The Bases of Muscle Development

Building muscle mass is not always easy, but there are some points that we can keep in mind in relation to our food to facilitate the process. The ingestion of a sufficient number of proteins and calories, together with a consistent and good quality training routine, form the fundamental elements of muscle development. Following our 5 tips below will ensure that you are doing everything you need to gain lean body mass in a healthy way.

1. Eat more

For muscles to grow, the body needs energy. If your diet is low in calories and results in an energy deficit, it will be much more difficult to develop lean mass.

Based on current science, a small to moderate daily caloric surplus (from 250kcal to 450kcal) is recommended.

2. Eat every 3 hours

Our bodies go through continuous periods of muscle protein breakdown and muscle protein synthesis. When muscle protein synthesis exceeds the elimination of muscle proteins, there is a net gain in muscle.

While protein elimination remains relatively stable, muscle protein synthesis requires a stimulus. Eating protein-rich meals provides that kind of stimulation.

Regardless of how many proteins you eat at each meal, muscle protein synthesis rates will eventually start to drop. This is why it is important to eat protein at regular intervals throughout the day, with research showing that the ideal is every 3 hours.

3. Proteins can build new muscle tissue

Proteins contain amino acids, which are the basic building blocks of muscles. Eating a meal rich in protein and amino acids will increase the rate of muscle protein synthesis in the body. To develop muscle mass, it needs to be higher than the elimination of muscle proteins. That is why it is important to eat enough protein.

Combining adequate protein intake with weight training is the best way to promote long-term muscle growth.

4. Carbohydrates are excellent for more energy and faster recovery

High intensity exercises, such as weight training, make the body use carbohydrates as a fuel source, and observations show that gym training can reduce the body’s carbohydrate reserves by up to 40%.

Consuming carbohydrates will also aid recovery, making it possible for you to train with the same intensity every time you return to the gym and continue to make progress.

5. Protein and amino acid shakes

Protein sources are not all equivalent. Some contain more essential amino acids than others. This will have an effect on the impact that a specific protein source will have on muscle protein synthesis rates.

In order for the latter to be maximized, the body must have at its disposal sufficient doses of leucine, a branched-chain amino acid, which acts as a signal for the body to start building muscle tissue.

The whey protein, the most used in shakes, is rich in leucine and other essential amino acids, being considered a high quality protein source. In addition, whey is digested quickly, so it will increase muscle protein synthesis at an accelerated rate.

Frequently asked questions

How long does it take the muscle to grow?

This depends on a large number of factors and varies for each individual.

The luckiest people can get results quite quickly. For others, a long period of time may be necessary, and variables such as training experience, training volume and calorie intake are influenced.

If your training and nutrition are “on point”, you can expect to gain 0.5-1kg of muscle mass per month. This may seem like a modest result, so it is important that you give things time and that you have realistic expectations. If your body mass is increasing much faster than this, it is a sign that you are probably also gaining fat mass.

How much to eat?

To gain muscle without gaining unwanted body fat, it is recommended that your diet represents a moderate daily caloric surplus, of approximately 250-500kcal more. Eating more than this will lead to fat storage, in addition to muscle gains.

How much protein do I need?

Daily consumption between 1.6g and 2g per kilogram of body weight is recommended, depending on the exact number of your remaining energy consumption. For someone who weighs 80kg, this means 130g-160g.

For each meal, you should consume 0.3g / kg (24g for an 80kg person), for maximum stimulation of muscle protein synthesis.

What Myprotein products can help me?

Impact Whey Protein – provides an easy and fast source of high quality proteins, rich in essential amino acids and fast to digest.

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