Muscle building is a slow and complex process. You have to do a lot of exercises, but you also need a well-designed diet, with proper levels of both micro and macronutrients.
Most people only think about macronutrients –protein, fat, and carbs. However, you mustn’t forget vitamins and minerals (micronutrients), which are also crucial for proper diet and muscle building.
The thing is, you need a precise quantity of each of these to achieve your goals. Therefore, let’s take a look at ten small changes you need to implement to build your muscles to the desired level.
Increase the Number of Calories You Eat
The logic here is simple – you first need to gain weight before you gain muscles. Also, all those extra calories you put into the body will help your exercises; more calories equals more energy.
Hence, you’ll be able to work out more and more. The number of calories you need depends on your gender, age, weight, metabolism, frequency and intensity of workouts, and finally your goals.
There are also some helpful online tools to calculate calories.
Eat Enough Protein
Protein is a crucial macronutrient in muscle gaining process. It plays a vital role in repairing and rebuilding muscle tissue, increasing your muscle size, and making the whole process of muscle gaining a lot faster.
However, you should know how much protein do you need and to spread it properly throughout the day. Keep those things in mind when making your diet or contact a nutritionist.
Protein shakes are also a convenient way of increasing your protein level.
Eat Enough Carbohydrates
On the other hand, carbs are not that important for muscle growth. Nevertheless, they are essential for your training sessions. You might even call them “training fuel”.
You store carbs in your muscles as glycogen, and if you run out of it, your energy level will drop, and you won’t be able to work out. Choose the proper carbs for your diet (brown rice, sweet potatoes, etc.), and calculate how much of it do you need, depending on the intensity and length of your training sessions.
Fat is Not the Enemy
When there’s no other source of energy, the body uses fat for some time. Also, fat plays an essential role in building healthy cells, as well as absorbing vitamins into the body. Your diet has to contain healthy fats (olive oil, avocados, lean meats, etc.), and around 30% of your daily calories should come from this source.
Supplements are beneficial in different diets. The same applies to the muscle building process. However, they are not intended to replace any of the various foods you should eat during the day. And don’t take more than you’re allowed!
Drink More Water
Seems like an easy task, but people sometimes tend to underestimate the value of water. During the training sessions, you lose a lot of fluids, and therefore, you have to replace it with additional water.
You need to be well hydrated before workouts, during it, and afterwards, too. Maintaining hydration is crucial for the quality of your exercises, as well as muscle growth.
Don’t Forget Micro-nutrients
Not only micronutrients are necessary for your health, but they are also vital for your muscles. Muscle cells need certain minerals to produce energy. Therefore, you have to implement them in your diet. Furthermore, if your diet is well-balanced, you won’t need any additional vitamins or minerals, just stick to the plan.
Eat a Few Hours Before the Workout
According to experts, you should eat between one and three hours before the training. And that meal should have both carbs and protein. You need carbs for fuel (as we mentioned earlier), and protein for building and repairing the body.
A mixture of these macronutrients also helps in providing the right amino acids to your muscles.
And After the Workout, Too
The famous “anabolic window” is the ideal post-workout eating time interval. Many professionals were advocating the thesis that the time frame of this interval is short.
However, a 2013 research shows that the window is open for several hours. Therefore, you don’t have to eat immediately when you come home from the gym.
Avoid Junk Food and Alcohol
I know this would be a tough task for you guys, but it’s pretty relevant. A burger here or there, or some occasional beer will not do significant harm, but it is not recommendable either.
If you really have a firm goal of building up your muscles, then you should give up on those things. Both of them are terrible for your health, and they contain a lot of empty, useless calories.