Calorie Intake in Bodybuilding

These high-quality calories are ideal for bodybuilders to build muscle. Every athlete is aware that the need-based calorie intake plays a central role in achieving the training goal. This not only applies to muscle building but also especially to the diet and fat loss phase. The diet for muscle-building can only be accompanied by a corresponding surplus or a balanced calorie balance, and a calorie deficit can only attend a diet

The general calorie theory regarding muscle building and diet falls far too short for us, as it only contains part of the truth. It does make a difference whether you consume all of your calories from pure sugar, i.e. empty calories, or from a mixture of biologically high-quality proteins and complex carbohydrates, even though these represent the same amount of calories per gram.

What Are Calories

Empty Calories Vs. High-Quality Calories

For muscle building, it is essential that, at best, a slight to medium calorie surplus is achieved. The daily calories refer to a “kilocalorie”. One kilocalorie (abbreviation “kcal”) refers to 1000 calories (cal), which represent the actual calories in the correct word definition. Colloquially, however, it is widespread to refer to kilocalories as “calories”, which we will use in this article! A calorie represents the amount of energy required to warm one litre of water by one degree Celsius.

The macronutrients in the diet are proteins (proteins), fats and carbohydrates. However, among these, there are many variants with empty and high-quality calories. The general breakdown of macronutrients in terms of calories, however, remains the same:

1 gram of carbohydrates is equivalent to 4.1 calories

1 gram of protein is equal to 4.1 calories 

1 gram of fat is equal to 9.3 calories 

1 gram of alcohol is equal to 7.1 calories

According to this doctrine, 1 gram of sugar provides the same calorie content as 1 gram of carbohydrates from whole grain bread. In terms of the pure amount of energy, this is also true, to ensure proper muscle building (and also fat loss!)However, more parameters are required than the pure amount of calories.

Roughly speaking, one can say that high-quality calories support the metabolism, while empty calories represent many disadvantages for the organism. Above all, it depends on the calorie balance, but this can not only be achieved by simply looking at the calories fed in, but especially by optimizing the metabolism! The low-carb diet makes use of this effect. 

The low-carb diet reduces cravings by leaving out carbohydrates. At the same time, the metabolism increases due to the high intake of protein. The bottom line is that the metabolism is kept high on the low-carb diet, while it is easier to maintain a deficit with the information! For example, with simple household sugar, it is the case that increases the insulin level very quickly. 

This promotes fat storage, causes cravings exceptionally quickly, can lead to nausea, and the risk of damage to health is much more significant in the long run than when using whole-grain bread, where precisely the opposite is the case. The calorie intake characterizes high-quality foods via complex carbohydrates, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids, and biologically high-quality proteins. On the other hand, insufficient and empty calories are pure energy carriers that drive the insulin level up and provide fat. In return, there are incredibly few good ingredients, such as micronutrients. 

Most foods high in empty calories are deficient in metabolism-enhancing micronutrients, which are particularly important for the entire healthy metabolism. Metabolism as the whole can only function appropriately if enough micronutrients and macronutrients are made available. In the worst case, a food only supplies the macronutrients without providing the micronutrients in acceptable form. 

Examples for this case are, for example, soft drinks, sugar, white flour and fatty baked goods in any form. The consequences of an excessive intake of these harmful foods are usually fatigue, lack of energy, mineral deficiency and obesity.


The Right Choice Of High-Quality Calories 

In the best-case scenario, as a health-conscious athlete, you should only consume foods that contain high-quality calories. This includes all-natural foods, if possible unprocessed. High-quality food can be perfectly recognized by the fact that it has been left as natural as possible. In the following list, we would like to introduce you to high-quality and empty calories in the form of complementary foods for each category.

High-quality calorie intake for carbohydrates:

1.Whole grain bread

2.Whole wheat pasta

3.Whole grain rice 

4.Oat flakes

5.High-quality muesli mixes 

6.High-quality fruit is not too high in quantities 

7.High-quality vegetables

8.Spelled and spelled flour



Empty calorie intake for carbohydrates:

  1. White sugar
  2. Soft drinks in all forms
  3. Sweets (often the mixture of sugar and fat)
  4. White flour and baked goods made from white flour 

High-Quality Calorie Intake For Proteins:

1.High-quality beef

2.High-quality fish

3.High-quality poultry products

4.Low-fat milk and dairy products

5.High-quality protein preparations

6.Chicken eggs (use more protein than egg yolks!)


Empty Calorie Intake For Protein:

There is no such thing as a really “empty protein intake” in the area of ​​proteins. You should make sure that you are consuming high-quality proteins. We mentioned these above. These proteins are characterized by their high biological value, which is essential for building muscle. Vegetable proteins usually only have a meagre biological value. However, if these are combined with animal proteins, this does not pose a risk of an undersupply of high-quality calories!

High-Quality Calorie Intake For Fats

1.Oily sea fish (omega-three fatty acids)

2.High-quality vegetable and cold-pressed oils (olive oil, sunflower oil, linseed oil, rapeseed oil)

3.Nuts in all varieties

4.Saturated fats from pure butter in moderation (important for testosterone production!)

5.Omega 3 capsules

Empty Calorie Intake For Fats:

1.Too much-saturated fat from poor quality baked goods and finished products

2.Trans fats from finished products and fast food

3.Destroyed and poor quality fat, e.g. old and often used fat for deep fryers

The Perfect Breakdown Of Calories From Fats, Proteins And Carbohydrates

Opinions are divided on this question. It all depends on your metabolism and your chosen goal. In ​​diets, low-carb diets that rely on few carbohydrates and a high protein/protein intake have now proven their worth. However, not everyone can cope with this form of diet. It may well be that you need a well-thought-out low-fat diet . The formula of around 55% high-quality carbohydrates, 25% high-quality protein, and 20% high-quality fat has proven to be a good guide for building muscle.


As you can see from the foods listed above, it is not very difficult to access high-quality calories for muscle building or even fat loss. The high-quality calories or nutrition have a further advantage that you increase the overall vitality and thus help achieve the training goal faster. Due to the high content of high-quality macronutrients and micronutrients, the high-quality calories also fill up quickly and donate strength for more performance in everyday life and training. 

The empty calories, on the other hand, lead to inactivity and weakness when consumed in excess. The vicious circle of empty calories also consists in the fact that they systematically deprive the body of nutrients. The energy metabolism, which is boosted by calories, also needs micronutrients to function correctly. If these are not supplied in sufficient quantities, there is a risk of severe losses in performance. Incidentally, it is anything but beneficial for your health to eat unhealthy foods in large amounts.


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