Gaining muscle mass is never easy, but for some people it is even more difficult. If you are in this group, see how to solve the problem! Only for some people, the difficulty is even greater. If you are part of that group, don’t despair. There are a number of strategies that can make your life easier and pave the way for you to achieve your goals. Those strategies are useful for both male and female.
You should already know that muscle development is supported by 3 pillars: training, diet and rest. In each of these areas, it is possible to take specific actions to facilitate the gain of lean mass. Here, we will show you some strategies related to food. And we will also give you an animal tip, which will make all the difference. Want to gain muscle mass more easily? Then link to these tips:
Do not underestimate energy expenditure
Underestimating energy expenditure is very common and is the mistake that can most compromise muscle hypertrophy. To gain muscle mass, you must maintain a positive calorie balance, that is, you must consume more calories than you spend throughout the day. If you consume less calories than you expend, you will never achieve muscle hypertrophy.
The caloric expenditure calculation should consider the basal metabolic rate (BMR). It corresponds to the energy necessary to maintain the vital functions of the organism at rest. Add to that the energy expenditure of physical exercises performed throughout the day.
Other factors can also influence, such as the physical activity factor, which corresponds to the caloric expenditure in routine activities, such as work, walking home, etc. The thermal factor of food, which is related to the amount of energy used by the body to digest food and absorb nutrients must also be considered.
The more detailed and accurate your calculation, the greater the chance of not underestimating your energy expenditure. There are countless ways to perform this calculation, but it is best to do it with a registered dietitian.
Consume the correct amount of calories
It is very common for people with high energy expenditure to be unable to consume the correct number of calories throughout the day, because the caloric requirement is very high. The problem is that not reaching this daily calorie goal can prevent muscle mass gain.
First of all, you should know what the correct amount of calories you should be eating to gain muscle mass. A quick and easy to use calculation to find the number of calories to gain muscle mass is to add 500 calories to your daily energy expenditure.
For example, if your energy expenditure is 2,500 calories per day, you must consume 3,000 calories per day to gain muscle mass.
Want to see some tips for reaching the recommended number of calories? Then, see this:
Eat several meals a day
You can’t eat everything at once, so eat more meals a day. Eating several meals a day also helps maintain anabolic metabolism!
Choose the right foods
Foods have different caloric values. If you are unable to consume a high amount of food each day, you should consume the most caloric foods. Thus, with a smaller volume of food, you achieve a high caloric intake.
This example is from carbohydrate sources, but this same strategy works for protein or fat sources. And, of course, you must maintain healthy eating. There is no point in appealing to ultra-calorie processed foods. Because, although they help you reach your calorie goal, they will cause a lot of problems.
Supplement if necessary
If even with the tips above you don’t get the ideal amount of calories and macronutrients, supplementation can help you. You should check the amount of calories and macronutrients you need and use supplements to meet that need. Good supplements, in this case, are protein supplements, rich in carbohydrates and even massa gainers.
Track macros and count calories
You will never be able to put the tips in the item above if you do not track macronutrients and count calories. It is about knowing the amount of macros and calories you need per day, and monitoring the consumption of all of them throughout the day.
Suppose you go to a registered dietitian and leave with the recommendation to eat 3,000 calories, 375g of carbohydrate, 67g of fat and 225g of protein. To do it right, the only way to do that is to control your food very well – and track macros and count calories.
That means paying attention to the amount of macros and calories in each food you eat. To do this, set up a daily menu that allows you to reach the goal.
The creation of the menu can even be done by the dietitian, but you need to control everything you eat to meet your goals and achieve your goals.
Pay attention to pre and post-workout meals
The meal right after training is possibly the most important for those who want to gain muscle mass and therefore requires extra attention and care. It is essential to prevent catabolism (loss of muscle mass), assist in the recovery process and promote muscle recovery and growth. The main macronutrients, which cannot be left out in this case, are carbohydrates and protein.
The combination of these macronutrients in the post-workout guarantees the replacement of glycogen levels (carbohydrate reserve – which we explain the importance in this other post) and for the protein synthesis process. This meal should consist of foods rich in protein (such as chicken, lean beef, fish, egg whites, etc). And of course, by carbohydrate (rice, bread, pasta, fruit, etc.) or by protein supplements and rich in carbohydrates. The pre-workout meal also has its importance – and it is not small.
In addition to giving you more energy and improving your physical performance, it prevents you from losing muscle mass during training. The most important macronutrients for pre-workout are also carbohydrate and protein. In this case, however, the ideal is to focus on low glycemic index carbohydrates, which guarantee energy for longer and avoid rebound hypoglycemia.
Examples of this type of carbs are whole grains, sweet potatoes, cassava, etc. Carbohydrate helps ensure good stores of glycogen and energy, preventing you from using muscle mass as an energy source.
The protein, in addition to preventing catabolism, ensures better protein synthesis. Just remember, of course, to eat some time before training. And not only to ensure the absorption of nutrients in time for the activity, but also to not feel “heavy”.
Make the appropriate supplementation
If you want to gain muscle, supplements are sure to help. Here comes the question: are they really mandatory? The answer is no. But they can certainly make your mission much easier and get you to your goal in less time.
Check out some of the most important supplements for this stage of body development:
- Mass gainer: it is a supplement that, as its name says, helps you gain mass and has high caloric value. These supplements are rich in calories, carbohydrates, proteins and fats. They help those who have difficulty gaining muscle mass and / or ingesting the correct number of these macronutrients.
- Whey Protein: a very popular supplement, which in addition to being a great source of protein and providing specific benefits, helps those who are unable to consume the correct amount of protein to gain muscle.
- Carbohydrates: there are numerous types of supplements rich in carbohydrates, such as maltodextrin, dextrose, waxy maize, palatinose, etc. And they will all help you to reach the recommended amount of carbohydrate. However, the best option varies according to the type of physical activity, duration, intensity and insulin resistance.
- BCAA: Although it does not contribute to your caloric goal, it can prevent catabolism, so you prevent the loss of muscle mass.
- Multivitamins: vitamin and mineral supplements provide the body with essential nutrients for increasing muscle mass in amounts that are difficult to obtain only through food.
- Creatine: Studies show that creatine, in addition to the ergogenic action (which increases energy), also contributes to the increase of hypertrophy and muscle strength.
- Pre-workout: Pre-workouts made up of energetic ingredients, like caffeine and taurine, it gives you more energy and disposition. Thus, you improve your physical performance, you can train more and better, achieving bigger and faster results.