Healthy muscle mass is crucial for optimal metabolism, weight management, joint health, and protection from spine degeneration. But as you get older, building muscle becomes tougher. Most people start losing muscle mass as they reach their 30s, and it may take more effort to gain and maintain muscle.
With patience, persistence, a balanced diet, and the right exercise program, however, it is possible to gain muscle fast in a healthy way. Experts do not recommend using drugs or protein supplements for muscle gain, as these can damage your kidneys and liver in the long run.
Muscle building requires you to consume more calories than you burn, but that doesn’t mean that you get to binge on fast food. Eating the right foods at the right times is critical for muscle growth. Protein and amino acids are essential to build muscle mass and should be consumed in recommended amounts, especially post-workout, for optimal effect.
8 tips for gaining muscle mass
1. Eat more protein
Muscle is made up of protein, meaning that eating more protein will help you build more muscle. The best time to eat protein is during breakfast and after a workout. Examples of high-protein foods include:
- Lean meat
- Red meat
- Seeds and nuts
While drinking protein shakes before or after exercise may help you gain muscle mass as well, it’s important to take protein supplements in specified amounts only.
2. Limit carbs
Carbs provide you with energy, but they should be limited if you want to gain muscle and avoid gaining fat. Complex carbohydrates that can be incorporated into your primary meals include millets, grilled vegetables, and cereals (such as brown rice, wheat, and rolled oats).
3. Eat healthy fats
Eating good fats with each meal helps you gain weight in a healthy way. It also improves gut health and promotes satiety. Good fats can be found in fatty fish (tuna, mackerel, halibut) and nuts (cashew, walnut, pumpkin seeds, flaxseed).
4. Drink more water
Since you lose a lot of water through sweat during intense workouts, make sure to drink plenty of water. This rehydrates you, reduces hunger, boosts muscle repair, and helps you gain muscle.
5. Eat more fruits and vegetables
Fruits and vegetables are high in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber, all of which aid in digestion. Kale, broccoli, squash, leafy greens, and collards are low in calories yet make you feel full for longer. Fruits like bananas and mangoes, however, contain a lot of sugar, however, so be careful about how much you consume on a daily basis.
6. Whole body training
Bodybuilding regimens are often divided by week, with each muscle group receiving attention once a week. If you can only lift weights 3 times per week, try including full-body exercises into your routine. You will target each muscle 3 times a week this way. Perform 2-3 sets of exercises for each muscle group.
If you work out 4 days a week, consider an upper or lower split where you hit each muscle twice a week, doing about 5 repetitions each. Increasing the frequency with which you work each muscle will help you gain strength and muscle mass faster. However, you should always keep it low to moderate intensity to prevent overtraining.
7. High-intensity exercises
When it comes to gaining muscle fast, working out hard is a given. But make sure you repeat sets for every exercise. Concentrate on multi-joint movements, such as squats, bench presses, and deadlifts, as this will allow you to use more weight and develop greater strength.
8. Adequate rest
Workouts that push your body to its limits should be done no more than 3-4 times a week and never in a row. It’s also important to rest for a minute between sets or before changing to new weights. Since your muscles need time to repair and recover from the strain of intense workouts, make sure to get a good night’s sleep and learn relaxation techniques that help you unwind after a long day.
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
Klemm S. 4 Keys to Strength Building and Muscle Mass. Eat Right. https://www.eatright.org/fitness/training-and-recovery/building-muscle/strength-building-and-muscle-mass
Pedersen C. How to Build Muscle Fast: 5 Fitness and Nutrition Hacks. Life Hack. https://www.lifehack.org/articles/lifestyle/5-fitness-and-nutrition-hacks-to-build-muscle-fast.html
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