These days, any amateur or professional body builder can take a trip to a pharmacy or specialized shop to pick up some protein shakes or powders. These protein packed edibles allow even the bulkiest and most muscular of individuals to keep their energy high and prevent their muscles from degrading.
In the medieval era, staying strong was much more challenging. Food was less plentiful as a whole, and what did exist was certainly not tailor made to keep muscles healthy. This made finding the right diet as a knight somewhat of a challenge, as knights had to stay strong in order to wear their heavy armor. Here are some of the things they frequently ate.
Both lean and fatty cuts of meat were as essential to a knight’s diet as they are to the meals of modern musclemen. Meat is packed with protein and calories, and is therefore conducive to keeping energy high and building muscle mass. Knights frequently ate game while they were travelling, as well as preserved meats like ham and sausages.
Cheese provides many of the same benefits as meat, in a long lasting and readily portable form. Dairy products have calcium, which is vital for bone development, as well as lots of high energy sugar and animal protein. Cheeses were frequently seen on the tables of knights, peasants, and royalty alike, and pairs well with wine and bread.
An often overlooked source of food for knights was legumes, like lentils or peas. Not all knights were extraordinarily wealthy, and less rich knights got a great deal of protein from legumes.
Essentially, knights ate accessible foods packed with protein and calories. This kept their muscles healthy and energy levels high, much like how they work for modern athletes.