A Guide to Building Muscle Mass with Herbalife

Diet advice
Una Guida alla costruzione della massa muscolare con Herbalife

Muscle Growth

How to Gain Healthy Weight with Herbalife

Importance of Rest and Recovery

While many of us are experts at accidental weight gain, what about intentional and healthy weight gain? I'm talking about putting on some lean muscle mass. It might seem easy at first, but promoting muscle growth can be difficult for many people. It requires an optimal balance of diet, training, rest, and considerations of a varying number of individual factors. It's not just about eating more food and lifting weights.

So no matter where you stand with your muscle-building goals, here's key information, backed by science and experts, to help you achieve the best possible result.


Muscle Growth

 La Crescita Muscolare

Muscle growth is the act of increasing the physical size of lean tissue. This can be achieved by adding mass and changing body composition through a combination of training, diet and lifestyle. Muscle growth always involves some form of weight gain, because you're adding more muscle tissue. Even when fat loss occurs at the same time as overall body weight decreases, increasing muscle size will automatically mean increasing lean body weight.


Why is muscle important?


Maintaining muscle mass is one of the best things you can do for your health. An increased amount of lean tissue has a number of benefits including:


  • Reduced risk of injury and chronic disease
  • Better Health
  • You can look slimmer and more toned
  • You can ingest more calories
  • You process your food more efficiently
  • Your fitness improves


More muscle typically equals more strength, and being strong often equals being less prone to injury as you age. Higher lean body mass may also have protective health benefits against various chronic diseases, including obesity. More muscle also supports wound healing and recovery.

Muscles do wonders for maintaining weight and body composition over the long term. The more lean tissue you have, the easier it is to stay active and maintain a healthy weight. This is because a higher percentage of lean body mass often means a higher body weight, but you will often look leaner, toned, and smaller than someone of the same weight with less muscle mass and more body fat. And a higher body weight means you can eat more calories and stay the same size.

You store key nutrients in your muscles, including glycogen (mainly from carbohydrates). And having more muscle often means you can process more carbohydrates in your diet efficiently by using your calories better.

Finally, increasing muscle mass can make you a better athlete or at least support your overall fitness goals.


How to build muscle


Muscles respond to calories, protein, exercise, and rest. The balance of these key components can determine how efficiently you can increase muscle mass. In short, to promote muscle growth you need to eat more calories and protein, train your muscles, and allow time for tissue recovery and rebuilding.

But this explanation is drastically simplified, and muscle growth tends to be significantly more complex. How much muscle you can actually gain and how quickly is determined by many factors including your genetics, food choices, level of training and hormones. And your initial body composition can also be an important factor to consider.


Building muscle typically requires an increase in total body weight, provided by a caloric surplus. The most efficient way to gain mass for most people is to increase calories and overall weight.


How much muscle can I gain over time?


The amount of muscle growth you can achieve depends on the following:


  • How trained are you?
  • Your starting body composition
  • Your genetic predisposition
  • How well you stick to a diet and exercise program to gain muscle mass


Those who are new to weight training and strength training in general, assuming they aren't starting out with a large amount of lean body mass, often have the ability to gain muscle mass more quickly than those who have been doing it for some time. . This makes sense because trained individuals have well-developed muscles that are better suited to stress and biologically have less need to repair/build bigger, stronger muscles than they already have to begin with.


Additionally, leaner individuals may be more likely to pack on muscle over fat in a caloric surplus than those with a higher starting body fat percentage.

Those with higher amounts of existing mass may also find themselves adding excess body fat more than muscle if their calorie intake is too high, this is mainly because they are nearly depleted in their ability to add lean mass quickly and it is much easier for the their body to store additional calories as body fat.

Some people are just genetically capable of gaining more muscle than others. This could be due to the number and proportion of their muscle fibers, hormonal differences, or other individual factors.

We now come to nutrition for the increase in muscle mass.



How many calories should I eat to gain muscle mass?

 Quante calorie dovrei mangiare per aumentare la massa muscolare?

When you don't get enough calories from food, your body is able to release stored calories (usually in the form of body fat) for energy. Weight gain, on the other hand, requires energy. And gaining muscle requires more energy than fat. Turning food into muscle requires more metabolic processes than simply releasing body fat stores for fuel. Additionally, protein provides less than half the calories per gram of fat, which provides nine calories per gram, (protein only provides four per gram).

It has been documented in numerous research studies that between 2,500 and 2,800 excess calories are required to produce one pound of lean body mass. However, this amount can vary depending on your fitness level, body composition, and diet. For most, adding 100 to 300 calories per day is enough to promote healthy weight gain, but others may require much higher intakes.


