1. Eat a satisfying breakfast.
Make sure you get plenty of quality protein, complex carbs (e.g., oatmeal) and dietary fats (e.g., egg yolks, natural nut butters, breakfast meats) within one hour after waking up in the morning. You should strive to take in about 20–25% of your daily calories at this meal.
2. Load up before you train.
Whether you take in a whole-food meal about an hour before you train or a protein shake within 30 minutes of hitting the weights, you want to give your body enough energy so that you don’t crash during your workout. Take in about 10% of your daily calories at this meal.
3. Recover and grow with a post-workout shake.
Undoubtedly one of the most crucial meals of the day for fueling muscle building is your post-workout shake. Make sure to consume this shake as soon as you can after training. The mixture should contain whey protein and dextrose (or another form of sugar) for best results. Take in 10–15% of your daily calories at this meal.
4. Consume a large, healthful meal an hour or so after you train.
About an hour or so after your post-workout shake, you should eat a whole-food meal that consists of ample protein, complex or starchy carbs, and vegetables. A good example is a lean 8-ounce steak, medium-size baked potato and a large serving of broccoli. Take in about 20% of your daily calories at this meal.
5. Get in a satisfying snack or meal just before bedtime.
The calories you consume before bedtime tend to stay with you longer because you digest food a little more slowly when you’re sleeping. When mass-building you can use this to your advantage to keep aminos floating in your bloodstream so that you help prevent muscle breakdown. However, avoid carbs later in the evening because they’re not needed for energy and are more likely to end up getting stored as bodyfat. A few good options for a pre-bedtime meal are a casein protein shake (as casein protein is slow-digesting) without carbs, 3–4 ounces of meat with 1–2 ounces of cheese, or 1 cup of cottage cheese and a handful of almonds. Take in about 5–10% of your daily calories at this meal.