Diet to increase muscle mass

To build a diet aimed at muscle growth, the diet must contemplate a series of requirements:

Caloric surplus: The calories planned must be higher than the calories required by our metabolism. For this, we have to calculate our basal metabolism according to the Harris-Benedict formula, which calculates the basal metabolism according to our sex, age, weight, and height. To this calculation, we must add the calories of the activity and related to our lifestyle, so the calories required by a person who practices intense sports 5 days a week are very different from the caloric requirement of a sedentary person.

To the result of the calculation of Harris-Benedict with the activity, we have to add a caloric surplus if what we are looking for is to make a diet of hypertrophy.

2. The second requirement is to correctly plan the protein. The protein requirement will be greater because the muscle growth process requires 3 ingredients:

Stimulus (training)


Protein to build.

This protein must be complete, that is, have the 9 essential amino acids, and most similar to the aminogram of the muscle. There are foods like meat, fish, eggs or dairy that have the 9 essential amino acids, however, combining other plant foods, legumes or nuts, you can also build complete protein, which in turn can be digested more easily.

The amount of protein will oscillate between 1.5 and 2 grams per kg of body weight, depending among other factors on the quality of the same according to the adequacy of the amino acids of the intake to the aminogram of the muscle. This total protein should be ingested in several intakes per day since our liver is only able to synthesize about 30 grams of protein per intake.

3. The third requirement is hormonal management. Growth hormone and testosterone are responsible for muscle growth.

Leucine and arginine are the key amino acids for the hormonal management of these hormones (Growth hormone & testosterone). The stimulation of these hormones is key in protein synthesis.

Growth hormone can be stimulated in a natural way. Intermittent fasting stimulates growth hormone levels as well as improving the insulin sensitivity of cell receptors, improving absorption and allowing our body to reduce inflammation.

Controlling excess cortisol hormone is important because cortisol stimulates gluconeogenesis and inhibits the uptake of glucose in the muscle. Gluconeogenesis is a process by which our body consumes amino acids from muscle tissue to transform them into glucose, using them as a source of energy instead of glycogen stored in the liver and muscles or fats stored in adipose tissue.