The food you eat as a bodybuilder or weight training athlete can greatly affect your ability to perform in the sport. It is important that you learn how to balance your diet so that you get enough energy coupled with vitamins and minerals and that you are able to take in enough protein to build muscle. A balanced diet for a strength athlete therefore looks very different from a balanced diet for the average person.
Having a balanced diet means that you are get all the nutrients your body needs to stay healthy in your own lifestyle. So for a bodybuilder this means in increased amount of carbohydrates and proteins, since they need these fuels to successfully perform their activities. However a strength athlete cannot ignore the essential vitamins and minerals contained in fruit and vegetables. While fruit and green vegetables may not appear to add to the muscle building process they keep your system healthy and will allow you to go on weight lifting in the long term. Eating healthy today is planning ahead for tomorrow’s future and your ultimate success!
The basics of a muscle building diet will include the following:
Protein rich foods to encourage the growth of protein in the muscles. Your body uses the proteins in these foods to repair and grow the muscles after a workout. About 30 grams per serve is a good amount of protein and it is unlikely your body will be able to absorb and process more than this amount in a single serving. Protein shakes can also help and many people take these two to three times a day to boost protein intake.
Carbohydrates are a form of sustained energy. Your body has to work to break complex carbohydrates down before it can get the energy out of them, unlike simple sugars which are absorbed quickly into the bloodstream. While simple sugars may provide a quick pick me up, they can also have a nasty sharp down turn as the energy wears off quickly. Complex carbohydrates on the other hand provide long lasting energy and are just the sort of fuel bodybuilders need to consume in advance of a workout. By eating carbohydrates such as root vegetables, pasta or rice an hour or two before a workout muscle builders can produce long lasting energy which will help to carry them through a heavy weight lifting work out.
Vegetables and fruit are a good way of introducing plenty of vitamins, minerals and roughage to the mass building diet. These foods are a long-term solution to continuing good health in all sports people. In addition to this electrolyte drinks can help to replace lost electrolytes after a particularly grueling workout. If your workout schedule is very draining you might want to also try adding vitamin supplements, but don’t give up on the fresh fruit and vegetables!
Maintaining a healthy bodybuilding diet is more about good common sense than it is about scientific knowledge. Eat a variety of foods and try to avoid foods with saturated fat. Trim the fat off your meat, allow carbohydrates to provide you with the energy you need to workout and be diligent in eating vegetables and fruit. Your body will be stronger tomorrow if you eat healthier today!