Four Fueling Tips to Add Lean Muscle Mass

December 9, 2010

Must See Nutrition Videos

All athletes want to add lean muscle mass, but to pack on healthy pounds, you can’t just fill your mouth with any and all foods. “You want to make sure that the composition of the diet is right so the quality of the weight gain is right,” says Chicago Blackhawks team nutritionist Julie Burns.

Tip the scale in a healthy manner with these four tips.

Tip #1: Eat at intervals throughout the day.
“The best [eating] strategy is to increase your total calories throughout the entire day,” says New York Jets nutrition consultant Wendy Meyer Sterling. You’ll need to add more calories to breakfast, lunch and dinner—and snack between meals.

Tip #2: Hit up heavy snacks.
Consume snacks that deliver quality carbs and protein. “If you don't have enough calories, you're never going to gain the lean mass you want,” Burns says. Among her recommended 200-calorie snacks: two hard-boiled eggs, two ounces of jerky, one cup of sauerkraut, five pieces of sushi, two cups of fruit and a quarter cup of nuts and seeds.

Tip #3: Protein equals one-third.
“Your body needs both carbohydrate and protein to build new muscle,” says Leslie Bonci, Pittsburgh Steelers nutrition consultant. “[But] you don’t need to eat protein to the exclusion of all else, because too much protein means you’re probably not eating enough carbohydrate.” Follow her rule of portioning one-third of your plate with protein in every meal. Bonci's recommended sources: eggs, jerky, nuts, peanut butter, baked beans, bean dip, chicken, turkey, beef, pork and yogurt.

Rule #4: Drink juice.

“[Drinking juice] is a good idea for athletes who truly need more lean mass,” says Amy Bragg, director of sports nutrition at Texas A&M University. Juice is packed with calories and carbs. A cup of 100 percent orange juice contains approximately 100 calories and 25 grams of carbs. It is one ingredient in the following Bragg-recommended recipe for a quick, calorically-dense smoothie to take in with breakfast.

Morning Sunrise
1 packet strawberry instant breakfast mix
1C 100% orange juice
½C frozen strawberries
½C frozen peaches
½C frozen raspberries
½C frozen pineapple
1C ice

Modifications: (1) add two tablespoons of ground flaxseed;  (2) replace the instant breakfast mix with two scoops of strawberry or vanilla soy protein powder.

Photo:  Kalman & Pabst Photo Group

Sarah Gearhart
Sarah Gearhart

Featured Videos

Blake Griffin Interview and Cover Shoot Blake Griffin Interview and Cover Shoot Views: 588,664
Learn to Hit Open Three-Pointers With Damian Lillard's Baseline Drift Drill Learn to Hit Open Three-Pointers With Damian Lillard's Baseline Drift Drill Views: 241,761
Elite Performance With Mike Boyle: Teach Any Athlete How To Squat Properly Elite Performance With Mike Boyle: Teach Any Athlete How To Squat Properly Views: 284,490
Load More

Resources

STACK Fitness

Everything you need to be fitter than ever

STACK Conditioning

Sport-specific conditioning programs

Coaches and Trainers

Tips and advice for coaches and trainers

Magazine

Latest issues of STACK Magazine

STACK 4W

Women's sports workout, nutrition and lifestyle advice

Gamer

Gaming, entertainment and tech news

Basic Training

Military-style training for athletes

News

Find the latest news relevant to athletes

Most Popular Videos

Dustin Pedroia on Training Dustin Pedroia on Training
Views: 10,920,844
Peyton Manning Dumbbell Bench With 80+ Pounds Peyton Manning Dumbbell Bench With 80+ Pounds
Views: 43,151,981
Robert Griffin III Pocket Presence QB Drill Robert Griffin III Pocket Presence QB Drill
Views: 6,866,164
Dwight Howard Stays in the Gym All Night Dwight Howard Stays in the Gym All Night
Views: 6,099,366
Drew Brees Will Not Be Denied Drew Brees Will Not Be Denied
Views: 12,009,040

Load More
More Cool Stuff You'll Like
Cookout Commandments: What to Eat (and Avoid) at Your Summer BBQ

