EATING TO BUILD MUSCLE
If you’ve missed the previous write-up s in this series, you can catch it here:
Now that we’ve covered why muscle matters and how to approach your training to build and maintain muscle, it’s time we pivot to the other half of the muscle-building equation: Nutrition.
Let’s get into it!
PROTEIN … DUH!
This might seem obvious, but when it comes to nutrition advice for building and maintaining muscle, protein is key.
We’ve all heard this before, but protein is the building block for lean muscle mass. Simply put, if you’re not getting enough protein in your diet, you aren’t going to build muscle.
The problem is that a lot of people still aren’t getting enough protein in their diets, meaning they are leaving valuable gains on the table and negatively impacting their recovery.
Remember, eating enough protein and regularly doing strength training is not going to make you bulky. Even if your goal is to burn off excess body fat and change the composition of your body to look leaner, building muscle is critical.
Also keep in mind that by prioritizing protein in your diet, you’re more likely to feel satiated after your meals, which can help prevent cravings for highly palatable, calorie-dense foods — that’s important if your primary goal is fat loss.
Which gets us into the million-dollar question: How much protein do you need in order to support ideal muscle growth?
As with most things nutrition-related, it depends. But generally speaking, 0.8–1.0 grams of protein per pound of body weight is a good bare minimum to shoot for.
So, for a 185-pound male, that would mean about 148–185 grams of protein, and for a 140-pound female, that would mean about 112–140 grams of protein. But remember, this should be looked at as more of a minimum to shoot for rather than a rigid recommendation for how much protein is actually ideal for muscle growth.
The leaner you are, the more active you are, and the longer you have been training are all factors that will increase your demand for protein beyond these numbers. For most, however, this is a good place to start.
ONE THING TO TRY THIS WEEK
Calculate how much protein you should be eating based on the numbers recommended above and track your food for a few days to see how close you’re getting to that goal.
Sure, tracking your food can seem intimidating or even an unnecessary step for some, but if you really want to know if you’re setting yourself up for ideal muscle growth, strength gains, and the body composition changes you want to see, you need to know if you’re coming close to your daily protein needs or not. You can watch a short video on how to start tracking your food HERE
How else are you going to recover and maximize the gains you get from the new cycle on the Sentry App?
Are you ready to feed your body what it needs to make the most of it?