Are you as confused as the guy above? Getting bogged down with all the scientific jargon on diet and nutrition isn't only frustrating but it's also pointless!
The best way to make significant changes to your body is obviously by changing your current routine. No matter what your targeting, if your not happy with how your progressing, your only option is to do something different.
One of the more complicated factors of building muscle or reducing bodyfat is the topic of;
- How should I eat to build muscle?
Anybody can put together a 45 minute workout that's gonna work their body to a required intensity, though it's how you treat your body before and after that exercise that will determine the results you get from it.
Whenever I discuss diet and nutrition I start at the very basics. You need to understand first why we eat foods and the effects different foods have on each system of the body.
Remember, exercise is taking your body to an unusual place, one that initially it finds very uncomfortable. Everything in your body including your heart, nervous system and senses are switched into overdrive just to stay functional while exercising.
Because of this, your body requires far more energy than at any other time of the day. We supplement this requirement with a structured nutritional plan to acellerate and maximize our new found results.
Just take a step back now and think about one of your toughest workouts.
> How much did it hurt?
> How many times did you almost quit?
> How many days did it take your body to recover?
Now, for all that effort and all that pain, imagine how bad it would feel to find out you just washed 60% of that workout right down the drain!
That's the impact a well maintained nutritional plan has on most of your workouts. By making simple little mistakes, your not only slowing down your growth but your also falling further and further behind your competition.
Below are 7 vital rules that mean the difference between you seeing results fast and you quitting out of frustration!
1) LOAD UP ON PROTEIN
A meal should never go by without a sufficient amount of protein being consumed. To maximize muscle-building, you'll need to consume at least 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight per day. (This means 200 grams of protein daily for a 200-pound person.)
In order to provide your muscles with a continuous influx of amino acids, (building blocks of protein) throughout the day, you'll divide your daily protein by the number of meals you consume. For example, if you eat six meals per day, 200 grams of protein divided by six meals would mean at least 30-40 grams of protein per meal.
Your main protein sources should be lean animal sources, such as chicken, beef, turkey, fish, eggs and dairy (more on red meat and fish in later rules), and, as with your training schedule, variety is crucial. Sticking to the same one or two protein sources each day may not be as effective as mixing it up and including the widest array of protein sources available.
There's a phenomenon in the body called the all or nothing principle, in which all amino acids must be available for proper utilization of digested protein. Many proteins can be made by the body; those that cannot are called essential amino acids and must be derived from nutritional sources. You'll need to mix various sources of protein to ensure that all essential amino acids are consumed.
2) ENOUGH HYDRATION
The importance of drinking plenty of liquids goes beyond the obvious benefits of staying hydrated; at a much deeper level, it's all about pushing more water into muscle cells. The more water that's inside muscles, the better they'll function and the greater their strength and size capacity. The consensus in the bodybuilding community is that high water storage within muscles helps act as an anabolic factor. This allows the muscles to maintain a positive nitrogen balance, which directly impacts muscle growth.
And if you're taking supplements like creatine, glutamine and BCAAs, your muscles will have a greater capacity to store water, because when muscle cells are stocked with these nutrients, more water is actually drawn into the muscles. Consume at least 1 gallon of water every day, and drink around 8 ounces of water every 15-20 minutes during training.
3) CARB UP THE RIGHT WAY
When it comes to carbs, too few can shortchange your gains in mass and too many can transform you into a bulked-up softie. A good rule of thumb is to consume 2-3 grams of carbohydrates per pound of body-weight per day when trying to add mass. And as with protein, you'll want to divide this between however many meals you eat daily, with the exception of two times during the day: breakfast and your postworkout meal.
These are two times when the body is somewhat inefficient at manufacturing bodyfat from carbohydrates, so feel free to bump up your carb intake at these times of day. Breakfast and the postworkout meal are also vital in aiding muscle growth because the higher carb content boosts one of the anabolic hormones responsible for driving nutrients into muscles, thereby producing a favorable hormonal environment that kick-starts recovery.
