A muscle building diet must be based on your own personal needs. Some people manage to build muscle on 3-4 meals per day while others do it with 6 meals each day. Supplementation has also gained popularity with muscle gain. There is, however, a cautious approach to supplementation when it comes to the studies behind it. Before discussing supplements, we need to understand the basics of nutrition and strength gain.
What is strength gain?
In bodybuilding, strength is addressed from various perspectives. It should be the main concern with muscle building. Muscle is the result of strength increase. The more strength you will gain the more muscle your body will need to build to sustain the increased effort.
This being said, there are many ways in which we can address strength gain. A good option is to start weight training. The possible options and combination for strength training are endless. There are a few tips which may ensure you get the most out of your workouts.
Change the routines – variable routines will not allow your body to adapt and it will be forced to involve new moves and utilize new muscle groups with each program. For example, a functional training session which involves a push day (chest, triceps, and shoulders), a pull day (back, biceps and traps) and a legs day can be a good way of combining muscle groups for optimal strength gain, which mimics real-life movements.
Take enough resting time – muscles are built when you sleep. You need to ensure you get enough sleep each time to allow your body to recover. This should be more than the standard 7 hours, as it can go up to 9 hours for a good night`s rest.
Monitor strength – the best way to see if your strength is increasing is to note the maximum weight for each muscle group on each session. You can do this using an app or with a notebook. This way you will always be in control of your strength records.
Start the right muscle building diet for you
If you look for the right muscle building diet you will find hundreds or thousands of results and programs. The truth is the whole approach can be wrong. When you think about diet, you think about a meal plan which is temporary. This should not be the case with muscle building. You should structure your whole eating habits around the idea of fueling your muscles to enable strength gain. This is done over long periods of time which requires consistent effort and a meal plan which is sustainable and will not feel like a burden.
Most popular beliefs tend to associate high amounts of protein with quick muscle building. But in fact, many new studies show us that protein intake is capped at a maximum level for each person every day. This maximum level ranges from 50 to 100 grams per day. This level can easily be achieved while balancing the right foods.
Eat the right protein
Protein itself is composed of amino acids. These are used to build new muscle tissue. It has to be said that not all protein was created equal. If you want to build muscle and limit body fat you need to eat clean protein sources. Here are some tips to help you achieve this:
Source good proteins – if you eat meat you should look for the healthiest sources available in your area. You should be avoiding cheaper meats which could be filled with growth hormones. Instead, you should look for smaller quantities of meat which are high in quality.
This can include beef, chicken, pork and fish. You should also include some quality eggs into your diet as they represent the complete source of protein which is widely available. What other types of protein should you avoid? Any processed sources of protein would raise a major flag on its ability to be properly digested by the body. This includes hamburgers, pre-made lasagnas, meat-pies, frozen kebabs etc. You should always try to look for fresh sources of meat which are clean and you can even use a scale to establish how much protein you eat each day, at least at the beginning of your program.
Include other sources of protein – multiple protein sources should never be excluded from a solid diet. Greek yogurt is high in protein. Cheese and even some nuts are high in protein. You can easily get the right nutrients by changing your breakfast. You can include nuts into your Greek yogurt oats and get a healthy breakfast which is rich in protein and fibers.
Include healthy carbs
Carbohydrates are the quickest energy source which is good for the body. You can include simple or complex carbohydrates into your weekly muscle building diet plan.
Oats – a very good source of fiber which is low in fat and quickly digestible. Oats should be part of any muscle building plan.
Potatoes – regular or sweet potatoes digest very quickly. They are a good energy source and provide the body enough fuel to sustain the increased activities you will be performing with a strength-gain plan.
Rice – you should include all types of rice into your diet. One quick method of making a rice-based meal is to combine it with a protein source like chicken, soy or quinoa and add some fresh vegetables like broccoli, carrots, tomatoes, onions etc. Rice is a very versatile carbohydrate source and you should take full advantage of its nutritious value.
Don`t avoid vegetables
Vegetables play a vital role in muscle building as they come packed with fiber, vitamins, and minerals. You should always strive to eat a varied range of vegetables. Green vegetables are recommended by most dieticians include: broccoli, asparagus, beans, soy, peas etc. You should not avoid eating vegetables if you want a balanced approach to muscle building.
Choose the right Supplements
Supplements have been made the object of many studies. However, they should not replace actual meals. You could use a high-quality protein supplement together with a creatine supplement, which has been vastly researched.
A good multivitamin could also be recommended to sustain the intense efforts with a muscle building program. Make sure you check the concentration levels of the vitamins as some of them will not be used by the body as you might already have them on a balanced approach to nutrition.
You should also avoid any other kind of anabolic supplementation. Steroids are made to enhance testosterone levels. But the side effects of steroid use are still studied but include liver damage, increased blood pressure, acne or sexual promiscuity.
When you decide you want to start a muscle building diet you need to take a balanced approach to nutrition. You should include various sources of protein, carbohydrates and fibers. You can also supplement the diet with vitamins, proteins or creatine. But never go above the recommended intake so make sure you read the instructions carefully. Regardless on which diet or food plan you choose for muscle building, you should be avoiding unhealthy options like fast food, fizzy drinks, juices, sweets and other processed sugar products. The ability to balance the right combination of foods with a varied weight training program and enough rest will lead to muscle growth.