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Muscle Gain Basics
Looking for a muscle gain nutrition plan?
Not sure how much protein you need to build muscle?
You want to be strong without gaining a load of body fat in the process right?
This article will show you basics on how to increase your intake of quality fuel to provide energy you need to grow.
How Many Calories To Build Muscle?
There are loads of elements that contribute to how many calories someone should aim for when trying to grow: their goals, age, lifestyle, training habits, sex, weight, to name just a few.
As a very general rule of thumb, if muscle gain is the goal, the someone may want to eat around 45 calories per kg of body weight.
- A 60 kg individual may aim for around: 60x45 = 2700 kcal
- A 80 kg individual may aim for around: 80x45 = 3600 kcal
How Much Protein For Muscle Gain?
Protein is one of three key macronutrients – the others being carbohydrates and fats – and it’s vital for healthy immune, cellular and hormonal function.
Despite what many people think, you don’t need to consume copious amounts of protein. More protein doesn’t necessarily mean more muscle.
Often when people follow extremely high protein diets, they do so at the expense of the other macronutrients: fat and carbohydrate.
Research shows us that an intake of around 2g per kg of bodyweight may be a good figure to aim for if you`re trying to add muscle. Aim to include protein with every meal - lean meat, fish, low-fat dairy, beans, pulses and some protein powders (this is one we really like) are all good sources.
Carbohydrates For Muscle Gain
Carbohydrates are helpful when you are trying to pack on muscle mass. They are required to fuel your intense workouts and keep muscle glycogen levels (stored carbohydrate in your body) full.
You may want to aim to eat around 5-8g of carbohydrates per kg bodyweight.
Roughly 60-90 minutes before workout we suggest you consume around 20-40 g of protein and 30-50g of carbohydrates. For meal ideas, see some of our fitness recipes.
Your post workout meal is important, yet many people incorrectly believe that they should eat this meal as soon as possible after training.
In reality, the effectiveness of nutrient timing does not require a high degree of precision. Just be sure to eat after training at a convenient time.
Aim to eat roughly 0.4g of protein per kg bodyweight and 0.8g of carbohydrates per kg bodyweight at some point after your training.
Do not worry so much about the fat content, just be sure to get yourself a large, solid meal to help promote muscle growth. Good sources of carbohydrates are vegetables, fruits and wholegrain starchy carbohydrates like couscous, brown bread etc.
On workout days you may want to increase your carbohydrate intake to help with energy levels to sustain maximum performance. A pre-workout carbohydrate and protein meal a few hours before training should help fuel the workout and allow you to train at a higher intensity.
Fats For Muscle Gain
While the name “fat” might strike fear into the hearts of dieters across the land, you need a certain amount of fat in your diet to stay healthy. And let’s face it ….. fat tastes good!
Fats are essential for cell growth, repair, brain function and a host of other essential bodily functions!
If you’re counting calories, aim for between 0.6 and 1.3 grams of fat per kilogram of bodyweight. If not, then aim for a small serving (roughly 10-15g of total fat) in each meal from nuts, seeds, whole eggs, fatty meat, oily fish, or oils.
Need Some Help To Build Muscle?
Have you tried to build muscle but struggled or just gained a load of fat?
Does the thought of working out those numbers above sound like a chore?
Dou you want to increase size and strength you’re not sure what’s the best approach to take?
If you’re confused because you don’t know what, when and how much to eat to achieve your goals.
We can help.