How much protein does it take to build muscle?


In addition to higher calories and strength training, too protein intake is essential for muscle growth. Protein supplies the essential amino acids needed to build muscle through muscle protein synthesis (SPM) and cannot be replaced by any other nutrient for this purpose.

Muscle growth occurs whenever the rate of SPM is greater than the rate of muscle protein breakdown. Muscle protein breakdown occurs during strength training and when protein intake is not high enough to support your daily requirement. Protein is essential for a large number of bodily functions and your body will break down lean muscle mass to access more amino acids if it cannot get enough of them through diet. PMS occurs during rest periods when excess protein is available.

There is a lot of discussion and misinformation in the diet and fitness world regarding the amount of protein needed to sustain lean body mass, but here's what we know so far:

Your protein needs are closely related to how much lean body mass you have and how much you use your muscles. Protein not only builds new mass but also helps maintain existing mass. So the more muscles you have and the more you wear them down, the more protein you will need.

Research cannot define with objective certainty how much protein per kilogram of weight everyone needs because there are too many factors to consider, primarily: weight, age, gender, fitness level and, of course, overall body composition goals.

Having said that, in general, it is commonly accepted that at least 0.9/1 grams of protein per kilo of body weight is needed to fully maintain muscle if you lead a balanced life (not too sedentary but without being an athlete) .

Excess protein is needed to support muscle protein synthesis. If there isn't enough protein available, muscle growth is severely limited. Therefore additional protein intakes are needed to gain muscle mass.

A narrative review of research and a few smaller studies suggest that a higher protein intake of between 1 and 1.5 grams of protein per pound of body weight during a large calorie surplus results in less body fat gain and more gain. muscle in general.


How to Gain Healthy Weight with Herbalife

 Come Guadagnare Peso Sano

Good nutrition supports all of your muscle-building goals in several ways. By properly balancing your mass macros you can limit the amount of body fat you gain and promote more muscle mass. Additionally, many vitamins and minerals play a direct or supportive role in muscle gain.

What's important to understand is that your body behaves like a machine that needs to be fueled in the right way to achieve the result it aspires to: building the best physique possible.

Proteins, carbohydrates and fats, as well as vitamins, minerals and many other elements that contribute to maintaining the health of the human body, are the ingredients for your personal recipe.

Each recipe must be studied on the characteristics and dietary needs of each of us. In short: there is no perfect recipe for everyone, everyone has their own.

Herbalife, through its consultants, takes care of just this: searching for the right recipe for you and providing you with the best.

There are, however, certain fixed points that each of us must respect in order to achieve maximum success in this endeavor.

We are talking about aspects such as those of a regulated daily calorie intake, good hydration, maintaining a varied diet, and so on.

If you are a sportsman and, perhaps, have already tried food supplements suitable for those who have an active life and train constantly, the right scene for you could fall into the Herbalife H24 line.

Within this line you will find many specific products that are created to meet the needs of sportsmen and individuals who already have some experience in the field of training.

These are therefore advanced products but can still be used by those who are beginners and want to focus a lot on a decidedly healthy diet aimed at achieving the set objectives in a short time.

In these cases, losing fat and building muscle can also be done in a short time because the first step is always to enter the right place.

We don't hide from you that a good dose of commitment is required from everyone: nothing precious can be obtained in a short time if you don't make an effort.

The products of H24 line most used are:



Alternatively, there are many products for sports that are perfect for those who are not yet "sporty" but want to become one. It's certainly not about becoming a champion, but if your goal is to introduce a little movement into your strictly sedentary habits, these are the right products for you.

At the beginning it is difficult to get your body used to even the simplest and most banal physical feats.

With these Herbalife products you will achieve great successes and minimize efforts allowing you to recover faster.

Let's say that by taking these Herbalife products you won't aim in an exaggerated way to achieve new levels of performance but you will be able to better support your body and this will allow you to return healthy and rested to work on Monday after a weekend of physical activity and sport (and it's not little for those not used to training).

Products of this type, widely used by thousands of customers in Italy, but also all over the world, are:




Now that you know more about training and nutrition, it's worth taking a look at which products to buy and following some of our advice.

Then visit our shop and if you are interested in learning more about the subject, continue reading below.

You will find more detailed advice and explanations in the world of sport, gym activity, healthy eating and sports training.


Lean Bulk e Dirty Bulk


There are two main types of muscle building diets, Lean Bulk and Dirty Bulk. A dirty mass typically involves consuming lots of extra calories from high-calorie foods to promote rapid weight gain. A clean mass uses a more moderate increase in calories plus healthier food choices.

