How to build proper nutrition for muscle growth?

How many calories, proteins, carbohydrates and fats are needed per day for weight gain. Principles of building a diet and examples of menus.

For many athletes, a stumbling block on the way to a beautiful and sculpted body is ignorance of the basic rules of organizing a diet. Time spent in the gym means nothing without the necessary components entering the body.

We will discuss the most interesting issues in more detail in the top bodybuilding blog. So what should be nutrition for muscle growth? What points should be considered in the process of diet planning? How many proteins, fats and carbohydrates should be included in food?

Daily rates

If the main task is to gain muscle mass, then it is important to properly build a diet from the position of taking proteins, fats and carbohydrates. Their uniform intake guarantees the absence of catabolic processes, stable muscle growth, and the absence of problems with body fat. Consider the following points here:

  • Squirrels . The average protein norm in an athlete’s diet is 1.8-2.5 grams per kilogram of weight . The amount of incoming protein can be adjusted taking into account the level of physical activity, body type and tasks. Some athletes increase their dosage above 2.5 grams / kilo, but you should not abuse it. The disadvantage of overpricing is that the body is not able to process the incoming product, most of which is simply excreted.
    Today, the myth is often found that excessive protein intake is hazardous to health. This is not true. No study has been able to confirm this claim. It’s just not practical. In this case, the type of protein and its source (food or sports supplements) do not matter. At a time, you should eat no more than 30-40 grams.
  • Fats . Proper nutrition for muscle growth is not limited to proteins, as many people think. The athlete’s diet should also contain fats, the volume of which is 10-20% of the total calorie content, a quarter of which are fats of animal origin. On average, a man needs 80-100 grams of fat / day, and a woman needs 60-80 grams. As for athletes who regularly train, here the dosage should be higher – up to 120-140 grams.
    It is believed that people are gaining excess weight from fats, so the main task of many is the exclusion of fatty foods from the diet. But this is a mistake. Moreover, our bodies need animals and Omega-3 fats, without which one cannot dream of health and muscle gain. If a person sits on a low-fat diet, then the hormonal background changes, obesity is provoked. In this case, a set of muscle mass becomes impossible due to a decrease in testosterone levels and the growth of cortisol.
  • Carbohydrates . The rest of the daily calorie intake should come from carbohydrates. Considering that one gram of protein is 4 kcal, and one gram of fat is 9, you need to calculate the daily balance and divide it into four. Nutritionists are confident that in the case of active power loads, the body needs 4-6 grams of carbohydrates per kilogram of weight . This means that the average man weighing 80-90 kg needs 320-450 grams per day. But for an accurate calculation, it is worth starting from the type of physique, daily calorie content and the required percentage of carbohydrates in it (40-60%).
    Complex (slow) carbohydrates are most preferred. The most “dangerous” for excess weight include white bread, various sweets, juices, soda and other foods containing fast carbohydrates. But to completely exclude such food from the diet is also not worth it – fast carbohydrates are necessary after classes to cover the energy deficit. Reliable helpers are here – fruit juices or bananas.

“Time is muscle”

So, the daily calorie intake for weight gain is 40-45 per kilogram of weight . This means that a day (per kilogram) requires at least 2.5 grams of protein, 5 grams of carbohydrates and almost a gram of fat. Proper nutrition for muscle growth implies that the main thing is to build a diet in the near-training period , when carbohydrates and protein are fully absorbed, and the optimal background is created for muscle recovery and growth. In this case, worry about the accumulation of fat is not worth it.

The best time to take sports nutrition is before and after class. In addition to a normal diet and protein, it is recommended that you add components such as BCAAs, glutamine, and creatine. In this case, the more components will be in the composition, the better. All this allows you to quickly build and restore muscle and the body as a whole, preparing it for new loads.

The next time that is important for athletes is the first 30-40 minutes after sleep . Instead of going to the bathroom to take a shower and brush your teeth, you should go to the kitchen. A good habit is the presence of two breakfasts – immediately after waking up and another 20-30 minutes. It is easy to explain such a requirement. At night, muscles actively “burn” glycogen, and in the event of a decrease in its volume, the body “pulls” protein from muscle fibers. To stop this process, proteins with a high digestibility rate are required. That’s why whey protein or BCAA should be at breakfast. Amino acids enter the bloodstream, and then to the cells. In this case, the muscles receive fuel, which is so necessary to cover the current deficit.

