The carnivore diet is perfect for strength training and bodybuilders since it provides ample amounts of vitamins, minerals, and protein.
To increase your muscle mass, you need to consume 1.2 to 1.7 g of protein per kg of your body weight each day, which you can easily get on the carnivore diet. Not only that, the carnivore diet increases your energy levels so that you can easily power through your training as it contains essential micronutrients such as iron and B Vitamins.
Plus, the Carnivore diet helps treat various health issues such as cardiovascular diseases, osteoporosis, and chronic fatigue, which improves your overall health and fitness.
Here we explain exactly how to gain lean muscle and lose body fat on the carnivore diet — and why you should do it.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
How Your Body Builds Muscle
To build muscles, your body needs strength training and a diet of healthy food that inclues protein, vitamins, and minerals.
Here’s a quick summary of how exactly your body builds muscle best.
Hypertrophy Training with Progressive Overload
Muscle growth begins with resistance training. When your muscles are stimulated, it results in changes in their microfibers. When you train and lift weights, your muscle mass increases over the passage of time.
As you gain strength and muscle, fewer muscle fibers muscles are required to lift the same load for the same number of sets and reps. If you lift the same weights for weeks on end, the stimulus provided to your muscles will be sub-optimal.
Therefore, progressive overload is necessary to keep the majority of your muscles working. This means you need to gradually increase the weight and/or the number of reps each session.
mTOR is an enzyme that acts as a key regulator in maintaining skeletal muscle mass. It controls signals that lead to the growth of your muscle mass. There are two ways to activate it.
- Resistance Training: Research shows that resistance training activates mTOR kinase for over 24 hours.
- Nutrients: Eating certain amino acids and foods activates mTOR, such as Leucine. Leucine has a vital role in mTOR activation and it is present in large amounts in eggs, fish, milk, and meat.
In short, if you want to build muscle, you need to activate mTOR kinase through diet and movement.
Amino Acid Intake
Amino acids are necessary for the growth and repair of your body, particularly when it comes to building muscle mass. Your body can not create all the amino acids it needs endogenously. Therefore, you need to consume them as part of your diet.
All essential amino acids including leucine, lysine, and histidine are readily available in a protein-based carnivore diet.
How to Build Muscle on the Carnivore Diet
For building muscle, intense strength training programs and workouts are necessary. However, when you are looking to bulk up and build muscle, you need to pay attention to what you eat, and how much you eat.
To maximize your muscle growth on the carnivore diet, there are a few things you need to consider.
Remain in a Caloric Surplus
This is the one thing where a lot of amateur bodybuilders go wrong. The number of calories they consume isn’t enough to support the strength training and heavy workouts for building up muscle mass.
You need to eat a lot and go into a state of caloric surplus to get all the minerals, amino acids, and energy to build up new muscle tissue. Don’t rely on your appetite alone. To support muscle growth, you need to eat a lot.
On the carnivore diet, you can eat high-calorie carnivore foods such as fatty cuts of meat (for example, a 100g serving of prime rib contains 31.7g of fat) to remain in a caloric surplus. You could also drink a litre of full-fat milk every day in addition to your usual meals.
Take a glass of milk in the morning, a glass with every meal, and a glass of milk about 2 hours before turning in for the night. Or whip up a delicious omelet using lots of butter and 6 eggs twice a day as a healthy, weight-gain snack.
Eat every 2–3 hours. Eat lots of beef and chicken since it is a great combo of protein and fat. Add in some fish for extra micronutrients, and you will have all the health aspects covered as well as a calorie surplus.
Eat a Sufficient Amount of Protein
For increasing your muscle mass, you need to consume a lot of protein. Muscle meat, organ meats, and animal-based products are great sources of protein. For instance, a 249g ribeye steak gives you 48.6g of protein while a 525g porterhouse steak gives you a whopping 119g of protein.
Consume Essential Micronutrients
No matter what you aim for or your body composition, you can’t build up a lot of muscle and lose fat without certain vitamins and minerals. They are essential for your overall health and immune system.
