When going to the gym or working out at home, some people have the goal of losing fat and weight, and others want to gain muscle. However, growing muscles takes more than just resistance training and weightlifting.
How To Support Fitness Goals With Proper Nutrition
Working out breaks down the tissues in existing muscles, but those muscle tissues rebuild and become bigger and stronger during recovery. One thing people need to understand is that the body cannot build those new muscles from nothing.
It is important to watch diet because the food people eat provides the body with the right nutrients to build new and bigger muscles. Working out and not eating enough could lead to muscle loss. People could also lack the energy they need to work out.
How Much Food Should People Eat?
When people go to the gym to gain muscle, it could be hard for them to start eating a lot, especially because they are worried they will gain more weight. However, they should understand that the extra food gives them the strength to work out and helps build new muscle mass.
They need to have enough calories in their body because those give them the strength to work out. Without enough calories, the body struggles to get the energy, and eventually, the body starts using the muscles to fuel itself, which causes muscle loss.
The number of calories people need for muscle growth differs depending on their exercises and how much muscle they want to gain.
The key foods people should eat include:
Proteins are key to everybody working out because they help in the recovery of muscles. Muscles are built up of proteins. When people exercise, they break down their muscle fibers.
However, during recovery, the body fuses new protein strands to the old ones, making the muscles stronger and bigger. Muscles grow when the amount of proteins used in muscle recovery is more than those broken down during exercises.
Different people need different amounts of proteins for their bodies to remain healthy. For inactive people, for example, they need around 0.81 grams of proteins for every kilogram of body mass. That translates to around 95-136 grams for someone weighing 150 pounds. This can come in the form of meats, some vegetable proteins, and the best BCAA powder.
However, people who are working to gain muscle need 1.6 grams of protein for every kilogram of body mass, translating to 109 grams for a person weighing 150 pounds.
While protein is key in muscle growth, people should be careful not to eat too much. That is because it could lead to weight gain if a lot of it is left unused by the body. It could also overwork the kidneys, leading to kidney stones.
You can get proteins from a lot of sources, including:
• Dairy products
• Protein shakes
• Protein powders
Also known as energy-giving foods, carbohydrates are responsible for giving the body the energy it needs during workouts. They help refill the energy stores in the body in the form of glycogen.
When looking for carbohydrate sources, people should look for nutrient-dense foods because they sustain the glycogen stores better. That makes it easier for the person working out to work out longer and more effectively.
People should also include some fats in their diet. While they should avoid trans and saturated fats, they can try and include unsaturated fats.
Not only are they healthier, but they also help maintain hormonal function and boost metabolism. When counting caloric intake, people should include fat up to 15-20% of that caloric intake.
When planning on the intake of these nutrients, people should consider the timing. Experts recommend that they should take protein-rich beverages or foods around 20 minutes before and after a workout.
How Do People Gain Muscle Mass?
While watching nutrition is important to help in muscle mass growth, some tips will not only make it easier but also more effective, including:
Always have your breakfast
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day because it gives people the energy boost they need in the morning. It also keeps them feeling fuller for longer, which reduces the amount of food they eat during the day.
Proteins are the best types of food for breakfast because, unlike carbs that only give a shot of energy for a short time, they keep people energized and fuller throughout the day.
Get enough sleep
The better muscles recover, the stronger and bigger they become. Besides eating enough proteins, it is key that people get enough sleep.
That is because muscles recover best when people are sleeping because the body releases a human growth hormone to boost muscle growth and reduces cortisol, the stress hormone.
Getting enough sleep also helps the body release more muscle-building testosterone.
Reduce between-set rest periods
After people have been lifting weights or doing tedious resistance training exercises, they may be tempted to rest for a long time between the sessions. However, they should reduce the time they rest in between workouts.
Experts recommend keeping the rest periods between 30 and 90 seconds because that encourages the body to quickly release muscle-building hormones like the human growth hormone and testosterone.
It also ensures that the muscles are fatigued, such that during recovery, there is more muscle build-up.
Emphasize the eccentric phase
In workouts, there are eccentric (easy) and concentric (hard) phases. According to experts, the eccentric phases trigger muscle growth than the concentric phases. People can therefore increase the duration of eccentric phases or incorporate eccentric-only exercises in their routines.
How To Increase Strength and Remain Lean
Take supplements- Sometimes, it becomes hard to get all the nutrients from foods. Supplements help boost those nutrients, which ensures that people get all the nutrients they need.
Eat more protein and fruits- Protein helps in muscle growth, and fruits provide the body with the necessary micronutrients without adding a lot of calories.
Eat more whole foods- Whole foods keep people feeling fuller for longer and have more nutrients than processed foods.
Stay away from snacks and alcohol- Snacks contain unhealthy sugars and fats. Alcohol contains a lot of calories and might make it hard for people to exercise the following day.