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Should A Growing Teen Pay Attention To Nutrient Timing Or Just Eat?



           When it comes to teens, nutrition becomes a very essential thing of their life. This is because it is during these times that they are experiencing a lot of changes especially physically but also mentally and functionally. During Nutrient Timing that most people engage in sporting activities. Therefore, when looking into the aspect of nutrition for the teens, it is also important to consider whether such a teen actively involves in sporting or may working activities or not.

What is nutrient timing?

           What now is nutrient timing? Nutrient timing involves having specified times of taking foods so that you end up with certain body properties that you need. Nutrient timing therefore seems a strategic way of getting certain outcomes for the teens. The question therefore remains, is it necessary? Considering teens in sporting activities as well as bodybuilding, nutrient timing seems to be a great idea since its sole purpose includes:

Evolution of Nutrient Timing

           Nutrient timing has been around for a while. For almost 50 years, Nutrient timing has formed a very crucial part of bodybuilders and several researchers have done serious work to find its many benefits. The benefits are not well brought out mainly of some few limitations. These include:

  • The use of short-term blood makers meaning that the long time benefits are left out.
  • The use of ultra-endurance athletes during the study.

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The Concept of Anabolic Window

          Something very controversial about nutrient timing is the anabolic window. It is sometimes referred to as the window of opportunity and is a period of about 30 minutes after workouts during which it is assumed that the body can absorb nutrients perfectly. This is a concept that is still debatable, with some people arguing that it a fact while still others believe that it is a myth.

How Does the Concept Seem To Work?

            The theory of anabolic window assumes to work based on two important aspects.

 1. Carb Replenishment Principle

        This aspect is supported by abundant research, with carbs especially glycogen being replenished within about 30 minutes to an hour. This is usually after workouts and hence the need for immediate replenishment. This of course serves to increase performance and recovery.

          However, there seems to be a problem. Despite the fact that the concept is well in line with the theory, this will only imply that timing is only going to be of essence if you have a teen who is dedicated to training several times a day. It therefore becomes irrelevant to people who train once are not into training at all.

         Another thing that seems not in line is the finding that training will be even better with lower amounts of glycogen in the muscles. This largely applies to teens who are actively involved in fat burning and fitness programs. Immediate replenishment has in fact been shown to reduce the benefits that should be coming out of the respective programs. It is therefore important to note that this aspect does not necessarily apply to most people making the theory of anabolic window almost a myth.

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 2. Protein Intake Principle

         The protein intake principle works on the basis of using proteins to stimulate the synthesis of proteins in the muscles. Protein synthesis in the muscles is very crucial because it facilitates their growth and also aids in recovery. However, is it necessary that one replenish the proteins right after working out? Well, research has spelt out clearly that it is not necessary and that what is important is actually the total daily protein intake. By taking high quality proteins during each meal, the concept of anabolic window becomes useless and more or less a waste of time and energy.

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The Concept of Pre-Workout Window

       Another very important concept that is important in nutrition timing and which therefore also determines whether teens should pay attention to nutrition timing or not is the concept of the pre-workout window. Unlike the anabolic window, this concept to some extend tends to agree more with researchers and experts in the field. This is because keeping the correct time for the pre-workout has been shown to greatly aid performance. This is to mean that there is a timing for teens who wish to burn the fat in their body and there is timing for the teens who wish to enhance their performance in such things as sports.

          Carbs are very essential in this window. They provide the energy you need and therefore should never be skipped. A common mistake that people make is eating immediately before the actual workout. This ensures that there is minimal competition between the stomach and the muscles and therefore lets the muscles concentrate on the performance. An allowance of 1 to about 4 hours will generally be perfect.

          Another thing to include to your pre-workout nutrition will be sufficient water. This is very essential and drinking about 430 ml of water before a workout will most likely boost the performance.

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         It is advised that vitamins should not be taken during this phase. This is because of their negative influence on performance and serving to minimize the benefits of the workout. Thus, in as much nutrition timing as a whole is more of a false myth, some concepts like this pre-workout window is important. The main benefits of adhering to this include:

  • Help maximize the performance of the teen.
  • Improve the body structure and composition.
  • Fat loss acceleration.

Relationship between Nutrient Timing and Breakfast

        So what should your teen eat for breakfast or should he or she even it at all? It is a very debatable concept with some expert advising that it may not be necessary to even eat breakfast while others advising certain types of meals with specific nutrients. For those who recommend breakfast, they argue that it should contain very low amounts of carb and high amounts of fat. Such a breakfast will of course help raise the energy levels, maintain higher mental function and accelerate fat burning from the body.


         There is no enough evidence to support this though and everything is currently in grey areas. Anything is possible and some even propose that proteins during this time will be great. Therefore, for teens as well as any other person who is looking into the issue of nutrition timing, breakfast timings are not well researched. Ones preferences and also what one wants to achieve should be the driver.

