The Optimum Calorie Intake For Muscle Growth
It’s question that I’ve been asked more times than I can remember.
If I had a dime etc…
I wrote down everything I know to be true about calorific intake for building muscle, and the result is this article you’re reading right now.
Before reading this article, you should read this (if you haven’t already) and make sure you’re absolutely clear about what body type you are.
How Many Calories Do You Need For Muscle Growth?
Your body needs a certain amount of energy, or “calories” just to maintain it.
Right now, at your weight, you need a specific number of calories just to keep what body weight you have.
Figuring out your daily calorie maintenance amount is very, very important when it comes to gaining weight and muscle mass.
In order to gain muscle weight, you MUST take in more calories than you burn off each day.
You have to create a calorie surplus.
This excess in calories, as long as its quality calories like high quality protein, is used as the raw materials in the muscle growth process.
If you figure your daily calorie maintenance amount to be 3000 calories, that’s just the number you need to maintain where you are.
You don’t want to do that, you want to gain. So you must start taking in more than 3000.
I’d suggest adding 150-200 calories a day for the first few weeks to see how that works. You’d be up to 3150- 3200 calories a day for the first few weeks.
If you do not see much in the way of positive weight gain, add another 150-200 calories, putting your daily number to 3300-3400.
Keep adding until you start seeing the results you’re after.
Of course, you do not want to go up too high or you run the risk of adding unwanted body fat.
Remember that in order to gain any quality muscle weight, you have to consume more calories in a day then you use (burn off).
This extra amount of calories will either be used in the growth and repair process of muscle tissue or this excess of calories will be stored as body fat for future energy needs.
You will NOT gain the weight you want to if you do not take in the calories you need to.
It’s vital to figure your daily calorie needs so that you know how many calories it is you should be taking in.
Calculating your daily calorie amounts
Everyone has their own unique metabolism, meaning everyone burns through calories at a different pace.
It is difficult to establish a guideline that will fit everyone. AST Sports Science, a supplement company based in Colorado, has created a guideline based upon the latest research that will assist you in determining your daily caloric requirements.
Our bodies require calories just to exist, just to live and breath. You burn calories at rest and at play. While sleeping, our bodies burn between 70-100 calories per hour.
This is called our Basal Metabolic Rate, or BMR.
Many variables will affect an individuals BMR, like sex, age, body size, body weight, and their metabolic uniqueness.
For men using the BMR variable .42 multiplied by your bodyweight, you can find the calories needed per pound of bodyweight per hour.
Women should use the variable .35.
What this means is, if you are a man and you weigh 200 pounds, your BMR would be 200x.42×24=2016.
This means that you need 2016 calories per day just to maintain your current bodyweight with no activity at all.
For a moderately active person, research has used the number .65 as the BMR variable.
If you weigh 200 pounds, your daily caloric level would be 200x.65×24=3120 calories per day, or 390 every 3 hours.
The formula to figure your daily caloric amount is
Bodyweight x BMR variable .65 x 24 hours= Daily caloric amount
Example: 150 pounds x .65 x 24 = 2340 calories
From this number, we can now break down the amount of protein, carbs, and fats needed.
Protein= 292.50 grams, or 1170 calories
Carbohydrates= 234 grams, or 936 calories
Fats= 26 grams, or 234 calories
Above is the break down of grams and calories of protein, carbohydrates, and fat.
Like I mentioned above, begin adding 150-200 calories per day to this number.
To show you that adding extra calories and creating a surplus is what’s needed to gain weight, perhaps showing you how people lose weight will help further explain this.
Losing body fat requires you to create a calorie deficit, meaning burning off more calories than you take in.
You can speed up the fat-burning process by decreasing your daily caloric amount by 150-200 per day until you start seeing some results.
If after a couple weeks of reducing 150-200 calories a day you still do not see results, start to take away another 150-200 per day.
Do not reduce more than this number because to big of a reduction will have a counterproductive effect on your metabolism.
That’s how weight loss occurs, you have to create a calorie shortage and your body gets the energy it needs by burning off stored body fat.
In order to gain weight, specifically muscle weight, you must take in more calories than you burn off.
Increase your calories by 150-200 per day until you begin to see the desire effect.
Calculating your Caloric Requirement
First decide: are you inactive?
If so, use
MEN: Body weight ______ x BMR variable .42 x 24 hours = daily caloric requirement.
WOMEN: Body weight _____x BMR variable .35 x 24 hours = daily caloric requirement.
If you are active, substitute BMR variable .42 with .65.
When you get this number, you can calculate your protein, carbohydrate, and fat intake:
Daily caloric requirement (from above) x .50/4= grams of protein needed
_____ x .50/4 = _____ grams
Daily caloric requirement ______x .50 = Calories from protein
Daily caloric requirement x .40/4 = grams of carbs needed
______ x .40/4 = _____ grams
Daily caloric requirement _____x .40 = Calories from carbohydrates
Daily caloric requirement x .10/9 = grams of fat needed
_____ x .10/9 = _____ grams
Daily caloric requirement _____x .10 = Calories from fats
The Low Down
The whole low down on this chapter is this:
You will never gain weight and Muscle unless you are taking in enough calories to support weight gain and muscle growth.
If you are always trying to gain weight and are always eating fewer calories than you should be for your daily amount, you will not gain weight or muscle.
So when you figure your daily number in this chapter, begin to add 150-200 calories per day to that number until you begin to see the desired results.
For example, if your number that you calculate above comes out to 2000 calories is your daily maintenance, start consuming 2200 calories for a week or two.
If after that time you still do not see the desire effects starting to show, up it another 200 calories.
Now you are at 2400 calories a day for the week.
Keep upping a little at a time and you will soon find your spot.
About Weight Gainers
I get asked my opinion of those weight gainers that are on the market, whether they are worth taking or not.
I’m going to go into further detail about which supplements I feel are worth taking to gain some quality weight and muscle gain in this article.