The Best Diet for Muscle Gain
When you are trying to build muscle, what you do in the kitchen is equally as important as what you do in the gym. The 80-20 rule stipulates that you should focus on 20% exercise and 80% nutrition to change your body. A protein-rich diet is essential in building and maintaining a well-muscled body. But often when too much protein is consumed, less fiber is consumed, causing the terrible side effects of this type of diet. These include constipation, diarrhea, and dehydration. But there is a solution! You can eat a protein-rich diet without overdoing your carbs and hitting your daily fiber goals. Here is the perfect diet plan to build and maintain muscle mass:
1. Eat Protein with Every Meal
Protein is the foundation of a muscle-building diet. When you lift weights, you create micro-tears in your muscles. Protein is made up of amino acids. To develop muscle, your body breaks down the acids and uses them to repair the tears. They surround and fill the tears, making them bigger and stronger.
You should aim to be eating at least 1gram per 454g/1 lb of body weight. That's 200g/day if you weigh 200 lbs. The simplest way to get this amount is to eat a whole protein source with each meal. You should eat a protein-rich meal two to three hours before training and another within an hour or two after you finish. Examples of protein-rich foods include:
- Poultry, chicken, duck, turkey, etc.
- Red meat, beef, pork, lamb, etc.
- Fish, tuna, sardines, haddock, salmon, etc.
- Eggs, hard-boiled, soft boiled, scrambled or poached, etc.
- Dairy, milk, cottage cheese, Greek yogurt, cheese
- Vegan choices include lentils, nuts, and seeds.
2. Add a Fiber Supplement
A healthy diet includes plenty of fiber to ensure food passes through your body efficiently. A diet heavy in protein will often produce side-effects like constipation or even diarrhea in some cases. Adding a natural fiber supplement such as Steel Stool lets you easily increase your daily fiber intake, without overdoing carbohydrate-heavy foods. Whether you choose to add a Steel Stool in either powder or capsule form, your body will thank you for it. Taking Steel Stool as recommended (3 capsules twice daily) will produce thick, consistent, and fibrous bowel movements. Imagine going to the bathroom regularly as opposed to having to run out in the middle of a weight-lifting set? That dream can become a reality with Steel Stool.
Think of it this way - the less time you spend on the toilet, the more time you can spend in the gym!
3. Drink Plenty of Water
Strength training can cause a tremendous amount of water loss through sweating. This, in turn, can impair muscle recovery. Aim for 1.5 – 2 liters per day or 6-8 glasses of water. Water intake is a great way to ensure normal bowel movements. Plus, you’ll need to drink plenty of water with each capsule of Steel Stool.
You could also increase your caloric intake by drinking milk for an additional source of protein. It's a perfect evening drink before bed! Fruit juices can add extra sugar, which can be helpful post-workout as a boost, but try and limit them to once or twice a week.
4. Eat every three hours
Eating the right thing at the correct time is critical for helping you gain muscle mass. The simplest way to do this is to eat your breakfast, lunch, and dinner at your usual times, interspersed with meals post-workout and before bedtime in addition to two snacks in between. Keeping your food intake up means you'll experience fewer cravings. Going longer between meals can cause you to overeat at the next meal or binge on unhealthy foods (i.e., foods from the vending machine). Sticking to a schedule of eating every three hours will end those cravings, and you will find your body will get hungry at the right times.
5. Eat Fruits and Vegetables
Vegetables are loaded with vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants. These all help with digestion and your overall general health.
However, fruit often gets a bad rap because it is so full of sugar. At Steel Stool, we recommend that you consume fruit in moderation. Experts agree if you are trying to build muscle, the best time to consume your fruit is first thing in the morning. While you sleep, your liver burns up its glycogen to supply needed glucose (sugar) to the brain during the night. When you wake up, you don't have to worry about any sugar being converted to fat, so eat up! The fructose will be put to good use to restock the liver glycogen levels and switch off the signal to burn muscle protein.
The hard truth
Your body can only gain so much muscle in a given period. That is predetermined by your genetics, age, and how long you've been working out. It's essential to stick with all diet elements as mentioned above, including your Steel Stool supplement, for at least one week before making any adjustments. If you don’t feel you're making any progress, try taking before and after photos as well as some measurements of your waist, biceps, and quads. Those will be excellent points of comparison on your muscle gaining journey!