EATING WITH PURPOSE: GAIN LEAN MASS
You want to gain lean mass (we assume that’s why you are here …to gain lean mass …gaining fat mass is easy).
There are a few things (among others) you have to consider:
1. You have to eat more. This one seems self explanatory, but we have to say it. To gain lean mass, you have to eat enough to gain. Yes, you want to gain lean mass and not fat, but you still have to eat.
2. Every meal you eat is important. Protein (the primary nutrient involved in lean mass) synthesis occurs throughout the day. The tendency is to load protein intake to the latter meals of the day. Lunch contains some, dinner contains more.
The Journal of Nutrition published a study comparing typical protein intake patterns (loading at the end of the day) and evenly distributing throughout the day. The study found that “consuming a moderate amount of high-quality protein 3 times a day stimulates muscle protein synthesis to a greater extent than the common practice of skewing protein consumption toward the evening meal. Specifically, 24-h muscle protein synthesis was ; (approximately) 25% greater when protein intake was evenly distributed, compared with the SKEW diet” read more
3.You will gain water weight. This isn’t a bad thing… active muscle holds more water than inactive muscle. First time gainers will see massive changes in size early as their muscles “wake up” read more on muscle water.
Nutrient Requirements and Optimal Nutrition:
Madonna M. Mamerow, Joni A. Mettler, Kirk L. English, Shanon L. Casperson, Emily Arentson-Lantz, Melinda Sheffield-Moore, Donald K. Layman, and Douglas Paddon-Jones
Dietary Protein Distribution Positively Influences 24-h Muscle Protein Synthesis in Healthy Adults
J. Nutr. jn.113.185280; first published online January 29, 2014. doi:10.3945/jn.113.185280