A dirty mass may seem more appealing to many due to less restricted dietary choices and the potential ability to gain weight more quickly. However, research suggests that lean body mass can lead to better body composition, ultimately resulting in less body fat gain. Lean body mass also supports more nutritious food choices that can promote muscle growth in other ways.

Interestingly, lean people who are new to weight training may be able to reap the benefits of a lean mass without the potential for fat gain.


The best foods for building muscle

 I migliori alimenti per la costruzione muscolare

The best foods for muscle growth aren't drastically different from the foods that make up a generally healthy diet, except for the higher calories and protein. Therefore, any diet high in lean protein, healthy fats, whole grains, and nutrient-dense fruits and vegetables is a great start. However, some foods may offer unique muscle-building benefits such as animal protein and dairy products.

Animal protein sources tend to be higher in protein than plant proteins, providing more protein per calorie. They also rank higher in terms of bioavailability and digestibility, which means you absorb this type of protein more efficiently.

Furthermore, all animal proteins are also complete proteins, providing all the essential amino acids needed at once, and many plant proteins are considered incomplete or lacking in key amino acids. While there is no research to suggest that plant-based diets are deficient in amino acids overall, consuming more complete proteins and adequate protein in the hours following a strength workout may have positive muscle-building benefits.

Milk is another great match for muscle growth since it is a natural source of the hormone, IGF-1. So opting for protein-rich dairy options like cottage cheese, Greek yogurt, and milk might offer some benefits.


Macros for building muscle


It's common knowledge that to gain mass you need higher protein intakes, but what about fat and carbohydrates?

Fat is a beneficial addition to high-calorie diets because it's the most energy-dense macro, providing more than double the calories per gram of other macros. This also means that fat provides calories for a smaller volume of food, which can also be beneficial to those who find it difficult to eat enough healthy food on a bulking diet. Also, fat plays a key role in hormone production.

However, excess fat beyond the recommended amount (30% of calories) may not provide additional benefits.

Carbs, on the other hand, are slightly harder to convert into body fat than dietary fat and contribute to muscle gain in unique ways. Higher carbohydrate intake promotes increased glycogen storage, which supports training and can also help with muscle recovery. Also, carbohydrates (in addition to protein) generate an insulin response which is beneficial for weight gain.

For a general macro recommendation, once you've established your daily protein requirement, based on your body weight, keep your fat intake around 25-30% of your calories and fill the remaining calories with high-quality carbohydrates.


Pre and post workout meals


When you eat and what you eat can also impact muscle gain. Some food windows are more essential than others for mass gains – the most important time frame for this is that pre-workout and post-workout.

Pre- and post-workout nutrition depends on when you train. If you tend to work out first thing in the morning, doing nothing before a workout means you're in a pretty fast state, as the last meal you had was probably dinner from the night before. For some this can have a negative impact on production and stamina, for others there is no problem. However, some research indicates that pre-workout meals might also help reduce some muscle damage by providing additional protein.

So, if you exercise in the morning, try a combination of simple carbohydrates and protein and see if it impacts your workout for the better. Great options include a protein powder sports drink, chocolate milk, peanut butter toast, and yogurt with honey. If you find that eating too close to your workout causes nausea, try fruit juice, sports gel, or other simple sugars.

If you choose to train fasted, especially in the morning, post-workout recovery becomes even more important. While the purported "anabolic window" may not be as narrow as once thought (most can benefit from adequate recovery by eating within hours of training and throughout the day), prolonging a fasted state further probably won't let you down. will give no benefit in terms of muscle gains. Aim to get about 30 grams of quality protein after a strength workout to provide your muscles with the amino acids they need to promote PMS. Great options include protein shakes and bars, Greek yogurt, and whole meals.

If you don't train in the morning, the timing of your last and next meal will help you determine pre- and post-nutrition.


Protein absorption


What about protein absorption? For years there has been much debate about how much protein you can absorb and use from a meal – with some research suggesting that no more than 25-30g of protein can be absorbed in one sitting. However, this depends on the type of protein and individual factors.

A more recent review suggests that to maximize anabolism, 0.4 grams of protein per kg of body weight per meal, four times a day is recommended to achieve the minimum protein intake suggested for muscle growth. So a 90kg adult would need to eat 36 grams of protein per meal or at least 144 grams of protein per day.

What we can learn from this research is that spreading protein intake throughout the day and setting it according to training needs is likely an effective approach to support more SPM.


Carbohydrate cycle


Carbohydrate timing could also have important benefits. Carb cycling is a fairly new concept that has limited but promising research. Simply put, carb cycling is the act of synchronizing carbs on the days and times your body needs them most. This approach to nutrient timing is thought to better support training and recovery and optimize nutritional intake.

