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Mass and Muscle Gain Diets for Teens

By Mike Samuels, LiveStrong, 11/09/18, 12:00PM CST

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While protein often takes the limelight in terms of building muscle, carbohydrates have a crucial role to play as they provide energy for training and aid recovery. 

The teenage years are a time when many take their health into their own hands and decide to start lifting weights in the attempt to gain a muscular physique. As important as training is, diet matters just as much, and even the best training plan in the world won't do much without the correct diet. Teens need to focus on a healthy approach to nutrition, meeting all their nutrient requirements, while also eating enough to grow new muscle tissue.

Increased Calorie Needs

To build muscle, you need a surplus of calories. Teenagers already have elevated calorie needs, with the average active 14- to 18-year-old female needing around 2,400 calories per day to maintain her weight and her male counterpart needing 2,800 to 3,200 per day. To create a calorie surplus and gain mass, you'll need more than this -- around 500 to 600 more on training days, according to personal trainer JC Deen.