Hugo Rivera on How to Gain Weight for Football, Part 1

Gaining weight for football is something that a lot of teens who want to embark in this great sport require.  Due to the high metabolic rate of the typical teenage metabolism it is necessary to be as disciplined about taking in the necessary amount of nutrients on a daily basis as it is to not miss the weight training routines and football practices. 

In this article I will present a proven plan that is guaranteed to put on muscle weight on any frame.  All that it needs for it to work is your determination and consistency. 

Part I: Weight Gain Nutrition

Like everything, there is a right way and a wrong way to do things. I see many people who in an attempt to gain weight just start eating everything in sight, and thus, overtax their digestive systems, thus not being able to eat several times a day.

In order to gain quality weight, you have to:

1) Eat several meals per day instead of 2 or 3 large ones. 

2) Focus on quality nutrition with some calorie dense foods like peanut butter if your metabolism is very high.

With this said, lets cover the rules for gaining weight:

Weight Gain Rule #1: Increase your protein intake to 1 gram of protein per pound bodyweight. Therefore, if you weigh 200-lbs, you need to eat around 200 grams of protein per day. I have noticed that if I eat more than 40 grams of protein in one sitting I feel lethargic and have issues digesting the food. Therefore, keep your protein serving sizes to 30-40 grams.

Protein sources should come from lean low fat sources like chicken, turkey, 93% lean red meats, top sirloin steak, tuna, egg whites, shrimp, tilapia, mackarel, and salmon.

Weight Gain Rule #2: Increase your carbohydrate intake to between 1.5-3 grams of carbs per pound of bodyweight. In order to gain muscle, a carbohydrate increase will be required to keep your energy levels high, and thus fuel your workouts, and in order to help shuttle the amino acids from your proteins into the muscle tissue (since carbohydrates increase insulin levels and insulin is necessary for the transport of the aminos into the muscle).

Good carbs can come in the form of rice (white or brown), pasta, oatmeal, potatoes, cream of rice, rice cakes, whole wheat bread, fruits and vegetables. 

Finally, make sure that you have around 15 grams of fibrous carbohydrates, such as green beans or broccoli, at lunchtime and 15 grams more at dinnertime as these will help to keep your digestive tract clean and ready to accept new nutrients, thus maximizing nutrient utilization.

Weight Gain Rule #3: Increase your intake of good fats. Fats are necessary to ensure good hormonal production and thus muscle growth. Eliminate all fats and see your testosterone levels take a dive. The body needs fats like the Omega-3 Essential Fatty Acids in order to ensure proper hormonal production and brain function. These oils are essential because the body cannot manufacture them and they help with many things like enhanced recovery due to reduced inflammation, enhanced nutrient partitioning due to their ability to neutralize enzymes necessary for fat storage (so this means more calories go toward muscle production and less to fat) and even help with enhancing your mood!

In order to get your good fats include essential fats in the form of peanut butter, flax seed oil, fish oils or extra virgin canned olive oil.

Weight Gain Rule #4: Carry convenient foods with you.  In order to gain weight, you need to eat several times a day.  Therefore, you should never allow more than 3 hours to go by without food.  Some convenient foods that you can carry with you are:

a. Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches: Use natural peanut butter as this one does not contain any transfats which are bad for you.  Also, whole grain bread is a better choice than white bread. 

b. Protein Bars: There are numerous great protein bars on the market today.  Labrada Nutrition in my opinion produces the best protein bars, not only in terms of nutrition, but also in terms of taste!  If you don’t believe me simply try the latest Lean Body High Protein Energy Bars and let me know if I’m wrong.

c. Weight Gainers: Weight gain powders like the Lean Body Mass 60 can be a very convenient way to get your calories in.  Simply mix two scoops with 10-16 ounces of milk or 3 scoops with water (or fruit juice for added carbs) and you’ll have around 600 calories of mass building nutrition. 

d. Protein Drinks: Whether in powder form like the ProV60, or as a Ready-to-Drink (RTD), these drinks offer a nice way to get extra protein in.  However, because the carb content of these products is low, you will need to consume them with a fruit, yogurt, or any other source of carbs.

e. Fruits: Fruits like bananas are a very easy way to carry around some carbohydrates.  Make sure that you consume them with some protein.

f. Nuts: Nuts like almonds are an easy way to get calories from good fats into your diet.

g. Yogurt: Yogurt is a nice way to get your carbohydrates in as well as some protein too.  You can eat it either by itself or with a protein drink or a protein bar in order to increase the protein content of that meal.

h. Low Fat Cottage Cheese:  This is another food that is great to carry around in a cooler as it contains both carbohydrates and high quality protein that you can ingest at any time of the day.  You can consume it by itself or add some fruits to it.          

Sample Weight Gain Diet 

Now that we have discussed the rules for gaining weight, I am going to present you a sample weight gain diet.   

Meal 1 (7 am)  

Bowl of oatmeal


Labrada ProV60 

Meal 2 (9:15 am)

Peanut Butter/Jelly Sandwich

Labrada Nutrition Granola Protein Bar

Meal 3 (11:00 am)

Peanut Butter/Jelly Sandwich


Meal 4 (12:30 am)

Pasta or Mashed Potatoes


6 ounces of any lean protein like chicken

Meal 5 (3:30 pm)

Labrada Nutrition Granola Protein Bar

Snack like yogurt or cottage cheese, fruit or nuts 

Meal 6 (6:30 pm) – Post Workout Meal

3 scoops of Labrada Lean Body Mass 60 mixed with fruit juice


Meal 7 (8:30 pm)

Pasta or Mashed Potatoes


6 ounces of any lean protein like chicken 

Meal 8 (10:30 pm)

Labrada Nutrition Ready-to-Drink (RTD)

Low Fat Ice Cream


Cheat Foods 

While we advocate that you stick to mostly clean foods, an occasional pizza here and a burger there is not going to hurt you, especially if you have a raging metabolic rate.  Also, some ice cream is ok as well.  Do try to stay away however (as much as possible) from partially hydrogenated oils and excessive amounts of sugar. 


I recommend that you drink as much water as possible.   

Water is by far the most abundant substance in our body. Without water, an organism would not survive very long. Most people that come to me for advice on gaining weight, almost always underestimate the value of water.

Water is good for the following reasons:  

1) Over 65% of your body is composed of water and incidentally most of the muscle cell is water.

2) Water cleanses your body from toxins and pollutants that would get you sick.  

3) Water is needed for all of the complex chemical reactions that your body needs to perform on a daily basis. Processes such as energy production, muscle building, and fat burning require water. A lack of water would interrupt all of these processes.

4) Water helps lubricate the joints.  

5) When the outside temperature is up, water serves as a coolant to bring the body temperature down to where it is supposed to be.

6) Water helps control your appetite. Sometimes when you feel hungry after a good meal this sensation indicates a lack of water. Drinking water at that time would take the craving away.  

7) Cold water increases your metabolism.

In order to know how much water your body needs a day, just multiply your lean body weight by .66. This would indicate how many ounces of water you need in a day. 

If you absolutely hate water and feel that you can’t stand it, then add something like Crystal Light to sweeten it and consume it in that manner.  Remember that most of the muscle is water and therefore you need adequate amounts of it in your diet. 

Read Part 2.