It’s a well-known fact that in order to build muscle and achieve the size you’re aiming for you need extra calories; more than you burn off during your workouts. This doesn’t give anyone a free pass to eat anything though, there are certain key foods and nutrients every bodybuilder needs to build mass in a healthy, effective way.
When it comes to bulking, the general rule of thumb is to achieve 20% body fat by eating the right foods to build size and muscle. A good ratio of 40:30:20 (protein: carbs: fat) is what you should be aiming for with your meals so, as well as stocking up on plenty of protein products, make sure you take in the following:
- Lean chicken, turkey or beef – these are rich in protein and low in fat.
- Salmon or tuna – again, rich in protein and low in fat. Meaty fish like salmon and tuna are also high in Omega 3s which can boost heart health, joint health and general wellbeing.
- Eggs - eggs are high in protein, a rich source of a number of essential vitamins and full of amino acids to support muscle growth and recovery.
- Quinoa – this is a superfood for bodybuilding, containing 6 grams of protein, 3 grams of fibre, 2.5 grams of fat and a total of 160 calories in every cup, as well as being an excellent source of amino acids and essential minerals.
- Cottage cheese – cottage cheese is a great source of casein, a slow digesting protein that is released to your muscles over a long period of time.
- Nuts – nuts are high in protein and essential fats, making them perfect snacks or ingredients. Try a mix of almonds, walnuts, cashews, pistachios and peanuts.
- Rice, pasta and bread – complex carbohydrates provide fuel for your body and are great for adding surplus calories.
- Avocados – this high calorie fruit contains high levels of healthy fats to help you gain mass without the implications of high fat intake.
- Spinach – high in iron and glutamine, spinach is a muscle recovery and fatigue-fighting essential.
- Water – when taking on such large amounts of protein, you should be aiming to drink around 3-4 litres of water, to ensure your kidneys stay healthy as well as to keep you hydrated.
How you bulk and what you eat will depend on your body type
- Ectomorphs tend to have flat chests, thin physiques, small shoulders and long limbs and it often takes them a while to gain size and muscle mass. Ectomorphs should bulk for a longer period of around 8 months in order to reach the size they’re looking for.
- Endomorphs tend to have a rounder physique, gain weight quickly and find it more difficult to lose. 6 months of clean bulking is ideal for these body types, followed by a longer period of cutting.
- Mesomorphs tend to find bodybuilding the easiest. These body types are athletic and gain muscle as easily as they lose fat. Men tend to be rectangular shaped and women have hourglass figures. Mesomorphs should also spend around 8 months bulking due to their ability to lose fat easily.
Our protein products Build and Burn, Mass Grow and Whey TP are all designed to give you the highest dose of quality protein to help you achieve the size and strength you’re aiming for. We always love to see your progress. Share your results with us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.