The Consumer Education Project of Milk SA

What specific nutritional advice can I follow in order to increase my strength training?

Consume enough energy in the form of carbohydrate before and during a strength training session to fuel the training. Also consume a good quality protein (containing 20-25 gram of protein) with a source of carbohydrates within 30-60 minutes after a strength training session to maximise muscle protein synthesis.


To achieve optimal results with strength training (to increase muscle mass), you need to be in a positive energy balance, which means your energy intake from food should be higher than the energy output. You should try to spread your meals throughout the day with the consumption of 5 or more smaller meals rather than to stick to three meals. Try to balance the main meals to consist of a starch source, a protein source and some vegetables and the snacks to include a fruit or a starch, but also a protein source. Your protein need will be a bit higher, but can be met through food intake. The distribution of protein throughout the day seems beneficial with the intake of a protein and / or dairy source with every meal or snack taken, e.g. milk, cheese, meat, nuts, nut butter, eggs, fish, chicken, etc. Ensure that you eat something an hour or two prior to training and definitely include a snack consisting of protein and carbohydrates as soon as possible after training. Chocolate flavoured milk is an excellent recovery food. Last, but not least, ensure optimal hydration with adequate fluid intake throughout the day, mainly as water.


Strength training is synonymous with building muscle mass. In this case it is important to eat healthy, regular meals and snacks to help meet your kilojoule requirements. These meals and snacks should include adequate amounts of protein as well as carbohydrate to meet your energy requirements and to ensure that the protein consumed is spared for muscle repair (from an exercise session) and building.

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Authors
Elsabe Janse van Noordwyk
Elsabe Janse van Noordwyk

Registered Physiotherapist
BSc Physiotherapy (UFS)
Private Practice Little Company of Mary, Pretoria

Lize Havemann-Nel
Lize Havemann-Nel

Registered dietitian, Senior Lecturer
School for Physiology, Nutrition and Consumer Science
North-West University (Potchefstroom Campus)

Nicki de Villiers
Nicki de Villiers

Registered Dietitian
BDietetics (UP)
Postgrad Dipl Hosp Dietetics (UP)
Postgrad Dipl Sport Nutr (IOC)
Private practise: HPC – University of Pretoria

Pippa Mullins
Pippa Mullins

Registered dietitian
BSc DIET; PG DIP DIET (UN);
PG DIP Sports Nutr (IOC)
Practice: MME Dietitians