Supplements Archives

How Many Meals a Day for a Hardgainer?

I often get asked this question — how many meals a day should I eat if I’m a hardgainer?

The answer is an emphatic, “As many as you can, but no less than 5!”

Why? The answer really lies in keeping your muscles bathed in amino acids, the building blocks of proteins and of muscle.

It’s far better to take in 40 grams of protein per meal, 5 times per day, than 3 meals of 70 grams. It’s hard to say, without a lot of testing, how much protein any given individual can digest and assimilate in a single feeding, but I’d error on the low side (20-50) rather than on the high side (50+).

Why? It’s expensive and puts a greater strain on your kidneys.

I often tell people to “graze.” Eat as often as a horse (or cow), which means all day long. Act like you’re in the hospital on a feeding tube, getting a constant drip of nourishment, only with eating, you’re taking in food you like, such as meats of all kind, poultry, fish, nuts, bread, milk, eggs, and potatoes and pastas. All the good stuff!

Gaining weight is hard work! It takes concerted effort to maximize your eating, and you may feel like you’re going to explode. It’s also hard to keep from getting bored with eating the same foods.

This is why I recommend the following practice:

Every 4th day, forget about food. Don’t try to eat 6 or 8 times a day. Eat what you want, when you want, and don’t take any supplements. Let your body detox, let your mind go free.

You don’t know how effective this method is, until you try it.

Here are some articles that mention eating frequency for hardgainers:

Obviously, this is a well-covered topic!

Why You Have To Create a Calorie Surplus

I just posted a page about creating a calorie surplus — Read about it here —

Calorie Supplementation: The Answer for Hardgainers

Fellow hardgainers, you and I both know that you’ve tried every food supplement, powder, pill, capsule, and liquid on the planet that claims to build muscle and pack on the pounds.

I know I have. You know what? Most of them don’t work. I mean, they work on mesomorphs, guys who can put on a pound of solid muscle just by doing a set of chins and eating a steak.

But for us, it’s different. We have very fast metabolisms, and in many cases, we’re built like marathon runners rather than Mixed Martial Artists.

We choke down hundreds — if not thousands — of dollars’s worth of weight-gain powders every year. Mostly to no avail.

I just got a hold of a book called Homemade Supplement Secrets. It shows you the supplements that work and that don’t work for putting muscle on hardgainers. Plus, it shows you how to make the supplements that DO work, right in your own home using readily-available ingredients!

All at a fraction of the store-bought price. How sweet is that?

Read my full review of Homemade Supplement Secrets here.

It’s a fact…skinny ectomorphs have an overabundance of the “stress hormone”, cortisol.

Cortisol actually plays a useful role in our bodies but for hardgainers, its catabolic effects are a real hassle as it inhibits important protein synthesis.

That means less protein available for repair of muscle tissue…less size…and MORE frustration!

Add to this that the digestion of proteins actually burns more calories than any other nutrient and you can see why you CAN’T follow the same “protein plan” as others who can gain muscle more easily.

What’s the solution?

Try adding DIGESTIVE ENZYMES to your meals!

Now you may think that digestive enzymes (that include either pepsin, papain, or papaya) are just for little old ladies with “tummy problems”…but you’d be mistaken!

In fact, digestive enzymes help to break down nutrients from the food you eat into usable energy.

But another finding dug deeper and found that enzymes improved the absorption of amino acids and increased nitrogen retention.

In a recent clinical study, respondents who consumed digestive enzymes with their meals showed an increase in protein synthesis with free amino acid levels up by 100%…branched chain amino acids (BCAA’s) by 250%…and nitrogen retention by 32%!

In short…MUCH better support for muscle repair and growth.

And enzymes can be especially useful for hardgainers in yet one more way…

Since protein uses up more calories in digestion, enzymes can speed up the process, reducing the “thermic effect” of ingested proteins and help you better maintain a caloric surplus for weight gain!

Your body’s anabolic hormones are constantly shifting throughout the day, rising and falling.

At night, your testosterone levels soar and this is your body’s prime time to build muscle.

But when you wake up, testosterone levels take a sharp nosedive and the leftover “free testosterone” (the most usable form) goes unused by your muscles and your body’s catabolic (muscle-wasting) hormones take over.

But here’s how to overcome this challenge and shotgun more free testosterone to your muscles before it waves goodbye…

First thing in the morning…like as soon as your feet hit the floor…consume a “high glycemic” meal with more “sugary” carbs, high quality protein, and no fat! (A good example would be a banana, bowl of breakfast cereal, and whey protein isolate mixed with non-fat milk.)

This specific combination of nutrients will create a short-term spike of insulin that will act as a fast transport for your remaining “free testosterone” and shoot it directly into your muscle cells to stop catabolic muscle loss and trigger insane new growth!

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