Eating at the Right Times

If you are serious about gaining muscle weight, you need to have the right foods available at the right times so you can eat strategically and optimize muscular growth. The following actions will help you reach your goals:

  • Fuel up before you strength-train with a carbohydrate-protein snack, such as a yogurt or bowl of cereal with milk. The snack will digest into readily available glucose for fuel and amino acids to protect muscles.
  • Refuel immediately afterward with more protein to heal and rebuild muscles and more carbohydrate to refuel depleted glycogen stores.
  • Eat frequently throughout the day. Eat at least every four hours: breakfast, lunch, a second lunch (if you train in the afternoon, split this meal into pre- and postexercise snacks), dinner, and an evening snack as desired. This even distribution of calories ensures that the muscles have a steady supply of glucose for fuel and amino acids for growth. When the amino acid levels in the blood are above normal, the muscles take up more of these building blocks; this enhances muscle growth. If you go for long periods without eating, your body will break down muscles for fuel; this happens to dieters and is counterproductive to reaching your goals.

You might be wondering how much of a difference meal timing really makes. The answer is quite a bit. A study of recreational male bodybuilders who consumed about 270 calories of carbohydrate-protein supplement immediately before and after midday exercise, as compared with taking the same supplement in the morning and evening (away from the workout), indicates significantly greater muscular growth at the end of a 10-week program—about 6 pounds versus 3.3 pounds (2.8 kg versus 1.5 kg) of muscle. That's almost twice as much gain! The bodybuilders who fueled before and after training were also able to bench press 27 more pounds (12.2 more kg) by the end of the study, as compared with only 20 more pounds (9 more kg) for the group who fueled in the morning and evening (Cribb and Hayes 2006). Clearly, when you eat makes a difference.

Eating several protein-containing meals and snacks is preferable to eating one big dinner at the end of the day. A simple way to ensure that a source of high-quality protein is readily available is to drink milk with meals and eat yogurt for snacks. Other examples of carbohydrate-protein combinations include chocolate milk, cereal with milk, a turkey sandwich, a fruit smoothie, an apple with cheese, a canned liquid meal (such as Boost or Slim-Fast), or any number of commercial sports foods. The muscle-building supplement used in the previously noted study included about 32 grams of whey protein, 34 grams of sugar (glucose) for fuel, and 5.5 grams of creatine, known to enhance muscle mass and strength during resistance exercise (Cribb and Hayes 2006).

Chemically Engineered

Chemically Engineered

Push Beyond Your Genetic Potential Using Steroids To Build Massive Muscle. If you grew up as a skinny geek like I did then you understand why some people decide to use steroids to push beyond the limits that nature left them with.

Get My Free Ebook

Post a comment