Body Building Nutrition Basics

Body Building Nutrition

Every day it seems we hear about new body building diets, new supplements, new theories on what does and doesn’t work and so on.  However, when you cut through the, usually, promotional hype you’ll invariably find that in most cases they’re just variations upon a theme.  The basic principles of body building nutrition hasn’t changed overly much because humans biologically and genetically are still pretty much the same as we were last century, and the century before etc.  So whether you want muscle gain, to increase your strength, shed fat or get toned, remember one fundamental rule – it’s always best to stick with tried and true basics.

Body Building Nutrition BasicsProtein Nutrition Important For Body Building

High on the list of body building nutrition facts is getting the amount of protein required to build muscle mass without going overboard.  Yes, body building requires a lot of protein but consuming protein over and above your requirements is an expensive way of gaining carbohydrates because excess protein is turned into glucose by the body.  You will generally find that you only require around 1gram of protein for every pound of lean body mass (or bodyweight) provided it’s quality protein and your calorie intake is sufficient.

Sources of high quality protein are white meat (chicken, turkey, fish), red meat (beef, lamb), dairy products including milk, eggs, beans and nuts.  Ideally you should try and consume small amounts of protein regularly during the day.  This helps to avoid overloading your digestive system and also makes it easier to eat enough calories.

Fat – Highly Underestimated And Much Maligned In Body Building Nutrition

There are healthy fats and then there are not so healthy fats but many of us make the mistake of assuming that all fats are bad, period.  However, the body needs a certain amount of fat.  So instead of trying to rid your diet of fats altogether, take a moment instead to figure out whether the fats you’re consuming are good fats, or bad fats.  Good fats include fat that comes from sources like oily fish, seeds, nuts and vegetables and these types of fats can easily make up to a quarter of your daily intake without problems.  The main fats to limit are saturated animal fats as these are linked to health issues.

Consume Those Body Building Carbs

Carbohydrates are vital for building muscle mass.  The body stores carbohydrates as glycogen, which is converted to glucose to fuel muscle cells during exercise.  For a long time it was believed that protein was the all-important ingredient for building muscle.  However, it’s now known that undertaking strength and resistance training with low glycogen levels is counter effective and that protein works far more effectively to build muscle when combined with sufficient carbohydrates.  Likewise, the amino acids in protein that are so important for helping to repair muscle damage after exercise do their job far more effectively if there are also enough carbohydrates being consumed.

Therefore, an ideal body building nutrition plan incorporates enough of both to meet training demands.  A mix of both starchy and high fiber carbohydrates should ideally make up around half the diet.  Quality sources of starchy carbohydrates include sweet potatoes, new potatoes, wholegrain and rye breads, oats, quinoa, whole wheat pasta and basmati rice.  Fruit and vegetables high in dietary fiber should make up the rest of the carbohydrate component of the diet.  This will supply enough glycogen to meet training requirements as well as ensuring there is ample fiber and other nutrient intake too.

When it comes to eating carbohydrates, it’s best to try and eat them regularly during the day and most particularly after exercise.  Combining them with protein at this point will greatly assist with muscle repairs.

Remember The Five Servings Per Day For Better Body Building

Of fruit and vegetables that is.  At the bare minimum.  Up to seven servings is even better for a good body building nutrition plan.  Starting out the day with a glass of fruit juice with cereal followed by snacks of convenient fruit like bananas, apples and oranges throughout the day is an ideal way to get the required amount of fruit, and carbohydrates, on board.  A salad at lunchtime and an evening meal with vegetables and a portion of meat for protein will round out the diet nicely.  Fruit smoothies are another ideal way to incorporate more fruit into the diet.  Vegetable smoothies work well too.

Drink, Drink, Drink Plenty Of Water For Optimum Body Building

As the famous drinking song from The Student Prince proclaims, drink up.  Granted, the song is more about ale than water but the message is the same nonetheless.  Drink, drink, drink PLENTY of water.  Most of us don’t drink enough of it at the best of times (coffee and soft drinks don’t count) but it’s particularly important that anyone who does a lot of exercise keep up their fluid intake for optimal performance.  Carry a bottle of water with you and be sure to refill it several times a day.

Planning Ahead Is An Important Part of Body Building Nutrition

Making sure you plan your food intake to go with your exercise regime is extremely important.  There’s no point consuming a heap of carbs and protein early in the morning if you’re going to be working out in the late afternoon.  The reverse is also true – if you’re working out first thing in the morning then eating carbs and proteins late in the afternoon is not going to do you much good on the exercise front.

Instead, plan to consume enough carbohydrates and proteins prior to your workout to give yourself enough energy to get through the session and, importantly, benefit from it.  Remember, weight and resistance training is far more effective at building muscle mass if you have enough protein AND carbohydrates in your system.  Then plan to consume enough of both after your work out to give your body the best possible chance of recovering and mending before your next workout.

Enjoy Your Food

And finally, it will be harder to make a success of your body building nutrition plan if you don’t enjoy what you’re eating.  If you don’t like something, don’t eat it.  Find an alternative that will provide the same nutritional benefits.  Also spice it up a bit.  The same foods quickly become very boring and when food is boring, it’s much harder to stick to a diet.  Not all foods are the same nutritionally either so by varying what you eat from day to day, you’re giving yourself the best chance of obtaining all the nutrition you need for you body building regime.

For more articles about interesting health and nutrition topics, please refer to the Blog Category Section on the right or check any of our most popular links below:

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  10.  Body Building Supplement Page at Wikipedia