Meal Frequency and Muscle Building

Meal Frequency and Muscle Building

by Lee Labrada
Copyright 2012 Lee Labrada

When I am asked what the most important supplement is, my response is always “food”!

Food is the most important supplement in existence. Without a good, solid nutritional foundation, it doesn’t matter how many sports nutrition supplements you take. You just won’t see the gains that you’re looking for in terms of improved muscularity and size.

lee labradaAnyone desiring to change the look of their physique should emphasis the intake of 5 – 6 small meals per day. This meal frequency is very important because it’s necessary to provide your body with protein, calories and vital nutrients every 3 hours to keep it in an anabolic, or muscle growing, state.

The easiest way to accomplish a 5 meal per day program is in this matter: Think of it as breakfast, lunch and dinner, plus 2 small snacks or mini meals in between. So the program would look like this – Breakfast – then at mid-morning a small snack – then lunch – followed by another snack at mid-afternoon – followed by dinner. Voila, you have a 5 meal per day program!

I usually build my meals by beginning with protein intake; I will make sure that I consume 25 – 40 grams of high quality protein at each one of my meals and mini meals. This means that on any given day I consume anywhere between 150 – 200 grams of protein, depending on my training for that day. On heavy training days my protein intake is in the higher range, and on off days it may be lower. I will add lots of good complex carbohydrates for sustained energy, and essential fats.

I place an emphasis on protein because protein is the macronutrient most stimulates your metabolism and helps you to build lean muscle tissue. The more lean muscle tissue you have, the higher your metabolic rate. This based on a simple fact that muscle tissue is very energy intensive. In other words, muscle tissue burns more calories than other types of tissue in your body. So the more muscle you have, the more calories that you burn in a day!

In a perfect world it would be easy for you to consume lots of chicken breasts and fish, low fat cottage cheese, lean meats and other high protein foods at every one of your meals and mini meals but this is not practical. In reality and that’s why as an athlete you should introduce meal replacement powders, ready to drink shakes and protein bars to help you comply with your dietary regimen. These products can help you make it easier to consume the protein that you need without fussing and cooking. When selecting meal replacement powders, ready to drink shakes and protein bars look for low sugar, high protein varieties with less than 30% fat by calories.

One way to incorporate meal replacement powders and ready to drink shakes into your daily nutritional regimen would be to use these products at the mini meals at mid-morning and mid-afternoon. So in other words, you would have a whole food breakfast, lunch and dinner and then a mini meal at mid-morning and mid-afternoon that would be based on a meal replacement powder or ready to drink, shake plus a small amount of carbohydrate. Our Labrada Lean Body line of meal replacement powdersready to drink shakes and protein bars are excellent choices at these times. I hope that you’ll find this nutritional tip helpful.

This is Lee Labrada, your Lean Body Coach, wishing you continued success!

Lee Labrada
Your Lean Body Coach™

4 Responses for Meal Frequency and Muscle Building

  1. jonathan


    January 25, 2012 4:27 pm

    Right now i am on sort of the same food regiment.
    Wake up 5am – Protien shake.
    +3 hrs 100 grams oats and 5 egg whites and 1 whole egg
    +2 hrs 250 grams grilled chicken breast 200 grams Broccoli or beans 100 grams cooked brown rice
    +2 Hrs Same as above
    +2 Hrs Same as above
    +2 Hrs Pre workout shake and supplements/ vitamins
    Then depending on how long my workout is. Usually an hour of fat burning cardio and 30 to 45 min of HIT weight training. I take my post shake and supplements/vitamins
    Then about 2 hours after my post workout meal i have about 250 grams of grilled steak. 200 grams of sweet potato and 200 grams of broccoli or beans.

    Than about 45 min before bed i consume a casein protein shake.

    I have only been on this regiment for a couple of weeks but i already see size difference and definition in my arms and legs and face.
    So to me it seems like its working out pretty good.

    What do you think about this regiment. Is it too much to see serious bf loss. I walk around at 320 and am about 25 to 28 % bf. Should i be eating less carbs?

    • February 16, 2012 2:54 am

      Great regimen Jonathan!

      I would just reduce the cardio to 30 min and make sure that if you do it in conjunction with the weights, you perform the weight training session first as that way your routine will work better. Too much cardio burns muscle tissue and raises cortisol levels…things that slow down your results.

      Just do these 2 changes and you will see great results!


  2. Niko


    August 3, 2012 7:03 pm

    Hi, Lee, nice post! You say to eat 5 times a day but some say every 2 hours so there is a dilema 🙂 I also made a video – check it out if you wish!

    • Administrator


      August 5, 2012 7:46 am

      Dear Niko,

      Thanks for the comment.

      I think that as long as you eat every 2-3.5 hours you will be fine.