Anyone who has ever set foot in a gym with the slightest interest in building muscle has wanted to pack on as much muscle as humanly possible in the shortest amount of time. But when it comes to building a lot of lean muscle, it naturally takes the proper kind of diet along with supplementation aside from just lifting weights.
What’s the best protein to build muscle and keep your muscles growing is a common theme behind many gym-goers with a mission to accomplish their muscle building dreams in as limited time as possible.
In today’s subject, we will be discussing what some best choices of food are for building lean muscle and keeping your diet lean. We will be determining how much protein you will need, finding a meal plan that works for you.
We also will be taking a look at the importance of supplementation along with a solid diet for building muscle. So if you have been looking for the proper diet for your needs and the proper supplementation for your diet, you can find the answers right here.
Determining how much protein you need:
Getting enough of the essential protein in your diet is an important part of muscle building, just as much as it is lifting weights. The question that many people ask, is exactly how much protein they need in order to build muscle.
Muscles are for the most part made of protein and are continuously being broken down and rebuilt. To gain muscle, your system needs to synthesize more muscle protein than it breaks down.
There needs to be a positive protein balance in your body which is called a nitrogen balance, because protein is high in nitrogen. People who want a lot of muscle need to eat a larger amount of protein. It’s well documented that a higher protein intake helps build muscle.
People that want to keep muscle they’ve already worked for, may need to increase their protein intake when losing body fat, because a high protein consumption can help to prevent muscle loss that generally occurs when dieting.
A typical recommendation for gaining muscle is 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight, or 2.2 grams of protein per kg. Studies indicate that a protein intake of slightly higher than 1 gram of protein per pound (2.2 grams per kg) is better.
Though it’s hard to give exact figures due to conflicting study results, about 0.7–1 grams per pound (1.6–2.2 grams per kg) of body weight seems to be a reasonable estimate. If you are carrying a good amount of body fat, using your lean mass instead of your total body weight is a good idea because lean muscle is what determines the amount of protein you will need.
Your top choices for protein:
There are many great sources of protein that you can include in your diet, but the best ones are the leaner choices which would typically include white meat such as chicken, turkey, and fish. Other great options are Greek yogurt, cottage cheese and eggs.
I have published a post recently on the difference between chicken eggs and turkey eggs. Turkey eggs are much bigger so there is naturally a higher fat content in them, but the fat content that is in eggs are good for you. Eggs have plenty of (omega-3) fatty acids which are essential for your diet and building muscle.
Red meats have more myoglobin, which are cells that transport oxygen to muscles in the bloodstream. White meat is generally classified as poultry (chicken and turkey), while red meat typically refers to beef or pork. The biggest difference between the two is fat content.
White meat is a leaner source of protein, with a lower fat content. Red meat contains higher levels of fat, but also contains higher levels of vitamins like iron, zinc and B vitamins. Iron in red meat is called heme, which is more easily absorbed by the body compared to iron found in plant sources.
Red meat may contain more vitamins and minerals, but high consumption of red meat has been linked to increased occurrence of certain cancers, specifically colorectal cancer.
Both white and red meat have benefits. If you eat meat, it’s a good idea to include small amounts of both in your diet. Choose leaner cuts of red meat, like those that end in “loin” such as sirloin or tenderloin. You should trim visible fat around the edges to reduce fat intake and avoid charring while cooking.
Coming up with a meal plan:
I know, you are probably thinking that this is the worst part of the diet is coming up with a meal plan, because this is the part that involves weighing out your food portions and keeping track of proteins, carbohydrates and fats, but if you don’t track these areas, it will be a difficult trying to keep track of what you are eating and knowing if you are eating enough of the proper nutrients, or maybe even too much.
When it comes to the basics of setting up a meal plan, your meals should be portioned out so that your carbs and protein will be equal for most meals. To supply your body with all the critical nutrients you will need to eat six times per day.
To amp up the muscle growth, you will need to focus your meals around workouts and the time of day. Training days you will need more carbs, approximately 2.5 grams per pound of body weight and your post-workout meal will need to be higher in carbs to support the energy needed to burn through your workouts.
You will need to shoot for the most of your carbohydrates early in the day, while your later meals are mostly protein. This gives your body the amino acids it requires. Insulin sensitivity will tend to be lower later in the day, avoiding carbs helps prevent fat gain.
Protein consumption should be maintained at a high level, try to aim for as close to 2 grams of protein per pound of body weight. On workout days you need about 20 calories per pound of body weight, but on rest days shoot for only 14 calories per pound.
Finding the right supplementation for your needs:
There is no supplementation that could ever be good enough to replace a proper diet. Food full of proteins and carbohydrates as well as the right kind of fats are important for building muscle and promoting health, but it is always a good practice, as most other weight trainers also do, is to include some form of supplementation in their diet, because a good diet alone might be lacking in some nutritional areas that you need, and supplementation is a good way to fill the gaps.
You should see the importance of following a healthy diet and taking in enough of the proper protein to build muscle, but not the types of protein such as red meat which tend to be higher in fat and can diminish the hard work you have put in on your diet if you are trying to lose weight but want to maintain the muscle.
Along with a healthy diet high in protein, it is an essential part of the diet to include supplementation. For all you people out there seeking to build muscle, you will naturally want to have a higher amount of protein in your diet, so it naturally stands to reason that you will want to supplement your diet with a protein powder.
To check further into some information on a good protein supplementation, you can check out one of my product reviews on Gold Standard 100% Whey protein powder, Simply click on the link here.
If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to leave a comment in the box below and I will get back to you as soon as possible.