Bodybuilding Nutrition – How to Build Lean Muscle and Keep Body Fat Low!
Bodybuilders know the importance of a strict training routine while preparing for competition. However, successful bodybuilders pay just as much attention to their diet as they do their exercise program.
Proper nutrition is vital for achieving lean muscle mass and keeping body fat low. Protein is perhaps the most important part of a bodybuilding diet. The body uses protein to build muscle tissue and also uses it to repair damaged muscle tissues.
Protein also contains important amino acids, essential to muscle growth. To aid in muscle building, bodybuilders must maintain a positive nitrogen balance.
Since nitrogen is one of the key elements in protein, it is important to eat enough each day to promote muscle growth and recovery. Foods such as lean beef, chicken, fish and eggs are excellent sources of protein.
Bodybuilders may also increase their protein intake with protein supplements such as whey protein. These supplements are usually in powder form and can be mixed with water or milk.
Consuming a protein shake immediately after a workout, provides the body with protein to rebuild muscle tissues broken down during exercise and restores glycogen to aid in recovery.
In addition to protein, bodybuilders should also strive to eat two or three servings of healthy fat each day. Nuts, coconut oil, peanut oil and olive oil all contain monounsatured fats key to a healthy metabolism.
When consuming fats, it is important to limit the intake of processed oils and butter as these can raise cholesterol levels to unhealthy limits. Bodybuilders typically strive to keep fat intake fairly low to achieve a tight, toned look but include small servings of healthy fats each day.
Fish oil supplements may also contain Omega-3 fatty acids important to good health, as well. While carbohydrates have developed a bad reputation, they are essential to the body’s energy requirements.
Carbohydrates provide bodybuilders with the energy they need to complete demanding workouts. However, all carbohydrates are not created equal. Foods that are filled with sugar are generally high in carbohydrates and can cause weight gain if eaten frequently.
Bodybuilders should eat 2 to 3 grams of complex carbohydrates for every pound of body weight. Fruits such as apples, oranges and bananas are all good examples of healthy carbohydrates.
Sweet potatoes, brown rice and whole grains are also great choices. Simple carbohydrates such as juices and sugary foods should be limited. Eating healthy carbohydrates before a bodybuilding workout will increase energy and performance.
Proper nutrition is vital for achieving a symmetrical, well-toned body. Following these guidelines will increase energy; lower fat stores and encourages the growth of lean muscle tissue.
Bodybuilders should also drink adequate amounts of water before and after workouts to avoid dehydration and fatigue. Keeping a journal of all meals eaten will also help bodybuilders keep track of calories, protein, carbohydrate and fat intake.