Many inexperienced (sometimes even experienced!) gym regulars believe that muscles grow while lifting weights. However lifting weights forms only a small fraction of the muscle building process. Muscle development takes place at night during deep sleep when the body synthesizes new cells with nutrients from our diet. Therefore nutrition forms a very important part of a bodybuilding program.
The body utilizes nutrients in food to perform daily metabolic and what's commonly referred to as the "wear and tear processes". With bodybuilding, additional strain is put on the body to make new muscle tissues. Therefore the nutrient requirements also shoots up to stay with the demand.
The best bodybuilding nutrition comes from a balanced intake of carbohydrates, adequate protein, vitamins, minerals, fats and large amounts of water. So if you are serious about getting lean and ripped it’s time to say goodbye to mayo burgers, colas and other synthetic foods. Adopt eating habits imbibing fruits, whole grains, milk, eggs and fresh farm products.
How much protein do you need?
Your growing muscles need amino acids to create new tissues. The amino acids are provided by protein in diet. There is a lot of debate on the exact quantity of protein required in bodybuilding. The caution to maintain is that extreme amounts of protein in the diet can cause gastric and renal complications. Recent studies have suggested that a protein intake of 1 to 1.4 grams per unit of body weight is adequate to sustain the bodybuilding process. This means that the protein requirement of a 70 kg individual should be around 70 to 98 grams. To give an estimate of the amount involved consider the following: A 100 gm chicken breast has 22 grams of protein, a glass of milk has 8 grams, an egg approximately 5 grams and a slice bread 3 grams.
A word of caution against the tide of bodybuilding supplements in markets. Many times you come across advertisements proclaiming, ‘Gain 20 pounds of muscle in 3 months flat!’. Stay clear of these money hungry advertisers. Building lean muscle takes time and effort. Making use of synthetic products which alter body’s natural mechanism would offset what should be your real purpose in bodybuilding which is to keep the body fit and healthy.
Lastly in bodybuilding it’s not, ‘the more the better’. Rather it is ‘the more precise the better’. Don’t over exert, eat balanced food and include plenty of rest. With everything good in life, patience, commitment, and balance will guarantee your success. With these tips in mind you are all set to pump iron!
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Our articles should be used for informational and educational purposes only and are not intended to be taken as medical advice. If you’re concerned, consult a health professional before taking dietary supplements or introducing any major changes to your diet.
Evangeline has taken part in competitive sports since a young age. As a qualified RYA Dinghy Instructor, she understands the importance of proper nutrition for fuelling extreme and endurance sports, especially due to her experience in Team GBR Squads and captaining and coaching her University first team.
In her spare time, Evangeline loves running – especially marathons. On the weekends, you’ll find her taking on water sports or hiking up a hill. Her favourite evenings are spent taking on a HIIT session or squats in the gym before digging into some spicy food and a ton of vegetables – yum!
Find out more about Evie's experience here.