Do You Want Bigger Muscles?

Do you want to build muscle and gain mass?

Have you been religiously going to the gym to pack on size for increasing that lean muscle?

Do you want to be bigger, muscular and leaner?


Before you jump onto any random “Bodybuilding Diet” and start hustling for those bigger muscle take into consideration the training you are doing in the gym.

A muscle building diet is only going to work if the training stimulus you provide is appropriate and leads to progressive overload overtime in terms of both volume and intensity.

Without a progressively overloading training adaptation a muscle gain diet can only do so much.

Just to be clear, progressive overload is expected overtime such as either macrocycle to macrocycle or mesocycle to mesocycle. It does not mean that you go and give it your all everyday in your training. More on this in a separate post. 

Once that is taken care of, lets now go over the dietary aspect.

It is well known that a high protein diet with sufficient carbs to support training and healthy fats for hormone regulation will be your best option.

There’s no denying this with plenty of research backing it.

Understanding the basic concepts about muscle building are much more beneficial than following any random diet you come across.

A rough guideline for this is:

  • Calories at maintenance or surplus
  • Protein between 1.2 to 2 grams per kg
  • Carbs between 4 to 7 grams per kg
  • Dietary Fat between 0.8 to 1 grams per kg
  • Sufficient water and electrolytes to support training
  • Vitamins, Minerals, Other nutrients, etc.

This is going to serve as a great starting point in your quest to get those bigger muscles. 

Now, what if you got what wanted but still have room for more. 

To maximise muscle building, what most people tend to ignore is the micro of any dietary approach such as nutrient timing, sleep and recovery, adherence, supplements, etc.

I will touch briefly on some of these aspects below.

Nutrient Timing and Micronutrients

  • Protein for muscle building is best utilised when spread evenly throughout the day with meals rather than having in one or two big meals. Somewhere around 0.4 grams per kg per meal is a good starting point.
  • Carbohydrates should be prioritised in and around training sessions, even though muscle building is not a high glycogen depleting activity. An even carbs distributing throughout the day also works well for most.
  • Minerals like sodium, zinc, etc. and vitamins D, C, etc. can help with training and recovery, although going over the standard daily recommendations is not essential for everyone. Just make sure you are not deficient in any of them.
  • Fat intake daily distribution per meal can be decided individually.


  • Whey Protein: It's not necessary if you can meet your daily muscle building protein goals through foods such as eggs, chicken, meat, dairy, etc. Whey Protein Isolate is the one go with. A good whey protein isolate should have roughly 25 grams of protein with minimum of 2.5 grams of leucine per serving. 
  • Creatine: This has probably the most research backing it up. Works great for muscle building, strength training, etc. A dose of 3 - 5 grams per day provides a similar effect to a traditional loading protocol over the course of a month. 
  • Beta-Alanine: May help with lean mass gains. It has some good data behind it. This is not compulsory or essential. 
  • Caffeine: Although it does not directly increase muscle mass, but it helps with getting in better quality workouts which in turn works for building muscle. This is not compulsory or essential, especially if you are caffeine sensitive. 
  • Any other supplements is probably not necessary unless you are a professional athlete.

Sleep, Recovery and Adherence

All of these are necessary. No question about it.

Sleep for at least 7 hours at night. Sleep will help with both recovery and adherence. Good quality sleep has also been shown to help with better decision making, exercise performance, cognitive function, mood, etc. 

Adherence is necessary in both training and diet to keep on getting the results you desire.

Recovery is dependent on daily calories and macronutrients, sleep, etc. 

If you don’t train regularly with a progressive overload or if you are not consistent with your diet, things will become really really slow and you may not see any results at all.

Muscle building in and of it self is a slow process, especially if you do it naturally without the use of any PED’s.

From rough estimates, as a natural lifter 1 pound (0.5 kg) of lean muscle mass gain per year after your beginner phase is over, is considered good progress. 


Clinical Dietitian Keshav || MSc Dietetics (DFSM), PGND, CNCC

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