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Relationship between Nutrient Timing and Night

          Almost every concept for nutrient timing seems to be a false myth and this one seems to be yet another one. It is generally believed that reducing carbohydrates at night will definitely lead to weight loss. It is a false myth that has been spread across the globe to the extent that people are actually into it. In truth however, when you reduce the carbs, the calories are also going to be reduced. The calorie-deficit that is the result of this will ensure that there is weight loss. It is therefore not a matter of timing but a matter of reduction of one thing, which then affects another.

          Reducing carbs at night might in fact be the opposite of what is expected. This is because some experts have proved that carbs at night might help improve sleep quality. For teens therefore, nutrient timing at nigh seems to be out of question and not a suggestion at all.

Nutrient Timing Vs. Just Eating

        Despite the fact that nutrient timing has been around for several decades now, more and more research is slowly disapproving it and making it obsolete. What remains is for the teens therefore is simply eating without the stress that comes along with nutrient timing. However, there must be order behind just eating as we are going to see next.

Teen athletes

          When talking about nutrition and teens, it is important to consider this concept of physical activity. This is because teens who are physically active have unique nutrient requirements, which we will consider here.

Teen Nutrition Composition

       For teenagers, their food should contain certain components that help sustain them through this period. They should be able to get the right balanced nutrients with more calories and most basic nutrients such as proteins.

           A teen’s diet should comprise more or less of the following:

  • Fruits and vegetables that contributes to about 2000 calories every day.
  • Calcium about 1300 mg per day. The calcium should be fat-free or with less fat. The common sources milk and yogurt.
  • Proteins which are much needed to help build muscles and as well as other rapidly growing muscles. Popular sources of proteins include lean meat and poultry.
  • Foods, which are rich in iron. Iron is essential in both girls and boys but will be particularly useful in girls who lose a lot of blood through menstruation.
  • Whole grains. Whole grains are very good sources of the much needed energy during the teen phase of life among other important roles.
  • For teenagers, fat should be limited as much as possible. Fat of about 2 to about 30 percent of the total calories will be a good amount for the teens.

Vitamins and Minerals

         Vitamins and minerals should be part and parcel for teen nutritional diet. There are several vitamins and minerals all of which serve different functions in the body. Calcium and iron are particularly important for those teens who are physically active because they bring about strong bones as well as sufficient supply of blood to the muscles respectively. Iron is abundant in many types of foods such as the fish and most green leafy vegetables and many more others. Calcium on the other hand is rich in such foods as milk and milk products.

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        Many vitamins are also very important and can easily be acquired from different types of foods especially fruits and vegetables. Having a balanced diet is sure to give the best result in terms of getting the required vitamins as well as mineral salts.


           Of course, when one thinks about energy sources, the first thing that comes to mind is carbohydrates. This have been proved beyond doubt to be a very nice source of energy and are therefore a very crucial part of teen nutrition. Teens should never think of cutting back on carbs and especially when they are active in sports, it may cost them a lot in terms of performance.


         A good thing about this carbs is that they are readily available in most foods and hence there deficiency is rare. Sources include fruits, vegetables and whole grains. However, there is some selectivity when it comes to eating the carbohydrates. For instance, processed grains are not generally recommended while whole grains such as brown rice are more appropriate in the sense that they provide extra nutrients that may not be in processed grains. Also, carbohydrates that have a lot of sugar should be avoided as much as possible. Such carbs when taken especially before the game tend to gives people a quick burst of energy within a short time and then leave them without anything shortly afterwards.


            For proteins, it will depend on whether the teen is physically active or not. Physically active teens will definitely need more proteins as compared to their less active peers. Proteins are easily acquired from the common foods that teens eat now and then every day. While it is generally assumed that eating lots of proteins leads to gain of large quantities of muscles, it is not very true and such muscles can only be acquired from training and abundant working out. In fact, those teens who take large quantities of proteins in the name of gaining large and strong muscles end up with some side effects that include

  • Occurrence of dehydration.
  • Loss of considerable amounts of calcium from the body.
  • Occurrence of kidney abnormalities.

Protein sources include fish, lean meat and peanut butter.


          Should teens take fats or burn them? Well, technically speaking, excess fats are not recommended. However, a little fat is very necessary and teens should purpose on having them in their diet. Fats are important for long lasting energy. Carbs get used up fast and therefore fats come in a little while later after the carbs are done.

           Fats also differ in types and teens are advised to take certain types and avoid other types. The main types are unsaturated and saturated fats. Unsaturated fats are considered healthier for teens and can be found in such foods like vegetable oils and some types of fish. The unsaturated fats can further be grouped into trans and cis fats. Again, cis fats are the best for teens as well as any other person. Some of these fats are particularly abundant in meat and other high fat dairy products.

