Since the diet of the average person contains a high amount of sugar, highly refined processed carbohydrates, and fat, and none of this is recommended for a bodybuilding diet, what can you eat for muscle mass? "The secret of rapid weight gain is a high-protein, high-calorie diet," according to the king of muscle mass, Arnold Schwarzenegger. "Your body can effectively utilize only so much protein at a time: 30 to 50 grams seems to be the maximum amount. Eating six small meals a day (instead of three large ones) is the ideal way to pace your protein intake. Smaller amounts of food are handled more easily by the digestive system, and there is no danger of overstretching the stomach."
Since you should not get your caloric intake from sugars, highly processed refined carbohydrates, and fats, and since protein does not make up a major caloric count, where should you obtain the rest of the calories needed to fuel the changes in your body? The answer is complex carbohydrates.
Complex carbohydrates are the ideal source for energy. They digest slowly and are absorbed slowly. The calories they contain are burned in an even, prolonged manner, which provides for a consistent release of the critical anabolic hormone insulin. Complex carbohydrates are ideal for the person who is trying to gain muscle mass.
The correct intake of simple sugars should be less than 20 to 30 percent of all carbohydrates and less than 10 percent of the total diet. The fuel source for building massive muscles should be complex carbohydrates.
What are the best sources of complex carbohydrates? The potato is one excellent source. The regular potato is great, and so is the sweet potato. (Make certain, though, that you are eating your sweet potato in a natural manner instead of from a can which is full of added sugar syrup.) Rice is another excellent source of complex carbohydrates. Cereals are excellent provided they are not the type with the added sugar. Oats are great, so is Cream of Wheat and Malt-O-Meal. Another excellent pair of cereals are Grape nuts and Shredded Wheat (biscuits or the bite-size version). Other fantastic sources of complex carbohydrates include the many varieties of beans, and the many varieties of pasta. Whole-grain breads are also good. The bulk of your eating should contain a combination of high-protein foods along with complex carbohydrates. Mix these two food types together often.
Also include a lot of fresh vegetables and fruit in your diet. These will keep you healthy and in the gym instead of at the doctor's office. The fiber that comes along with many of the complex carbohydrate foods will also be beneficial to your health. The healthier you are, the stronger your workouts will be and the quicker you will recover.