Nutrition for Building Muscle

January 08, 2021 3 min read

Nutrition for Building Muscle

You’ve probably never come across anyone who completely discounts the importance of nutrition for muscle growth.

But, while many people understand how nutrition plays a vital role, few take the time to learn how to take advantage of it.

The truth is, optimizing your nutrition for muscle growth comes down to two fundamentals…


  1. The Caloric Intake

Here is the thing about virtually all ‘anabolic’ diets out there:

All of them cover a straightforward rule: you’re consuming more calories than you’re burning. In other words, you’re in a caloric surplus. In doing so, your body has all of the energy it needs to carry out its many processes, and some of the surplus energy can go toward the development of new tissue (muscle).

For example, if you burn 3,000 calories per day and consume 3,500, you’re in a 500-calorie surplus.

According to most research and expert recommendations, we should maintain a surplus of 200 to 400 per day. In doing so, we optimize muscle growth and limit fat gain.


  1. Consume Enough Protein

Your overall calorie intake is vital, yes, but you also need to consume enough protein because it provides your body with the building blocks it needs. 

Think of it like this:

You might have plenty of workers ready to build a house. But, if they don’t have enough of the various materials that go into the construction, it’s impossible to build it. The same goes for us. You might be eating enough calories, but you also need to consume enough protein.

Research recommends anywhere between 0.8 and one gram of protein per pound of body weight per day.


Everything Else Is Secondary

While the above list might seem overly-simplistic, it reflects the two most important things you need to consider when eating for muscle gain.

Everything else - including meal timing, meal frequency, protein distribution, and such - is of lesser importance. Even if you pay attention to these things, you will never optimize your results if you don’t take care of your overall calorie and protein intake.

With that said, here are a few simple things you should consider:

  • Make sure to get a healthy blend of dietary fats and carbs - both play vital roles in the body.
  • Aim for at least three protein-rich meals each day.
  • Have a balanced intake of protein and carbs in the hours leading up to your workout.
  • While not vital, having a protein-rich meal soon after training is also beneficial.
  • Stay well-hydrated - aim for two to three liters of fluids each day.
  • Ensure that your nutrition quality remains high. Get most of your daily calories from whole and nutritious foods.



Good nutrition is essential, but it’s only one side of the equation. You also need a solid training plan if you want to spark muscle growth. Kettlebells and dumbbells are fantastic tools you should utilize in your training as both offer incredible versatility.

With nutrition and training in check, the third final element for optimal muscle gain is to get enough sleep. According to research, we should aim for at least seven hours per night.

Adhering to the fundamentals might not be fun and exciting all of the time, but doing so consistently leads to fantastic results in the long run.

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