On average, a bodybuilder spends 1–2 hours a day in the gym and has another 22–23 hours left in a day. Muscle growth at this time depends entirely on what foods and dishes the athlete consumes.
What you need to eat so that the muscles increase in volume, and the fats are not stored in reserve? Tells MedAboutMe.
Tip 1: Eat real food
American writer, publicist, healthy eating activist Michael Pollan advises “do not eat anything that your grandmother would not recognize as food.” And that makes sense!
Processed foods, canned food, and prepackaged meals are nutrient-poor but full of harmful additives. While “real” foods (whole grains, eggs, fish and meat, nuts, fruits and vegetables) contain many nutrients that provide a stable supply of amino acids and glucose to the muscles, and therefore stimulate their increase.
Tip 2: Keep a food diary
The only way to know for sure if you’re getting enough protein, fat, carbohydrates, fiber, and calories is to keep track of them. If a notepad and pen are not for you, you can rely on an electronic application in which you just need to enter the type and amount of food you eat, and it will calculate everything for you.
According to a 2012 study published in European Journal of Sport Science, more calories does not mean better, since the athlete’s body has a speed limit for new muscles. If you constantly touch with calories, they will go to the “fat depot”. To find out what number of calories is ideal for you, a sports physiologist, nutritionist Lyle MacDonald advises multiplying your weight, expressed in pounds, by 15 and adding 200–400 calories to the resulting value. This will be the optimal daily calorie content for you.
If you are a beginner, add more calories, and if you are an advanced athlete, add less, since beginner fitness athletes have more muscle building potential.
Tip 3: Eat every three hours
“If you don’t eat often enough, you limit your muscle building rate,” says nutrition professor Virginia Tech University Michael Houston.
Divide your daily calorie intake into six meals. And make sure that with each meal, the body received about 20 grams of protein.
Tip 4: Choose Quality Protein
There is an opinion that the best source of protein for a bodybuilder is game. Deer meat, elk and other options, in addition to an excellent ratio of proteins and fats, contain omega‑3 fatty acids, which are necessary for muscle growth and fat burning. However, other lean meats are also beneficial.
Shared 2018 study Journal of Sports Medicine, shows that a protein intake of 0.73–1 g per pound of body weight is optimal for muscle growth.
Tip 5: Count Fats and Carbs
An athlete whose goal is to build muscle mass requires a sufficient amount of carbohydrates for good performance and training efficiency. The amount of fat in the diet is also important, since the hormonal background of the athlete and the general state of health depend on them.
About half of your calories should come from carbohydrates, another 20% from healthy fats, and the remaining 30% from protein. These are the norms of BJU for healthy people. But you can make calculations and calculate the ideal proportions just for you.
Experts recommend eating 0.25–0.5 g of fat for every pound of an athlete’s weight. And the amount of carbohydrates is determined minus protein and fat from the daily calorie intake.
Tip 6: Load up on whey protein
In a study published in the journal Amino acid, Finnish scientists found that weightlifters who consumed whey protein before and immediately after exercise produced more CDK2, a compound that is essential for muscle growth and muscle recovery after exercise.
And a study conducted by Japanese scientists found that the use of whey protein together with glucose provides more muscle glycogen stores — the main source of energy for working muscles.
Take 20–30 grams of whey protein isolate or hydrolyzate 30 minutes before and immediately after your workout.
Tip 7: Drink milk before bed
It has an ideal combination of proteins and carbohydrates at a relatively low calorie content. Milk should be drunk half an hour before going to bed. According to a nutritionist Doug Kalman, this will protect the muscles from destruction.
Combine milk with a cup of raisin-flavored bran, or pair cottage cheese with fruit slicing. These same snack options are great for the first light breakfast.
Tip 8: Establish a drinking regimen
Intense strength training leads to loss of moisture, which in turn inhibits the process of muscle recovery, and as a result, muscle building. Drinking enough water will prevent dehydration, will not allow imaginary hunger (and go over with calories), and will also guarantee excellent health to continue training.
Tip 9: Bet on Creatine
Creatine Monohydrate is a nutritional supplement that has a scientifically proven anabolic effect. Its use will increase endurance and performance during training, and also will help increase muscle mass. It should be taken in the amount of 5 grams per day with meals.
If the athlete is taking creatine for the first time, you can do a “load” so that the results are visible faster. To do this, within 5–7 days you need to take 20 g of creatine monohydrate.
Tip 10: Avoid Alcohol
Although the experts U.S. food and drug Administration allow athletes to drink alcohol and give only the maximum figures (0.33 liters of beer or a glass of wine for women and 0.66 liters and two glasses of wine for men per day), you need to understand that alcohol does not bring anything good to the body.
For a bodybuilder whose goal is to build muscle mass, he is the first enemy, since his use helps to slow down protein synthesis.
Jeremy Ethier, Fitness Expert, Certified Kinesiology Specialist
When it comes to building muscle mass, your diet is the most important factor that affects the result. You can put in a lot of effort in the gym, but not see the return, and all because the nutrition is not balanced.
When your diet is optimized for muscle gain, it helps you perform better in the gym, recover faster, and increase your progress. Therefore, pay close attention to the ratio of proteins, fats and carbohydrates, give up junk food and consider taking sports supplements.
If your own knowledge is not enough to draw up a daily menu, consult a specialist.