It has been said that nutrition is responsible for 80% of your muscle building results. I think that is dramatically overstating it but nutrition is critically important to your muscle building efforts. Without proper nutrition you will never build the physique you desire. Below are a few easy to follow nutrition rules that will help you get bigger and leaner. Follow these rules and you will reach your goals, ignore them and you could be in for years of frustration.
Eat every 2-3 hours. Doing this keeps your body in an anabolic state and keeps your metabolism running along at high speeds so that you donít get fat. If you need 3,000 calories per day to build muscle, it is much more effective to have five 600 calorie meals or six five hundred calorie meals than it is to have three big 1,000 calorie meals. Doing that leads to fat accumulation and also has you going too long without eating which only leads to muscle loss.
Build your meals around a base of lean protein. Protein is what builds muscle, so every time you sit down to eat you should be consuming some kind of protein. That should be the main focus of each meal. Once you have that covered you can add in starchy carbs, vegetables and good fats. As far as daily protein requirements go, you should shoot for one gram per pound of bodyweight per day. The only time you would need more than this is when you are dieting and your carbs are extremely low.
Eat vegetables at every meal except breakfast. Not only are vegetables incredibly healthy because they provide tons of nutrients and fiber but they also slow down the absorption of your meals leading to less bodyfat accumulation.
Eat organic foods whenever possible. There is so much artificial crap in the food we eat these days that it is really a very wise decision to eat organic as often as you can. This includes meats, fruits, veggies and grains.
Avoid sugars, artificial sweeteners and saturated fats as much as possible. The consumption of sugar and saturated fat is what leads to numerous health problems and diseases. Too much saturated fat and sugar consumption also leads to inflammation in the body and can actually worsen nagging injuries and lead to other aches and pains. Many people actually notice a reduction in back pain once they cut saturated fat and sugar from their diet. Some saturated fat in meats is ok from time to time, but you should really try to cut out the sugar and artificial sweeteners. Although they donít talk about it much in this country there is plenty of evidence that artificial sweeteners are not the least bit healthy.
Eat most of your carbs at breakfast and immediately before and after your workout. Those are the times when your insulin sensitivity is highest and when you will use carbs most efficiently with the least risk for body fat gain. Donít be scared to eat carbs at this time because most of them will be used for building muscle and will not usually add to body fat accumulation.
Drink at least a half gallon of water per day. Doing this keeps you well hydrated which keeps your performance levels high. Even a slight drop in hydration will cause a drop in performance. A half gallon is a good start but a gallon is usually better, especially in the summer.
Pay strict attention to your sodium intake. When I say that I mean it in the opposite way that most people and doctors would think I mean it. I mean that you must be sure that your sodium intake is adequate. This is especially true for athletes who play in the summer time when itís hot out and you are sweating a lot. Without adequate sodium intake, your performance can suffer drastically. Adequate sodium levels also help to maintain strength levels while dieting.
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As seen in magazines: Mens Fitness, Maximum Fitness & Men'sHealth