What diet to gain muscle mass?

What diet to gain muscle mass? To gain muscle mass it is not enough to do bodybuilding regularly. Diet is a factor not to be overlooked if you want to achieve your goal. Here are our dietary tips for a successful mass gain!

What diet to gain muscle mass

No mass gain without proteins!

Whether they are of animal origin (chicken, fish, red meat, egg ...) or vegetable (soy, spirulina, Azuki bean, pumpkin seeds ...), proteins are necessary if you want to gain muscle. To put it simply, proteins participate in muscle building. Thanks to the amino acids contained in proteins, you put all the chances on your side to build muscle.

As you will have understood, as part of a mass gain proteins will have to be present at each meal. This can result in eggs for breakfast, chicken at noon and fish in the evening, for example. Some athletes do not hesitate to also add snacks to meet their needs. Indeed, to develop muscle mass in the best conditions, we recommend an intake of 1.5 g / kg / day of protein. Concretely, if you weigh 70 kg, you will need 105 g. of protein per day. These protein intakes can for example be distributed as follows:


Often, bodybuilding practitioners resort to protein supplements, such as whey or casein. This type of intake makes it possible to compensate for a natural diet that does not fully cover protein needs. It is necessary to see through these complements the practical and economic aspect, without abusing them. Indeed, a protein shaker will be much easier to take with you than eggs or slices of ham. You will find protein powder in pharmacies, in most sports stores and in shops specializing in sports nutrition. Be careful, however, most of your protein intake must be provided by a natural diet.

Carbohydrates to build muscle mass

Carbohydrates are the second step towards achieving your goal of mass gain. While protein helps in the "making" of muscle, carbohydrates will serve as "fuel". To gain muscle you will have to consume foods rich in carbohydrates in order to have enough energy during your bodybuilding session. Again, a dose of carbohydrates at each meal, and especially before / after your training will allow you to achieve intense and effective sessions.

Taken before training, carbohydrates will boost your performance by providing you with energy. After training, they will be used to replenish your glycogen stores and thus improve your muscle recovery. In fact, always have in your sports bag some fruits or compotes to avoid fatigue shots.

Be careful, not all carbohydrates are created equal! Prioritize quality through good food sources such as fruits, vegetables, legumes, oatmeal, rice, whole wheat pasta, sweet potatoes, etc. Choose as much as possible unprocessed foods with a low or moderate Glycemic Index.

Should we consume lipids?

Fats are essential for the proper functioning of our body, and should not be neglected during a muscle mass gain program. Again, quality is the key word for building muscle. Thus, limit your intake of saturated fatty acids and favor unsaturated fatty acids (Omega-3, Omega-6, Omega-9) through foods such as olive oils, nuts, rapeseed, almonds, avocado, salmon, mackerel, etc. In terms of quantity, 1 g / kg / day of lipids will be sufficient as part of a muscle gain.

Is a "mass gain" mandatory?

The term "mass gain" often comes up when it comes to feeding for the purpose of muscle development. A mass gain consists of eating well beyond one's needs in order to gain weight. This weight gain, which results in an excess of several kilos per month on the scale, will reduce fatigue, accelerate recovery and have more strength. Nevertheless, taking an additional 3 kg per month does not translate into a gain of 3 kg of muscles! This mass gain will also consist of fat mass, which will have to be eliminated later during a dry phase. This phase will consist in radically reducing its carbohydrate intake to lose fat while maintaining muscle mass.

Although effective, we do not recommend this type of yoyo diet, which will ultimately harm your health. Instead, be sure to increase your carbohydrate intake gradually to take 500 g to 1 kg per month, no more! Thus, you will progress less quickly but you will strongly limit the fat intake.

Focus on the quality of your diet

Although your protein and carbohydrate intake should be given your full attention, the quality of your food should not be neglected. Eating healthy can improve your health but also your speed of progression and recovery. Thus, avoid processed foods with low nutritional quality. Cook simple dishes by choosing fresh and seasonal foods. This will allow you to provide your body with all the nutrients it needs to progress and recover. Hydration also has its role to play. Throughout the year, and especially in case of high heat, be sure to drink at least 1.5 l. of water daily, or even 2 liters on training days.

In short...

A quality diet rich in protein (1.5 g / kg / day) and slightly hyper-caloric through carbohydrates will allow you to gain muscle mass in the medium term. Although widespread, we do not recommend a rapid mass gain via too much caloric intake, because the fat intake will subsequently require a dry phase too severe. Obviously, in parallel with this food program, it will be necessary to train intensely 3 to 4 times a week through bodybuilding sessions aimed at muscle hypertrophy.

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