Without a good diet, you can't reap all the rewards of your hard work. Proper nutrition gives your body the energy it needs to perform your workouts. Junk food may fill you up, but it'll fill you with "empty calories" that have little nutritional value. You'll find it more difficult to complete the last rep of your final set at the gym if your nutrition is lacking [source: Tsang].
Dr. Jeff Volek of the University of Connecticut has come up with a list of eight great foods that will help you pack on the right kind of weight -- muscle. The list includes eggs, almonds, salmon, yogurt, beef, olive oil, water and coffee. Some on the list make sense; eggs provide a great source of protein while fish is rich in omega-3 that helps restore muscles after a tough workout. But what about coffee? Volek says the jolt of caffeine that coffee provides will help you lift longer [source: Campbell].