             For fats, timing can be of essence. It is not good for example to consume fats a short time before and after exercise for physically active teens. This is based on the fact that fats tend to make digestion slow.

Are supplements essential for teens?

           For supplements, it is really good if teens know the consequences that using certain supplements will bring. There are certain supplements that can be used without actually doing any harm while there are others that come with extreme negative effects.

  • Anabolic steroids

          Anabolic steroids are among the most commonly abused supplements nowadays especially for teens in sports as well as bodybuilders. For teens, these should be supplements that they should try as much as possible shun. This is because most anabolic steroids are derivatives of hormones or hormones and will definitely have adverse side effects.


       Anything that interrupts with the normal hormonal composition will also interfere with the normal functioning of the body. Common side effects of using anabolic steroids include:

  • Male pattern of hair loss on the forehead.
  • Shrinkage of the testicles.
  • Growth of facial hair in girls.
  • Depression and mood swings.

Salt tablets

          Salt tablets are common supplements to reduce dehydration. However, the belief seems to be a false one since salt tablets demonstrate to actually be the reason behind dehydration in teens and people who use them. The salts also, especially when taken in large quantities tend to have side effects such as:

  • Causing nausea and vomiting.
  • Brings about painful cramps.
  • Causes diarrhea.
  • Damage to the stomach mucosa.

Proteins and energy bars

         There are some supplements in form of proteins and energy bars. These are some of the supplements which are not 100% important and at the same time not 100% useless. They have not been implicated in doing lots of harm to the body and therefore can safely be used occasionally.

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Dehydration and teen Nutrient Timing

          Water is also another very important composition of teen nutrition that is very essential. Teens should always ensure that they avoid dehydration as much as possible. This is especially when it comes to teens involved in sporting activities. A lot of water is lost during exercises and this might be a great contributor to dehydration. Dehydration is related to such conditions as the feeling of overheated and some form of headaches. Teens in hot and humid conditions are likely to get dehydrated.

           Dehydration will definitely lead to reduced performance and that is why people not only teens should strive to remain as dehydrated as much as possible. Different people require different amounts of water daily. This will depend largely on the size of the person, their age, how much they are involved in physical activities as well as the surrounding environmental conditions.

         Highly physically active teems should at least drink water just before and after exercise as well as during the exercise every about 15 minutes. It is not necessary that one feel thirst before drinking water. Thirst in fact simply implies that you begin dehydrate a long time ago. At the same time, it is not necessary that you force yourself to drink water.

          Some sports provide specific nutrient added water. The water is usually important in case of long periods of training but water is no different either. Carbonated water and drinks are not preferred during the exercises due to their probability to cause stomachache. Also don't drink energy drinks. In fact, avoid the energy drinks at all costs because they have caffeine as well as other components, which have the stimulant effect of caffeine.

Caffeine and Physically Active Teens

             Teens who are in sports sometimes are tempted to use supplements with caffeine such as the energy drinks that we have talked about above. Caffeine has many effects in the body but importantly here is that it is a diuretic. Diuretics are substances that basically cause formation of more urine by the kidneys. It might be one of the causes of dehydration but the concept needs more research. Due to its diuretic effects, it cause an increase in the heart rate as well as leading to hypertension. It also leads to reduced quality of sleep and also having an effect of making someone abnormally anxious. The effects when combined will lead to a reduction in performance.

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           Despite the fact that some experts have found small benefits of caffeine especially in those endurance sports, it is best to keep away from it. Its benefits seem to be way below the side effects.


           Teen nutrition can be very confusing. While there are times when nutrient timing is good, sometimes just eating will be a really good option. Nutrient timing has come a long way and while it is being seen as a false myth, there are some concepts that actually hold true and should be good for teenagers and there complicated nutritional needs. During teenage time is also a time when most people involves in sporting activity. They need to eat certain foods and avoid certain supplements. Weighing the two concepts, it is just good that teens just eat instead of chaining themselves with a theory that lacks full scientific evidence.



Calorie Dumping: A Bodybuilder’s Guide




"Calorie dumping" in bodybuilding refers to a strategy where an individual consumes a large number of calories in a single meal, often following a period of low-calorie intake.

This practice is believed to support muscle growth by providing a surplus of energy and nutrients.

The idea is that after a period of restricted calorie intake, the body becomes more efficient at utilizing nutrients, making it more receptive to absorbing and utilizing the surplus calories in a short period.

However, this approach may not suit everyone and should be approached cautiously as it can lead to discomfort and potential digestive issues.

Calorie dumping, also known as refeeding or cycling calories, is sometimes preferred by bodybuilders to help prevent metabolic adaptation and aid in breaking through plateaus.

By occasionally consuming higher calorie levels, they aim to boost metabolism, replenish glycogen stores, and maintain hormone balance for better muscle growth and fat loss in the long term.

