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Diet tips to help gain muscle

Eating several meals a day spaced out every 3 hours, getting enough protein and drinking enough water helps promote muscle building.

Building muscle requires a balance of energy, namely taking in more calories than you burn. The body needs about 2,800 calories to build a pound (nearly 0.5 kg) of muscle, most of which is to support protein metabolism.

However, the body can only build up to about 227g of muscle per week, so eating too many calories to try to build more muscle will also increase excess fat. Therefore, each person should consume an additional 250-500 calories per day, and increase or decrease depending on whether the body is easy to gain or lose weight.

Additionally, research shows that consuming lean protein 15 to 20 minutes before, during, and an hour after exercise can help improve muscle gain. You can eat multiple meals to meet your energy and nutritional needs to help build muscle, lose fat, and be healthier.

Here are 8 simple tips to be able to build muscle mass more efficiently and quickly.

Full breakfast

This provides the body with an instant source of energy and keeps it full until the next meal or snack. Starting the day with a nutritious and healthy breakfast helps build a trend towards healthier eating. Great suggestions for a muscle-building breakfast are omelettes, smoothies and cheeses.

Eat every 3 hours

Eating the right foods at the right time is an important factor in helping to increase muscle mass. The simplest way is to eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner as usual, alternating with post-workout, bedtime, and two snacks in between. By maintaining food intake, the body will not go hungry.

Eating small frequent meals is better than eating several large meals to reduce stomach size. You will quickly feel fuller and your waist will be slimmer, and you will also have less appetite. Eating too long between meals can also cause you to overeat at the next meal or make yourself addicted to unhealthy snacks. So to prevent cravings, eat at fixed times every day and your body will be hungry at those fixed times.

Besides exercise, diet plays an important role in muscle growth.  Photo: Xframe

Besides exercise, diet plays an important role in muscle growth. Image: Xframe

Get enough protein

Protein is essential for building and maintaining muscle. The easiest way to get protein is to eat a full source of protein at every meal, including:

– Red meat: beef, pork, lamb..

– Poultry: chicken, turkey, duck…

– Fish: tuna, salmon, sardines, mackerel…

– Egg

– Dairy products: milk, cheese, yogurt…

– Whey powder: a very suitable way to supplement protein before training.

Also, try plant-based protein source options like lentils, tofu, seeds, and nuts.

Eat lots of fruits and vegetables

Most fruits and vegetables are low in calories, so they can be eaten full without getting fat or gaining weight. Fruits and vegetables are also full of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber that aid digestion, but be sure to check the sugar content of some fruits.

Only eat carbs after exercise

Although the body needs carbohydrates for energy, most people eat more than they need. To make it easier to build muscle, eat only carbs after a workout.

Eat fruits and vegetables with all meals, as they contain fewer carbohydrates than whole grains, with the exception of corn, carrots, and raisins.

Choose starches like potatoes, quinoa, oats, etc., avoid white carbs and eat whole grains.

Eat healthy fats

Healthy fats promote fat loss and improve health because they digest slowly. Make sure you balance your fat intake, eat healthy fats at every meal, and avoid artificial trans fats and margarine.

Drink enough water

Exercise causes dehydration through perspiration, which can decrease the muscle’s ability to recover. Always remember to drink enough water to prevent dehydration and also avoid the feeling of empty stomach that makes you think you are hungry.

Eat 90% whole foods

To significantly increase muscle mass, 90% of food intake should be whole foods. Whole foods are foods that are unprocessed and unrefined (or less refined), as close to their natural state as possible. For example: fresh meat, fish, poultry, eggs, vegetables, beans, fruits, rice, oats, quinoa…

Processed foods often contain added sugar, trans fats, salt, and more chemicals. For example: cereal, pizza, biscuits, hot dogs, frozen food…

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