4 food rules for building muscle for football season

By Joe Frollo | Posted 2/15/2018

Photo via Wish-Bone.com

With the football offseason in full swing, if your goal is to get bigger – in the good way – here are four tips from Stack.com to help you build strength and size.

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  • Eat more food: It sounds simple, but if you want to gain weight, you have to consume more calories. Athletes looking to put on muscle should eat about 500 calories above their normal body burn rate and up to 1,000 extra calories on days they work out, practice or compete. This can be harder than it sounds, because good, healthy food (especially vegetables) doesn’t always have a lot of calories.
  • Eat more frequently: Packing on calories doesn't mean eating one super-sized meal. That approach often leads to bodies storing excess calories as fat. Most people eat three meals a day. Instead, eat six smaller meals and three snacks – which means eating something roughly every two hours.
  • Time your meals: Just like eating before competition, athletes need to consume food well before workouts as well. Don’t throw down some fast food or a protein bar on your way to the gym. Give your body a good 30 to 60 minutes to digest before a workout. Also eat something after exercise, something as simple as a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, chocolate milk or protein shake.
  • Keep a food journal: High-level athletes looking to build a fitness routine record every minute they spend working out, training, studying and even sleeping. Writing down everything you eat identifies patterns and shows the effectiveness of a diet. Various phone apps can track everything in an athlete’s day.

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