Bodybuilders focus on controlled nutrition plans to optimize muscle growth and minimize fat gain. However, occasionally, you might increase the calorie intake temporarily before an intense workout or competition to boost energy levels, but this isn't considered calorie dumping in the traditional sense.

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Long-term and Short-term Benefits of Calorie Dumping

Short-term benefits include replenishing glycogen stores, boosting metabolism, and providing mental relief from a strict diet.

Also known as a "refeed" or "cheat day," bodybuilders do calorie dumping for several long-term reasons:

Best Foods for Calorie Dumping

Foods that are high in protein and low in fat can be great for bodybuilders for calorie dumping. Chicken breast, turkey, fish, tofu, egg whites, and low-fat dairy are good options.

Vegetables like broccoli, spinach, and peppers can also be helpful due to their low calorie content and high nutritional value.

There are some foods that can be great for calorie dumping for bodybuilders:

  1. Chicken Breast: High in protein, low in fat, and versatile in cooking methods.
  2. Turkey: Lean protein source aiding muscle building and repair.
  3. Fish (Salmon, Tuna): Rich in omega-3 fatty acids and high-quality protein.
  4. Egg Whites: Low in calories, high in protein, and versatile for various dishes.
  5. Tofu: Plant-based protein source with minimal fat content.
  6. Low-Fat Dairy (Greek Yogurt, Cottage Cheese): High protein, low-fat options aiding muscle recovery.
  7. Broccoli: Low in calories, high in fiber, and rich in vitamins and minerals.
  8. Spinach: Nutrient-dense green, packed with iron, vitamins, and antioxidants.
  9. Bell Peppers: Low-calorie vegetable loaded with vitamin C and other antioxidants.
  10. Quinoa: High-protein grain alternative with a good balance of essential amino acids.

These foods offer a mix of high-quality protein, essential nutrients, and are relatively low in calories, making them ideal for bodybuilders looking to manage their calorie intake while supporting muscle growth and recovery.

However, managing calorie intake and expenditure is crucial. For bodybuilders aiming to manipulate their body composition, a structured routine combining resistance training, cardiovascular exercise, and a controlled diet is essential.

Tailoring calorie intake to support muscle growth while maintaining a caloric deficit (if aiming for fat loss) or surplus (for muscle gain) is key. Consulting a nutritionist or a fitness professional can help create a personalized plan aligned with specific fitness goals.

Calorie Dumping At Night or Daytime?

When Is Calorie Dumping Considered Inappropriate?

One should avoid calorie dumping when they are in a bulking phase aiming to gain muscle mass. During this phase, consistent calorie intake is crucial to support muscle growth.

Calorie dumping, or suddenly dropping caloric intake too low, can hinder muscle development and potentially lead to a loss of muscle mass.

Calorie Dumping VS. Calorie Cycling

Bodybuilders often use "calorie cycling" instead of calorie dumping. It is a strategy that involves varying your calorie intake throughout the week, alternating between high, moderate, and low-calorie days.

The technique is used to support muscle growth while managing body fat. It helps prevent metabolic adaptation, keeps the body from plateauing, and can aid in maintaining a higher metabolic rate. By manipulating calorie intake strategically, it's possible to optimize muscle retention during fat loss phases and support overall performance.

Calorie Dumping VS Reverse Dieting

Another method is "reverse dieting," gradually increasing calorie intake after a certain period. Focus on nutrient-dense foods, proper macronutrient distribution, and mindful eating to support performance and muscle growth without resorting to calorie dumping.

The goal is to minimize fat gain while boosting metabolism and restoring hormone levels.

It involves incrementally adding calories back into your diet over time, typically in small increments each week, to allow the body to adapt to higher food intake without excessive weight gain.

This approach helps prevent rapid weight regain, supports metabolic health, and can aid in maintaining a healthier balance in the body post-competition or intense dieting phases.

More Ways to Increase Calories Intake

As a bodybuilder, you need to know when it's necessary to up your calories intake.

Those aiming to increase calorie intake should employ strategies like consuming calorie-dense foods (nuts, nut butter, avocados), incorporating more frequent meals, adding healthy fats, opting for larger portions of protein and carbohydrates, utilizing protein shakes or weight gainers, and being mindful of nutrient timing to fuel workouts efficiently.

Tracking intake and gradually increasing calories is key to controlled growth and energy provision for intense workouts.


Bodybuilders should be aware that this phenomenon can occur after a period of reduced calorie intake, causing a temporary decrease in weight that may be mistaken for significant fat loss.

It's important to differentiate between actual fat loss and transient changes to avoid discouragement or misinterpretation of progress. Staying consistent with a well-balanced diet, adequate hydration, and sustainable training is crucial for long-term success in bodybuilding.

