For many people, the temptation to start building muscle could have them joining a gym or starting to exercise regularly without paying much attention to what they’re putting into their body. For someone who is already eating a healthy balanced diet and just wants to get a little bit fitter and healthier, this is perfectly fine. However, if you want to build some serious muscle then you’ll only get so far before you need to take stock of your diet and make some adjustments to suit.
Nutrition Counts When It Comes To Building Muscle – The Importance Of Protein
Nutrition is vitally important for building muscle! To even start building muscle successfully, you have to start doing the right type of training. Invariably this involves a certain amount of strength training. To be able to do this training successfully requires adequate nutrition.
Building muscle needs protein. You get protein by including it in your diet. Either by way of protein rich foods like meat, poultry, dairy, eggs, legumes and some seeds and nuts, which is the best way to get it. Or by taking protein supplements like whey, casein, hemp or soy. These supplements should never completely replace dietary protein but may be useful for supplying additional protein as required. Be aware though that some protein shakes can cause muscle and stomach cramps.
Your body breaks proteins down into their amino acid building blocks and uses these to repair the muscle tissue damage caused by strength training. It’s this constant repairing and rebuilding of muscle tissue that builds muscle bulk and strengthens muscle fibers. If you’re not supplying your muscles with enough protein, this repair and rebuilding process can’t happen properly. I’m sure you can visualize the results! So a diet tip for the beginning bodybuilder – increase your protein intake as you increase your strength training routine to keep up with this muscle repair process.
Carbohydrates – Essential Fuel For Muscle Building
Carbohydrates are the other critical component of a diet when it comes to the right nutrition to help build muscle. Carbs supply your body with fuel. If you don’t supply it with enough fuel then it will start using other things instead. Like proteins and even muscle tissue but more on that in a bit. Carbohydrates are metabolized by your body into glucose. This glucose enters the blood stream and is transported around the body to where it’s required for fuel. Like your muscle cells when you’re working out. If you run out of glucose, the body starts converting stored glucose ie glycogen, back into glucose to use.
By the time you finish your workout, you’ll have probably run your glycogen supplies right down. And that causes a problem because you have a number of other systems that need glucose to keep running! Your brain and your central nervous system for a start! You can’t function without those systems operating so your body will do everything it can to ensure they get enough glucose. Even if it means breaking down your muscles into amino acids and converting those into fuel to keep essential services running! Given that you’ve just gone to a considerable amount of effort to build this muscle, that’s the last thing you want happening.
Therefore, here is another diet tip for the beginning bodybuilder – when you’ve finished your workout make sure you give your body the ingredients it needs to keep supplying glucose to your brain and other systems. Before it has to find alternative fuel sources! That means eating something quickly like a piece of fruit, a glucose rich snack bar or some other form of carbohydrate that can be rapidly converted to glucose. You follow this up a short while later with more carbs and proteins to begin the muscle repairing and rebuilding process.
Below you’ll find more important advice and tips about the do’s and don’ts of building muscle, and about building muscles properly.