Nutrition has a huge impact on how successful you’ll become when building lean quality muscle. Nutrition is also responsible for your mood and overall performance. Not only do you need to fuel your muscles with the proper nutrition, your brain will benefit from it greatly to. There are so many guys trying to gain weight but the wrong way. Down below you will find the 3 basic macronutrients that make up whole food.
1. Protein. Protein is the foundation for the growth of tissue and muscle repair. Without it you can’t build muscle. Protein is essential for every bodybuilders dietary needs.
2. Carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are used for fuel and restores glycogen levels in muscle.
3..Fats. Fats are used to balance hormonal levels. Healthy fats increase testosterone levels as well.
What Your Diet Should Look Like
1. Protein should consist primarily of eggs, fish, chicken, red meat, turkey and whey.
2. Complex Carbohydrates would be foods like sweet potato, brown rice, oatmeal, cous cous, quinoa,
3. Fats would consist of nuts, olive oil, flaxseed oil, avocado, peanut butter, omega 3’s etc.
Building Muscle=Excess Calories.
You can not build muscle without being in a caloric surplus. Many guys think that they are consuming enough calories, but if you are not tracking it how will you really know how much you are consuming. When I mean a surplus in calories I don’t mean to just eat anything and everything you want. Eating a surplus of calories has to be planned out and strategic.
I see so many guys eating processed foods like bags of cookies candy bars, donuts and chips. They think that eating foods like that will help them gain weight, but what they don’t realize is that they are actually breaking their body down. Your body needs certain enzymes and co-enzymes to break down foods. If the foods you are eating do not have those things in them its going to pull it from some where. Where do you think it’s going to pull it from? It’s going to pull it from your bones and muscle. This is what we don’t want. You want to build muscle. It’s like the saying goes, “Garbage in Garbage Out.”
Here’s an example of how to gain quality muscle size. The example is for a 200lb male but the same principles apply to anyone. Its just a little simple math.
Body weight x 20 200lb male x 20=4000cal a day to build muscle.
50% from Carbs 30% from Protein 10% from Fat
Every gram of carb= 4 Cal Every gram protein= 4 Cal Every gram Fat=9 Cal
Here’s how to do the math:
1.) Carbs. You take the total amount of calories (4000) and multiply by .50 to get 2000 calories. Then there are 4 calories for every gram of carb. So you dived 2000 calories by 4 to get 500 grams of carbs. This is what a 200 pound man has to eat everyday to build muscle.
2. Protein. You take the total amount of calories (4000) and multiply by .30 to get 1200 calories. Then there are 4 calories for every gram of protein So you dived 1200 calories by 4 to get 300 grams of protein.
3. Fats. You take the total amount of calories (4000) and multiply by .20 to get 800calories. Then there are 9 calories for every gram of fat. So you dived 800 calories by 9 to get 88.8 grams of fats.
How Often Should You Eat?
If you want to gain weight and build muscle fast you have to eat every 2-3 hours a day totaling 6-7 meals. Now if you are working and busy or a college student on a budget this can be difficult to achieve. Some of those meals do not have to be full course meals. Some meals may only be a protein shake or nuts and so on. High calorie foods can be your best friend when you don’t have a whole lot of time. If you are on a budget buy foods in bulk, watch for sales like BOGO’s and shop with coupons.
Never Miss Breakfast
If you want to gain weight and build muscle fast never miss a meal especially breakfast. I’m sure you have heard of the saying, “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” When you sleep at night your body is in a fasted state for hours. When you wake up this is the time your body needs fuel for the day to got you going. It’s just like a car, you would not try to drive your car with no gas in it. The same goes for your body. Studies have also found that breakfast eaters tend to have healthier habits all around than people who skip breakfast. Just like it takes a certain amount of discipline to go and workout in a gym the same principle applies when getting up early to make a healthy breakfast. The bodybuilding lifestyle in itself is all about discipline and dedication. You want something bad enough you will do anything to achieve it so eat your breakfast.
In bodybuilding, the muscles contract during weightlifting produces metabolic heat. Since the body prefers to maintain a certain core temperature, this excess heat must be dissipated. Hence exercise is always accompanied by sweating.
The loss of water through sweating can lead to changes in plasma volume resulting in the impaired ability to evacuate heat, increases in body temperature and decreased cardiac output (Ritz et al. 2003) In terms of the workout, dehydration results in a decrease in aerobic power and physical work capacity (Sawka and Montain 2000).
When you become dehydrated, you are not able to lift as much and workout at the same intensity as you would have if you were not dehydrated. It’s estimated that a 2% reduction in body fluids can result in performance decreases of up to 15-20% (Kleiner 1999). To have the best workout you can possibly have, you need to stay hydrated.
I typically will carry around a gallon of water for my hydration needs. It’s easier to carry a gallon around because it’s a constant reminder of how much I have to drink. It’s hard to track when your drinking smaller bottles all day.
Is living the bodybuilding lifestyle a lot of work? Yes! Is it worth it if you stick to it? Yes! Nothing comes easy but if you are passionate about gaining weight and building muscle fast in the shortest amount of time, stick to these guidelines and you won’t regret it. Persistence pays off in the end and you will be glad you stuck to it. If you can discipline yourself with living the bodybuilding lifestyle then there is no reason why you can’t achieve anything else in life. The same dedication and determination in bodybuilding will overflow in other areas of your life.
Next week look for my next article where I will be talking about supplements. Are they important, do you need them. We will uncover the truth about the supplement industry and what you need or what is a waste of your money.