When it comes to choosing a diet to build muscle in men, you should remember that your diet needs to be balanced and complete. If not, reaching your goals will give you more headaches than gains.

 

What your body needs to increase muscle mass

To build muscles you have to consume more calories than you spend, but these calories must come specifically from protein.

Even so, you will also increase your fat levels, hence your diet should be monitored by a specialist to avoid both excesses and deficiencies.

If you’re a sportsman, you can adjust the percentages of nutrients to allow for 60% carbs, giving you enough energy for sports, but in turn, reduce fats to 15% and increase proteins to 25%.

You will have to eat at least 5 times a day for your metabolism to be permanently active, and rest well between intense training sessions to regain strength and increase muscle mass.

 

Tailor your diet

You should increase your calorie intake by some 500 calories per day when you’re in training. On rest days, reduce your calorie consumption.

Start by increasing your consumption of complex carbs, which release energy slowly and help prevent spikes in blood sugar levels. As you’ll be exercising, the carbs will be the first thing your body burns. Pasta and rice, potatoes, veg such as spinach, Swiss chard, broccoli, lettuce, lamb’s lettuce, asparagus and whole grains such as oats. These should be consumed on a daily basis.

Consume both animal and vegetable protein. The best source that won’t interfere with digestion is poultry i,e. chicken and turkey, as well as white and oily fish, boiled eggs or omelette, fat-free products and their derivatives. Don’t forget vegetable protein, found in pulses, nuts, tofu, quinoa, seitan, etc.

Fats should be good for your heart, such as olive oil, walnuts, almonds, tuna or salmon.

Here’s a sample:

Breakfast: Two boiled eggs and a yoghurt or milk with oats and red berries, a ham and cheese sandwich or milk shake, banana and nuts.

Mid morning: Yoghurt with blackberries, raspberries and blueberries, or some nuts and a glass of milk, or tuna sandwich.

Lunch: Pasta with minced beef and grated cheese and a bowl of strawberries, or rice with vegetables and a drinkable yoghurt, or green salad with veal fillet and an apple.

Snack: Cherry and muesli shake, or a ham sandwich.

Dinner: Skinless chicken breast with roasted potatoes, or grilled salmon with mushrooms or rice with home-made tomato sauce and French omelette.

Supper: you can have a cup of oatmeal with milk, a yoghurt, a bit of cheese or some almonds.

 

Treatments

Some food supplements can boost your ability to gain muscle. For example:

Vitamin D, which is essential to absorb calcium and also burns fat (because it’s fat-soluble), without changing muscle mass. It also helps to get rid of cholesterol. It’s good for your nervous system too and can prevent frustration.

Vitamins from the B group are essential to metabolise fats, they prevent build ups of lactic acid, which produces fatigue, and they oxygenate cells.

Vitamin A is a great anti-oxidant, it aids the synthesis of proteins and regeneration of tissues, it helps sugar to be used for energy and allows protein to become muscle.

These vitamins can also come from a varied and complete diet. If you decide to use supplements, then consult your medical specialist, to avoid any problems and ensure you take them in moderation.