Implementing a diet that’s full of rich, good quality food is just as important for bulking up as following a strict exercise schedule. Although you need to pile up the calories, don’t be tempted to start eating dirtily: sugars and fats may help you increase your calories, but they aren’t good for you, and won’t aid your body when it needs necessary nutrients that aren’t found in unhealthy foods.
For a diet that truly engages with the science behind bodybuilding, and the needs of the body, try to ensure that 50% of your calories are made up from protein sources. Using meats like chicken and lean beef, fish, and egg whites as part of an exercise plan can increase your fitness and ability to build muscle more so than sticking to an ordinary diet. Exploring different avenues of food is part of the fun of bodybuilding: find what helps you hit targets, and move on from there.
Protein is vital for anyone looking to build muscle due to its core component: amino acids. Amino acids are the building blocks of muscles, helping them to recover and grow. High levels of protein put you in a positive nitrogen balance, otherwise known as an anabolic state. This state is the optimum position to be in, in order to build muscle up.
The main categories of protein sources to indulge in are fish, meat, eggs and dairy. However, not everything included in these groups is good for you, so you need to know exactly what you’re eating, and how much. The best fish to eat includes salmon, cod and tuna, while you should stick to chicken, turkey, pork and lean beef when buying meat. Dairy products can be helpful, but only in small doses, as they contain large amounts of fat as well. Egg whites are better than the entire egg, or just yolks, so invest in egg white powder, or separate liquid whites.
Everyone knows that protein is essential for a muscle building diet, and carbs are often overlooked, despite their importance. Carbs are vital for keeping your body in the correct state to be able to work out: complex carbohydrates form muscle glycogen, the element needed in order to have a heavy training session. Similarly, while training your blood sugar will inevitably drop, so snacking on a carbohydrate will release an insulin spike, ensuring your body can continue at the rate you want it to.
Eating small amounts of carbohydrates throughout the day is regarded as much better than sitting down to one large meal. Eating carbs little and often provides your body with regular insulin spikes, thus keeping your blood sugar up. Eating large amounts of carbs in one sitting is more likely to result in it being stored as fat.
The best carbohydrates to eat are rolled oats, wholegrain bread and cereals, pasta, and brown rice.
Although you shouldn’t eat large quantities of fats, it’s important to include some in your diet, to ensure it’s well rounded, and that you’re being supplied with the correct vitamins, acids and fats. Essential fatty acids (EFAs), made up of Omega-3s and Omega-6s, are vital for a healthy diet.
EFAs aid muscle growth through many different paths, including improving recovery times and stamina, helping prevent skin conditions and arthritis-like symptoms, and improving sleep. You should make sure that the EFAs you’re consuming are coming from a nutritional source, not just chocolate bars and cakes!
The best fat sources to choose from include avocado, virgin olive oil, coconut milk, and nuts such as almonds, peanuts and walnuts.
Maintaining a well-rounded, nutritional, and complimentary diet will ensure that the exercising and muscle building plans you implement will be showing results in a better and sustainable way!
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