How much do bodybuilders eat?


Understanding the nutritional requirements of bodybuilders is crucial to optimizing their muscle growth and overall physique. Many people wonder, "How much do bodybuilders eat?" The answer can vary greatly depending on factors such as body weight, activity levels, and individual goals. In this blog post, we'll discuss key nutrition and supplementation tips for muscle building, and provide you with a better understanding of how much bodybuilders eat to maximize their goals.

Macronutrients For Muscle Growth

When it comes to muscle building, it's important to understand the role each macronutrient plays in achieving results. Protein, carbohydrates, and fats are crucial components in a bodybuilder's diet.


Protein is the most important macronutrient for muscle growth, as it supplies the amino acids necessary for repairing and building new muscle tissue. Bodybuilders should aim for 1.2 to 2.2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day, which can vary based on goals. For example, a 90kg (198 lbs) bodybuilder would need approximately 108 to 198 grams of protein daily.


Carbohydrates are vital for fueling workouts and replenishing glycogen stores within the muscles. A bodybuilder should consume 4 to 7 grams of carbs per kilogram of body weight daily. Again, for our 90kg (198 lbs) bodybuilder, this equates to 360 to 630 grams of carbohydrates.


Fats are essential for hormone production, especially testosterone, which plays a significant role in muscle growth. Aim to include 0.5 to 1.5 grams of fat per kilogram of body weight daily. So, for our 90kg (198 lbs) bodybuilder, this means consuming 45 to 135 grams of fat a day.

Meal Timing and Frequency

Consistently consuming adequate nutrition throughout the day is crucial for muscle growth. Bodybuilders often eat 5 to 7 meals per day to support their high caloric needs. A typical meal frequency could look like this:

  1. Breakfast
  2. Mid-morning snack
  3. Lunch
  4. Pre-workout meal
  5. Post-workout meal
  6. Dinner
  7. Bedtime snack

Spacing meals every three to four hours helps maintain a positive nitrogen balance, which supports muscle building and minimizes muscle protein breakdown.

Supplements for Muscle Growth

Supplements can be useful additions to a bodybuilder's nutrition plan, when used strategically. Here are a few popular supplements for muscle growth:

Whey Protein

Whey protein is a convenient and high-quality protein source to help reach daily protein goals. It's particularly beneficial in post-workout shakes, as it is quickly absorbed and aids in muscle recovery.


Creatine supplementation can help increase strength and power output during workouts, leading to more effective muscle-building sessions.

Branched-Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs)

BCAAs can help reduce muscle protein breakdown and improve recovery time. They're best consumed around training sessions or between meals to maintain muscle growth stimulation.


Proper hydration is a crucial aspect of bodybuilding nutrition. Aim to drink at least 3 to 4 liters of water per day, or 1 to 2 ounces per pound of body weight. Staying hydrated will not only improve workout performance but also support proper nutrient absorption and digestion.


The amount that bodybuilders eat can vary greatly based on individual goals and circumstances. By ensuring consistent intake of appropriate macronutrient ratios, meal timing and frequency, supplements, and hydration, bodybuilders can fuel their bodies effectively for optimized muscle growth. So, when asked, "How much do bodybuilders eat?", remember that it's not just about the quantity, but also about the quality and strategy of their daily nutrition.

What Does a Bodybuilder Eat in a Day?

A bodybuilder's diet is designed to support muscle growth, optimal performance, and overall health. In a typical day, a bodybuilder will consume several balanced meals consisting of proteins, carbohydrates, and healthy fats.

Key Components of a Bodybuilder's Diet


Bodybuilders require a high amount of protein intake to promote muscle growth and recovery. Protein sources include lean animal proteins like chicken, fish, lean beef, and low-fat dairy products, as well as plant-based options such as beans, lentils, and tofu.


Carbohydrates are essential for providing energy during workouts and replenishing glycogen stores in the muscles. Complex carbohydrates like sweet potatoes, brown rice, whole grains, and oatmeal are preferred for their steady release of energy and added fiber content.

Healthy Fats

Fats are crucial for maintaining hormonal balance, supporting brain function, and providing energy. Healthy fats like avocados, nuts, seeds, and olive oil are generally included in a bodybuilder's meal plan.

Sample Bodybuilder Meal Plan

Here's a sample meal plan that a bodybuilder might follow to meet their nutritional needs:


  • Whole-grain oatmeal with almond butter, chopped nuts, and berries
  • Protein shake with banana, spinach, and almond milk

Mid-Morning Snack

  • Greek yogurt with raw honey and mixed nuts


  • Grilled chicken breast with quinoa, steamed vegetables, and avocado

Afternoon Snack

  • Rice cakes with peanut butter and sliced banana


  • Apple with a handful of almonds


  • Protein shake with water or a protein bar


  • Pan-seared salmon with sweet potato mash and a side of roasted vegetables

Evening Snack

  • Cottage cheese with berries and a sprinkle of cinnamon

Tips for Bodybuilding Meal Planning

  • Listen to your body: Adjust your food intake based on your hunger levels, energy, and workout performance. Each individual's needs may differ based on factors such as body composition, training frequency, and personal goals.
  • Hydration: Drinking plenty of water throughout the day is crucial for overall health and optimal performance in the gym. Aim to drink at least half your body weight (in pounds) in ounces of water daily.
  • Focus on whole foods: Prioritize consuming minimally processed, nutrient-dense whole foods to support muscle growth and overall health.
  • Meal timing: Strive to eat every 2-3 hours to keep your metabolism running optimally and provide your body with the nutrients needed for recovery and growth.

Remember, the key to success in bodybuilding is consistency in both training and nutrition. By understanding your body's needs and following a strategic meal plan, you're on the path to reaching your bodybuilding goals.

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