Nutrition For Muscle Growth 

Growing muscle is easy, in theory…


Lift weight progressively upping the weight or reps, get enough rest and eat, again easier said than done sustainability, consistency & adherence to your training and nutrition is that hard part 


Nutrition can be a speed bump to your muscle gaining goals 


Eating either the wrong food, not enough food or just making poor choices can lead to less muscle gain than you need 


This article we all dive into some of the main areas around nutrition for muscle gain (Calories & Macros, Food Quality, Meal Frequency & Timing, supplements) 


Calories & Macros 


Calories & Macros are your bread and butter when it comes to gaining muscle you can get near enough 80-90% of your gains just doing these basics very well…


Here are the basics, to gain muscle you need to consume more energy then the energy you're expending so that extra energy can be used to grow muscle with enough rest, here are some of the basics when it comes to calories & macros…


Protein

A macro nutrient that grows and repair muscle, roughly 2grams per kg body weight is plenty of protein to grow/repair muscle 


Carbohydrate

A macro nutrient that is your body’s main source of energy, think of carbohydrate like petrol for your car the more energy you expend the more more carbs you need in your body to fuel your activity. The amount of carbs you eat should depend on the diet you prefer and the amount of energy you expend


Fat

Used in your body to create hormones and regulate the hormones in your body, you need enough fat in your diet to do this, can also be used as energy when your carb stores (glycogen stores) have been depleted 


Calorie Surplus

Where you consume more energy (food) than the energy you expend, you need to be in a surplus to build muscle 


Calorie Deficit 

Where you consume less energy then the energy you expend, you will lose weight/fat doing this 


Calorie Maintenance

Where the energy in & out are equal you will not gain weight or lose weight like this 


So we know you need to be in a calorie surplus to build muscle & consume enough protein to support, grow & repair that muscle here is how you can set up your calories & protein to start the muscle building journey:



1. Set your calorie intake:

Body Weight (Pounds) X 14-16 = Calorie Intake


2. Set your protein Target

Body Weight (KG) X 2 = Protein Target (grams)


Example:

88Kg male wanting to gain muscle:

194 Pounds (88KG) x 16 = 3104 calories

88KG X 2 = 176 Grams of protein



Food Quality 


Now food quality can be a touchy subject when it comes to building muscle, yes it is true as long as you're in a calorie surplus & eating enough protein you will build muscle so in theory you could eat McDonalds all day and if you cover the above you will build muscle…True 


However…


The food quality will have a huge effect on:

Recovery 

Training Intensity 

Mood 

Sleep 


To say the least, if your consume sweets for your carbs your insulin, energy levels and even the amount of fat your tore can massively vary, while if your carbs come from fruit, veg, potatoes, rice & oats your probably going to have more sustainable energy, recover faster your mood will be sustainable & general training quality would improve 


The same goes for your protein & fat content, huge effect 


Like a formula one car you would rather put the best engine, oil & fuel in to make it operate to it’s highest potential the same goes for your body put the right fuel in & you're probably going to perform better


If it grows on the earth or has lived on the earth eat it, thats not to say you can’t enjoy some treats but make up the most of your nutrition from lean meats, healthy fats & carbs that grow (rice, potatoes, oats, fruit & veg) 


Meal Frequency & Timing 


6 meals Vs 3 meals 


An old fashioned argument that you often here something about muscle growth or metabolism attached to it, long story short it doesn't matter…


Stick to what you enjoy, if you lifestyle suits 6 meals a day or if your lifestyle suits 3 meals a day and a couple of snacks do what ever is easier for you


As long as the basics are kept to (calories & macros) you will gain muscle it doesn't matter to much what time of day they come, just stick to your calories & macros and make good food choices 


However as always there is a counter argument, optimally if you want to have the best quality sessions & recovery you probably want to consume some slow releasing carbs a long time before your session some quick ones before/during and then a combination of the two straight after while consuming enough protein throughout the day to repair muscle, a shake after isn't vital but can be good practice to get to your protein target 



Supplements 


The least important thing when it comes to gaining muscle you do not need supplements to gain muscle and they do what exactly says on the tin the supplement the diet you have now however some can be advantageous 


Consider before buying any supplements:


Do you really need it?


Do they work? (a lot don’t)


Is it cost effective? (can you just buy more meat from your local butcher)


If you still decide you need the supplement here are a few of the good ones:


Whey Protein 

Can be a cheap variation to consuming protein in a meal will aid you in getting towards your protein targets


Creatine 

Probably one of the most well researched supplements on the market, it does work and will aid you getting stronger & putting on muscle but making the energy system you use while you lift recovery quicker so you can lift heavier weights for longer 


Caffeine 

Great stimulant & can be used as a pre workout 


Fish Oil

Weights are demanding on the joints this can be used to look after them 


Vitamins 

Many people don't consume enough vitamins through food so a daily top up can help 


There are a few that can help but again the basis will always win 


When it comes to nutrition it can be a mine field, remember the basics coupled of consistency, sustainability & adherence are your best combination 


Below is a great example to what is important when it comes to what is important when it comes to nutrition to build muscle 


 


nutritonal importance .jpg
John CunninghamComment