B Vitamins are very crucial when it comes to muscle growth. Meat and organ meats are great sources of these micronutrients.
Add Minerals to Your Diet
When it comes to muscle growth, iron, zinc, and magnesium are the three most important minerals that your body needs. For testosterone production, zinc is essential while magnesium aids muscle recovery and helps in producing energy.
Red blood cells deliver oxygen to your muscle fibers — iron is the critical mineral that increases your red blood cell count. Beef provides you with plenty of zinc, iron, and even Vitamin C. Moreover, dairy products provide you with Vitamin D while seafood gives you Omega-3 fatty acids.
Add Fruits and Starchy Foods
For energy production, your cells use glycogen. If there isn’t enough glycogen available, it will be hard to get through a hard, strenuous resistance training workout. Carbs create glycogen, which allows you to exercise and push your muscles to their maximum.
An adequate amount of glycogen is important for muscle recovery as well. Protein intake is essential for building your lean muscle mass — but research shows that carbs are needed for proper protein metabolism.
Thus, if you eat healthy carbs such as those in fruits, you will enhance the ability of your body to use the protein that you consume. The carnivore diet is great for building muscle mass. However, it is strict and restrictive in nature and can be hard to follow long term.
We recommend that you start off with the carnivore diet in the beginning and once your body heals and you become used to the carnivore diet, add some fruits and starchy foods like potatoes to your diet.
Adding fruits and scratchy foods will not only increase your carb intake but will also help you stick to the ancestral lifestyle in the long term. Potatoes are a great source of quick energy pre and post-workout.
They are full of potassium as well, a mineral that is essential for proper muscle function. If your potassium levels are low, you will experience muscular cramps and weakness. Since potassium is lost through sweat, you have to ensure that you eat potassium-rich foods like potatoes before and after a workout to keep your potassium levels high.
How to Cut Fat on the Carnivore Diet
It is easy to cut body fat and gain muscle mass on the carnivore diet because you typically feel full and satiated for longer. You can easily finish off a whole pizza along with a bowl of chips without even thinking, but it is pretty easy to feel full after eating a single serving of ribeye steak.
You can reduce calories and still get enough protein to build your muscles. Carbs stimulate the secretion of insulin — a fat-storing hormone. Since meat and animal-based products are low in carbs, your insulin levels will reduce and so will your body fat levels.
Moreover, high-carb foods produce tryptophan, which results in tiredness and fatigue. Since the carnivore diet is a low-carb diet, your energy levels will be high as well — you will be able to power through longer strength training sessions and end up cutting down your body fat as well as gaining muscle.
Carnivore Diet Bodybuilding Supplements
It is better to fulfill all your dietary requirements from natural, organic sources. However, muscle mass is hard to maintain — if you want to keep building your muscle and seem to have hit a wall, there are some carnivore diet bodybuilding supplements that you can take.
You can have protein shakes on the carnivore diet if the ingredients are high quality.
Whey protein is a reliable supplement when it comes to bodybuilding. It increases your total protein consumption without making you feel overly full. Moreover, it is insulinogenic which is beneficial for bodybuilders.
Insulin is an anabolic hormone and it stimulates appetite, which is a win-win for bodybuilders.
Beef Liver Pills
Beef liver is rich in iron, selenium, choline, zinc, and B vitamins. If you can’t get your hands on organic, pasture-fed beef liver or don’t have time to cook a meal, you can easily take beef liver pills and enjoy ther same amazing benefits.
Red meat is a great source of creatine. However, you can add in some more creatine to help the muscle-building process. Creatine improves your strength, increases lean muscle mass, and allows your muscles to recover quickly after strenuous exercise.
Conclusion: Can you Build Muscle on the Carnivore Diet?
Yes, you can build muscle on the carnivore diet. You might not look like the Liver King, but you can get real gains.
To gain muscle mass, you not only need to train well, but you also have to increase your caloric intake, consume an ample amount of protein, and make sure you get an adequate amount of vitamins and minerals.
All of this is possible if you follow a carnivore diet. For maximum muscle gain, add some carbs by following a carnivore diet with fruit, honey, and some starches.