Body building nutrition is not very complicated but a body builders success is as dependent on nutrition as it is on exercise.
Nutrition is a critical key as it provides the fuel you need not only to survive but also to build muscle and provide energy.
For body builders, as well as for anyone wishing to lose a little fat, eating small frequent meals throughout the day will increase metabolism and prevent your body from feeding on muscle mass to maintain energy. For a body builder, losing muscle is the last thing you want.
Here is the truth about carbohydrates, protein and fat.
Protein, I believe, is the most important nutrient for the body builder. It is so important because it actually feeds the lean muscle tissue of your body. Not taking in enough protein means you will lose lean muscle tissue.
Muscle tissue not only gives your body shape and definition, it burns more calories, even at rest than fatty tissue. Shape and definition is what body building is all about.
Have you ever seen anyone who has lost alot of weight but doesn’t really look well? They look like a smaller version of their former self but their skin seems to hang loosely and their body just doesn’t fill out their new smaller clothes properly. These people have lost alot of muscle as well as fat in the course of their diet and simply don’t have enough muscle to give their body a good shape.
Some examples of high-quality, protein-rich foods include chicken, turkey, fish, egg whites, lean red meat, protein powders.
Carbohydrate are also important in body building nutrition as carbs are one of the most significant nutrients your body needs for energy. In fact, carbohydrates are your body’s primary source of fuel because it kick starts your pancreas to produce insulin, a hormone that plays a large role in how proteins and fats are stored.
But you must be careful of carbs.
Too many carbohydrates means too many calories and too many calories will make you fat.
It is all too easy to eat too many carbs because it is so convenient to do so. Snack bars and sugary foods are everywhere and they are addictive. While they satisfy an immediate need, they are burned quickly and leave us feeling hungry after an hour or so of eating them and we go back for more. No wonder North Americans are getting fatter.
Insulin’s role in body building nutrition is that it latches onto the carbs (sugars) and will store them as fat or within the muscle. Plus, the insulin snatches the amino acids that make up protein and uses it for the rejuvenation and repair of muscle cells. It is important to eat the right amount of carbohydrates so that your body will use it as fuel without alot of excess to be stored as fat.
The reason that low carb/high protein diets have been popular is that the reduction in insulin producing sugars results in less fat storage. But when you deprive your body of its preferred fuel (carbs) you are going to have less energy. Less energy means it will be harder for you to do the exercise necessary to maintain or build muscle tissue. This obviously is not good body building nutrition.
Fat is the final nutrient to be considered, but it too is important.
You can’t have a fat-free body and you shouldn’t eat a fat free diet. A certain amount of fat in your body is important as a cushion for vital organs, insulation against hot and cold temperatures, maintaining and improving the condition of hair, skin and nails and as an energy source for the body.
Although fats burn slower in the body and you are less likely to be hungry soon after eating them, it doesn’t mean you should eat lots of it. In the right proportion to your body weight, fat is part of good body building nutrition and will actually help you to gain muscle and lose body fat.
Here is a simple formula to help you determine the proper, daily amounts of protein, carbohydrates and fat that should be in your diets for good body building nutrition.
Weigh yourself before using this formula.
1 gram of protein per pound of body weight
1 gram of carbohydrates per pound of body weight
.22 grams of fat per pound of body weight
So, for example, a 150 person would require:
150 grams of protein per day
150 grams of carbs per day