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Chia Seeds in A Bodybuilder’s Diet: An Expert’s Advice




Chia seeds are a nutrient-dense food, offering protein, fiber, healthy fats, and various vitamins and minerals. While they're not a direct source of muscle-building protein like meat or eggs, they can complement a balanced diet by providing essential nutrients important for overall health, which indirectly supports muscle development when combined with a proper exercise routine. However, solely relying on chia seeds for building muscle mass might not be sufficient—you'd likely need a variety of protein sources along with a consistent workout regimen for optimal muscle growth.

The seeds have a fascinating history. They were a staple in the diets of the Aztecs and Mayans, who valued them for their energy-boosting properties. "Chia" even means "strength" in Mayan. They were used by ancient warriors as a source of sustainable energy. These tiny seeds gained modern popularity due to their nutritional value, high fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, and versatility in various dishes.

Growing Popularity

Chia seeds are popular among bodybuilders due to their high protein and omega-3 fatty acid content. They provide a good source of nutrients, help in muscle repair, and offer sustained energy throughout workouts. Additionally, their high fiber content can aid in digestion and help manage hunger, which can be beneficial for those trying to maintain a specific diet while building muscle.

Where to Buy Chia Seeds for Your Bodybuilding Diet

These are commonly available in various grocery stores, health food stores, and even online marketplaces like Amazon or specialty health websites. You can check your local supermarkets, health food stores, or browse online to purchase chia seeds for your bodybuilding diet. Many health-focused stores offer bulk options, which can be more cost-effective if you plan to use them regularly in your diet.

You can also try purchasing the seeds from popular online retailers like Walmart, or health food stores such as Whole Foods Market, Thrive Market, or Vitacost. There are also specialty health stores like iHerb or The Vitamin Shoppe that carry chia seeds.

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These magical seeds can be quite versatile in the kitchen! Here are a few methods you can try:

After cooking it, you can serve them in various ways. You might consider adding them to yogurt, smoothies, oatmeal, or salads for an added nutritional boost. You can also use them in baking as an egg substitute or make a chia pudding by mixing them with your choice of liquid (like almond milk) and allowing them to gel.

What A bodybuilder Gets From the Magical Seeds

Rich in Protein

Chia seeds are a great source of plant-based protein, containing roughly 4.7 grams of protein per ounce. For bodybuilders, their protein content is beneficial for muscle repair and growth.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

They are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, particularly alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). These healthy fats support heart health, reduce inflammation, and aid in muscle recovery, all beneficial for bodybuilders. The omega-3s in chia seeds can also help maintain joint health, enhance stamina, and assist in managing weight. Integrating chia seeds into a balanced diet can contribute to overall well-being and support a bodybuilder's goals.

Fiber Content

They contain a high amount of soluble and insoluble fiber, with about 10 grams of fiber in a 1-ounce (28-gram) serving.

Helps with digestion and promotes a feeling of fullness, aiding in weight management.


The seeds contain antioxidants like flavonoids and phenolic compounds that help combat oxidative stress in the body, potentially reducing the risk of chronic diseases. These antioxidants can help protect cells from damage caused by free radicals. Including chia seeds in your diet can contribute to overall health and well-being due to their antioxidant properties. Fight off free radicals that can damage cells post-workout with these magical seeds.


They contain calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, and manganese, contributing to bone health, energy metabolism, and antioxidant activity. These minerals support various bodily functions, from maintaining strong bones to aiding muscle function and energy production.


When soaked, they form a gel that retains water, aiding in maintaining hydration during workouts.

What Are The Disadvantages of Overconsuming Chia Seeds

Chia seeds can be beneficial for bodybuilders due to their nutrient content, but overconsumption might cause gastrointestinal issues or interfere with hydration.

They're high in fiber, so eating too many could cause digestive problems like bloating or diarrhea. Plus, their omega-3 fatty acids might interact with certain medications or cause allergic reactions in some people. Moderation is key!


In summary, Chia seeds are a powerhouse for bodybuilders! They offer a high protein content, essential for muscle repair and growth. Additionally, they're packed with omega-3 fatty acids for reducing inflammation and providing sustained energy during workouts. Their fiber content aids in digestion and helps maintain a steady release of energy. Plus, their versatility allows for easy incorporation into shakes, smoothies, or as a topping for meals, making them a convenient addition to a bodybuilder's diet.

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Everything Nutritional Food: What’s Too Much Or Too Little




When it comes to bodybuilding, overeating can result in consuming too many calories and potentially gaining weight, which may not be ideal for muscle building. Therefore, it is crucial to maintain a balanced and personalized nutrition plan that aligns with your specific goals. By that we're talking about nutritional food every bodybuilder must stick to.

Consuming more calories than your body needs for muscle growth can lead to fat gain. Similarly, not eating enough food can hinder muscle development. It's crucial to calculate your calorie and macronutrient needs based on your goals and activity level and consult with a fitness or nutrition professional for personalised guidance.

