To pack on quality muscle you need to eat quality food.
The general question is always what to eat as all food is not created equal.
If you want to build muscle mass you need protein. Shoot for a minimum of between 1.6g/kg to 1.8g/kg when you are training hard in the gym. Complete protein such as animal proteins will provide all the essential amino acids your body needs.
Examples of lean animal protein sources:
- Dairy (yogurt, cottage cheese, etc.)
In addition to food, make use of protein supplements such as whey and casein.
Use protein upon waking to shuttle amino acids to your muscles. Eat protein before your workout and also post-workout to instigate muscle repair, recovery and growth.
Carbohydrates are not evil but the body’s preferred energy source and vital to fuel your workouts.
Have a slow-digesting carbohydrate before you train and a fast-digesting carbohydrate after your workout. Fast and slow refers to the speed at which carbs are digested and converted into glucose.
Examples of slow-digesting carbs:
- Sweet potatoes
- Whole grains
Examples of fast-digesting carbs:
- White potatoes
- White bread
- Corn flakes
Any time you eat fast-digesting carbs you spike your insulin and you increase your chance of storing body fat (except when you consume fast-digesting carbs post- workout). If your goal is to stay lean and build muscle, most of your carbs should be slow-digesting.
Fats provide your body with energy and have health benefits like the essential Omega-3 fats found in tuna, sardines, anchovies and salmon which can support heart health and assist with joint recovery after a hard session in the gym.
Bodybuilders who consume saturated fats in the form of beef or pork, as well as monounsaturated fats such as nuts, olive oil and avocados, can increase their testosterone levels. This is important when your goal is to increase size and strength.