Every athlete hits a bump in the road here or there and things can get frustrating. For advanced athletes, gaining something more than what you already have is very difficult, because the level increases exponentially, and not linearly. You don’t simply run more and lit more to become better.
Sometimes, athletes hit a wall because they lack weight, the right kind of weight. For athletes, weight gain can be a concern, particularly if they have to compete in specific weight-limited categories. But, for those that do not have restrictions and want to gain a couple of pounds, here are some tips to consider.
The best way to gain weight as an athlete is to have a protein-rich diet. Why proteins? They are the building blocks of muscles, what your body requires to maintain and build new muscles, to regenerate the tissue you damage when working out.
Why not a diet rich in carbohydrates or fats? Well, of all the macronutrients, proteins are the most valuable to anybody exercising, who wants to build muscle, or in our case, gain weight. Why gain fat when you could gain muscle?
However, going into a caloric surplus with only proteins can be a challenge, so you will have to plan your meals accordingly.
Supplements and Creatine
For those who want to gain weight, creatine is a simple way to gain a couple of pounds of water. Creatine loves water so as you store enough creatine, it starts storing water near the muscles, to help them use creatine better and work out more efficiently.
That being said, once you let your creatine stores deplete, you will also lose out on that water. Other supplements such as whey and casein protein should be considered, to simply increase the number of proteins/calories you take.
Please stay away from weight gainers as they are often full of carbohydrates and even sugars, something you do not need in general, let alone as an athlete.
A Caloric Surplus, How to Get There?
Weight gain and loss is simple in theory, you need a caloric surplus to gain weight and a deficit to lose weight.
To get into a healthy caloric surplus, you could increase your protein intake by adding another protein-rich meal, but you could also mix and match to see what gives you the best results.
If you do not need to keep to a strict fat percentage, then it is worth exploring adding more carbs and fats to your extra meal(s), until you reach your weight goal, sticking to the basics, vegetables and white meat, eggs, with fish here and there.
Depending on your moral ground, you could also be completely plant-based, but that is a different story in terms of choosing the specifics for weight gain.
Gaining weight as an athlete does not need to be this scary challenge you cannot overcome. Follow these tips if you want to stay in shape and also add a couple of pounds of muscle.