Nutrition For Hypertrophy (basics)

Nutrition For Hypertrophy (basics)

So you want to grow muscle? Here are the main nutrition things you need to do:

If you want to grow some size, besides having your nutrition on point, an external stimuli is needed, you can’t just eat more and build muscle, you need to train, period.

So, in order to achieve hypertrophy you will need to add resistance training into the equation (weight training, body-weight training, etc).

Also, you need to focus on adding mechanical tension, metabolic stress, muscle damage, progressive overload and focus on increasing the volume of training. More on how to train for muscle HERE

Also, ADHERENCE is key in any situation, be it muscle gain or fat loss.

If you can’t be consistent and can’t follow a plan, you need to change that. As stated in a previous post, the best plan that you can’t follow is crap compared to the ok-ish one you can.

A realistic muscle gain is from 0.5-0.25 kg/week.


Now to the nutrition part:

A calorie SURPLUS is needed in order to gain muscle, so eating little will not help you gain a lot of muscle.
Also a hyper-caloric diet will promote an anabolic response, fuel your workouts and promote recovery.

A rough number of calories to eat when trying to gain muscle is around 30-40 kcal/kg (depending on your daily activity level, if you’re sedentary, have a desk job don’t aim for the upper limit, but if you’re a construction worker, bike messenger, or generally very active,  feel free and go for the upper limit).


Protein intake should be around 1.6-2.2g/kg.

Carbohydrate intake should be around 4-6 g/kg.

Fat should be a minimum of 20% of your total kcal/day.

Meal frequency: 3-6 meals/day with protein spaced out throughout the day.


NOTE: building muscle comes with gaining some body fat. Beginners, those that restarted training after a while and those with excellent genetics or ahem…those enhanced, are excluded.

If you’ve gained body fat, a mini cut is recommended to maximize the anabolic response because high body fat % slows muscle gain process.

This is just scraping the surface of hypertrophy nutrition and training BUT if you will follow the guidelines above and combine them with the hypertrophy training post (here) you will see progress.

So, eat big, train smart, be healthy and grow .

If you want to know more about hypertrophy nutrition, be sure to check out Eric Helms’s video on Muscle Building Pyramid.

Written by:

Coach Paul Potora, Dietitian, Personal trainer and Founder of CORE.

You can find me on instagram @potorafit