Cookout Commandments: What to Eat (and Avoid) at Your Summer BBQ

Healthy Makeovers for 3 Classic Meals

Healthy Makeovers for 3 Classic Meals

9 Foods to Eat When You Want to Lose Fat

9 Foods to Eat When You Want to Lose Fat

The Cheat Meal Day: Why It's Not So Smart

The Cheat Meal Day: Why It's Not So Smart

Terrible Toppings: The 5 Worst Things We Put on Food

Terrible Toppings: The 5 Worst Things We Put on Food

5 'Healthy' Side Dishes That Are Worse Than French Fries

5 'Healthy' Side Dishes That Are Worse Than French Fries

6 Eating Mistakes That Undo Your Workouts

6 Eating Mistakes That Undo Your Workouts

Small Change, Big Difference: 5 Foods You Should Buy Organic

Small Change, Big Difference: 5 Foods You Should Buy Organic

9 Athlete-Approved Peanut Butter Sandwiches

9 Athlete-Approved Peanut Butter Sandwiches

Fuel Up Fast With 4 Smoothies From the New York Giants

Fuel Up Fast With 4 Smoothies From the New York Giants

12 Foods Every Athlete Should Eat

12 Foods Every Athlete Should Eat

Where the Paleo Diet Falls Short

Where the Paleo Diet Falls Short

11 Food Services That Deliver Ready-Made Nutritious Meals

11 Food Services That Deliver Ready-Made Nutritious Meals

The Grain Guide: How and Why to Use 8 Healthy Whole Grains

The Grain Guide: How and Why to Use 8 Healthy Whole Grains

5 Healthy Foods That Got a Bad Rap

5 Healthy Foods That Got a Bad Rap

Healthy Eating at Restaurants: Decoding a Diner Menu

Healthy Eating at Restaurants: Decoding a Diner Menu

5 Protein-Packed Recovery Shakes

5 Protein-Packed Recovery Shakes

How to Eat Healthy at a Dingy Sports Bar

How to Eat Healthy at a Dingy Sports Bar

The Boston Cannons' ‘Keep It Real’ Eating Plan

The Boston Cannons' 'Keep It Real' Eating Plan

A Sneaky Food Additive Athletes Should Avoid

A Sneaky Food Additive Athletes Should Avoid

STUDY: Eat More Fruits and Veggies, Live (Almost) Forever

STUDY: Eat More Fruits and Veggies, Live (Almost) Forever

The Best Foods for Digestive Health

The Best Foods for Digestive Health

5 'Good Foods' That Might Be Bad for You

5 'Good Foods' That Might Be Bad for You

Are You Eating Too Much Protein?

Are You Eating Too Much Protein?

What to Eat If You Hate Bananas

What to Eat If You Hate Bananas

6 Healthy Foods You're Overeating

6 Healthy Foods You're Overeating

You Should Eat the Peel of These 12 Fruits and Vegetables

You Should Eat the Peel of These 12 Fruits and Vegetables

5 Simple Food Swaps That Make Eating Out Healthier

5 Simple Food Swaps That Make Eating Out Healthier

7 Foods That Are Ruining Your Workouts

7 Foods That Are Ruining Your Workouts

5 Delicious Ways to Make Junk Food Less Junky

5 Delicious Ways to Make Junk Food Less Junky

4 'Bad Foods' That Might be Good for You

4 'Bad Foods' That Might be Good for You

How Undereating Can Make You Gain Weight

How Undereating Can Make You Gain Weight

How Marc Gasol Got Better by Overhauling His Diet

How Marc Gasol Got Better by Overhauling His Diet

Salad Showdown: Which Greens Are the Healthiest?

Salad Showdown: Which Greens Are the Healthiest?

Brown Rice vs. White Rice: Does It Really Matter?

Brown Rice vs. White Rice: Does It Really Matter?

3 Fruits and 3 Vegetables Athletes Must Eat

3 Fruits and 3 Vegetables Athletes Must Eat

Load Up on These Foods at Your Backyard Barbecue

Load Up on These Foods at Your Backyard Barbecue

Why You Should Say No to Diet Foods

Why You Should Say No to Diet Foods

Binge Eating Disorder and Athletes

Binge Eating Disorder and Athletes

Registered Dietitians Reveal Their Favorite Ways to Eat Fruit

Registered Dietitians Reveal Their Favorite Ways to Eat Fruit

Healthy (and Unhealthy) BBQ Ideas For Athletes

Healthy (and Unhealthy) BBQ Ideas For Athletes

The Healthiest (And Unhealthiest) Ways to Eat Chicken

The Healthiest (And Unhealthiest) Ways to Eat Chicken

How Friends and Family Affect Your Food Choices

How Friends and Family Affect Your Food Choices

10 Athlete-Approved High-Protein Cereals

10 Athlete-Approved High-Protein Cereals

5 Foods That Are Stunningly High in Sodium

5 Foods That Are Stunningly High in Sodium

5 Ways Junk Food Can Mess With Your Head

5 Ways Junk Food Can Mess With Your Head

Vegetarian Athlete Tips: Olympic Swimmer Kate Ziegler

Vegetarian Athlete Tips: Olympic Swimmer Kate Ziegler

YardBarker