Foods for muscle growth
It’s a fact: most people who want to bulk up want to gain in the form of muscle not fat! Although an increase in body fat is virtually inevitable during this process, it is nevertheless possible to maximize muscle growth by adjusting your food intake accordingly.
First of all, to gain muscle mass, your energy intake must be greater than your expenditure. In other words, you must consume more calories than you burn. Therefore, in order to gain 0.5 to 1 pound a week, you should consume between 250 to 500 calories more per day than usual. These calories should come from nutritional foods which, besides supplying carbohydrates, proteins and fats, will provide vitamins and minerals necessary for muscle recovery. In order to accomplish this, follow these guidelines:
· Favour high energy carbohydrates, this is to say foods containing many calories in a small volume.
Examples: certain fruits such as the banana or the mango, dried fruits, potato, bagel, breakfast cereals such as muesli or granola, cereal bars, etc.
· Choose calorie rich proteins.
Examples: cheese, tuna, salmon, beef, nuts and grains, peanut butter, eggs, humus, etc.
· Eat frequently. Ideally, every 2 to 3 hours. If need be, add a meal and eat several snacks during the day. By spreading out your calorie and protein intake throughout the day, you will promote muscle growth.
· Remember to hydrate your body not only during workouts but all day long. You can stick to water or you can choose a higher calorie drink with some nutritional value such as juice, milk, smoothie, soy beverage, etc.
· Do not neglect snacks before and after your workouts. In this regard, I invite you to read our post: Pre and post-workout meals. If your session exceeds 60 minutes, drink a sports drink such as Gatorade® during your workout: your blood sugar and energy levels will be maintained throughout. Your workout may well be more productive!
In closing, remember to rest between workouts. Furthermore, it is important to customize your workouts according to your objective: in order to do this, a personal trainer is key! I would also advise you to enlist the services of a nutritionist who can evaluate the exact calorie, carb, protein and fat needs which will ensure an optimum intake of vitamins and minerals.
By Vanessa Martin