Published: 11/20/2012 - Updated: 08/31/2016
Are you doing exercise but do not get muscle? There are some dietary considerations that are good to know. Traditionally, when you wanted to gain muscle weight or "volume", carbohydrates were the smartest strategy to achieve that goal. This practice generally provides good results, but you should know that it is not just about "eating more".
Carbohydrates are saving from proteins. These provide the necessary energy to the body and make better use of amino acids for muscle recovery. For someone with a fast metabolism, to eat complex carbohydrates six times a day will help prevent muscle breakdown and thus promotes the storage of macronutrients such as carbohydrates, fats and proteins, rather than wear them.
What amount of Carbohydrates should you eat?
The problem with carbohydrates is that many of us may exceed their consumption, and instead of promoting muscle gain, we favor fat gain. If our interest is to gain weight, the goal is to eat enough carbohydrates to fill our energy needs, but not too many as we gain fat.
Now, before throwing all the bread, pasta, rice and beans, we must consider that carbohydrates are the main source of fuel for the body, and if you do not eat enough, your body will use amino acids as energy source. Glycogen is the storage form of carbohydrates in the body, and under normal circumstances, the body can store about 400 grams at a time.
Carbohydrate intake should be based on the amount of the weight you lift, the repetitions, the time, your body weight and the intensity of your workout.
Take all the Carbohydrates benefits
Now, talking about the quantities of carbohydrates you'll be premeditated taking, there are some factors that you should consider to maximize their effect.
Carbohydrates should be preferable consumed in the morning to save protein, as soon as you wake up (since you have not eaten food for at least 6-8 hours, cortisol levels are high) is recommended to include carbohydrates in your breakfast, before doing exercise.
We also recommend you eat after exercise; high glycemic carbohydrates (such as honey, some chocolates and fruit and granola bars) produce an insulin spike, which in this case serves blood to deliver amino acids to the muscle tissue.
Another important moment for the consumption of carbohydrates is 1 to 1 ½ hours before exercise. However, carbohydrates before exercise can reduce fat loss, so if you're thinking about losing weight, this is probably not the best option. If your goal is to gain muscle, consider choosing low-glycemic foods (granola bars with seeds such as walnuts and almonds, yogurt with fruit or a milkshake).
Learn how to use the Glycemic Index to gain weight
In general, foods with a lower glycemic index are things like whole wheat bread, oatmeal, or any other food rich in fiber. High glycemic index foods are generally those that contain high amounts of sugar (regular soda, fruit juices and nonfat yogurt with high sugar content) and you can eat them, if you wisely employ your training.
Do not forget Fats
Fats are another essential nutrient in our diet. The fat that you should look for are poly and monounsaturated (like olive oil), never solid at room temperature (such as butter). An easy way to add fat to your diet is to buy some peanut butter and vegetable oil used for cooking, and using olive oil to dress your salads.
Omega-3s help reduce inflammation of the tissues, which is good for the immune system and joints. So it is recommended that you consume it, either by including fish in your diet or by supplementation. The Omega 3 fatty acids that help to maintain blood pressure under control, decrease triglyceride levels, and therefore reduce the possibility of heart disease in general.
The best example of a moderate-fat diet that has more long-term success is the Mediterranean diet.
Do not be afraid of the saturated fat in oils and peanut butter, and keep saturated fats from red meat aside. Chicken and fish are good sources of protein with less saturated fat than red meat.
How much do you need to eat?
If you gain weight easily, but your goal is to gain muscle, think of carbohydrates as an energy source, and enjoy the healthy fats and protein.
Taking 250 extra calories a day on your basic energy expenditure is recommended for weight gain as well. The protein intake should be 1.4 - 1.8 grams per kilogram of body weight or 0.65 to 0.8 grams per pound, approximately. Don’t exceed this; a balanced and healthy diet is the best option we have to gain muscle.