Basically, eat more carbs when lifting weights and fewer carbs when you're resting. High-carb days can also be used to replenish muscle glycogen stores, leading to better performance and less muscle breakdown.

Additionally, low-carb days may help improve insulin sensitivity and promote greater fat burning, which may, in turn, reduce the potential for overall fat gain.


Muscle gain supplements


The use of supplements is common in many muscle-building diets and is an important aspect for anyone who wants to optimize their efforts in the gym and build a healthy and well-groomed physique.

Here is the breakdown of common muscle gain supplements and what the research supports.


Whey protein


Whey is a fast-acting protein, derived from milk, that is rapidly absorbed and utilized. Whey protein powder can also help supplement your protein intake throughout the day to help you reach your daily macro goal or be used for post-workout muscle recovery. Mix into your favorite fruit drink or smoothie, used in baked goods, puddings and the like, or mix directly with milk or water. Some studies suggest that milk protein is better than soy-based options at promoting muscle growth, but that's all about overall training, diet, and nutrient timing.


Casein protein


Casein, another milk-based protein, is gaining a lot of popularity in the fitness industry due to its purported ability to promote muscle growth and better recovery. Casein, unlike whey, is a long-acting protein, meaning it is absorbed more slowly over time. This effect can help prolong nutrient absorption after training. But the benefits of casein may be most evident while you sleep. When you go to bed, your body releases growth hormone, and when protein is available, PMS can be stimulated. Taking casein in the evening before bed is thought to support this mechanism during the night by providing long-lasting protein for SPM, and some research supports this theory. It has also long been used as a recovery protein for athletes in foods such as low-fat dairy products.




Creatine, a substance found naturally in muscle cells, is also available in supplement form. Taking creatine can help absorb more water and nutrients into your muscles, acting as a beneficial post-workout supplement for building muscle. A great deal of research suggests that creatine supplementation could lead to an increase in muscle strength and muscle fiber size.


Creatine can also act as a PH buffer in your muscles to relieve some of the burn you feel during your workout and allow you to better tackle those last few reps. It is also thought to improve performance in short-term, high-intensity activities such as weightlifting (periods <30 seconds), but has not been shown to improve overall endurance.


Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAA)


There are also some studies suggesting that including branched-chain amino acids in post-workout nutrition could support increased muscle growth due to the ready availability of key amino acids used in muscle repair and protein synthesis. However, BCAAs are not complete proteins and may not offer as significant a benefit as including whey protein or food-based options.




Beta-alanine is an amino acid that is thought to serve as a pH buffer by helping you produce more carnosine and helping to prevent acid build-up that often leads to loss of strength and endurance. Some limited research suggests that taking beta-alanine before lifting could help you get a few more reps and potentially improve your endurance and performance during your workout. Beta-alanine is also responsible for that tingling sensation you get when you take your pre-workout.




Caffeine might make you feel more energetic and ready to tackle your workout, which has benefits in itself, but it won't necessarily give you any extra physical endurance. Regardless, caffeine could help improve stamina by positively altering your mind. Caffeine can be found in a number of supplements, taken in pill form, or found in common foods like coffee, tea, and chocolate.




L-Arginine, an amino acid often marketed as nitric oxide, has limited research but may act as an ergogenic aid. Taking arginine is thought to improve endurance by helping deliver nutrients to the muscles. It is commonly found in pre-workouts, paired with other ingredients, or as a standalone supplement.


Importance of Rest and Recovery

 Importanza del Riposo e del Recupero

Fitness and diet aside, physical recovery is also a key part of muscle growth, especially since most PMS occurs during rest periods. Taking time out between workouts, getting enough sleep, and managing daily stress are all important to establishing good recovery habits. It may also help to add stretching, foam rolling and recovery exercises.

Muscle recovery involves the removal of lactic acid and hydrogen and the rebalancing of intramuscular nutrients and electrolytes. Taking time to rest and recover is a crucial step in building muscle. It can also help improve range of motion, ROM, improve muscle health and reduce the risk of injury.

Plus, incorporating low-intensity recovery workouts like stretching, foam rolling, and yoga teaches your nervous system how to relax, and can also benefit you from building a strong foundation. Any mobility training can also allow you to train harder, achieve a deeper range of motion and get more out of your exercise.


What causes body aches?


Muscle soreness is a good sign that you've pushed your muscles to a new limit, which can be beneficial to muscle gains. During training, micro-tears occur in the muscles, which lead to inflammation and pain. The repair and healing process that follows is where PMS occurs.

The pain can last up to several days after training, but it's normal, we just have to wait and rest to come back stronger than before.

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