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What to Eat to Get Bigger Arms

author image Timothy Onkst
Based in Harker Heights, Texas, Timothy Onkst has been writing about sports, fitness and health since 2003. His articles have appeared in a variety of publications including "Texas Roundball" magazine, Yahoo Sports, Fox Sports and other websites.
What to Eat to Get Bigger Arms
A bowl filled with eggs on kitchen counter. Photo Credit: Hue/amanaimagesRF/amana images/Getty Images

In order to get bigger arms you must eat foods that promote muscle growth. If you do not eat a good muscle building diet, you are limiting the results you can get from training, according to "Muscle and Strength." Focusing on adding more protein, complex carbohydrates and calories to your diet can help you meet your size goals.

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Sports nutritionist Rob Skinner states that protein promotes muscle growth and muscle recovery from strength training. Therefore, protein helps your muscles grow and helps speed up the recovery phase so you can work out and grow again. "Muscle and Strength" advises eating protein in every meal and aiming for at least 30 grams of protein per meal. You should try to eat at least 1.4 to 1.8 grams of protein daily per pound of body weight, according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Good sources of protein include meats, fish, dairy products, eggs and beans.

Complex Carbs

Rob Skinner says that carbohydrates and protein are equally important for strength training since carbs fuel the body with energy. "Muscle and Strength" says that you should stick to complex carbohydrates like whole grain breads and rice and oats, while avoiding simple carbs like sugar and soft drinks. You should aim for at least half of your daily calories to come from carbohydrates while strength training.


Fats are involved in hormone production and they have a protein-sparing effect. This means that the body uses fats for energy first before protein and burns fat first, which spares or saves protein for muscle building. "Muscle and Strength" notes that you should stick to good fats in olive oil, peanut butter and fish and avoid vegetable oils, animal fats and butter. In order to build muscle, you must consume enough fat or your body will simply start using the protein to burn instead of burning fat. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommends that 20 to 35 percent of your daily calories come from fat, with no more than 10 percent coming from saturated fat.

Increase Calories

In order to grow and become bigger, your arms need more calories than they usually require at rest. Your body needs the extra fuel and calories to do the extra work of gaining size. Rob Skinner says that you should aim for 500 calories more than needed by increasing calories from protein, carbs and fat. Skinner says that without enough calories, muscle gain will be limited. Muscle and Strength advises eating up to six meals per day to gain size and eating any time you are hungry.

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