Foods to Avoid When Building Muscle

Food is an essential part of our daily life. Your diet is even more critical if you are trying to improve your body and build muscle. Without a proper diet, you would have to put in twice the effort for half the results. The most common cause of this is eating food that is bad for you. So, let us take a closer look at foods to avoid when building muscle!

White bread

Even though it is one of the most common staples in our society, white bread is one of the foods to avoid when building muscle. This is because it has minimal nutritional benefits and negligible fiber content. At the same time, it slows down your digestion, which makes your metabolism more sluggish and contributes to obesity, diabetes, and numerous other diseases. Of course, you cannot cut bread out of your diet, at least not if you want to live healthily. Thankfully, whole-grain bread is readily available and much healthier for you. You can even substitute white bread with corn tortillas as a healthier option if you prefer that.

Working on building muscle.

Know which foods to avoid when building muscle to make the most of your workout.

Processed meat

One of the most common bodybuilding misconceptions is that you need to go all in on eating meat. Admittedly, meat helps build muscle since it contains lots of helpful protein and other nutrients. But, these elements are lost when it is processed through salting, drying, or smoking.

In addition, new chemicals are produced when meat is treated, which actively harms your body. Long-term consumption of such processed meat has been proven to increase the chances of high blood pressure, pulmonary disease, bowel and stomach cancer, and heart disease. Unless you know exactly how meat products were manufactured, we suggest adding them to the list of foods to avoid when building muscle. Just stick to fresh meat and prepare a proper meal instead!

Processed cheese

Processed cheeses are another example of foods to avoid when building muscle. Natural cheese is full of quality ingredients; however, when it is processed, cheese is made much less healthy and helpful for our bodies. The sodium and fat that cheese contains and plenty of other valuable nutrients that contribute to muscle growth are reduced or eliminated in processed cheeses.

This means that you are just eating such cheese for the taste of it, not to mention that the processing adds plenty of ingredients into the food, which is harmful to your body. Try replacing processed cheese with milk and other fresh dairy products.


Muscle gain meal plans are crucial since a curated plan that fits you will help the recovery rate of your body post-workout immensely. However, there is one thing that can completely ruin this: alcohol. While not exactly a ‘food,’ it must be numbered among the foods to avoid when building muscle because it is part of your diet and can have immensely adverse effects on muscle gain. You see, there are two reasons why alcohol is bad for your workout regime.

First, it increases the antioxidant needs of our bodies, which means less of your body’s resources go towards muscle recovery. Furthermore, it reduces the rate of a body’s myofibrillar protein synthesis, a crucial process for repairing damaged muscles. Together, these two factors slow down your progress massively. Not to mention that lacking recovery means you are at greater risk of permanent injury.

Foods rich in caffeine

Everyone drinks coffee, and the effects of caffeine have long been proven to actually be helpful to the body. It is an ergogenic acid that improves the performance of your body. So, why are caffeine-rich foods among the list of foods to avoid when building muscle?

Simple excess leads to negative effects. Having some caffeine is actually good for you! Having too much of it will impact your ability to rest. The excess energy will affect the quality of your sleep, which in turn will decrease your body’s performance and speed of recovery. It should be obvious why this would be a bad thing! However, so long as you can keep your caffeine intake under control, you can continue to eat or drink foodstuff that contains it.

A cup of coffee.

You can still have your morning cup of coffee!


Butter contains lots of cholesterol and saturated fat. Both of these ingredients contribute to raising the risk of heart diseases. While you will not directly suffer any adverse effects from including butter in your diet, it will still make it harder for you to maintain your stamina while undermining your health. If you use butter for cooking, there are healthier substitutes. Mashed bananas, avocado, or pumpkin puree can all work as replacements, and they are natural and healthy ingredients that will actively help your efforts to build muscle.

Store-bought smoothies

If there’s one thing that is wildly popular with people who love to work out, and yet it’s part of foods to avoid when building muscle, it’s store-bought smoothies. Supposedly, such smoothies are made of an excellent blend of fruits and veggies, which will boost your body and give you the energy you need. In reality, they are overloaded with calories and sugar. Instead of helping, their only appeal is the taste, and the added sugar is actively harmful to you. If you want a smoothie, buy the ingredients and make one yourself out of vegetables or fruit. Or look into products that help your body when exercising instead.

A homemade smoothie.

Smoothies are very healthy when made properly.

Fried food

Fried foods are generally well known to be unhealthy. So, it is unsurprising that they should be among the foods to avoid when building muscle. However, not many people understand just why they are so bad. The reason is simple: they are too rich in fat, calories, and salt. These substances together make for a rather unhealthy combo that promotes health issues like type 2 diabetes, obesity, and heart disease.

Fried foods also promote inflammation, which means your body’s resources will be consumed even faster to barely counteract their effects. While you can find amazing supplements that alleviate the impact of a bad diet, fried food will still leave its mark on your body.

Fried food, one of the foods to avoid when building muscle.

No matter how delicious, fried food must be eliminated from your diet.

Final comment regarding foods to avoid when building muscle

Now that you know which foods to avoid when building muscle, you can make your workouts more effective! You will not need to worry about holding yourself back with a proper diet. And you will be able to live a better and healthier life!