By: Alice Reegan
Not medically reviewed by Dr. Erin Stair
When it comes to pursuing the goal of bulking up, many people around the globe reach for protein supplements and bodybuilding hacks to build muscle mass as fast as possible. However, while there are several supplements out there that will definitely help you pack on muscle tissue easier, the healthiest approach is to make specific dietary changes, follow a healthy lifestyle, and of course, spend quite a bit of your time pumping iron at the gym. Specific eating plans such as the strongman diet are excellent choices for building muscle mass because such eating plans focus on nutrition that can encourage the body to develop lean muscle, so you won’t just be turning fat into muscle. These dietary changes are generally included in eating plans that are suitable for building muscle mass.
Increase Your Protein Intake
There’s a reason most bodybuilder supplements and eating plans seem to focus a lot on protein intake; protein is a muscle-building macronutrient that contains essential proteins for the process of building muscle. The more protein you have in your eating plan, the faster and bigger your muscles will grow. However, it is also crucial to avoid overindulging in protein-rich foods, especially if your time at the gym is not relevant to your high protein intake, as this can lead to fat gain. When building muscle, researchers recommend an intake of 1.6 grams of protein per kilogram of bodyweight.
Eating Proteins At The Right Time
It’s often not just what you eat that affects your health, weight, and muscle mass, but also when you eat. For this reason, you must be pretty careful to consume proteins at the right time. Your body will be primed to respond well to protein directly after a workout. Because training and exercises can break down muscle, consuming protein-rich foods after a session at the gym is the perfect solution to aid your body.
Increase Your Calorie Intake
To gain muscle, you will have to gain weight first. Suppose an individual is underweight and would like to start building muscle without making any dietary changes; they would not be able to bulk up as there would be no weight to transform into muscle. For this reason, you must increase your overall calorie intake. Calories act as energy for the body, so calories are the perfect fuel to get you through your gym sessions as well. Many bodybuilders supplement their calorie intake with shakes such as whey protein shakes containing a high-calorie content and a high protein content. These shakes are ideal for enjoying before a gym session.
Avoid Unhealthy Foods
Just because you are supposed to bulk up, increase your protein and calorie intake does not mean you should reach for convenience foods, fast foods, or any kind of junk foods. Indulging in unhealthy foods won’t benefit your goal of gaining muscle, as you will more likely find yourself battling to shed the weight without much muscle-building going on at all.
Fuel Your Workouts With Carbs
Carbs are great for building muscle, although they aren’t always suitable in high portions for anyone hoping to lose weight. However, it is a great idea to use carbs as your fuel for gym sessions, as carbs provide the body with energy. Because you can only eat so much protein, you will need carbs to supplement your new higher energy requirements. While proteins will assist with the process of building muscle, carbs will serve only as fuel, and your body will likely flush them out during gym sessions entirely.
Building muscle is as much of a science as weight loss, and for this reason, your diet must be adjusted to suit your new nutritional needs. Just as you would cut out carbs and eat more fruit and vegetables to lose weight, specific dietary changes are required to achieve desired results when it comes to building muscle. Once you have adjusted your diet or chosen a suitable eating plan to follow, you can also consider adding muscle-building supplements and shakes to your diet to further fuel muscle building.
Be sure to tailor your eating plan to your current weight before you start building muscle. It is essential to consider your current weight and muscle mass to determine your dietary needs. In addition to this, your gym workout sessions should also interlink with your goals. It won’t benefit you to spend just one day a week at the gym when it comes to building muscle, so be sure to find a muscle-building workout plan that will help you achieve your goals as well.