This question is for my husband. He is 5'9" and 170 lb, 38 years old. Currently he is taking about 620 calories in supplements daily (creatine, Whey Protein and Glutamine) He is doing weight lifting almost every day to increase his muscle mass. The question is he is trying to build muscle, but obviously not fat. If he eats a positive 500-600 calories (including the supplements) will he be able to accomplish this? Let me know if that makes sense.
Reason: Moved to Fitness for better response.
It's almost impossible to gain muscle without gaining some fat. If he doesn't eat at too much of a surplus, then he should gain mostly muscle.
You will always gain fat and muscle together. The smaller the surplus and under proper lifting, you can maximize the ratio toward muscle, but you will still gain fat.
So how do you then get rid of that fat without losing the muscle? Does the muscle speed up your metabolism and start burning the fat ... sorry confused!
Glutamine is a waste of time.
There's some studies that show that patients with 3rd degree burns over more than 30% of their bodies have a better survival rate in the burn ward with increased glutamine intake. Supplement companies have misused this to imply that extra glutamine will help you build more muscle faster when the truth is that creating an intake imbalance in amino acids will mess with your fractional muscle protein synthesis rate and worsen your results.
Whey and casein are just the proteins in milk, and count as a food. If he's already using whey protein to reach his intake goal that's fine, but it should be noted that a supplement that contains a whey/casein blend has a slight edge over time in the muscle protein accrual stakes. If you're in a situation where a slight 2-3% edge makes for a difference, that is; which in practice is only true for actual competing athletes.
Weightlifters/bodybuilders will cycle their caloric intake. They will spend time gaining, then they will spend a period of time (usually just days) at a caloric deficit to burn those lbs of fat they gained with the muscle.
Muscle does speed up metabolism but I think it is only like 50 calories in a 24 hour period - not really all that great. Figure athletes bulk up with tons of protein and heavy lifting, then before an actual competition will spend weeks on a very calorie restrictive diet with tons of intense cardio to "cut" or lose the fat they also gained then their muscles will "pop" and show. But anyone who is building muscle will also gain some fat in the process.
The difference between muscle and fat in terms of calorie burn is negligible. Muscle=6 calories/day and fat=3 calories per day. If you lost 20lbs of fat and gained 20lbs of muscle, the metabolic difference would be 60 calories a day.