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protein is the most essential nutrient for a weight lifter. This is especially true if you’re trying hard to gain muscle, not fat! Not only does protein help you build new muscle tissue, it boosts your metabolism and is nearly impossible to convert to body fat. If you replace some of the calories you’re currently eating from fats and carbs with more protein, you will likely get leaner AND build more muscle! Unlike carbs, there is also no perfect time to eat protein. You should always be eating it! Every meal you eat throughout the day should have an appropriate portion of your ideal daily protein intake. Going too long without protein can cause your body to cannibalize its own muscle tissue – that won’t help you stay lean!The best time to eat carbs is after your workout. Hard weight training alters the way your body uses food so that all nutrients and especially carbs are channeled towards muscle gain instead of fat storage. Sugar and starch alike, carbs can only help you in the hour or two after you train. Make sure to down plenty of them, along with some protein to both help you stay lean and increase your muscular gains.