How to Measure Calories to Ensure Nutritional Food as a Bodybuilder

As a bodybuilder, accurately measuring calorie intake is crucial for your nutrition plan. Here are some steps to help you count calories in your food:

Use a Food Scale

Invest in a digital kitchen scale to weigh your food. This allows you to measure portions accurately.

Read Nutrition Labels

Many packaged foods have nutrition labels that provide calorie information per serving. Pay attention to serving sizes and servings per container.

Use Calorie Tracking Apps

Many smartphone apps like MyFitnessPal and Cronometer make it easy to track your calorie intake. You can search for the foods you're eating and specify the portion size, and the app will calculate the calories.

Reference Online Databases

If you can't find a nutrition label, you can often find calorie information for various foods in online databases and reference books.

Learn to Estimate

Over time, you'll better estimate portion sizes and calorie content. This skill is valuable when you can't weigh or measure every meal.

Consider Macronutrients

While tracking calories, don't forget to pay attention to your macronutrient intake (proteins, carbs, fats). These are also crucial for bodybuilders.

Be Consistent

It's essential to be consistent in tracking. Measure and record your food every day to get a better understanding of your calorie intake.

Adjust for Cooking

Remember that cooking can change food weight (due to water loss). Weigh food before cooking for more accurate calorie tracking.

Consult a Nutritionist

If you're unsure about your calorie needs or struggle with tracking, consider consulting a registered dietitian or nutritionist who can help you create a personalised nutrition plan.

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Measuring and tracking calories accurately is an essential part of bodybuilding, as it helps you control your intake and adjust your diet to meet your specific goals.

Nutritional Food You Must Include In Your Diet

To effectively build muscle mass, it's essential to maintain a balanced diet consisting of nutrient-rich foods. Here are some foods that are best for building muscle:

1. Lean Proteins

Protein is essential for muscle growth. Opt for lean sources like chicken, turkey, fish, lean beef, tofu, tempeh, eggs, and low-fat dairy products. Plant-based sources like beans, lentils, and quinoa are also excellent options.

2. Complex Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates provide energy for workouts and recovery. Choose complex carbs like whole grains (brown rice, quinoa, oats), sweet potatoes, and whole-wheat pasta.

3. Healthy Fats

Good fats are essential for overall health. Include sources like avocados, nuts, seeds, and olive oil.

4. Dairy or Dairy Alternatives

Dairy products and dairy alternatives like almond milk or soy milk can provide additional protein and calcium.

5. Fruits and Vegetables

These are rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, which support overall health and recovery.

6. Nuts and Seeds

Almonds, walnuts, chia seeds, and flaxseeds are excellent sources of healthy fats and protein.

7. Greek Yogurt

It's high in protein and can be a good snack or breakfast option.

8. Salmon

Rich in omega-3 fatty acids and high-quality protein, salmon can support muscle growth and overall health.

9. Quinoa

A complete protein source and a great alternative to rice or pasta.

10. Beans and Lentils

These are excellent sources of plant-based protein and fibre.

11. Whey Protein

A convenient way to supplement your protein intake, especially post-workout.

12. Eggs

Eggs are a highly bioavailable source of protein and contain essential amino acids.

13. Lean Beef

It provides high-quality protein, iron, and essential nutrients.

14. Chicken or Turkey Breast

Lean poultry is a staple for many bodybuilders due to its protein content and low-fat

15. Tofu and Tempeh

Good plant-based protein sources, especially for vegetarians and vegans.

16. Cottage Cheese

It's high in protein and low in fat, making it a great addition to your diet.

A well-balanced diet is vital. Ensure you consume enough calories to support muscle growth and consider your macronutrient balance. Staying hydrated is also essential. You might need to adjust your calorie and protein intake based on your goals, activity level, and body size, so it's a good idea to consult a nutritionist or dietitian for a personalised plan.

Should Bodybuilders Avoid Some Not-So- Nutritional Food Altogether?

While there are no foods that bodybuilders must avoid, some foods are less ideal due to their potential negative impact on health and fitness goals. These include:

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Processed Foods

Highly processed foods are often high in empty calories, added sugars, unhealthy fats, and low in nutrients. They can contribute to weight gain and hinder muscle-building efforts.

Sugary Snacks and Beverages

Foods and drinks with excessive added sugars can lead to energy spikes and crashes, as well as weight gain. They offer little nutritional value.

Trans Fats

Foods containing trans fats, such as many fast-food items and some packaged baked goods, are linked to heart disease and should be limited

Sugary Cereals

Many breakfast cereals contain added sugars and lack essential nutrients. Opt for whole-grain, low-sugar options instead.


Excessive alcohol consumption can impair muscle recovery and protein synthesis. It can also contribute to dehydration and poor dietary choices.

