There are three basic types of muscle in the human body. Skeletal, or voluntary muscle, attaches to the skeleton and moves in response to our thoughts. Smooth, or involuntary muscle, is found in the digestive system, respiratory system, blood vessels, and other organs. The third type of muscle is cardiac muscle, which is found only in the heart. Although cardiac muscle is also involuntary, it is built more for consistency and endurance, while smooth muscle is built to stretch and maintain tension.

Most people focus on exercise and protein requirements when trying to build muscle. While these are both important, other factors critical to building and maintaining strong muscle, such as getting adequate rest between workouts, drinking water to replenish sweat loss and prevent muscle cramping, and limiting consumptions of junk food and alcohol, are often overlooked.

Beneficial Foods

Black Olives Possess a beneficial protein-to-fat ratio while remaining alkaline.
Durian A good muscle builder. Contains high levels of soft proteins.
Hemp Helps build strong muscles.
Pumpkin Seeds High in protein. Help build muscles and strengthen muscle contraction.

Beneficial Nutrients

Boron May promote muscle growth.
Magnesium Keeps muscles properly relaxed and relieves muscle stiffness. Can help relieve fibromyalgia symptoms. Relieves muscle cramping and twitching.
Phosphorous Required for smooth contraction of the muscles.
Potassium Required for building and maintaining muscle strength. Weak or cramping muscles can indicate a deficiency.
Protein/Amino Acids Proteins, made up of amino acids, build and repair muscle.
Silicon Maintains muscle elasticity and flexibility. Healthy muscles contain at least 2% silicon.
Sulfur Reduces cramping and aching in muscles resulting from strenuous exercise.
Vitamin B1/Thiamin Helps ease muscle stress resulting from exercise. Mild deficiencies can cause muscle weakness and leg spasms. Severe deficiencies can sometimes result in paralysis.
Vitamin B3/Niacin A deficiency can lead to muscle weakness.
Vitamin D A deficiency can cause muscular weakness. Scientific studies have found that vitamin D supplementation along with calcium supplementation of elderly women for three months increased muscle strength more than with calcium alone.
Vitamin E Relieves muscle cramps.