Counting macros allows you to precisely tailor your body’s nutrient intake to meet specific fitness or health goals. Some macro percentages specifically target weight loss, while others might target muscle gain. Calculating the right macro percentage for muscle gain starts with understanding each component and its role in building muscle. There are several factors to consider as you calculate your macros to help you build the muscle you want. ZOZOFIT takes a look.
Why Is it Important to Adjust Your Macro Percentage for Muscle Gain?
When you rely on macros to build your diet plan, each macro ratio has specific purposes for your body. As your fitness goals change, so should your macro ratio. That means carefully considering the balance of your meals to meet those new goals.
Carbohydrates are the starches, sugar and fiber in your diet. Your body turns most of these into glucose for energy or long-term storage. Most people’s calorie intake contains a large percentage of carbohydrates and many macro ratios encourage you to get around half of your daily calories from carbohydrates. Add foods such as fresh vegetables and fruits, beans and grains to your meal plan for this. Carbohydrates provide necessary energy for your muscles during your workouts, which plays an important role in your ability to build more muscle.
In terms of caloric intake, fats are the most calorie-dense of the macronutrients. Your body relies on fat for energy as well as its various metabolic systems. Aim for healthier fat choices, including fish, seeds, nuts, avocado and healthy oils. You’ll need to carefully consider your fat intake to ensure that your body has enough to help your muscles develop on your muscle-building journey.
Protein is essential for muscle development. It also contributes to cell signaling and the development of tissue, hormones and enzymes in your body. Ideal protein intake varies by person based on factors such as fitness level, age and overall health.
How Do You Establish Your Macro Percentage for Muscle Gain?
Determining your precise macro percentage to build muscle starts with determining your daily calorie needs. Consider your activity levels, lifestyle and weight management goals as you establish your daily intake requirement. The National Academy of Sports Medicine has a calorie intake calculator to help you determine your base intake needs.
Once you figure out your daily calorie consumption, you can calculate your macro percentage. Consider the ideal macro breakdown for your body to build muscle. Protein is essential to muscle growth, so you should opt for a higher percentage of protein than you would with a standard diet. Additionally, your body needs fats to efficiently respond to your workouts and encourage muscle recovery.
The goal is to balance your protein and fat consumption with enough carbohydrates to ensure sufficient energy. A carbohydrate ratio that is too high could lead to excess sugar storage and added fat instead of muscle, so opt for a lower percentage without sacrificing your energy needs.
Understanding the Typical Protein Macro Percentage
Protein is the most important element when you want added muscle. Aim for around 30% of your calorie intake from protein during your muscle-building cycles. You may consider eating as much protein as possible, but excess protein consumption is not likely to improve muscle-building outcomes. To calculate your 30% calorie intake from protein, start by determining the total calories you need from protein. In a 2,000-calorie diet, 30% equals 600 calories a day from protein. Since protein contributes approximately four calories per gram, that means you need 150 grams of protein daily.
Determining the Typical Fat Macro Percentage
You may shy away from fat intake in your effort to build muscle, but lean muscle mass needs some fat consumption for effective development. Your fat consumption should be roughly 25% of your intake, which means you need approximately 500 calories from fat. Since fats are more calorie-dense, you get nine calories per gram of fat. That means your daily intake should include roughly 55 grams of fat.
Assessing Typical Carbohydrate Percentage
Your carbohydrate intake should account for the remainder of your calories after you calculate protein and fat. In this case, that means you need 45% of your daily intake from carbohydrates to help sustain your muscle-building efforts. With a 2,000-calorie diet, that means 900 calories from carbohydrates. At four calories per gram, you should consume approximately 225 grams of carbohydrates per day.
Are Macros or Calories More Important for Building Muscle?
You might wonder if you should just count your calories and not worry about your macro percentage for muscle gain. When you want to build muscle, counting both is beneficial. You should always monitor your calorie intake to help maintain your body weight and ensure sufficient fuel for your physical demands. However, when you have specific fitness goals, that means considering specific details as well. Counting macro percentages allows you to tailor your nutritional profile to your precise goals. In this case, it means increasing your protein and fat consumption to help fuel muscle development.
The key to macro percentages, when you want to build muscle, is that no fixed rule exists. You can alter the percentages to fit your personal preferences. If you start with a 30-25 ratio for protein and fat but feel as though the fat content is higher than you like, adjust your ratio. Be mindful of your goals and avoid dropping anything too much because your body needs those elements to build muscle.
Should You Monitor Your Macro Percentage for Muscle Gain Regularly?
To ensure that you get the results you want, monitoring your macro percentages compared to your results can help. Sometimes evaluating the results of a muscle-building program is challenging. That’s why ZOZOFIT created their 3D body scanning system to help. You can get accurate measurements that help you see where your body is changing. This makes it easier than ever to monitor your macro percentage for muscle gain and adjust it to adapt your results if needed. Check out ZOZOFIT today to see how we can help with your fitness goals.