When it comes to any fitness goal regardless of what it is, diet is what will give you those results. About 70-80% of your results are because of your diet, with training coming next, and then supplements.
When it comes to bodybuilding, one word comes to mind and that is PROTEIN. Well, yes protein is very important, but so are carbs and fats. You have to take in enough to each so you have the energy for your workouts, and for recovery and growth. Here, I will provide a simple guideline for dieting like a bodybuilder.
Diet For Bodybuilding
Protein is one of the most important macro-nutrients for muscle growth and recovery. Your muscles are all made up of pure protein, so it makes sense that you should have to take in enough of it, right?
When trying to add muscle and have proper recovery, the simplest way to decide how much to have in your diet is to eat 1 gram per lb of bodyweight. For example if you weigh 160 lbs then try and consume 160g of protein a day. That is a good starting point, but everyone’s body is different so it is up to you to find out what works best for you.
Take in complete proteins like meat, powders, and egg whites. A complete protein is a protein made up of the correct amino acid ratios, and do not have to be combined with any other protein source to become a complete protein. Incomplete proteins are proteins that do not have the correct ratio of all 9 essential amino acids and must be combined with others source to make it a complete protein.
Whey protein is best taken directly after a workout, or first thing in the morning. Timing does not matter for other complete proteins.
Carbs are a very important macro-nutrient as they provide energy, and are used for glycogen storage (carb storage in muscle tissue). When you are training, carbs are being sent to muscle tissue and other tissues to be used for energy. Any leftover carbs that are not used for energy, get stored in your muscle tissue and kidneys, to be used for energy later on.
The type of carbs and when you eat those types can play a factor. For instance, a simple carb (sugar) is more beneficial after a workout to spike your insulin levels, and rice or oats would be better pre-workout for a more slow release of energy during the workout. Good complex carbs to eat are oatmeal, sweet potatoes, rice, fruit, and other starches.
A good starting point for carb intake is about 2.5-3 grams per pound of bodyweight.
Fats play a very important role in metabolism, as well as testosterone levels. Without enough fat, your energy levels might suffer, and testosterone levels might not be at an optimum level. Every athlete should eat at least o.5 grams per pound of bodyweight. Saturated fats should be kept low while other fats should be eaten.
Healthy fats include nuts, certain oils, peanut butter, avocados, and eggs. Too much fats can cause unhealthy cholesterol levels and undesired fat gain. Fats are typically higher, while carbs are lowered during a bodybuilders “cutting” phase.
So many myths and rumors about the supplement industry have been created over the years and have gave the supplement industry a bad name. Supplements are exactly what they sound like, when you are not getting enough of a certain nutrient, “supplementing” your body with those nutrients is a good way to keep your health in check.
You should get as much as nutrients as you can through your diet, only using supplements if needed. More popular supplements used in bodybuilding are Protein Powders, Multivitamins, Fish Oil, and BCAAs. Always check your diet to see what you are missing before purchasing any supplements, so you are not wasting your money, or giving yourself too much of a certain vitamin/nutrient.
Message To Remember
Getting big and ripped up isn’t just about getting your training on point. In fact it’s not even half of it. You need the perfect cocktail approach to real be able to see results. Most important is the food you eat and nutrients you take in, then comes your training and then added supplements. Get all three just right and you’ll be on your way to muscle-ville.