Did you know that only one in four US adults gets enough physical activity? Or that being sedentary can elevate risks of chronic illnesses, such as heart disease? At the very least, a lack of exercise can lead to weight gain, body pains, and weak muscles.
By contrast, exercise, such as resistance training programs, can strengthen muscles. Strong muscles, in turn, may help cut the risks of musculoskeletal injuries. Healthy muscles also promote balance, coordination, oxygenation, and joint health.
All that should be enough reason to start gaining muscle and shedding excess fat.
However, your dietary habits can make or break your muscle-building regimen. Without proper nutrients, your muscles may not bulk up at all, or worse, they may lose mass.
To that end, we created this list of diet tips on how to gain muscle with the food you eat. Read on to learn which nutrients you need and which ones you should steer clear of.
1. Build Your Diet Around High-Protein Meals
Protein is a macronutrient regarded as the building block of not only muscles but cells too. Human muscles consist of about 20% of muscle protein, while all cells contain protein. The body needs it to make new cells and repair damaged ones, including those in the muscles.
Everyone needs protein, not just to build muscle but to sustain cellular activities. The average adult’s daily recommended protein intake is 10% to 35% of their total calorie needs. However, seeing as your goal is to gain more muscle, you need to up your protein intake.
How much more protein you need to consume depends on your body weight or total body mass. One scientific recommendation is to eat 1.6 grams of protein per kilogram of body mass per day. That translates to about 0.72 grams of protein per pound.
So, let’s say you weigh 170 pounds. To start gaining muscle, try consuming at least 122.4 grams of protein each day.
Some of your best high-quality protein sources are fatty fish, such as salmon and trout, as well as lean meat. Whole grains, beans, legumes, nuts, and soy products, such as tofu, are also excellent choices. Mix and match these ingredients to add variety to your muscle-building meals.
2. Don’t Be Afraid Of Calories
Counting calories is a proven method to lose fat; in some cases, it even allowed folks to lose 400% more weight. However, it can be just as helpful to monitor your calories if you’re trying to build muscle.
For starters, calories are essential energy providers. Without them, you’d have too little energy to expend, cutting your exercise time. As a result, you might get too little training, which can hinder your body’s ability to form muscles.
At the same time, you don’t want to have a calorie intake way more than the energy you expend. Otherwise, you’ll gain weight from fat rather than healthy muscles.
The first step to counting calories is to determine your baseline calorie needs. These depend on your age, gender, and how active you are. For example, if you’re an active male between 26 and 35 years old, your estimated needs are 3,000 calories a day.
From there, you can add about 300 to 500 calories to build muscle without gaining fat. If you feel worried about excess fat gain, you can start with a 300 calorie increase. If you go beyond, you can always exercise more to burn off the excess calories.
3. Curb the Carb
Carbohydrates, AKA carbs, are essential macronutrients that furnish the body with energy. They come in three types: fiber, starches, and sugars. They can either be simple carbohydrates or complex carbohydrates.
The carbs you’d want to curb are the simple ones because too many of them can make your weight go through the roof. They can also make you feel hungrier faster, as the body breaks them down easily. Plus, they can heighten your risks of diseases like high cholesterol and diabetes.
Complex carbs are better for your muscle gaining goals as the body breaks them down slowly. As a result, you feel full and remain energetic longer. This can boost your endurance, energy, and strength, letting you exercise longer.
Complex fibers and starches are in beans, legumes, fruits, whole grains, and veggies. You can also get complex fibers from nuts and seeds.
4. Consider Muscle Gaining Supplements
Supplementing with creatine, protein, and D Anaoxn may help improve your muscle gains. These are legal in the US, although not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration. As such, it’s imperative that you talk to your doctor before you take any of them.
Creatine is a naturally occurring molecule that supplies energy to muscles and tissues. However, studies found that supplements can increase creatine in muscles by 20% to 40%. This can boost muscle cell and exercise performance, leading to greater muscle gain.
Protein is in many food sources, but a lot of Americans, especially older adults, don’t consume enough of it. This was true for almost half of the oldest participants in a study of 11,680 adults aged 51 years or older.
Even if you’re still young, always keep in mind that with aging comes the loss of muscle mass. So, if you struggle with your daily protein intake recommendations, consider supplements.
D Anaoxn Supplements
D Anaoxn is a supplement marketed as a legal alternative to methandrostenolone. Methandrostenolone, in turn, is an anabolic steroid. The FDA classifies anabolic steroids as Schedule III controlled substances.
D Anaoxn isn’t methandrostenolone, but it appears to function like a steroid. It also seems to keep the body’s nitrogen supplies in balance. Nitrogen, an amino acid, assists in the body’s protein production processes.
Start Gaining Muscle for a Healthier, Ripper You
Remember: gaining muscle isn’t just for show. More muscle mass translates to greater strength. Healthy muscles can also help keep injuries and health woes, such as obesity, at bay.
So, as early as now, start making positive changes to your dietary habits. The sooner you focus on protein and complex carbs, the sooner you can get those muscles ripped.
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