All the fitness training and bodybuilding in the world aren’t nearly enough to get the body you’re aiming for. You may be consistent with your workout program – perhaps even bordering on fanatical; however, without a proper nutrition plan, you’ll not only be compromising your results, but you may be hurting your body in the long run.
The fact is, while everyone needs a nutritious, properly balanced diet, when you’re bodybuilding, you have to take it a step further. A well-planned muscle building diet will ensure that you are feeding your body what it needs to reach your desired results.
DO EAT: Proteins and Fats
When you’re bodybuilding, one of the main things your body needs is protein and fat. You’re putting a high level of demand on your body each time you work out, and your body needs help to repair and build muscle.
Protein can be found in meat, eggs, nuts dairy and legumes; however, you’ll want to source much of your protein from chicken and fish which are high in protein but low in fat. It’s also good to occasionally incorporate red meat into your diet, as it provides the body with essential amino acids.
Fats are a little trickier, because it’s important to eat the right kinds. While you’ll definitely want to stay away from foods that are fried and greasy, your body will definitely benefit from plenty of Omega-3 fats, healthy oils, and naturally high-fat foods like avocados, nuts and nut butter.
DO EAT: Whole Grains and Sweet Potatoes
These are a great addition to your diet – particularly when you eat them a few hours before a heavy bodybuilding or fitness training session. Carbohydrates are the fuel that your body will burn as you work out, and you want something that will sustain you throughout your bodybuilding session.
Complex carbs like whole grains and sweet potatoes will burn slowly and provide a steady stream of energy throughout your workout.
DO EAT: Fresh Fruits and Vegetables
Of course, as in any diet, you should be eating plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables. Some fruits and veggies will actually contribute to building good lean muscle:
- Beets are a good source of betaine which increases muscle strength, as well as enhances liver and joint repair. Beets also provide an energy boost and help speed recover after a workout.
- Oranges also help to boost muscle growth, and will provide a boost of strength and enhance your endurance, making them a good pre-workout snack.
- Spinach is a great source of glutamine which promotes muscle growth and enhances strength and endurance.
- Apples contain specific polyphenols which not only increase muscle strength, but also prevent fatigue, allowing you to train longer and harder. Polyphenols are also great for fat burning, making apples another great pre-workout snack.
DON’T EAT: Fried and Refined Foods
This is just common sense for anyone. Refined sugars and starches provide a quick boost of energy that burns off quickly and leaves you feeling weak and listless. You may feel great for a short time, but you’ll soon crash – often in the middle of a tough bodybuilding session.
DON’T EAT: “Energy” Foods and Drinks
Despite the hype, so-called “energy” foods and drinks are a waste of money. They provide your body with a bunch of unnecessary sugars that will burn quickly and leave you weaker in the long run.