At most meals (pre- and postworkout notwithstanding), you should consume slow-digesting carbs such as wholegrain breads and pastas, oatmeal, sweet potatoes, fruits and vegetables, rather than fast-digesting sources such as white breads and sweets. Slow digesting carbs help build muscle and provide sustained energy.
4) EATING RED MEAT
Steaks and beef mince often scare people off because of the high fat content found in many cuts. But when you're looking to build muscle, shunning red meat is the last thing you want to do as it's high in B vitamins, which supports muscular endurance and growth, and yields, gram for gram, more iron, creatine and zinc than any other source of protein. These nutrients play important roles in muscle recovery and growth, so if you're sticking with chicken, turkey and protein powder, you'll likely fall short of your hypertrophy goals. Red meat is a great slow-digesting source of protein that can aid in nitrogen retention and sustained elevation of amino acids in the blood. Red meat can be used for all seasons, not just mass phases.
When choosing an appropriate type of red meat, select primarily leaner cuts such as ground round and sirloin, looking for meat that's at least 93% lean.
5) SCHEDULE A "GET BIG" DAY
While eating a sound diet by implementing the steps above is the foundation for growth, taking one out of every 7-10 days and eating far above and beyond your typical dally food intake--increasing protein, carbohydrate and overall calorie intake--can trigger new muscle growth by driving up your body's levels of growth hormones. Some people call this a "cheat day." When you occasionally overeat, the body responds by increasing the release of naturally occurring growth agents, such as growth hormone, insulin-like growth factor-1, thyroid hormone and possibly testosterone. Since even a small boost in one or all of these can impact recovery and muscle growth, it makes sense to harness them, and temporarily eating "really big" can do just that.
Eating relatively clean all the time can lead to boredom and neglect to a bodybuilding diet, Periodic spikes in calorie consumption are a great way to achieve a net caloric surplus that can speed muscular growth and strength. To avoid large gains in bodyfat, make sure 'once every 7-10 days' doesn't turn into cheating on most days!
6) PROTECTING MUSCLE MASS WITH PRE AND POSTWORKOUT MEALS
The catch-22 with training is that stress hormones, namely cortisol, can run amok and blunt muscle-building to the point that getting back on track is not as simple as following the basic rules. The solution? Eating and supplementing with the right foods in the pre- and post-training meals. This is where whey protein is essential, it gets into the blood faster than any other source of protein, providing amino acids that muscles harness for growth and interfere with cortisol uptake.
A slower-absorbing protein such as casein takes longer to combat cortisol levels.
Throw in some fast-acting carbs like those that digest quickly such as Gatorade, fat-free Pop-Tarts, cream of rice cereal mixed with jam or a toasted bagel and you benefit further.
These carbs, when combined with whey protein, are extremely effective at almost immediately halting muscle breakdown. Sandwiching your workout with protein and carbs causes greater protein synthesis and inhibits muscle protein breakdown. Consume at least 20 grams of whey protein before and 40 grams after training, a slow-digesting carbohydrate (refer to rule No. 3 for the best sources) 30 minutes before training and a fast-digesting carb Immediately afterward, along with your whey.
As for dietary fats, pre- and postworkout are the two times of day when you want to totally cut out eating foods high in fat. They'll slow the absorption of protein and carbs, which will delay the muscle recovery process.
7) DON'T FEAR THE USE OF THE BIG THREE
As you become more advanced in your training and nutrition knowledge, try a variety of supplements to help improve strength, size, energy, fat loss and overall health.
But for now, just stick to the basics: creatine, glutamine and branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs), three of the most effective and affordable supplements on the market.
- Creatine has been shown in numerous studies to boost muscle power, strength and size.
- Glutamine is a key amino acid in preventing muscle breakdown and boosting the immune system.
- BCAAs also help skip muscle wasting and delay the onset of fatigue during training.
Take these dosages both before and after working out: 3-5 grams of creatine, 5-10 grams of glutamine and 5-10 grams of BCAAs.
Adding these supps to a diet full of protein and complex carbs will ensure that you reap all the benefits from your training.
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