How many calories should I eat to build muscle?

In this article we are going to answer how many calories should I eat to build muscle, what bulking is, what diet should I follow to build muscle, what workouts should I follow to build muscle, and what other factors should I consider to build muscle. 

How many calories should I eat to build muscle?

To build up some muscle you need to eat more calories than what you are burning but those calories need to be high-quality calories. It is not enough to eat more protein to build more muscle. Most people require about 20 calories more per pound of weight you want to gain muscle mass. 

During the bulking phase, the average intake of calories can go up to 3,800 calories for men and 3,200 for women. 

When gaining muscle mass, you will also gain some extra fat that you can later lose after the building mass process ends. If you are gaining too much fat you can try to do more aerobic exercise to reduce it. 

What is bulking?

Bulking is the muscle-gaining phase where there is an intentional increase in calorie intake for a specific set of time, about 4 to 6 months. Extra calories are needed to boost your muscle mass together with strength and weight training. 

Because of the excess calories you intake while bulking, the fat tends to accumulate. After bulking, comes the phase of cutting which is a gradual decrease in calorie intake accompanied by aerobic training to reduce body fat and increased muscle definition. 

What diet should I follow to build muscle?

When you are on a diet to build muscle you need to increase calories from high-quality food to ensure your overall health. It is not just about adding calories but also about ingesting enough vitamins, minerals, healthy fats, and high-quality proteins to keep good health in the long run. 

Your macronutrient ratios should be about 45-60% of carbohydrates, 30-35% calories from protein, and 15-30% of your calories from fat. 

You can make some adjustments depending on how much body mass and the overall weight you are gaining but protein should be at least 30% to promote enough muscle growth. Food to include in your diet is

  • Fruits: apples, avocado, berries, grapes, kiwi, oranges, bananas, pineapple, and pears.
  • Vegetables: you can eat all vegetables like beets, broccoli, carrots, collards, kale, mushrooms, peppers, and cucumber. 
  • Starchy vegetables: peas, jicama, potatoes, yam, and arrowroot.
  • Grains: Choose whole grains options like bread, cereals, corn, oatmeal, quinoa, and rice.
  • Seafood: cod, crab, lobster, salmon, shrimp, tilapia, and tuna.
  • Dairy: you can eat full-fat options of butter, cheese, cottage cheese, milk, and yogurt.
  • Meats, poultry, and eggs: ground beef, steak, pork, chicken, turkey breast, and whole eggs.
  • Legumes: black beans, chickpeas, lentils, lima beans, and pinto beans.
  • Nuts and seeds: all nuts and seeds can be included.
  • Oils and nut butter: try to choose healthy vegetable oils like almond, peanut butter, olive oil, avocado oil, and grapeseed oil.
  • Beverages: choose water, coffee, diet soda, and tea. 

What workouts should I follow to build muscle?

When you are in your bulking phase you need to base your workout on strength and reduce aerobic exercise. The best exercise you can do together with your build-up diet include

  • Lifting weights
  • Using resistance bands
  • Push-ups
  • Pull-ups
  • Sit-ups
  • Bench press
  • Shoulder press

What other factors should I consider to build muscle?

Other factors you should take into account when building muscle periods include consuming creatine during workouts, keeping a diary of your food intake during your whole day, calorie control, trying to sleep your 8 hours and reducing stress, and keeping hydrated with water and electrolytes.

It is also very important to recover enough after training and not overdoing aerobic exercise so you don’t burn muscle. 

Follow this link for more information on how to grow muscle. 

Conclusion

This article answered how many calories should I eat to build muscle, what bulking is, what diet should I follow to build muscle, what workouts should I follow to build muscle, and what other factors should I consider to build muscle.

Citation

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/bulking#safety

https://steelsupplements.com/blogs/steel-blog/how-many-calories-should-you-eat-to-build-muscle

https://www.maximuscle.com/nutrition/advice/How-to-build-muscle-and-size/#:~:text=Most%20people%20require%20around%2020,180%20lb%20%3D%203600%20kcal).

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