For gaining muscle and increasing strength, you require more than just working out and lifting weights.

Is Workout Enough For Building Muscles & Gaining Strength!

The fact is that any change in your body composition – whether you want to build muscle or lose weight – depends as much on what you eat as on a regular workout routine, if not more.

Usually, the people who want to build lean muscles and gain strength just go gung-ho to get in the gym and lift, and that’s really great! But they should focus just as much on their diet as well. They need to learn some basics about macronutrients, calorie intake, and specific foods they should eat and avoid.

You need to realize that muscle gain happens slowly, but you can hit your strength & muscle gain goals faster with the right diet. Read on here how?

If your goal is to gain more robust and bigger muscles, working out is necessary. Strength training breaks down your muscle tissues. And during the recovery process, those muscle tissues rebuild bigger and stronger.

But, your body can’t produce those muscle tissues out of nothing. So, your body will need the right nutrients to create tissues to build muscles.

What You Eat, And How Much Is Important For Building Muscles!

Keep in mind that what you eat and how much both are critical in building muscles. Doing strength training & lifting weight without enough nutrition, particularly without adequate protein, can cause muscle tissue loss.

Moreover, if you don’t eat the right diet, you won’t have enough energy to perform the workouts to build muscle mass.

To have the most gains in strength & muscle mass, you need:

(i)  Adequate calories total, every day, and

(ii) Enough protein to rebuild more muscle tissue.

It’s important for you to know even if you eat a lot of protein but not adequate overall calories, you will not be able to work out to gain more muscle.

On the other hand, If you eat adequate calories but too much junk and not adequate protein, your body will gain fat instead of muscle mass.

[Read here: How To Gain Muscle & Lose Fat]

How Much To Eat When Gaining Muscle

For gaining muscles, your body will need more fuel than when your goal is only maintaining body composition. That seems to be a difficult concept to grasp for some people. They may defy, particularly those who are worried about weighing more or gaining fat.

But the truth is extra calories go into muscle gaining and not fat, as long as you work out in the right way.

How many calories a person requires in a day when working out to gain muscle varies from person to person.

Protein—Dietary Building Block For Muscles Development

Whatever your workout plan may be, you should eat a balanced, nutrient-dense diet to stay fit and healthy.

But, when the goal is muscle gains, getting enough protein becomes more important.

Muscle tissue is made up mostly of proteins – that is why this macronutrient is so necessary.

For sedentary individuals, protein turnover in the body is quite slow.

But in the case of active people, particularly those looking for muscle growth, the protein intake has to be necessarily looked into.

As per the sports science and nutrition organizations, the general guidelines regarding protein are:

(i) Sedentary Individuals: Approximately 0.81 grams of protein per kilogram of body mass is considered adequate. That translates to about 55.5 grams of protein in a day for a 150-pound person.

(ii) Both The Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics and American College of Sports Medicine recommend 1.2 to 1.7 grams of protein per kilogram of mass. That means for a 150 pounds individual, about 95 to 136 grams of protein in a day.

However, a recent study that scrutinized 49 other studies established that the ideal amount of protein a day for building muscle is 1.6 grams per kilogram of body mass. For someone who weighs a 150-pound client, this would mean about 109 grams of protein per day.

Consider buying this useful bookWhy, how, and what to eat to meet your protein needs – whether you are a non-vegetarian, vegetarian or vegan, man or woman – A most comprehensive Protein Guide!: Protein Synthesis / Myths & Facts

Don’t Ignore Carbohydrates

When focusing on protein intake, some people tend to overlook the other macronutrients. A balance is crucial, and carbohydrates are particularly essential for fueling the demanding workout routines that help gain muscle mass.

The body struggles to absorb more than thirty-five grams of protein in one sitting, so try to include protein along with carbohydrates and a little bit of fat in your every meal.

Role Of Fat In Building Muscle

Also, don’t forget fat. It’s also important but not as necessary to track. If you eat adequate protein and carbohydrates, you are likely to have enough fat in your diet. Moreover, fat is easier to store in your body, so it’s less likely to be deficient.

Selecting Foods For Muscle Growth

Right foods help build muscles. You require lean proteins – foods that are rich in protein along with micronutrients and complex carbs.

15 Best Protein-High Foods with Complex Carbohydrates

Opt for high-quality protein foods that also contain other nutrients. It’s also recommended to include a variety of protein sources in your diet:

(i) Eggs: One egg provides about 6 grams of protein as well as healthy fats and B vitamins.

(ii) Chicken: Go for chicken breast for a lean source of protein. One ounce of chicken has about 8-9 grams of protein.

(iii) Lean beef: Beef is an excellent protein option as long as you stick with lean cuts. Besides protein, it provides creatine, enhances athletic/sports performance, and has other health benefits.

(iv) Cottage cheese: Depending on the type you eat, cottage cheese can offer as much as twenty-five grams of protein per serving, plus calcium.

(v) Salmon: This fatty fish is high in protein and omega-3 fatty acids, which can help in muscle development.

(vi) Beans: Kidney beans, Black beans, Pinto beans, and some other varieties are a good lean protein choice with fifteen grams per cup. They also provide a lot of vitamins, minerals, and fiber.

(vii) Tofu: Made from soybeans, tofu is an excellent source of protein, especially for vegetarians and vegans, and is also rich in calcium.

(viii) Tempeh: This fermented type soybean product is less processed than tofu and so retains more micronutrients while also providing vegan protein.

(ix) Greek yogurt: Yogurt is an easy protein snack and good smoothie ingredient, but make sure that you use Greek yogurt for more protein.

(x) Tuna: This is an excellent protein as part of a meal or snack. It provides a lot of vitamins and 7 grams of protein in one ounce.

(xi) Protein powders: Whereas whole foods are always best, protein powders can be an easy way to add in extra grams of protein in a day. The whey-based powder is an excellent option. In addition, vegans can choose pea protein powder.

(xii) Quinoa: This classic grain offers about 8 grams of protein per cup as well as forty grams of complex carbohydrates.

(xiii) Brown rice: Unlike white rice, brown rice is not refined, so it provides more nutrients and protein.

(xiv) Peanuts: This nut-like legume contains seventeen grams of protein per half-cup.

(xv) Nuts and seeds: Include a variety of nuts and seeds in your diet, like walnuts, almonds, cashews, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, and others for protein, carbohydrates, and many micronutrients.

Knowing What To Avoid Eating To Gain Muscle Is Also Important

When trying to gain muscle without adding fat, getting the right balance of nutrients and calories is crucial. You need to keep away from so-called empty calories. That means avoiding junk food.

Besides protein-rich foods and complex carbs such as listed above, make sure to source the rest of the day’s calories from mostly vegetables. Some fruit is good, too, particularly before a workout.

[Read here: What To Eat For Effective Muscle Gain]

Foods That You Should Avoid

The kinds of foods that don’t contribute to muscle growth and need to be avoided include:

(i) Alcoholic Products: They are really empty calories with almost nil nutritional value. Also, drinking may make you skip a workout the next day.

(ii) Added sugars: While natural sugars in fruits and vegetables help fuel workouts, added sugars in processed foods only contribute to fat gains.

(iii) Fried and processed foods: They are a kind of junk food. It may have protein, but the presence of fats and additives can promote inflammation and contribute to putting on fat, not muscle tissues.

You need to have the patience to gain muscles. However, you can gain muscles faster with a healthy, protein-rich diet along with an effective workout plan.

Here is a helpful, informative VIDEO on How Vegetarian Can Get Protein In Their Everyday Diet: