In this article and the ones to follow, I will be providing information about an area of fitness that many trainee’s commonly struggle to get right – Eating correctly and consuming enough whole food to build muscle fast as part of a well-balanced, muscle building diet.
When we talk about foods that build muscle fast, I will be referring mainly to protein foods. Proteins supply the building blocks (amino acids) required to maintain and build muscle.
We will also touch on carbohydrates as they are important for high energy levels and play a part in muscle growth too.
However, before we continue please remember that eating these foods alone will not be enough to build muscle. Although protein is, of course, a very anabolic muscle building food, there are many other components that a muscle building diet must have. (Carbs, fat, vitamins etc)
So How Much Protein Do I Need Per Day?
Your body will need an estimated 1 gram of protein per pound of your body weight OR 2 grams of protein per KG of your bodyweight OR 14 grams of protein per Stone of your body weight. (it is always a good idea to over-shoot these figures by 10%)
For Example : if you weigh 150lbs – You will need approximately 150 grams of protein for muscular growth.
If you weigh 10 Stone you will need to eat at least 140 grams of protein per day (10 x 14 = 140)
It is not just the total amount of protein required that is important to build muscle fast. What is even more important is the TIMING of your protein consumption.
You should aim to eat a portion of protein at least every 2-3 hours. Never going without protein for longer than 4 hours. If you wait longer than this your body will take the protein it needs from your muscle. Which equals a loss of muscle. Something we definitely don’t want!
So for most people, eating this frequently will mean having around 5-6 small portions a day. All of which should contain foods that build muscle.
Think that might be difficult? Well, it really doesn’t have to be if you break the meals down into manageable portions. Instead of eating the common ‘3 big meals a day’, the idea is to never let yourself go hungry because this is a sure sign that your body is feasting on your muscle tissue!
If that hasn’t convinced you to eat more frequently, does raising your metabolism and keeping yourself lean sound more appealing? Thought so 😉 – Eating more frequently also means that your body is always having to burn calories meaning an increased metabolism.
If this frequency is still not possible for your lifestyle, then something that is commonly done is to invest in some whey protein and a shaker bottle so that you can have a convenient hit of protein wherever you are – so that’s all of the excuses out the way 🙂 Please don’t forget that whey protein is a supplement and is in ‘addition to’ rather than a replacement for whole food.
However in these articles we will only be talking about whole foods that build muscle, not supplements.
From here this article will split into sections depending on the food/protein group.
The first protein group that we will be discussing are Meats