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Muscle Growth Fact Sheet

Nutrition Basics for Optimal Results

Gaining muscle is no simple feat. There are many different factors involved and just as many different opinions. Small tweaks in diet, training, and supplements may be able to enhance muscle growth. However, no matter what diet, program, or regimen you are on, follow these basic guidelines above all else to get the best results.

Increase Your Calories by ~300-500 kCals Daily

Building muscle (just like building anything really) takes time, work and energy. You put the time and work in at the gym, now make sure you give your body the energy it needs to pack on that extra muscle. Find out how many calories you burn each day here[link][/link] and throw and extra 300-500 on top.

Consume Proper Protein – 1.4g/kg Body-Weight

Protein is made of amino acids, which are the building blocks to all the proteins in your body, including your muscle tissue. Proper protein intake is essential in gaining muscle from exercise training. Research has shown that optimal levels of protein intake for athletes is just 1.4 grams per kilogram of body weight which comes out to just under .7 grams per pound of body weight. For the average 180 lb male, that comes out to about 120 grams of protein per day. Calculate your daily protein needs here[link][/link].

Consume 20-25 Grams of Protein Every 3-4 Hours

Protein synthesis (building muscle) occurs in different phases throughout the day. The time after a meal when your body is digesting and utilizing the consumed nutrients is called the postprandial period. This lasts about 3-4 hours and is marked by increases in blood sugar, insulin, amino acids, free fatty acids, and most importantly to us, an increase in muscle protein synthesis as well. Interestingly although blood sugar, insulin, amino acids and free fatty acids keep increasing the more food you eat, muscle protein synthesis does not. There is little reason to eat more than 20-25 grams of protein per meal, as it will not enhance your muscle growth. ***Reference After about 3-4 hours, protein synthesis levels return to their normal rates, but once they do, they can be increased again with another meal of 20-25 grams protein. *** Reference

Take Whey Protein After Each Training Session – 20-25 Grams

Research has proven that consuming a protein supplement immediately after training results in greatly enhanced rates of muscle protein synthesis. *Reference* The best protein supplements should be labeled as “whey isolate protein.”

Add Creatine to Your Supplement Regimen – 5 Grams Daily

Creatine is a small amino acid complex. It is found in your body and is highly concentrated in your muscle cells. Creatine is responsible for replenishing your muscles ATP stores (ATP is what your body uses for energy). This means that with creatine not only do your muscles have more energy, but they have a greater ability to recover and grow. In the hundreds of studies conducted, creatine users generally show a 20-30 percent greater increase in muscle strength and size compared to their placebo counterparts. Consider a “loading” regimen for creatine. For the first 5-7 days, take 20 grams of creatine split into 5 grams doses throughout the day. Follow this loading with a 5 gram daily dose, best consumed in your post workout shake or with carbohydrates. This protocol has shown size and strength benefits in just 7 days.

Eat a Small Meal Before You Sleep and When You Wake Up

During rest, the body falls into a catabolic state. This means to perform the functions needed to survive, it begins to break down stored tissue. Periods where you have not eaten for a while and your body enters a catabolic state is referred to as the postabsorptive state. Guess what the main tissue your body breaks down to attain the necessary amino acids? Your Muscle! By eating a meal before you go to sleep, you reduce the amount of time your body will spend in the postabsorptive state, breaking down your muscle. It may be even more helpful to consume slow digesting proteins like cottage cheese, milk, or a casein supplement or add some healthy fats to slow digestion like natural peanut butter, almonds, or walnuts. These foods are merely suggestions; the main point is to consume a meal with 20-25 grams of protein before you go to bed. Just as important as eating before you sleep to reduce time spent in the catabolic state, is the need to eat something when you wake up. Every minute you spend in the morning before getting protein to your body is potentially reducing your muscle gains.

Piece of Cake … Nutrition

-Increase kCalories by 300-500 daily

-Consume between .6-.7 grams of protein per pound of body weight daily

-Split your protein consumption into 20-25 g doses every 3-4 hours

-Take a whey isolate protein supplement ASAP after every training session

-Use 5g of  creatine daily, taken either after training or with carbohydrates

-Eat a meal before you sleep and when you wake up

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