It’s time to build up some new muscle mass, and you don’t want to waste any time. You are lifting more weight than ever. You’ve adjusted your schedule to allow for more time in the gym, and more time to rest as well. You’re using the recommended bodybuilding supplements, and you’re ready to adjust your diet. But you’re not quite sure which of the very vital macronutrients – fat, protein, or carbohydrates – that you should be increasing in order to give your body the fuel it needs to train, and the tools it needs to recover and grow following each workout.
Dietary protein contains amino acids, and you know that they are vital for muscle growth. However, you are also aware that since you aren’t using steroids, your body isn’t going to be able to make much use of anything past 450 grams of protein each day. The rest will be urinated away harmlessly, placing your kidneys at a slight disadvantage but nothing from which a healthy person cannot recover. Spiking your fats doesn’t sound like a very good idea either. Aside from the fact that a new fresh sheen of body fat will obscure your muscles and make it tougher to get in shape the next time you diet down, you also have to consider the health effects. You don’t exactly want to be facing a heart attack at age 40 like so many other bodybuilders who have scoffed down 300 grams of fat each day in the name of building new muscle mass.
The key to giving your body adequate fuel for training, recovery and growth will therefore be in carbohydrate manipulation. You’ll need to consume more carbohydrates more often, and they’ll have to be the correct kinds of carbs. But which carbohydrate options for making muscle mass gains are going to be your best choice? Ideally, a diet rich in potatoes, granola, pasta, legumes, rice, yams, and beans will serve a lifter right.
Timing is also an important key to successful carbohydrate feeding. You are probably already consuming protein every three hours as per the standard muscle meal eating plan. And this will be the same. Each protein feeding will be accompanied by a carb feeding. Suppose you average 1.5 to 2 servings of protein (35 to 50 grams at each meal). You will want to average 2.5 to 4 carb servings at each meal as will. This will place your daily carb intake at 60% or more of your total diet – which is a very good thing.
Fiber can also not be overlooked when planning your carbohydrate intake. Too many starchy carb sources will leave you constipated and slow. But they are required for building muscle and fueling workouts. Therefore you should include one fruit or vegetable serving at each meal.
Remember that simply spiking your carbs intake alone won’t build new muscle – it’ll actually lead to a caloric surplus which can make you gain body fat. However, a gradual increase of carb source feedings every three hours, coupled with a high protein diet, plenty of heavy compound lifting, and adequate rest and recovery time will lead you to plenty of new muscle. Now get lifting – and eating!
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