While having the right workout routine is essential for building muscle, you won’t fully succeed in gaining muscle if you don’t combine your fitness routine with the right diet.
Plenty of people make diet mistakes when trying to put on more muscle.
Here are four mistakes that you need to ensure you don’t make yourself.
1. Not Paying Attention to Your Calorie and Macronutrient Intake
Getting enough calories into your diet is crucial if you want to build muscle. You should aim for a caloric surplus range that’s suitable for your body’s specific needs.
Just as important is ensuring you get the right number of macronutrients in your diet. When you know what the recommended daily intake is for the three macronutrients your body requires, you can find the highest quality food sources to get those macros. In turn, you can start effectively building muscle.
Macros are found in carbohydrates, protein, and fats. Fruits and vegetables are ideal food sources for getting carbs while dairy products like eggs and cheese are great sources of protein and healthy fats. Meat is also a good source of protein.
Check out this helpful guide regarding macros to gain muscle so that you can begin calculating your ideal calorie and macro intake.
2. Replacing Food with Supplements
Supplements can be great for adding calories and important muscle-building amino acids to your diet, but you should never replace food with supplements.
If you rely too much on supplements, you’re making a dietary mistake.
Supplements, as the name suggests, should be additions to your diet, not replacements.
If you use supplements to help you gain muscle, or are intending to use them, make sure you understand when to take them and what dosage you should take. And never use them as meal replacements.
3. Being Inconsistent
Some people make the mistake of thinking they can be inconsistent with their diet, such as eating huge muscle-friendly meals and then cutting down on meal sizes the following day.
If that’s you, then you need to change your ways.
Being consistent in your diet is crucial if you want to build muscle. In fact, sporadic eating will either result in little muscle gain or no muscle gain at all.
When you’re just starting out on your muscle-building journey, in addition to consistency, it’s important that you gradually increase the nutritional food that you eat.
For instance, you can begin by eating the standard three meals a day and then add a fourth meal later on or add supplements to your pre-workout and post-workout.
Of course, you also need to ensure you’re engaging with the best workouts to increase muscle mass in the first place.
4. Not Paying Attention to Your Pre and Post-Workout Nutritional Needs as You Progress in Your Muscle-Building Journey
Following on from the last point, you should pay attention to pre and post-workout nutrition once you’re eating the right balance of carbs, protein, and fats, and have a regular workout routine.
In particular, if you find you’re hitting roadblocks in gaining muscle, you should look at pre and post-workout nutrition.
For pre-workout, go with between fifty and sixty grams of complex carbs like oats and fruits in addition to twenty to thirty grams of protein like yogurt or whey protein.
As for post-workout, go with around fifty grams of a simple carbohydrate, like a sports energy drink, combined with around forty grams of a fast-acting protein, such as whey protein.
Don’t make the mistake of not monitoring your progress and ignoring pre and post-workout nutrition, whether you get that additional nutrition through foods or supplements.