 Excessive Fast Food

While an occasional indulgence is acceptable, relying on fast food for a significant portion of your diet can lead to poor nutrition and hinder muscle gains.

Highly Caffeinated or Sugary Energy Drinks

These may provide a temporary energy boost, but the sugar and caffeine content can harm health and lead to crashes.

Fried Foods

Fried foods often contain unhealthy fats and calories. While occasional consumption is acceptable, they shouldn't be a regular part of your diet.

Excessive Saturated Fats

Limit foods high in saturated fats, like fatty cuts of red meat and full-fat dairy products. While some saturated fats are okay, too much can harm heart health.

Excessive Salt

High-sodium foods can lead to water retention and may negatively affect blood pressure. Limit processed foods and opt for fresh, whole foods.

It's essential to maintain balance and moderation in your diet. Occasional indulgences are OK, but your primary focus should be on nutrient-dense, whole foods that support your muscle-building and overall health goals. Consulting with a nutritionist or dietitian can help you create a personalised diet plan that aligns with your objectives.

Sea Food to Consider for Gains

Seafood is a healthy and delicious choice, rich in protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and various essential nutrients. Here are some healthy seafood options and basic preparation methods:


    • Grilled: Season with herbs, spices, and a bit of olive oil, then grill until it flakes easily.
    • Baked: Marinate with lemon, herbs, and olive oil, then bake in the oven.
    • Pan-Seared: Sear in a hot skillet with a little oil, skin side down, until crispy, then finish in the oven.
  • Tuna:

    • Sushi/Sashimi: Serve raw as sashimi or in sushi rolls.
    • Grilled or Broiled: Season with soy sauce, ginger, and garlic, then grill or broil until desired doneness.
  • Shrimp:

    • Shrimp Scampi: Sauté in garlic, butter, and white wine.
    • Grilled: Thread onto skewers and grill with marinade or spices.
  • Cod:

    • Baked: Coat with breadcrumbs and herbs, then bake until it flakes easily.
    • Poached: Simmer in seasoned broth or white wine until opaque.
  • Mackerel:

    • Pan-Fried: Coat with a light breading, then pan-fry until crispy.
    • Smoked: Serve smoked mackerel with crackers and cream cheese.
  • Sardines:

    • Canned: Eat canned sardines with olive oil, lemon, and crackers or on top of a salad.
    • Grilled: Season and grill sardines with olive oil until they're crisp and fragrant.
  • Trout:

    • Stuffed: Stuff with herbs, lemon, and garlic, then bake or grill.
    • Almondine: Sauté with butter, lemon juice, and toasted almonds.
  • Haddock:

    • Baked: Season with herbs and breadcrumbs, then bake until tender.
    • Poached: Poach in a flavorful broth or white wine.
  • Scallops:

    • Pan-Seared: Sear in a hot pan with butter or oil for a few minutes on each side.
    • Broiled: Season and broil until lightly browned and opaque.

When preparing seafood, remember to handle it safely and avoid overcooking, as seafood tends to become dry when overdone. You can customize these cooking methods with various herbs, spices, and sauces to suit your taste preferences. Additionally, be mindful of sustainable seafood choices and check for local advisories on fish consumption, especially for pregnant women and children, due to potential mercury content.

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Proper Storage of Food to Keep It Fresh

Proper food storage is essential to keep it fresh and safe to eat.


Tips to Prepare a healthy Balanced Nutritional Food

Preparing a healthy, balanced meal as a bodybuilder involves selecting the right components in the proper proportions. Here are steps to help you prepare such a meal:

1. Choose a Lean Protein Source

Start with a lean protein source such as chicken, turkey, fish, lean beef, tofu, or beans. Protein is crucial for muscle growth and repair.

2. Add Complex Carbohydrates

Incorporate complex carbohydrates like brown rice, quinoa, sweet potatoes, or whole-wheat pasta. Carbs provide energy for your workouts and help replenish glycogen stores.

3. Include Vegetables

Vegetables are rich in vitamins, minerals, and fibre. Opt for various colourful options, like broccoli, spinach, bell peppers, and carrots.

4. Incorporate Healthy Fats

Include sources of healthy fats like avocados, nuts, seeds, or olive oil. Fats are essential for overall health and hormone production.

5. Measure Portions

Use a food scale to measure and control your portion sizes. Balancing your macros (protein, carbs, and fats) is essential.

6. Season and Flavor

Use herbs, spices, and low-sodium sauces to add flavour to your meal without excess calories or sodium.

7. Hydrate

Don't forget to drink water. Staying hydrated is essential for overall health and muscle function.

8. Preparation Methods for Nutritional Food

Opt for healthy cooking methods like grilling, baking, steaming, or sautéing with minimal oil. Avoid deep-frying.

