1. Consume a high amount of calories – You need protein to build muscle, but calories are just as important. At the end of the day, if you don't consume enough calories your muscles wont grow. To know how many calories you need, multiply your body weight (lb) by 10, then add a further 1500 calories. This will give you a rough estimate of the amount of calories you should eat per day. Make sure you eat clean calories from healthy foods, not empty calories from pizza and McDonald's.
2. Eat lots of carbohydrates - You've got to eat lots of carbohydrates because they will be the fuel for your workout. If your body runs out of energy from the carbohydrates you ate, it will start taking energy from your protein. Protein is what makes your muscles grow, so obviously you'll want to eat more carbs so your body doesn't take your protein.
3. Eat heaps of protein – Muscle growth is only possible by eating protein, so make sure you eat a lot of it. A good amount of protein to eat is 1-1.5 grams per each pound of your bodyweight. eg. If I was 200lb, I'd need at least 200g of protein per day to stimulate muscle growth. Because bodybuilders require so much protein, you can use protein shakes during the day to help get the amount you need to grow, as eating 200g of protein would be pretty difficult.
4. Eat more frequently with reduced amounts – Because your body can only absorb a limited amount of nutrients and its hard to eat three huge meals, break your meals down into six meals per day. This lets you eat more frequently which increase your metabolism, and allows you to absorb more protein over the course of a full day.
5. Eat fats! - Yes, you heard me. Eat fats. But before you rush away to the ice cream, I'm talking about eating good fats founds in peanuts, flax seed oil, salmon and avocados. These fats actually help muscle grow and therefor you want to be eating them.
6. Eat a good pre-workout meal – Try to eat food that has slow burning carbs in them such as pasta and rice. This is so your energy levels stay consistent during your whole workout. Combine this meal with protein to maximize your gains.
7. Drink lots of water – We are made up of 70% water, so theres a good reason we need to stay well hydrated. It keeps our energy levels up, maximizes the effect of food and supplements, and it even helps prevent cramps. Try to drink at least 10 cups of water per day.
8. Rest – If you workout seven days a week without rest, you will over train you body, which will result in no gains and a higher risk of getting injured. Therefor you should throw in a few rest days to make sure your body has time to recover. At night, try to get a solid 8 hours sleep for maximum muscle growth and recovery. Remember that muscles actually grow when you sleep, not at the gym.
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