Beginners who first come to the gym most often want to gain high-quality muscle mass as quickly as possible. This is also true for experienced athletes who want to grow even more, and therefore the question of choosing an effective technique always remains open and causes a lot of controversy. In fact, there is no optimal answer to the question of what is the ideal diet for gaining muscle mass. It will be different for each person, and will depend on the indicators and characteristics of the body. However, there are general nuances that deserve attention. It is to their consideration that we now take time.
Mass gain: what do I need to grow?
Wanting to see a solid number on the scales, you need to clearly understand the simplest “components” of rapid muscle growth:
- Muscles grow if we FREQUENTLY and CORRECTLY train.
- Muscles grow if we RELAX and FULLY relax.
- Muscles grow if we eat MUCH and CORRECTLY.
Remove at least one item from this list – and you can say goodbye to rapid progress (or even completely forget about achieving a dream).
Nutrition Basics for Fast Growth
Do not be afraid of the word “diet”, mentioned at the beginning of the article. This does not mean at all that you will have to limit yourself in nutrition, as happens when “drying” and losing weight. Rather, on the contrary, in this case you will have to eat so much that you begin to feel a real aversion to food.
We highlight the key nuances in accordance with which the diet for gaining muscle mass will be really effective and will give a positive result:
- The number of calories by 15-20% should exceed the amount needed for a person who does not engage in sports.
- The ideal ratio in food: proteins – 20%, fats – 20%, carbohydrates – 60%.
- The number of meals per day: 4-6 times.
- The amount of protein per 1 kilogram of weight: 2-3 grams.
Now in more detail.
What are we eating?
In the same way as the program is selected for each athlete independently, there is an individual and a diet for gaining muscle mass. Therefore, each athlete should independently analyze, plan and clearly draw up a menu. This is not very difficult to do, but sticking to is not an easy task, and therefore you will have to try your best.
Instead of beautiful magnets, it’s best to attach tables to your refrigerator that remind us of the usefulness and content of food. Glycemic index, calorie content, protein, fat, carbohydrates, vitamins – these are your main and irreplaceable cheat sheets. Here is a short list of the most useful products:
- sources of vitamins: fresh fruits, berries, vegetables, herbs;
- protein sources: dairy products (cottage cheese, milk), eggs, meat, nuts, fish;
- carbohydrate sources: cereals, potatoes, pasta, fruits, honey, buckwheat;
- sources of fats (“good”): fish oil, linseed oil, red fish, vegetable oils, nuts.
When do we eat?
There is a need every 2-3 hours – you should not allow even a slight feeling of hunger. Therefore, divide the planned diet into a larger number of receptions (as mentioned above – 5-6). This is necessary in order to maintain a sufficient level of sugar in your blood, and amino acids in the plasma. This will provide you with energy for exercise and the “material” for building new muscle fibers.
The “key” meal, by the way, is not breakfast at all. Most of all, you should eat after a load in the gym – during the “carbohydrate window”, which “opens” for about an hour. Eating during this period will create a natural anabolic effect that stimulates accelerated recovery and muscle growth.
Naturally, you should not deal with an empty stomach. A couple of hours before visiting the gym, it is recommended to eat protein foods, an hour – foods rich in carbohydrate.
Sport nutrition: how to grow, but not overeat
We carry out some simple mathematical calculations.
For example, your weight is 80 kilograms. It follows that you should consume at least 160 grams of protein per day. These are about 20 chicken eggs – agree, not too pleasant diet? Moreover, it is also not very easy to supplement the norm from other products: you will have to eat a lot and often, which is difficult both physically and materially.
The solution is sports nutrition. Supplements in orderly rows on store shelves allow you not to turn your life into one full breakfast. First of all, this concerns protein – the best source of protein, it allows you to replenish the required amount of this substance in the body. This is the main supplement for an athlete who is training “on weight” – remember this.
Another “helper” for muscle growth is the gainer – it neutralizes energy deficits after exercise or in the morning. In addition, it contains a considerable amount of protein – which should be considered when planning a diet.