Are you looking for what to eat for muscle gain & how much protein to eat for a more efficient and effective muscles growth? Read on here!
The Role Of Diet In Building Muscle Mass
Gaining muscles involves more than just working out & lifting weights.
The fact is that building muscles & losing fat not only depend on a regular workout routine, but also on what you eat.
Generally the guys looking to get lean & stronger muscles go gung-ho to get in the gym and lift, and that’s good. But they should focus just as much on their diet.
Though the muscle gaining happens slowly, but with the right diet, you can achieve your goals sooner.
Knowing What to Eat to Build Muscle Mass Gives Better Results
If you’re trying to get stronger & bigger muscles, working out regularly is the key. Strength training helps break down your muscle tissues. During recovery those tissues are rebuild bigger & stronger.
However, our bodies can’t construct new muscle tissue out of nothing. To enable your body to create new tissues & make gains you need to have the right nutrients present in your body to create muscle.
This explains that what we eat, and how much, plays a big role in building muscle mass. Working out & strength training without sufficient nutrition, particularly without adequate protein, can actually cause damage & loss of muscle tissues.
Moreover, if we aren’t eating right we won’t have the energy to perform the workouts that help us gain muscles.
There are two basic diet rules to achieve the optimum gains in strength & build muscle mass:
(i) Adequate calories overall, every day, &
(ii) And sufficient protein to reconstruct more muscle tissues.
A balance between both these key constituents is important.
If you eat a sufficient protein but not enough total calories, you’ll lack energy to workout for gaining more muscles.
If you eat adequate calories but eat junk & not sufficient protein, your body will not build muscle tissue and instead you will gain fat.
How Much To Eat When Gaining Muscle Mass
For gaining muscle, your body requires more total calories each day as compared to when your body just have to maintain it’s composition. This is the truth contrary to what many people think that more calories will lead to fat gain. But the caveat is: If you are working out in the right way, the extra calories will go into building muscle mass.
Dietary Protein – Building Block For Muscle Hypertrophy (Muscle Growth)
To be healthy & fit during any type of workout program, you need to eat a balanced, nutrient-dense diet. However, to focus on muscle growth, eating sufficient protein is the main key! The reason is that muscle tissues are made up largely of proteins.
If you are active, and struggling to gain muscle mass, it is really necessary to focus on your protein intake and make adjustments if required. Here are some general rules from sports science and nutrition organizations:
(i) For sedentary folks, about 0.81 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight is adequate. This translates to 56 grams of protein per day for a 70-kg person.
(ii) For active individuals, both the American College of Sports Medicine & the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics suggest about 1.2 to 1.7 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. This means for an individual of 70 kg body weight about 84 to 119 grams of protein everyday.
Another study that examined 49 other studies found that the needed amount of protein per a day to build muscle mass is about 1.6 grams per kilogram of body weight. This means for a 70 kg person, about 112 grams of protein a day.
Don’t Underestimate Carbs
Many of us when focus on the protein intake, and tend to forget the other macronutrients. A balance is necessary, and carbs are particularly important for fueling the workouts to build muscles.
So each meal and snack should include protein as well as carbs and a little bit of fat.
But there is no special need to look at the fat. If we are eating sufficient protein and carbs, we are likely to have sufficient fat in our diet. Moreover, fat is easier to store in your body, so it’s less likely to be deficient.
Choosing Foods To Gain Muscle
We need to eat lean proteins, and the foods that are high in protein as well as complex carbs and micronutrients.
15 Top Protein-Rich Foods And Complex Carbs
Opt for high-quality protein-rich foods that contain other nutrients as well. Make sure to eat a variety of them:
(i) Egg: 1 egg contains about 6 grams of protein along with healthy fats & B vitamins.
(ii) Chicken: Chicken breast is a good choice because it’s a lean protein source, about 26 grams per 3 ounces.
(iii) Lean Beef: It’s is a good protein source. Choose lean cuts. Besides protein, it has creatine, which is known to promote athletic performance and provide other health benefits.
(iv) Cottage Cheese: Cottage cheese can provide as much as up to 25 grams of protein plus calcium per serving – depending upon which type is this!
(v) Salmon: Being a fatty fish type, it’s rich in protein as well as omega-3 fatty acids; both are good for muscle gain.
(vi) Beans: These are many types such as black beans, kidney beans, pinto beans; they are a good lean protein source as much as 15 grams per cup. Besides they contain a variety of vitamins, minerals, and good amount of fiber as well.
(vii) Tofu: Made of soybeans, tofu is a great source of protein for vegetarians & vegans, plus it’s is high in calcium.
(viii) Tempeh: This is a fermented soybean product, less processed kind than tofu. It retains more micronutrient. A great source of protein for vegetarian/vegan protein.
(ix) Greek Yogurt: Yogurt is an easy snack choice and great smoothie ingredient, but go for Greek yogurt (less sweetened type) for more protein.
(x) Tuna: This is a great protein source that can be taken as a snack or as part of a meal. It provides a variety of vitamins and 20 grams of protein per 3 ounces.
(xi) Protein Powders: Whereas whole foods should always be preferred, protein powders are a good way to meet your extra protein needs per day. Whey-based powder is an excellent option, and pea protein powder for vegans.
(xii) Quinoa: This ancient grain has about eight grams of protein in a cup along with forty grams of complex carbohydrates.
(xiii) Brown Rice: This is a type that has not been refined as white rice, thus it has more protein & nutrients.
(xiv) Peanuts: This nut-like legume contains about seventeen grams of protein per half-cup – wow!
(xv) Nuts And Seeds: In addition to all the above there are a variety of nuts and seeds such as almonds, walnuts, cashews, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, and many others that can fill up your protein, carbs, and micronutrients needs.
What To Eat For Gaining Muscle Mass Also Means Avoiding Junk
When you are trying to eat the right balance of enough nutrients and calories for gaining muscles without fat then you will not have any room for so-called empty calories. This means, you will have to avoid junk food.
Besides the protein-rich foods & complex carbohydrates, such as brown rice and quinoa, you can get the rest of the day’s calories by eating mostly vegetables. Some fruit is also good, particularly prior to a workout. The kinds of foods that don’t contribute anything towards muscle gain and so be avoided include:
(i) Alcohol: These are really empty calories without any nutritional value. Moreover, drinking can make you skip work out the next day.
(ii) Added sugars: Added sugars contained in processed foods leads to fat gains. On the other hand, natural sugars in fruits and vegetables not only provide essential nutrients, but also help fuel the workouts.
(iii) Fried and Processed Foods: Some types of junk foods may provide protein, but the fats and additives enhance inflammation and make you put on fat, not muscle.
Follow the above broad dietary guidelines along with a regular workout plan for achieving more efficient & effective muscle growth.