Nutrition for weight training.
June 24, 2008 8:59 AM   Subscribe

Favorite books or websites dealing with good muscle-building nutrition?

I have seen the light, maybe: I've been weight-training to add some muscle but eating to lose weight, and that's not working. I'm thin enough at this point, so I'd like to try a new diet or two and see what works.

I'm down to hear the hive's general advice, tips and such, but am more interested in books and web resources. I do best with "programs". Also, this isn't terribly important, but I'm not really into the macho bent at sites like; if that could be avoided, great. But if there's exceptional information within, I could put up with it.

Thanks in advance!
posted by 2or3whiskeysodas to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (16 answers total) 18 users marked this as a favorite

it's really not that macho and it really is exceptional.

one way or another you'll end up there... i haven't found another resource that is either as comprehensive or as focused on the science behind nutrition.

but hey, if you can't take it, you can't take it. something's got to give: either macho intolerance or your commitment to training.

final note: beware any article that doesn't site sources or studies. beware.
posted by ewkpates at 9:13 AM on June 24, 2008

Response by poster: I can take it. I'll just have to get used to rolling my eyes more.

So maybe I should rephrase: I'm already aware of What else is out there?
posted by 2or3whiskeysodas at 9:19 AM on June 24, 2008

I found really great articles on . Some of the authors are macho some are not. They have a ton of programs and great online tools.
posted by skewedoracle at 9:33 AM on June 24, 2008

The /fit/ board at 7chan is really good.
posted by Memo at 9:35 AM on June 24, 2008

John Stone Fitness. Read the stickies, they are gold.

T-nation does better with training advice than nutrition. They're always pushing their supplements and are geared way more towards competition-level bodybuilders than ordinary folks. Ordinary folks should focus on getting the fundamentals right--aim for 1g/lb of protein, avoid high glycemic index carbs except post-workout when you want the insulin spike, get healthy fats from olive oil, peanut butter, avocado, fatty fish, etc., and so on.
posted by Khalad at 9:46 AM on June 24, 2008

I often find interesting information on
posted by sanka at 9:51 AM on June 24, 2008

The Paleo Diet by Loren Cordain
The Protein Power Lifeplan by Michael Eades and Mary Dan Eades

These links often focus on weightloss but there is good stuff about putting on muscle, too. Mostly it's just a shift towards higher calories and higher carbs.
posted by Durin's Bane at 9:55 AM on June 24, 2008

This is a difficult question to answer without knowing your weight, size, lifting background, training program, etc.

I will answer it anyway.

Assuming you aren't already an extremely competent lifter (e.g. 150% BW bench, 175% BW squat, 200% BW deadlift, etc.), the best program/diet to go on is probably starting strength. I recommend the book (by Mark Rippletoe), but the wiki is pretty good too.

Check out the sections on diet, in particular "I'm skinny and I want to get huge". Basically, the advice boils down to: lift heavy, eat more. No, eat even more. That's still not enough, continue to eat.
posted by christonabike at 9:57 AM on June 24, 2008

Re: 1g/lb of protein.

Honestly, this is really the minimum you should be going for. 1g/lb of protein is probably what you should be eating when you're simply active and trying to maintain. If you're trying to put on significant mass, it's not unreasonable to be eating 1.5+g/lb of protein.
posted by christonabike at 9:59 AM on June 24, 2008

Big fan of StrongLifts
posted by jbickers at 10:11 AM on June 24, 2008 [1 favorite]

The AF Board by far:
posted by twistedmetal at 10:22 AM on June 24, 2008

Not sure if this is what you're interested in, but surprised no one has mentioned The Hacker's Diet.
You can read it online or download it in PDF form for reading offline.
posted by willmize at 10:34 AM on June 24, 2008

The book, Muscle Chow.
posted by Pleadthefifth at 10:50 AM on June 24, 2008

Scrawny to Brawny
posted by rocket88 at 11:27 AM on June 24, 2008

I'm sorry, but as far as "The Hacker's Diet" is concerned, I beg to differ. It's pretty flawed, frankly, and doesn't begin to deal with macro-nutrient (protein, carbohydrates, fats) percentages. It focuses pretty simply on calories taken in vs. amount of energy burned in a day, without giving any serious thought to how the quality of your food and when and how you eat your food affects you. All that is put forth is the glib statement that "from the standpoint of energy, almost any food will do; you can assume that all foods with the same calorie content are interchangeable.."

Wrong. If you are trying to focus on building muscle mass, you have to take a more in-depth approach to your diet, and you need to be concerned about specifically what goes into your meals in what proportions, how much is in your meals, how many you eat, and when you eat them. Please see my comment here (and the whole thread for that matter, lots of good comments) for some more information along these lines.

The biggest problem with "The Hacker's Diet" is that it focuses on losing weight. In and of itself this is a pretty flawed concept that has been propagated by the diet industry and reinforced through societal stereotypes year after year after year. Jettison this idea. What you should be concerned about is lowering your body fat percentage and shifting your weight from fat to muscle (which it sounds like you are). Weight is a poor measure of both fitness and attractiveness, and merely tracking calories taken in and calories expended and passing it off as legit is foolish and insulting to the nutritionists, scientists, athletes and trainers who actually spend time studying and practicing proper nutrition.
posted by dubitable at 11:32 AM on June 24, 2008

Honestly, this is really the minimum you should be going for. 1g/lb of protein is probably what you should be eating when you're simply active and trying to maintain. If you're trying to put on significant mass, it's not unreasonable to be eating 1.5+g/lb of protein.

Actually recent research doesn't really support this conclusion: this summary of studies shows more like 1.5-2.2g/kg, not lb. Or, to translate, 1g/lb body weight should almost certainly be plenty.
posted by ch1x0r at 8:51 PM on June 24, 2008

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