5. Emphasize workout-window nutrition
Around the time of your workouts — before and after — your body needs protein and fast-digesting carbs (sugar) to drive the recovery process. Consuming sugar before and after your workouts helps reload glycogen burned during exercise, and it delivers amino acids to your muscles so that they recover and grow more quickly. Take in about 25–40 grams of protein before and after your workouts, depending on your bodyweight. Hardgainers should match their sugar intake to their protein consumption, gram per gram, pre- and post-workout. If you’re a bigger guy starting out, you can cut the sugar before workouts and just take it after.