If you’re thinking of building your muscles and adding some weight, there’s a huge chance you have started strength training but you need more than that.
While lifting weights is one of the best ways to make your muscles grow, pumping iron alone isn’t going to get you where you want to go as another important factor you should put into consideration is your diet.
All foods are however not created equal and you may have to make certain adjustments to your diet if lean muscle is what you’re after. Here are a number of changes that will make you add weight and build your muscles.
Take More Proteins
Proteins are muscle-building micronutrients that contain essential amino acids, like leucine, which are critical in repairing and rebuilding the tiny tears that pumping iron may create in your muscle tissues which helps them grow bigger and faster.
You however need to be smart about what you eat, as there is an optimal level of protein needed for each person. Consuming up to 1.6 grams (g) of protein per kilogram of body weight, or 0.73 g per pound, is ideal for building muscle. So if you weigh 180 pounds, a day’s worth would be about 130 grams of protein.
You can get the bulk of this through whole foods, like lean meat, fish, and eggs.
Eat Your Proteins At The Right Time
The human body is primed to respond to protein after your workout, which is why you should aim to eat at least 20 grams of it from a high-quality source such as 3 eggs, or 2 ounces of lean meat or fish if you are to take advantage of the hormonal changes triggered by strength training.
It is important you do this because resistance training breaks your muscles down, and you will need a surge of amino acids to help repair and build them. You have roughly two hours to get your protein fix after working out to see results.
What you eat before working out also has an effect too. Eating a protein-rich meal two to three hours before training will help you reap the most muscle building benefits. It is best you plan out your protein consumption in advance, so you spread it out evenly throughout your day.
Eat More Calories
For you to gain muscles, you have to gain weight. You need to have a surplus of calories for your body to have permission to store some of that protein in the form of muscle tissue.
More so, the extra calories help fuel your workouts, which can be beneficial because the more energy you have, the harder you can go at the gym.
An average person needs a minimum of 2,800 calories per day, but there is a high chance that you will need to eat more if you’re looking to gain muscles.
Avoid Eating Junk Foods
Overeating can quickly put you at risk for gaining body fat if you don’t properly regulate them.
As such, you should be smart about where your macronutrients are coming from. It is difficult to gain fat by eating excess protein but other macronutrients can come into play.
Eating unhealthy options such as fast food, to meet your caloric surplus might do more harm than good. The goal should be to eat healthy food and you should avoid junk food while building your muscles.