Optimal Macronutrient Ratio for Lean Muscle GrowthMaybe you bulking diet macro ratio groggy or exhausted all the time, or you expected gains that ratioo showed up. This is all too common. The truth is that just like everyone has different goals, everyone has to take a different road to get to their ideal body. Otherwise, building lean mass, shedding unwanted fat, and maintaining your goal weight would be easy—just adjust your calories and you'd be set! Buy winstrol mexico, it's not that simple.
Why The 'Best Macro Ratio' Doesn't Exist
Maybe you felt groggy or exhausted all the time, or you expected gains that never showed up. This is all too common. The truth is that just like everyone has different goals, everyone has to take a different road to get to their ideal body. Otherwise, building lean mass, shedding unwanted fat, and maintaining your goal weight would be easy—just adjust your calories and you'd be set! Sadly, it's not that simple. Does this mean we're all doomed to start from scratch and tinker until we find our way?
Here are three factors that can help you establish an effective starting point for your journey from "before" to "after. Your first step is to choose what's more important to you: You may ask, "What if I want both? While lean mass gains can occur alongside fat loss, neither process will occur at its full potential. Higher carbohydrate ratios augment lean mass gains, while lower carbohydrate ratios tend to accelerate fat loss. However, individual results vary in both cases, and neither is an excuse to disregard your macros altogether.
Regardless of what method you choose, you'll see more pronounced mass gains, or more rapid fat loss, if you focus primarily on one main goal at a time. Many pro fitness athletes utilize a "building" phase lasting several weeks or months, followed by a "cutting" phase to achieve a well-developed, yet lean physique. This doesn't have to be extreme or unpleasant in order to work, as long as you stick to these typical macronutrient ranges. Notice that fat never goes below 15 percent of total calories.
Since hormones are constructed from cholesterol and other fat molecules, getting any less than that can actually suppress normal hormone levels. This also has a negative effect on the bodily functions driven by those hormones, including growth and development, metabolism, reproduction, and mood.
But as you might imagine, not just any fat source will do. Once you determined your primary fitness objective, it's important to factor in your body type. This will help determine how well you tolerate carbs and establish where in the above ranges you should start. There are three general body types, with many people falling somewhere in between. Start with the body type you most resemble, and tweak as necessary.
Characteristically, they have delicate bone structure, small shoulders and chest, and a fast metabolism. Ectomorphs are the classic "hardgainers. On the plus side, it's easy for them to get lean. They tend to require a greater percentage of carbohydrates to prevent muscle catabolism, as well as a higher calorie intake overall.
Ectomorphs should stick to the high end of the range for carbohydrates, between percent of total calories, depending on whether the goal is mass gains, maintenance, or fat loss. I recommend the high end for mass gains, the mid-upper end for maintenance percent , and the low-end for fat loss. At least 25 percent of total calories should come from protein, with the remainder from fat. A mesomorph is someone who trends toward being muscular. They're often strong, athletic hard-body types with well-defined muscles, broad shoulders, and dense bone structure.
Mesomorphs generally have little trouble gaining muscle or losing fat, though they will put on fat more readily than ectomorphs. They can handle a moderate level of carbs due to their ample capacity to store muscle glycogen. Weight gain will happen, however, if carbs and calories are overly high. No body type is immune to a bad diet! Mesomorphs do well in the middle range for carbohydrates, between percent of total calories.
Again, I recommend the high-end for mass gains percent , the middle for maintenance , and low-end for fat loss To prioritize fat loss, increase both protein and fat while lowering carbohydrate intakes, with no more than 40 of calories coming from fat. They typically have a round or pear-shaped body, shorter limbs, a stocky build, and a slower metabolism. Endomorphs can put on a lot of muscle, but they also tend to carry more adipose tissue and thus have a greater propensity to store fat.
Because excess carbohydrates in the endomorph's diet end up as fat, a high carbohydrate intake will make it difficult for them to get lean or lose weight. Endomorphs should stick to the low end of the carbohydrate range, between percent of total calories, depending on their goals. Here, I recommend no more than percent carbohydrates for mass gains, the middle range for maintenance , and low-end for fat loss As with the other body types, protein and fat provide the remainder of your calories, with percent of total calories from protein and percent from fat.
Gender is usually less pronounced of a factor than goals or overall body type, and it's far more prone to individual variation. However, it's nevertheless important for you to keep somewhat in mind as you work to find your ideal number.
In general, women are more efficient at burning fat and less efficient at burning the glycogen stored in muscle.
As such, they may be able to operate on lower carbohydrate intake than men. Research suggests a variety of reasons that women have a greater reliance on fats for fuel during exercise, including:.
Does this mean that women should always have a lower carb intake than men? An ectomorphic woman training at high intensity would likely need a higher carbohydrate percentage than a sedentary endomorphic man. On the other hand, a mesomorphic male trying to maintain weight would likely require a higher percentage of carbohydrate, perhaps in the range of 40 percent, while a woman of the same body type with the same goal may wish to start at around 30 percent.
Nevertheless, if you're a woman training at low to moderate intensity, I would suggest first referencing the above macro ranges to select a ratio that corresponds to your fitness goals and body type. Then, start on the low end for carbohydrates and see how you do.
Male or female, if you feel fatigued and weak from your workouts, yet you fail to build muscle mass, you should consider increasing your carbs. After the hundredth or so time that you hear "abs are made in the kitchen," it can be tempting to spend all your time worrying about macronutrient ratios and pay less mind to other factors that are just as important to your overall results.
Don't lose the forest for the trees! If your health was a math equation it would look like this: There are hundreds of factors, and you must address them all to get the right answer. One crucial additional factor is the total calories you take in. Even the perfect macronutrient ratio is ineffective if your calorie intake is too high or low. And along the same line, you can't expect to achieve a toned, muscular physique if you are unwilling to take training seriously!
This may sound like a lot to keep in mind, but don't get frustrated. You're building a healthier lifestyle here, not just doing math. Determining your ideal nutritional strategy will take time, and as your fitness goals evolve, your ideal macro ratio will too. But with determination, resolve, and a willingness to change, you'll keep progressing toward great things. Sarah Wilkins is a nutritionist, business owner, researcher, and author.
View all articles by this author. Sarah Wilkins June 06, Sarah Wilkins Sarah Wilkins is a nutritionist, business owner, researcher, and author.