Build Muscle

Gaining Lean Muscle

Gaining good lean muscle can sometimes be a hassle; some people feel they just can’t do it. Well let’s have a look at the nutrition required to do this.

In short, to pack on muscle mass you need large amounts of protein, carbohydrates and fats. These nutrients all serve very important parts in gaining lean muscle mass.

Proteins are obviously what our muscles use to rebuild and build new muscle fibres, in a process called hypertrophy, combined with weightlifting. As a rule of thumb, bodybuilders need an intake of 1.5g of protein per pound of body weight. This is because our body uses protein for normal bodily functions such as skin and nail rejuvenation. Therefore, you need more than ‘Joe Bloggs’ down the road. There are many forms of protein, but Whey and Casein are the two you want to know about. Whey is a fast digesting protein which will hit your bloodstream very quickly, ideal for first thing in the morning and right after training. It keeps your protein synthesis levels high, but not for that long. Casein is a very slow digesting protein, which is perfect right before bed. Therefore, it is advisable that during the day you want a mixture of Whey and Casein to get the best of both worlds.

Carbohydrates are always a funny topic, most are scared of them, while the wise worship them. You simply cannot maximize your full potential as a bodybuilder without them. For the majority of your intake you want low G.I. carbs found in whole meal pasta, rice and oats mainly. This will minimize body fat increases, while pushing energy levels to the full for the gym. Many don’t know, but the majority of our energy comes from these slow digesting carbohydrates while weightlifting, therefore it is vital to have plenty. There are two times in the day where we are thankful for high G.I carbs such as sugars. This is first thing in the morning and right after training. In short, when we wake up after an 8 hour fast our body is in a catabolic state, where by as energy it begins to eat our hard earned muscle. By giving it an injection of high G.I. carbs we counteract this and they are digested very quickly and used as fuel, not stored as fat. This is the same right after training. There are some brilliant supplements designed for right after training, with high protein and high sugar carbohydrate levels. The amount of carbs to be consumed while gaining weight should be in the region of 2g per pound of body weight, day and night.

Fats are probably the most misunderstood nutrient of them all. People associate them as being unhealthy, pointless and a pain. They couldn’t be more wrong. This association comes from saturated fat, as this is what we don’t want. But unsaturated fat is essential. It keeps our minds sane; it is a valuable source of energy with 1g of fat equaling around 9 calories. However the best bit is it slows the body’s ability to absorb calories, meaning there is less chance of all the carbohydrates and calories you are taking on turning into body fat. Therefore it has a great use when gaining lean muscle mass.

Combine these nutrients together to form a high calorific diet and watch your muscle gains skyrocket.

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