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Muscle bagel

Build Muscle
(Image credit: Unknown)

Lifting weights is only part of the equation when it comes to packing on serious muscle. You also need to supply your body with slow-release carbohydrates, quality protein and lots of vitamins, to cope with the strain that training puts on you. This easy-to-make lunch gives you all that.

To make

You can use ready-prepared turkey but it’s healthier to grill a fresh turkey breast. Chop it and slice the tomato thinly. Butter the bagel or coat with low-fat spread. Place some lettuce on the bottom half of the bagel. Add the turkey and tomato slices, along with a handful of grated cheese, and then finish off your bagel with a good splodge of mustard before putting the lid on.

Wholewheat bagel

Carbohydrates help keep your glycogen (the energy stored in your muscles) levels topped up, so your body uses that rather than your protein stores for fuel.

Turkey breast

Turkey is a lean and low-calorie way to pack on muscle, thanks to its generous protein content. It’s also rich in tryptophan, which your body uses to make the happy hormone, serotonin. So, protein and a Prozac substitute all in one.

Tomatoes

Tomatoes will supply you with the vitamin C your body needs to lower levels of cortisol, a muscle-wasting stress hormone that increases with weight training. You’ll find most of the vitamin C in the gooey stuff around the seeds.

Low-fat cheddar

High levels of protein and calcium without too many calories. The calcium in cheddar is also vital for the efficient functioning of the muscles and heart.

Lettuce

The foundation of many a low-fat sandwich filing, lettuce contains vitamin E, which combats muscle-fibre injury and improves recovery. Opt for the darker varieties of leaf, as these are more nutritious.

Healthy eating tip

Wholegrains are packed full of fibre and B vitamins, both of which can help boost fat loss