How Many Calories Do You Need to Eat to Build Muscle

By Nick Nilsson
Author of Time-Volume Training


Gaining a pound of muscle requires 3500 calories (properly known as kilocalories or kcal) above your maintenance value (the number of calories it takes to maintain your bodyweight).

This is ideally spread over a week, adding 500 calories to your maintenance value. Adding more calories will add more muscle, but only to a point. If you are not gaining with the added 500 calories, keep adding 100 more calories a day until you are gaining.

How Many Calories Do You Need to Eat to Build Muscle

The best rate to gain weight is about 1 to 2 pounds a week. This ensures that most of the weight is muscle.

You will add some fat but don't get paranoid and cut your calories or you will risk not gaining at all. Concentrate on getting adequate protein in your diet. The minimum recommendation is around 0.8 grams per pound of bodyweight, though more may be better (1.0 grams/lb) and you probably still be able to gain with less, though not as quickly.

If you don't stimulate your body with weight training, the extra calories that you are eating may be converted to fat.



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