Fall is here, the winter is coming, and soon it will be what gym geeks like to call “bulking season”. Bulking season is a time for lifting heavy, lifting often, and getting the gains. If you’re on a mission to build muscle, then chances are you’re already on a strength training regimen. You’re on the right track – lifting weights is one of the most effective ways to build muscle mass.
However, if you want to stay lean and feel healthy while packing on the muscle, then pumping iron day in and day out alone isn’t going to bring you the results you want. As the age-old saying goes, ultimate health and fitness is 20 percent exercise and 80 percent diet.
Yes, it’s time you pay closer attention to what you’re feeding your body. Not all food is created equal; some food will help you build muscle healthily, while some food may actually slow down or hinder your progress. You are what you eat, after all, and if you feed your body all the wrong things, it won’t grow and function as it should.
So if you’re looking to build some serious muscle the right way, it’s time to focus on nutrition. Let’s take a look at the best nutrition for men to build muscle. It’s easier than you may think.
Mind your macros
In the fitness world, people are hyper-focused on counting their macros, and for good reason. Macros consist of protein, carbohydrates, and fat, and are the three primary sources of energy for your body as you workout or simply go about your day. While it’s easy to assume you can just eat a diet with balanced macros (such as 33/33/33), the truth is that everyone’s body is different and metabolizes macros differently.
There are three general classes of body types: ectomorph, endomorph, and mesomorph. Below are general recommendations on how you should split your macros depending on your body type:
The body is usually very petite with longer limbs, lower body fat percentage, and less muscle mass. Gaining weight is usually harder for ectomorphs.
55% carbohydrates, 25% protein, 20% fats.
The body is usually softer in shape. Fat deposits typically around the hips, thighs, and waist. It involves a slow metabolism, but an easier time building muscle. However, fat builds quickly, as well. Low carbohydrate tolerance.
25% carbohydrates, 35% protein, 40% fats.
The body is usually athletic with broad shoulders, strong arms, and a slender waist. It has an easy time losing fat and building muscle.
40% carbohydrates, 30% protein, 30% fats.
Opt for unprocessed protein
Sure. After a long workout, it’s super easy to simply pull out your shaker bottle, grab a scoop of protein, and guzzle it. However, while you should definitely be consuming more protein to fuel your muscle gains, you should also be mindful of what kind of protein you’re consuming. A general rule of thumb is to always opt for unprocessed protein whenever possible.
We’re not saying you should cut out the protein shake altogether. But if a majority of your daily protein intake comes in the form of protein shakes, it’s time for a change. Go for naturally-occurring protein sources, such as eggs, fish, beans, spinach, lean meats, and greek yogurt.
Take the right supplements
The supplement world has some fluff and placebos, but that doesn't mean you should stay away from supplements. Some are actually beneficial and do what they say they’ll do. If you’re going to take supplements, make sure that they are all-natural and not filled with random ingredients that can actually harm you. Some great supplements to take are as follows:
This is a molecule that’s actually produced naturally in the body and is responsible for fueling the body and muscles with energy. It’s widely known as one of the safest and most effective supplements for building muscle.
As you eat more calories, more specifically protein, you want to make sure that your digestive system is more than capable of handling the increased workload. Taking a digestive supplement that contains probiotics and enzymes is a great idea, and Nutrii Organic Super Greens + Digestion is one of the best available today.
Consisting of three amino acids (leucine, isoleucine, and valine), BCAAs are important for muscle growth. They naturally make up about 14 percent of the amino acids in your muscles and help promote muscle growth.