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How to Use Meal Replacements to Build Muscle

Learn if meal replacement products help build muscle from DreamBodies' Tony DiCostanzo in this Howcast bodybuilding video.

Transcript

If I've heard it once, I've heard it a million times: 'I cannot eat all the food that you want me to eat all day long. I don't have the time. I have to drive the kids to school. I have to work. I'm in the office, I can't run into the bathroom to eat. ' Meal replacement products give an individual a good resource and a good tool to have the necessary macro-nutrients, micro-nutrients, the proteins, the carbs, the healthy fats that they need to feed their muscles, but at the same time to do it in a convenient way. Meal replacement products can come in the form of powders and bars. I tend to recommend the powders over the bars. The bars are processed differently. The powders tend to be more nutrient dense and healthy and have a lot less sugars in them as well. Not all meal replacement products are created the same. There are some meal replacement products that are nothing more than a glorified milkshake. Make sure you're getting enough fiber. All meal replacement products should have a decent amount of fiber, anywhere from 4 to 6 to 8 grams of fiber. Make sure you're at least getting an adequate amount of protein, anywhere from 20 to 30 to 40 grams of protein, and the carbohydrates should be sitting somewhere between 30 and 60 grams. They also make meal replacement products with lower carbs for those who are maybe trying to lean out a little bit or lower their carbs and for whatever reason are on a low-carb diet. You can even find meal replacement products that are going to match that. It's really important to not put drinking your calories above eating your calories. Every time you ingest whole foods, the thermic effect from that food greatly increases your metabolic rate and the efficiency and the rate your body is going to run, your metabolism's going to run, and even sometimes the nutrients you draw from those foods. So, never put drinking your calories above eating them. See it as a convenient way to add one or two meals possibly during the day, but make sure you're eating whole foods and making that a first and foremost priority in your program.

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