Calories aren't the only things that count when it comes to a jaw-dropping body: If you aren't eating the right nutrients, you aren't going to slim down or build strong, sexy muscles.
See, every time you curl or press, you're actually breaking down your muscles, causing microtears in the fibers. It's when you're resting that your body rebuilds and strengthens your muscles—and in order do so, they need the proper fuel, including these seven vitamins and minerals, identified by experts as a sort of menu for muscle. Follow the pros' recommendations for getting your daily dose of each through food or supplements, and you'll see and feel a difference from head to toe.
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With the ability to enhance the effects of weight training by increasing blood flow to the muscles, reducing muscle protein breakdown, and decreasing inflammation for faster recovery, Cuomo says we should think of omega 3s—the fatty acids found in fish oil—as a secret weapon for toning up. It doesn't hurt that omega-3 fatty acids also improve insulin sensitivity, which helps prevent diabetes.
How much? The American Heart Association recommends eating two 3.5-ounce servings of fatty fish (such as salmon, mackerel, herring, lake trout, sardines, or albacore tuna) each week. If fish make you gag, consider a 1,000- to 3,000-milligram (mg) supplement of DHA and EPA a daily. Vegetarians and vegans can find omega-3s in flax seed, chia seeds, hemp seeds, walnuts, and algae-based supplements.