No less important is the time before bedtime . So, proper nutrition for muscle growth must necessarily contain a slow protein (casein), which will be most useful if you take the supplement at night. This ensures that the body is protected from catabolic processes during sleep. If the supplement is not an option, then its full replacement is cottage cheese, which also has a lot of casein. In addition to cottage cheese, walnuts, flaxseeds, and peanut butter can also get into the night diet.

Useful tips for mass gain

In addition to those mentioned above, it is worth considering a number of tips that can solve the problem of gaining muscle mass:

  • To achieve results in muscle growth, the body must have a surplus of calories. So, a thin guy who dreams about a prominent figure, 2 thousand calories per day is not enough. Moreover, with this approach, the risks of losing existing muscle mass increase. That’s why it is recommended to add 20% more calories to the diet than normal. If the amount of body fat increases along with weight, then add cardio loads to the training process and adjust the diet.
  • Watch your diet so that your body never stays hungry. It is advisable to make food fractional – 4-6 meals per day – the best option. You should not be limited to specific time frames – eating is allowed whenever you want.
  • Weight gainers and cocktails to help. No matter how useful food is, getting the full amount of carbohydrates and proteins from them is a difficult task. That’s why you should not ignore the possibilities of protein-carbohydrate mixtures (gainers). When choosing an additive, try to give preference to options with a low content of simple carbohydrates. If there is no desire to buy a store mix, then make it yourself. To do this, mix cottage cheese, milk, banana, nuts, oatmeal, berries or fruits.
  • Exclude from the diet low-quality proteins that are found in sausages, meatballs, ravioli and other similar products. In addition to protein, they have large amounts of carbohydrates (starch) and fats. Focus on lean meat and seafood. Cottage cheese and dairy products should contain a minimum of fat.

  • Add foods with omega-3 and omega-6 fats to your diet (mentioned above). Their use contributes to the growth of testosterone, the preservation and strengthening of bones, as well as maintaining a high level of blood cells.
  • Never fast before and after exercising in the gym. Otherwise, the body has no choice but to use its own resources, which are already taken from muscle mass.
  • Eat the right food before going to bed. Keep in mind that muscle growth does not occur during exercise, but in the process of relaxation. If you sleep for 7-8 hours and at the same time do not feed the body with protein, then catabolic processes are launched. In this situation, the risks of losing your own muscle mass increase.
  • Consider your body type. So, if you are an ectomorph, then the body needs a larger portion of carbohydrates, calories and fats. As for endomorphs, they should be careful and carefully approach the organization of caloric intake. Too much carbohydrate is prohibited. Mesomorphs were most lucky – an increase in the total caloric content by 10-20% is enough for them.
  • Distribute carbohydrate intake correctly. Fast carbohydrates should be ingested immediately after exercise, while slow carbohydrates should be taken for breakfast, lunch, and after exercise (after 40-60 minutes).
  • Plan your daily diet in advance. Having a plan is already 50% success, and a quality program in addition guarantees a result. Keep in mind that calculating calories is difficult.

Weight gain diet example

In order not to be unfounded, we give a few examples of a mass-diet:

  1. Option number 1:
    • For breakfast – scrambled eggs with cheese and buckwheat. All this is worth drinking 300-500 ml of milk.
    • Lunch. Here, 200-250 grams of turkey meat, 100 grams of rice and 2-3 slices of bread are allowed (it is imperative that the product is made from wholemeal flour).
    • Dinner. Potato with a piece of beef, orange (other fruits are allowed), 250-300 ml of milk.
    • The second lunch. It is not worth it to strain the stomach heavily – 200-250 grams of cottage cheese and fruits are enough.
    • For dinner – pasta with meat (beef, chicken breast), nuts, milk.
    • 1-2 hours before bedtime – 200-300 grams of cottage cheese, kefir.
  2. Option number 2:
    • For breakfast – scrambled eggs and oatmeal (potatoes), 300-500 ml of milk.
    • Second breakfast – steak (200-250 grams), potatoes, wholemeal bread.
    • Dinner. Pasta with a piece of fish, banana, 250-300 ml of milk.
    • The second lunch. Bread, 200-250 grams of cottage cheese, fruits.
    • For dinner – rice with chicken.
    • 1-2 hours before bedtime – 200-300 grams of cottage cheese, nuts.



Muscle gain is a science that requires a responsible approach and attention from an athlete. If you plan the diet correctly and follow the recommendations in the article, then the long-awaited success is not far off.