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Eating Right to Increase Muscle Mass

Nutrition plays a major role in keeping your bones and muscles healthy. In fact, diet specialist, bodybuilders and professional trainers alike will tell you that muscle building is more than 50 percent nutrition. Therefore, you should keep in mind that what you consume every day will affect your muscle growth, both in speed and overall size. For most people, eating the right food with a wide variety of minerals and vitamins is enough to ensure an increase in muscle mass. However, when it comes to increasing your muscle mass for bodybuilding, knowing how your body responds to proteins, carbohydrates and fats will help you understand why eating right will help increase muscle size and strength. With that said, here is how each of those nutrients can affect you muscle gain.


If you want to build muscle, there is nothing more important which you can add to your diet than protein. A diet rich in proteins is the key to muscle building. When you eat protein, your body breaks the protein molecules in the food into amino acids which are the building blocks of muscle. So, if you consume less protein in a day, your body will definitely become deficient in the amino acids it needs to build muscle, and therefore muscle growth becomes impaired. This is because without amino acids, it would be impossible to build and maintain muscle tissue.

In addition, protein rich foods are made up of nitrogen, carbon, oxygen and hydrogen. Having adequate amounts of protein will therefore put you in a positive nitrogen balance, or an anabolic state and being in this state will enable you to gain more muscles and quicker.

Protein intake on the other hand is positively correlated with levels of growth hormone and IGF-1 in the body. The hormones usually exert an anabolic effect collectively. Therefore, keeping your protein intake between 25-35% of your daily calories will actually prime the growth hormone levels for muscle growth.

In conclusion, you should only consume the appropriate amount of protein because consuming too much protein could actually harm your body.


Carbohydrates play an important role in building lean body mass. Besides being a major source of energy, carbohydrates can positively affect your muscle growth process. During exercise the body usually converts carbohydrates that are stored in your muscle into ATP molecules to use them as energy. Therefore, not eating sufficient or the right type of carbohydrates means your workouts may potentially suffer due to lack of enough energy to train at a higher intensity. This means you will have less muscle mass because training at a higher intensity has a great effect on building muscles.

Additionally, carbohydrates stimulate the release of insulin. Meaning, levels of the hormone responsible for muscle growth will increase when insulin level is low. So obviously, if you are looking to build muscle, it is to your benefit to keep insulin levels in check. By monitoring the kinds of carbs you consume, you can control the levels of insulin in your blood and keep IGF-1 levels high.

Healthy Fats

Although protein is most often associated with muscle gain, fat intake can help promote muscle growth as well. While some people may think that fat intake only causes fat gain, healthy fats do help to increase muscle mass and help you stay lean when gaining muscle. Half of your fat intake should come from saturated fats, a quarter from mono-unsaturated fats and the remaining quarter should be essential fatty acids.

Unsaturated fats such as omega-3 fatty acids are very healthy and promote muscle gain. Supplementing your diet with unsaturated fats aids the transport of fat into the mitochondria of cells where it is burned away for fuel. This increase in the amount of fat burned spares muscles from being broken down, which results in greater muscle gain and strength.

Saturated fats on the other hand although less healthy may increase testosterone (a hormone involved in muscle gain) levels thereby promoting increase in muscle mass. Therefore, to promote muscle growth, all you need to know is how much total fat you should consume per day and what foods it should primarily come from.

Bottom Line

Many doctors will recommend various high intensity workout routines to build muscles. However, just following these workouts will not help you increase muscle mass. Food containing essential and adequate nutrients such as healthy fats, proteins and carbohydrates is necessary for building lean muscles.

About the Author

Knowing what food to eat and when to eat it is crucial to first give you enough energy to fuel intense and muscle specific workouts, secondly to help you repair, recover and grow and thirdly to maintain and strong and balance physique. This is why supplements can transform your training plans and rapidly improve your diets to give you increased levels of essential minerals and vitamins to boost muscle growth.

Having been involved with fitness and sport for many years, Kevin Hodges now trains for pleasure and to maintain and fit and healthy lifestyle. Coaching others to become bigger, better, faster and stronger. Sharing knowledge and skills with others to stay as natural as possible with their training and promoting safe, clean and legal supplement such as those from Crazy Bulk who specialize in natural steroid alternatives to help boost strength, power, energy, recovery and speed for maximum results.

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