Diets and bodybuilding

How to eat during strength training?

Rules for taking sports supplements and recommendations for the daily diet.

What you need to eat to grow muscles?
Proper nutrition for gaining muscle mass is not only a portion of a well-known brand of protein shake after a workout or a capsule of expensive BCAA amino acids. If you really want to build muscle, you should completely revise your daily diet, and not just rely on sports nutrition.

In addition, there is no need to place excessive hopes on some special foods, from which “muscles grow faster.” Long-term practice proves that it is quite possible to gain essential muscle mass on ordinary buckwheat, oatmeal, chicken and olive oil. The main thing – the observance of sufficient calories and nutrient balance.


The main difficulty lies in the fact that the only way to monitor the proper nutrition and composition of the diet for muscle growth is to keep a food diary and prepare meals at home with weighing ingredients. Otherwise, it is almost impossible to determine how much protein, fat and carbohydrates are contained in each portion of food you eat.

The role is played by the fact that in order to increase muscle mass you will really have to eat a lot. Unfortunately, the calorie intake of most novice ectomorphs who experience problems with weight gain is often less than 2000 kcal per day – and this is for the desired 2700-2900 kcal. It is this that most often explains their difficulty in gaining mass.

Nutrition for muscle growth

Below are the seven most important nutritional rules for muscle growth. If you really want to pump up, you have to learn them almost by heart.

Increase total caloric intake. Do not forget to follow the total caloric intake – it must be at least 15-20% above normal, otherwise the body simply will not have enough calories to recover and the energy necessary for subsequent muscle growth.

Keep track of nutrient balance. If you are looking for muscle growth, not fat, it is important not only to increase calories, but also to monitor the percentage of proteins, fats and carbohydrates. Fat should account for about a third of all calories consumed, for every kg of body weight you need about 2 grams of protein, the other calories for carbohydrates.

Eat carbs before exercise

The ideal option is a portion of carbohydrate-rich food 2-3 hours before the training. If you go to the gym early in the morning and you do not have the opportunity to have a full breakfast before a workout, then immediately after waking up you need to take a portion of a gainer (20 g of protein and 15-20 g of carbohydrates).

Use sports nutrition

The protein used before and after exercise should be absorbed as quickly as possible. Ordinary foods (especially eggs and meat) need a few hours to fully digest – you will not get energy when you need it. Use of protein isolate is preferred.

Feed the body BCAA

Acceptance of BCAA amino acids during the very strength training will be for the body a source of additional energy and will reduce the level of stress hormone cortisol, which is formed during muscle fatigue and adversely affecting the subsequent growth and restoration of muscles.

Remember about the carbohydrate window. Immediately after training, the body especially needs a quick source of energy replenishment – in simple carbohydrates. The cocktail after training should contain not only proteins, but also carbohydrates – 0.3-0.5 g of protein and 0.3-1.5 g of carbohydrates per kg of body weight. Either a gainer, or a mixture of protein isolate with juice.
Do not rely only on sports nutrition. Sports nutrition wins only in one case – before, after and during training, because at this time fast assimilable protein cannot be replaced by anything else. At any other time of the day you can use regular meals – it’s also important that it is much cheaper.

Sample menu for muscle growth

The logic of the menu presented as part of the “Beginner’s Guide” series of materials is based on the fact that in the morning you take fast carbohydrates to improve performance, at lunch the main meal takes place (the most carbohydrates), and dinner consists of vegetables and meat.


A cup of oatmeal (30-50 g) on milk with half a banana and a handful of regular dried fruit.


A large portion of pilaf with chicken breast and olive oil dressing. For cooking, use either brown rice or a mixture of cereals (buckwheat, quinoa, lentils, bulgur, and so on). About 140-150 g of cereals, 100 g of chicken and 10-15 g of olive oil (added at the end).

Nutrition after exercise:

A large portion of protein (one and half measuring spoons) and 10-20 g of fast carbohydrates to close the carbohydrate window. Also add 5 g of creatine to your sports cocktail, and take a few BCAA capsules before your workout.

Second lunch:

Omelette from three chicken eggs.


Vegetable stew with beef and dressing with olive oil. Use 200-250 grams of various vegetables (zucchini, sweet peppers, corn), 100 grams of pumpkin or potatoes (preferably sweet potatoes – sweet potatoes), 50-60 grams of cereals or pasta from durum wheat and 100-150 grams of beef.
The Importance of Vitamins and Minerals

Given the increased caloric intake of athletes, as well as a high level of physical activity during training, they require an increased amount of vitamins and minerals. FitSeven has already written that the lack of zinc and magnesium in the body is extremely negative for both the metabolic processes in general and the mechanism of muscle growth in particular.

Despite the fact that to cover the deficit you can take a multivitamin complex in pills, it is important not to forget that the athlete’s diet must include not only meat and carbohydrate sources, but also all kinds of vegetables, nuts and fruits. The advantage is that such a diet is really good for health.

Amino acids during strength training

Professional recommendations for athletes, bodybuilders say that to maintain optimal performance during strength training, you need to use 12-15 g of protein isolate and 30-45 g of carbohydrates for each hour of training. If you use liquid amino acids or BCAA amino acids in capsules, 5-7 g is enough.

Such supplements will help accelerate the rate of recovery and muscle growth by lowering cortisol. Additional reduction of cortisol can be achieved by adding to the cocktail 0.2-0.5 g of vitamin C and 3-5 g of D-aspartic acid. Most of the special (and very expensive) sports nutrition for muscle growth have just such a composition.

Creatine for muscle growth

Creatine is another sports supplement that helps the body build muscle faster. Being a structural component of animal meat, creatine optimizes energy processes in muscle fibers, acting as a source of fast energy. In simple words, creatine allows muscles to become stronger, while simultaneously increasing their volume.

It is necessary to take creatine daily, because it does not act instantly, but only accumulates in the tissues of the body – the effect of its reception does not appear before 5-10 days. That is why the time of creatine intake, in fact, does not play a significant role – you can take it both immediately after a workout, and during the main meal.

Proper nutrition during training for muscle growth is not just taking expensive sports protein powder immediately after training. If you want to gain muscle mass quickly, you need full control over your diet, its calorie content and protein, fat and carbohydrate content. Only this will allow your muscles to grow.