When we set body composition goals, we must consider several aspects when wanting to carry them out.
The STIMULUS is key: we should carry out a routine of adequate physical activity and ideally planned by a professional trained in the subject.
On the other hand, we must deal with NUTRITIONAL level, since the nutrients incorporated through food will be key in all muscle building processes.
Within nutritional planning, given by a competent professional, the first instance to develop is to think about the amount of energy that will be provided per day. In the event that a goal of HYPERTROPHY (increased volume of muscle fibers) is pursued, planning is based on a calorie intake greater than energy expenditure.
The second step is related to the contribution of PROTEINS: a key nutrient since it fulfills the STRUCTURE function of all tissues (among other functions) and will provide our muscles with all the necessary building blocks (amino acids) to repair and build muscle mass. Those foods that carry them are: of animal origin: dairy, egg, meat. And of vegetable origin mainly legumes, tofu, nutritional yeast. In addition, there are supplements that are made from proteins such as Whey Protein (part of milk) and pea or soy protein (part of a vegetable protein).
Take into account the training schedule and apply nutritional timing.
When we speak of "nutritional timing" we refer to where we place each nutrient so that it fulfills a specific function. As we have previously mentioned, the protein fulfills the function of STRUCTURE. So we will make the most of it if it is provided AFTER the training. The first two hours ideally, since our muscles are more receptive and take better advantage of the nutrients.
On the other hand, we will think of CARBON HYDRATE, whose main function is ENERGY. So your intake PRIOR to training is key. Since it will be the one who provides energy to our body, optimizing sports performance and taking care that the protein fulfills the function of structure and not energy (without hydrates our body will use, in part, proteins as a source of energy and therefore decreases the tendency increase in muscle mass despite stimulation). We must also provide carbohydrates after training, to replace the energy expended through muscle glycogen.
With proper planning of both training (stimulation) and nutrition, we will be able to carry out the potential increase in muscle mass in the most effective way possible.