Optimal Nutrition for maximum muscle gain.

Optimal Nutrition for maximum muscle gain.

Optimal Nutrition for maximum muscle gain.

To put on muscle you need to eat 5-6 times per day. This regularly fueling of your body goes towards keeping your body in an anabolic state as opposed to a catabolic state.  When your body is in an anabolic state with sufficient glycogen in the blood stream you are more capable of growing muscle. Of course this is not the only criteria to increasing your lean muscle mass but definitely one of the more important ones.

Next thing is to eat the correct type of meals. You essentially need protein to repair and grow muscle and carbohydrates and fats for energy. I would suggest a nutrition plan of 35% protein, 45% carbohydrates, and 20% unsaturated fats is most beneficial to muscular development in most cases. The percentage break down can be varied for different metabolism and body types. If you were an ectomorph with a fast metabolism it would be beneficial to increase the percentage of carbohydrates (choose ones with low glycemic index) and reduce slightly the protein levels, 25% protein, 55% carbohydrates, 20% unsaturated fats.  With an endomorph having a slower metabolism the reverse would be more beneficial in most cases, 45% protein, 40% carbohydrates, and 15% unsaturated fats.

Calorie Consumption to increase muscle mass.

Let’s begin with a basic formula for determining how many calories you should consume each day.  These calculations are recommended for those pursuing an active lifestyle but I would suggest the numbers to be conservative when referring to a person taking part in 3 or more, heavy weight training session per week. (To calculate kilojoules multiply 1 calorie by 4.2).

The simplest way to do this is to take your bodyweight and multiply it by:

  • 34 if your goal is to gain muscle

For example, if you weigh 70kg and want to gain muscle, multiply your bodyweight by 34.  Therefore, you should consume a minimum of 2,380 (70 x 34) calories a day.  You may have to adjust your number up or down, depending on your metabolism and activity level.  If you’re finding it hard to make progress using these equations, increase or decrease your calorie level by 100-200 per day (not per meal) and see how this benefits you.  If you’re consuming 2380 calories and your meal break down is 35% from protein, 45% from carbohydrates, and 20% from unsaturated fat sources below are the maths.

  • 2380 x 0.35 = 833 calories from protein
  • 2380 x 0.45 = 1071 calories from carbohydrates
  • 2380 x 0.20 = 476 calories from fat

So, now you know how many calories of protein, carbohydrates and fat to eat throughout the day.  Next, you’ll need to know how these calories convert to grams.

Here’s an example if you consume 2380 calories.

  • 833 protein calories Divided by 4 calories per gram (833/4) = 208.25 grams of protein
  • 1071 carbohydrates calories divided by 4 calories per gram (1071/4) = 267.75 grams of carbohydrates
  • 476 fat calories divided by 9 caloreis per gram (476/9) = 52.88 grams of fat

Make sure you’re eating 5-6 meals a day, spread evenly throughout the day.  By eating frequently you keep your blood-sugar levels stable, increase your metabolic rate and increase nutrient absorption.  To determine how many grams of protein, carbohydrates, and fat to eat each meal, just divide your daily intake by the 5 or 6 meals you eat per day.

Here’s an example if you consume 26 times your bodyweight or less:

  • 195 grams of protein divided by 6 meals a day = 32.5 grams of protein per meal
  • 195 grams of carbohydrates divided by 6 meals a day = 32.5 grams of carbohydrates per meal
  • 43.3 grams of fat divided by 6 meals a day = 7.2 grams of fat per meal

After all these calculations, it’s the perfect time to remind you that your meals don’t have to match up exactly, but endeavor to get as near as possible.

Always remember to put on muscle you must approach it from three angles, Exercise, Nutrition and Rest. If any one of these three are missing your progress maybe severely hampered.

 

Good luck, train hard, eat right and rest easy.

David Renouf

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