizes due to high calorie content.

14. Peanuts

Peanuts offer 7g protein, 6g carbs, and healthy fats per 1 ounce serving [30].

Good source of leucine and extra calories for muscle gain.

Thought to play a role in overall healthy diet.

15. Pineapple

Pineapple contains bromelain, an enzyme that digests protein.

Bromelain helps reduce inflammation and post-workout soreness.

16. Garlic

Garlic can increase testosterone and lower cortisol according to a study published in the Journal of Nutrition. 

Also, the compound, allicin, in garlic reduces stress hormones.

Less cortisol allows for higher testosterone and muscle growth.

17. Protein Powder

While most of your muscle building diet should come whole foods, there are times when dietary supplements can be beneficial[11].

If you have trouble getting enough protein from foods alone, you could consider adding protein shakes to your daily routine.

Protein powders provide a convenient way to increase your protein intake, especially on busy days when preparing sufficient high protein meals is difficult.

Whey and casein, which are dairy proteins, are some of the most popular types of protein powder.

But there are also plant-based options like soy, pea, rice, and hemp protein powders.

And for those who prefer animal-based proteins, protein powders can also be made from beef, chicken, fish and eggs. Each type differs slightly in its nutrition profile.

Therefore, it’s best to choose a protein powder to suit your individual needs and dietary preferences.

Just keep in mind that protein shakes should complement, not replace, a diet focused predominantly on high protein whole foods.

Sample Nigerian Muscle Building Meal Plan

When trying to build muscle, your meals and snacks need to provide the right blend of proteins, carbs, healthy fats and micronutrients.

Here is a sample Nigerian muscle building meal plan:

Breakfast Ideas

  • Omelet with vegetables
  • Greek yogurt with fruit and nuts
  • Beans and Fish
  • Pancakes made with milk, eggs, oats and peanut butter

Aim for at least 20g protein at breakfast to provide amino acids for muscle growth and repair.

Lunch Ideas

  • Jollof rice with chicken or beef
  • Salad with tuna, carrots, spinach and avocado
  • Veggie and cheese sandwiches on whole grain bread

For lunch, combine carbs for energy with protein sources.

Dinner Ideas

  • Coconut rice with fish or shrimp
  • Suya with roasted vegetables
  • Spaghetti  with lean ground beef

Consuming protein at night helps muscles rebuild overnight after training.


  • Roasted almonds
  • Hard boiled eggs
  • Protein shake
  • Fruit and nut bar

Aim for a protein rich snack before and after workouts.

Stay Hydrated

Drink water, coconut water or unsweetened tea throughout the day. Proper hydration enhances muscle growth.

This sample meal plan provides a balanced nutrition approach to support muscle gains. Adjust portion sizes based on your calorie needs.

Why Diet Matters For Muscle Building

When it comes to gaining muscle, most people focus solely on lifting heavy weights. But your diet is just as important as your workout routine.

Protein Is Essential

Protein provides the amino acids your body needs to repair and rebuild muscle tissue that gets broken down during strength training. Without adequate protein intake, you will not maximize your muscle growth potential.

Protein is the single most important nutrient for muscle building.

Foods like eggs, chicken, fish, and Greek yogurt are excellent sources of protein.

Carbs Fuel Your Workouts

Carbohydrates give your body the energy it needs to power through intense muscle-building workouts. They also help your body use protein more efficiently.

Good carb sources include:

  • Fruits
  • Starchy veggies like yams
  • Whole grains like brown rice

Eating some carbs 30-60 minutes pre-workout can enhance gym performance.

Healthy Fats Provide Energy

While often vilified, healthy fats from foods like avocados, nuts, olive oil, and salmon provide the body with energy. They also help absorb fat-soluble vitamins like vitamin E.

Vitamin E helps repair the muscle damage that occurs during strength training.

Vitamins And Minerals Support Muscle Growth

In addition to macronutrients like protein, carbs, and fat, certain micronutrients play key roles in muscle building:

  • Vitamin E: Repairs damaged muscle tissue
  • Zinc: Essential for testosterone production
  • Iron: Carries oxygen to muscles
  • Calcium: Needed for muscle contractions

Consuming a nutritious, balanced diet ensures you get enough of these vitamins and minerals.

The bottom line is that diet and nutrition affect your ability to gain muscle mass. Make sure to eat plenty of protein, quality carbs, and healthy fats. And don't neglect micronutrients like vitamins and minerals that support muscle growth.

Nutrition Tips For Maximizing Muscle Growth

Strength training is only half the battle when it comes to building muscle. You also need to pay attention to your diet and nutrition.

Here are some tips to maximize muscle growth through your diet:

1. Eat In A Calorie Surplus

To gain muscle, you need to consume more calories than you burn each day. This calorie surplus provides your body with the extra energy it needs to build muscle tissue.

Aim for a surplus of around 300-500 calories per day. You can use a TDEE calculator to estimate your calorie needs.

Eating in a slight calorie surplus boosts muscle growth without excessive fat gain.

2. Time Your Protein Intake

Protein timing around workouts matters. Try to eat 20-40 grams of protein both before and after strength training sessions.

Good pre-workout protein sources:

  • Whey protein
  • Greek yogurt

Good post-workout protein sources:

  • Chicken
  • Salmon
  • Tuna

This stimulates muscle protein synthesis, enhancing growth and recovery.

3. Stay Hydrated

Drink plenty of water throughout the day, especially around workouts. Proper hydration:

  • Keeps muscles fueled
  • Removes waste
  • Delivers nutrients

Aim for 3-4 liters of water daily as a general guideline.

4. Limit Processed Foods

While the occasional treat is fine, try to limit processed foods like chips, cookies, and fast food.

These provide empty calories and can displace nutrient-dense whole foods in your diet.

5. Allow Yourself Treats

Don't restrict yourself too much. Allowing for occasional treats in moderation keeps you motivated to stick to your diet long-term.

The key is balancing treats with an overall nutritious diet focused on whole, minimally processed foods.

Proper nutrition combined with a well-designed strength program allows you to maximize your muscle building potential. Use these diet tips to see better results from all your hard work in the gym!

Conclusion On Nigerian Foods For Muscle Gain

Building muscle takes more than just strength training - you need to fuel your body properly too. Consuming nutritious Nigerian foods can help pack on lean muscle mass.

Recapping Main Points

  • Protein sources like eggs, poultry, beef, fish, beans, nuts and dairy provide the essential amino acids your muscles need to repair and rebuild after training.
  • Carbohydrates from fruits, vegetables, and whole grains supply the body with energy to power through intense workouts.
  • Healthy fats found in avocados, salmon, olive oil, nuts and seeds help the body absorb fat-soluble vitamins and provide sustained energy.
  • Key vitamins and minerals like zinc, iron, calcium and antioxidants support specific aspects of muscle building.
  • Strategies like eating in a slight calorie surplus, timing your protein intake, staying hydrated and allowing for occasional treats can optimize your results.

Paying attention to diet is a vital component of muscle building, on par with strength training.

Key Message

The core takeaway is that nutrition has a significant impact on your capacity to gain lean muscle. Consuming sufficient protein, quality carbs, healthy fats and muscle-supporting micronutrients supplies your body with the tools it needs to add muscle mass.

Combining wholesome Nigerian muscle-building foods with a properly designed training program is the best formula for success.

Final Thoughts

Start enhancing your diet today to boost your muscle building potential. Incorporate more of the nourishing Nigerian foods highlighted here into your meals and snacks. And stay focused on fundamental nutrition strategies like hydration and avoiding heavily processed items. Making nutrition a priority equal to exercise will help you attain your fitness goals.

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