What and When You Should Eat to Build Muscles?

  • 3 months ago
4 minute read.
What and When You Should Eat to Build Muscles?

There is so much around the internet and different coaches will feed you with different ways of gaining muscles but how do you know if you are gaining muscles or you are gaining fat, what's going to suit you, whether it's going to work out? Well, here's where professional dietitian can play an important role. The best way would be to access your body's needs and sync them with your goals, instead of just gulping in everything on the food/protein list.

As starters, here are eight simple tips to help you get on track…

1. EAT HEALTHY BREAKFAST TO IMPROVE MUSCLE MASS

You must have already heard this many times that breakfast should be your biggest meal of the day. It provides immediate burst of energy and helps you to stay satiated through out the day. A healthy breakfast consisting of proteins and carbohydrates refuels your body post-workout. Try including omelettes, smoothies and cottage cheese regularly in your meals.  

2. EAT FREQUENTLY

Aim for 6 meals a day, each meal every 3-4 hours. Having the right thing at the right time is important to gain muscle mass. You can easily inculcate this technique in your day by eating lunch and dinner as usual, and distribute rest of the time in between with meals after workout, two healthy snack combos hours before bed, and lastly by consuming a small snack before bed. This will also prevent you to stuff yourself up with unhealthy packaged foods. The ultimate motto is to crave your body to get hungry at those fixed times.

Related: What To Eat Before & After Workout

3. INCLUDE PROTEINS TO MAINTAIN MUSCLE MASS

You need protein to build and maintain muscle. In case you're attempting to put on weight, focus on 0.7–1 gms of protein for every pound of body weight (1.5–2.2 gms of protein per kg). You can even go over that if your calorie consumption is exceptionally high. This might seem complicated at first but, if you get a personalized plan from The Wellness Corner, you will always have a guide to resolve your queries and tweak the plan according your requirements.

Protein rich food repairs the body and provides energy in abundance. They include:


Red meat - Beef, pork, lamb
Poultry- Chicken breast, turkey, duck
Fish- Tuna, salmon, sardines, cod
Eggs- Egg yolk
Dairy- Milk, cheese, cottage cheese, yogurt
Whey- Consult a fitness expert to know the best one for you
Vegan plant protein- Beans, lentils, tofu, and nuts.

4. HAVE LOTS OF FRUITS AND VEGETABLES

Fruit and vegetables are rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fibers that give a fulfilling feeling and also helps in digestion. Just take care of the sugar content if you are diabetic. Fruits like Avocados and vegetables like broccoli have high protein content and are optimal for muscle building.

5. DON'T CONSUME CARBS MORE THAN REQUIRED

No doubt, you'll need to consume carbs for energy, but most people end up eating more than what's required. Your carbs intake should be aligned with relevant factors like body size etc. Too much carbohydrate content can make you sluggish and as a consequence- Weight gain will be the first thing to destroy your goals.


• Fruit and vegetables contain low amount of carbs. Another reason apart from previous mentioned ones to include them with every meal.
• Have carbs post workout only. Avoid white carbs and rather eat whole grain.

Related: Myths about carbs

6. EAT HEART-HEALTHY UNSATURATED FATS

Healthy fats are the safest way to gain muscles. Consume food like full fat yogurt or cook food in soybean or safflower oil to balance your fat intake. Avoid "bad" trans fat (frozen pizza, fried foods, baked food, etc.) to cut off the risk of heart diseases.

7. STAY HYDRATED TO HELP YOU BUILD MUSCLE MASS

Strength training can cause a drop in water level of your body through sweating which can hinder the muscle recovery and thus, decrease your muscle mass. Drinking enough water prevents dehydration and also smoothly transports the nutrients required for producing glycogen and proteins (building blocks of the body muscles).

8. GET A MEAL PLAN CONSISTING ENOUGH WHOLE FOOD

According to dietitians "To really get the results you want and to boost your muscle mass significantly, 90% of your food intake should consist of whole foods."

Replace the commonly stated whole food with "Clean whole food". For example- Replace whole-grain bread instead of normal bread and flavored oats with traditional oats (flavorless).

When to eat?

According to protein researchers, meals should be taken frequently in relatively small quantities throughout the day.

Here's a sample meal plan to improve muscle mass-

Meal

Menu

Quantity

Early morning

Lemon honey water

Mixed nuts and seeds

1 Glass

1 Small Fistful

Breakfast

Moong dal cheela stuffed with tofu / Stuffed paratha with curd

Coriander chutney

Apple

2 No. +1 Bowl

2 Teaspoon

1 No.

Mid-morning snack

Buttermilk / Lassi

Sprouts

1 Glass

1 Bowl

Lunch

Paneer vegetable salad

Rajmah curry

Beans Vegetable

Roti / Rice

1 Large Bowl

1 Bowl

1 Bowl

2 No. / 1 Bowl

Evening snack

Fruit Smoothie

Corn chat / Roasted chana

1 Glass

1 Bowl / Handful

Dinner

Lentil soup / Mixed Vegetable Soup

Moong Dal / Sambhar

Stuffed capsicum vegetable

Missi roti / Dosa

1 Bowl

1 Bowl

1 Bowl

3 No.

Post dinner

Milk

1 Glass

What you eat matters. Find millions of items from the food database on The Wellness Corner app and let the AI-enabled platform give you instant insights on your macronutrient breakdown and calories. Log your meals, save them if the intake is regular, analyze the findings and alter your ideal diet accordingly.

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