Proper nutrition for athletes shows you how to calculate how many calories you need to gain weight not just for bodybuilding but for any sports activity.
If you have read the pages Basal Metabolic Rate, Physical Activity Level or Thermogenesis you should now have your calorie needs, lets carry on with our example.
We have 3140 calories as the amount you will need to sustain your work life and activity level so if you look below we can work out what to do.
Proper Nutrition for Athletes:Calorie Intake = Calories burned → Body weight stays the same
Calorie Intake > Calories burned → Body weight increasing
Calorie Intake < Calories burned → Body weight decreasing
= The same as
> Greater than
< Less than
→ We get
So as you see from the table to gain weight we need to consume more calories than we are burning. To do this you need to add between 200-500 more calories to your diet so you are consuming more during the day that you burn. To start off with if 200 more calories per day are consumed you should get an increase of about one pound or 0.5kg per week, this is a safe way to gain weight.
I have added 200 more calories on top of the amount we worked out earlier to sustain his current lifestyle as we want to increase his bodyweight. So the 24 year old bricklayer with an active lifestyle will have to consume 3340 calories per day. Now we have to break this down into macronutrients so how much protein, carbs and fat do we need to buid muscle.
This chart shows the percentage split that should be aimed for when trying to build muscle.
Carbohydrates = 60-70% Protein = 20-30% Fat = less than 20%
Now to work out the amounts. I know it is a lot of working out but if you want to gain weight and build muscle you will need sit down and work it out, it should only take 10 minutes or so.
Getting the amount is an easy one:
- Divide the total calorie amount by 100 to get 1 percent which is 33.4
- Then multiply 33.4 by what percent you need so for carbs we would multiply 33.4 by 50 which is 1670(calories)
- Then we need to divide this number by 4 (because there is 4 calories in 1 gram of carbs) and we get 417 so we need to consume 417 grams of carbs.
THE FINAL EQUATION
Protein3340 calories / 100% = 33.4
33.4 x 25% (protein) = 835 calories
835 / 4 calories per gram protein = 208 grams of protein
carbohydrates3340 / 100% = 33.4
33.4 x 50% = 1670
1670 / 4 calories per gram of carbs = 417 grams of carbohydrates
Fat3340 / 100% = 33.4
33.4 x 25% = 835
835 / 9 calories per gram of fat = 92 grams of fat
So we now know that we need to consume 3340 calories
417 grams Carbohydrates
208 grams of Protein
92 grams of Fat