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Fueling Up for Healthy Muscles

Did you know that your body is so muscle-bound that muscles make up 30 to 50 percent of your weight? Or that the muscles attached to your bones (called the skeletal muscles) contract so you can move?

Your body uses protein to make muscle tissue, but eating huge amounts of protein won't make your muscles bigger and stronger. If you eat a balanced, healthful diet with a variety of foods from all the MyPyramid food groups, you'll get all the protein you need for healthy muscles.

To move, your muscles need carbohydrates for fuel. Some carb-containing foods are bread, cereal, rice, spaghetti, potatoes, peas, corn, fruit, milk and yogurt. When you eat these foods, your body turns a lot of the carbohydrates into glucose (blood sugar) for your muscles to use right away. Some carbohydrates are turned into glycogen, which is stored in your muscles and liver in case you need to use it for fuel later.

Try these recipes that are good for your muscles:
Little Towers of Pasta
Very Cool Veggie Burrito

Reviewed by the Scientific Advisory Panel, 2006