Nutrition in bodybuilding is a very important aspect, which is often ignored, especially by beginner bodybuilders. If you go to the gym just to maintain you fit or with no special goal, then what you eat and when you eat should not bother you at all. Instead, if all your training are geared toward adding muscle mass, then nutrition is an aspect that has to be considered very seriously.
It is not an exaggeration if we said that nutrition is even more important than training itself. Why so? Because to muscle mass will increase only due to positive energy balance. Overwise, you can work hard in the gym, but no results in muscle growth will be achieved.
This is impossible physiologically. You have to understand only balanced and protein-rich food, that provided your body with a sufficient amount of carbohydrates can give you an increase in muscle mass. Positive energy balance does not suppose that you can eat everything. It especially refers to fact that calories you eat should exceed the number of calories you burn.
Also, is indicated to avoid saturated fat, for example, meat. If you want to add muscle mass you have to include in your diet supplements too. They are especially important because are free of fat, and sugar. Instead, supplements contain a lot of protein, carbohydrates, and vitamins.
So, a diet for building muscle mass have to be rich in protein fats and carbohydrates. However, be wise and take care do not turn your diet for building muscle mass into adding only fat. It is te to know that adding muscle mass is always associated with adding a percentage of body fat too. Our body tends to do fat reserves in case of a rich diet. So, building muscle mass and losing weights meantime is not possible.
Your goal has to be to gain minimum fat while adding big amounts of muscle mass. The best correlation between the percentage of muscle mass and fat should be three to one. But this report deeply depends on specific of metabolism of each person. There are people with a super fast metabolism, able to add maximum muscle mass with minimum fat, while others with a slow metabolism get more fat than muscle mass after following a rich diet.
Despite it may seem quite easy, bodybuilders have to be very careful about what they eat before and after the workout. It may seem that the protein-rich diet is the only you have to follow, but it is not the case. Setting up a special diet before and after a workout is very important since around this period your body requires high quality, fast digesting food for fast recovery and effective muscle growth. If you are enough smart to take advantages of this window, you can maximize your strength and muscle mass gains from each workout.
Pre-workout Nutrition Plan
The first rule is to eat at least two hours before your workout. And we do not mean a very consistent food, but a medium food rich in protein and carbohydrates, and free of any type of fat. Less indicated are wheat products or sweets, while a portion of rice with chicken breast is an ideal choice. When it comes to what is the best food to eat before a workout you have to understand what you eat has not negatively affected your training.
All the food that you eat two hours before the workout has to be digested. This is the main reason why we eat namely two hours before the training, and not one hour or even half an hour. An exception to this rule is sports supplements, that are faster and more effectively digested by our bodies. Thus supplements can be taken even one hour before the training, as they fulfill blood with all useful amino acids.
And this is especially important because when exercising our body use those useful elements from blood, not from the stomach. Furthermore, the digestion process requires energy too, thus our body needs to pump blood not only to muscles but to stomach too and this lowered the efficiency of the workout.
Right before the workout, the stomach has to be free. Bear this in mind and never underestimate this aspect, as it directly affects your workout results. Another important detail of pre-workout routine is the intake of water. Only well-hydrated people feel great when exercises and get the most from their workouts.
Try to keep your water intake around half a liter of water during 1-2 hours before the workout. Avoid drinking water or juice when you eat or right after a meal, as these actions violate the secretion of gastric juice and thus interferes with the normal process of digestion. Ensure your fluid intake between meals.
If you want to build muscle mass, then you have to know that post-workout nutrition is even more important than what you eat before training. And this is not an exaggeration, as namely after training our body reach a high-level intensity and much faster absorb all necessary nutrients. And if your body doesn't receive all these nutrients, it begins to “eat” not only fat, but muscles mass as well.
The body needs the energy to recover, and it takes amino acids from anywhere just to recover faster. So, the gold rule of post-workout nutrition says always eat something right after the training. The best option would be a protein shake 15 minutes later the training end up. This is a very smart decision because it is very fast digested and gives our bodies with all necessary amino acids and carbohydrates.
Once you take your protein shake, then look further to have a full meal 30 minutes later. This is just a supplement and can not provide you with all the necessary supplements for a long time. The basis of your nutrition should be natural food, and this is the way it should be.
Since our main goal is to build muscle mass and we want to use food mainly for this purpose, you have to know that our bodies are most active for three hours after training. Namely in this interval, if the time you have to consume around 40% of daily food intake. All you eat after training will be used by your body for refuel and muscles repair.
Remember if you will not give your body what it needs, it will take itself, damaging your muscles. And this no bodybuilder wants! Water intake after the workout has the same importance as in before it. Try to drink the same amount of water, around 0,5 liters, after the workout for faster recovery. Increasing the water intake is a must if you sweat a lot when training or the water is hot or humid. During heavy sweating body loss big quantities of minerals and electrolytes.
That’s why consider adding to your post-workout fluid intake a sport drink rich in electrolytes. Is very important to have your meals on time. Never skip breakfast or other important meal of the day. Remember to eat regularly, since pre workout and post workout nutrition is more than what you eat before/after workouts.
Summarizing the above said, here is how a right pre and post workout nutrition plan should look like:
-Have a meal two hours before the workout. Avoid wheat products and sweets, and choose food rich in protein and carbohydrates. A portion of rice with chicken breasts is a very good idea.
-Water intake before a workout is very important too. Drink 0, 5 liters of water between meals during two hours before the workout.
-Right before the training your stomach has to be free. We need our body to rush blood only in muscles and do not lose energy for digesting food.
-During the workout, you can take some BCAA’s in order to help keep your body in an anabolic state.
-Fifteen minutes later after training drink a protein shake.
-Eat a solid protein and carbohydrate meal about an hour after your workout.
-Because of heavy sweating when training, drink enough water after the workout. Also, you can opt for a sports drink rich in minerals and electrolytes.
Despite it may seem quite simple, following the right diet before and after the workout can help you to get the maximum for your workout and build muscle mass fast. So, be wise, and take advantages of the right diet for big muscles!