9. Post-Workout Nutrition

After a workout, consider a post-workout meal or shake that combines protein and carbohydrates to support muscle recovery and replenish glycogen stores.

10. Plan

Meal planning and preparation in advance can help you stick to your nutrition goals. Cook larger batches and store leftovers for future meals.

11. Monitor Progress

Keep track of your dietary intake and how it affects your body and performance. Adjust your meal plan as needed to meet your goals.

12. Consult a Nutritionist

If you're unsure about portion sizes, macros, or specific dietary needs, consult a nutritionist or dietitian who can create a customised nutrition plan.

It's important to customize your meals to your individual goals, activity level, and dietary preferences as everyone's nutritional needs vary. Consistency in healthy eating, combined with a well-structured workout plan, will contribute to success in bodybuilding.

Best Calorie-Measuring Equipment and Machines

For bodybuilders and fitness enthusiasts looking to accurately measure calorie intake, various kitchen appliances and gadgets can be helpful. Here are some of the best calorie-measuring machines and tools:

Digital Kitchen Scale

A high-quality digital kitchen scale is essential for measuring the weight of food items accurately. It allows you to calculate calories based on portion size.

Nutrition Scale

Some kitchen scales have built-in nutritional information databases. You can input the food item's code or name, and the scale calculates the nutritional content, including calories.

Smartphone Apps

There are several smartphone apps, such as MyFitnessPal and Cronometer, that allow you to track your calorie intake by searching for foods and specifying portion sizes. These apps often have extensive food databases.

Food Processors with Nutrition Calculators

Some food processors have built-in nutrition calculators that provide information about the calories, macronutrients, and other nutritional content of your recipes.

Smart Kitchen Gadgets

Various smart appliances, like intelligent blenders and air fryers, may have built-in nutrition tracking features. They can provide approximate nutritional information for your recipes.

Handheld Calorie Counters

These portable devices are designed precisely to calculate the nutritional content of food. You input the food item or scan its barcode, and the device provides calorie information.

Online Recipe Analyzers

There are websites and software tools that allow you to input the ingredients and quantities of your recipes, and they will calculate the nutritional content, including calories.

Meal Prep Containers

While not a machine per se, having portion-controlled meal prep containers can help you estimate and control calorie intake by pre-measuring your meals.

When it comes to measuring calories, choosing the right tool depends on your preferences and requirements. Digital kitchen scales are essential for precise portion control, while smartphone apps offer convenience and access to extensive databases. Consider your budget, the features you need, and your level of tech-savviness before selecting the appropriate calorie-measuring machine to help you achieve your bodybuilding goals.

Why Bodybuilders Must Eat Healthy Before a Competition

Bodybuilders must eat healthy before a competition for several important reasons:

1. Optimal Performance

Eating a nutritious diet before a competition ensures your body is fueled and ready to perform at its best. Nutrient-dense foods provide the energy required for intense workouts and help maintain strength and stamina during the competition.

2. Muscle Preservation

Proper nutrition helps preserve lean muscle mass. In the weeks leading up to competition, bodybuilders often go through a cutting phase to reduce body fat. Eating a balanced diet with adequate protein helps prevent muscle loss while shedding excess fat.

3. Nutrient Timing

The timing of meals and nutrient intake is crucial. Bodybuilders typically follow a precise nutrition plan leading up to competition, including carb-loading to maximise muscle glycogen stores and protein intake to support muscle repair and growth.

4. Recovery

Nutritional food aids in recovery between workouts. Intense training sessions can lead to muscle damage, and consuming the proper nutrients helps speed recovery and reduce the risk of overtraining.

5. Aesthetics

The appearance of bodybuilders on stage is highly dependent on their diet. The right balance of macronutrients, proper hydration, and avoiding foods that cause bloating or water retention contribute to a more chiselled and defined physique.

6. Mental Focus

Nutrition affects mental clarity and focus. Eating a healthy diet before a competition can help bodybuilders stay mentally sharp, making it easier to follow their routines and perform their best.

7. Digestive Comfort

Avoiding foods that can cause digestive discomfort, such as excessive fibre or spicy foods, is crucial to prevent gastrointestinal issues during the competition.

8. Hydration

Proper hydration is vital for overall health and performance. Dehydration can lead to muscle cramps, fatigue, and decreased athletic performance.

9. Body Composition

Following a clean, balanced diet helps bodybuilders reach their target body composition with minimal fat and maximum muscle definition, which is essential for success on stage.


To sum up, maintaining a healthy diet is extremely important for various reasons such as enhancing physical performance, preserving muscles, quick recovery, improving appearance, increasing mental focus and achieving overall success. Bodybuilders meticulously plan their diets not only to ensure they are in top condition for competition day but also to maintain optimal physical fitness.

Also Read: Running and Bodybuilding: Is it a Good Idea to Mix Them?

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