Get your workout routine started and reach your fitness goals by grabbing some of the best protein bars in the industry. The best nutrition can help you build muscle and improve your endurance, so it is important that you are making healthy eating choices. Our blog has tons of information on diet and exercise tips to help you become successful!
Food For Bodybuilders
Bodybuilding is centered around building your body’s muscles through weightlifting and nutrition.
Whether recreational or competitive, bodybuilding is often referred to as a lifestyle, as it involves both the time you spend in and outside the gym.
In order to maximize your results from the gym, you must focus on your diet, as eating the wrong foods can be detrimental to your bodybuilding goals.
This article explains what to eat and avoid on a bodybuilding diet and provides a one-week sample menu.
Bodybuilding differs from powerlifting or Olympic lifting in that it’s judged on a competitor’s physical appearance rather than physical strength.
As such, bodybuilders aspire to develop and maintain a well-balanced, lean and muscular physique.
To do this, many bodybuilders start with an off-season followed by an in-season way of eating — referred to as a bulking and cutting phase, respectively.
Like training, diet is a vital part of bodybuilding.
Eating the right foods in the appropriate amounts provides your muscles with the nutrients they need to recover from workouts and grow bigger and stronger.
Conversely, consuming the wrong foods or not consuming enough of the right ones will leave you with subpar results.
Here are foods you should focus on and foods to limit or avoid:
Foods to Focus On
The foods you eat don’t need to differ between the bulking and cutting phase — usually, it’s the amounts that do.
Foods to eat include:
- Meats, poultry and fish: Sirloin steak, ground beef, pork tenderloin, venison, chicken breast, salmon, tilapia and cod.
- Dairy: Yogurt, cottage cheese, low-fat milk and cheese.
- Grains: Bread, cereal, crackers, oatmeal, quinoa, popcorn and rice.
- Fruits: Oranges, apples, bananas, grapes, pears, peaches, watermelon and berries.
- Starchy vegetables: Potatoes, corn, green peas, green lima beans and cassava.
- Vegetables: Broccoli, spinach, leafy salad greens, tomatoes, green beans, cucumber, zucchini, asparagus, peppers and mushrooms.
- Seeds and nuts: Almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds, chia seeds and flax seeds.
- Beans and legumes: Chickpeas, lentils, kidney beans, black beans and pinto beans.
- Oils: Olive oil, flaxseed oil and avocado oil.
Foods to Limit
While you should include a variety of foods in your diet, there are some you should limit.
- Alcohol: Alcohol can negatively affect your ability to build muscle and lose fat, especially if you consume it in excess .
- Added sugars: These offer plenty of calories but few nutrients. Foods high in added sugars include candy, cookies, doughnuts, ice cream, cake and sugar-sweetened beverages, such as soda and sports drinks.
- Deep-fried foods: These may promote inflammation and — when consumed in excess — disease. Examples include fried fish, french fries, onion rings, chicken strips and cheese curds .
In addition to limiting these, you may also want to avoid certain foods before going to the gym that can slow digestion and cause stomach upset during your workout.
- High-fat foods: High-fat meats, buttery foods and heavy sauces or creams.
- High-fiber foods: Beans and cruciferous vegetables like broccoli or cauliflower.
- Carbonated beverages: Sparkling water or diet soda.
Best Muscle Building Foods
While your gym instructor may tell you that using supplements will help you in body building, experts believe otherwise. Supplements available in the market may be helpful, but until you’re nourished internally, no foreign food will help you. Hence, before buying them, it is important to first consume energy from natural resources.
1. Eggs: The Sunday breakfast should be made compulsory every day. Do not over do it. Stick to consuming 1-2 eggs. See the difference in your energy levels. The protein content in every egg is 6 to 8 grams. Other than this, eggs are also rich in vitamins, zinc, iron and calcium.
2. Chicken breast: Chicken breast is the most worked muscle, hence it is also the healthiest. It is packed with 30 grams of protein in every 100 grams of chicken breast. Consuming this every day for either lunch or dinner can make a huge difference.
3. Water: Nutrients need fluids to travel to all parts of your body. Water is the best way to hydrate your body. Muscle building is a difficult process and requires the purest form of hydration. Hydration will increase strength, energy levels and aid digestion. The muscle tissue in our body is 75 percent water and needs to be fuelled properly.
4. Oil: The biggest myth in most fitness regimes is to completely cut off fats from your diet, especially oils. Oils like fish and mustard oil are good for body building because they have healthy fats. Fish oil also boosts your metabolism and helps in cutting fats as well.
5. Quinoa: Quinoa is a good source of carbohydrates with 14 grams of protein in every 100 grams. These proteins also contain essential amino acids which help in muscle building.
6. Oats: The low in calorie in food, oats are a good combination of carbs, fiber, proteins, minerals and vitamins. Oats can be consumed in various forms: with milk or water, cooked in the form of rotis or included in your salads.
7. Pineapple: Pineapples contain a protein digesting enzyme named bromelein. This helps in decreasing muscle inflammation and can be consumed as a post-workout meal. Pineapples are often the forgotten fruits when it comes to workout snacks and should be consumed because of its multiple benefits.
8. Spinach: Spinach contains phytoecdysteroids, which aid in increasing muscle growth upto 20 percent according to a research at Rutgers University in 2008. Leafy vegetables help a great deal if you are trying to build muscles and lose fat as they are packed with antioxidants.
9. Sweet potato: Sweet potatoes are an under-rated vegetable that need to be considered as a part of healthy diets. This is because they contain fewer carbs than a medium potato, 23 grams. Sweet potatoes are also good sources of vitamin A, potassium, riboflavin, copper, pantothenic acid and folic acid. All these help in replenishing energy and even boost the muscle building process. Other than this, sweet potatoes also contain 28% more potassium than a banana.
10. Wild salmon: Salmon is a power packed source of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids are great as they are healthy fats and also make a good option in making lean muscle. Along with this, salmon also increases metabolism.
11. Whey protein: Whey protein is the purest form of protein and hence our body absorbs it faster than any other form post- workout. This is the watery portion of milk that separates from the curd during the process of making cheese. This is a highly digestible form of protein.
12. Broccoli: Broccoli is a good source of vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Include broccoli in your salad to make the most of this green vegetable.
13. Brown rice: Brown rice contains complex carbohydrates which our body works to break down and consequently boosts our metabolism and burns more calories. This is a great source of carb post workout and is ideal for consumption with any salad or main dish.
14. Cottage cheese: Cottage cheese is a rich source of protein as it contains 28 grams in every cup. Cottage cheese makes us feel fuller for a longer time as the protein breaks down slowly. Including this in your salad, sandwiches or even subzi will be beneficial for you.
15. Chocolate milk: Yes, you read that right. According to a study published in the International Journal of Sports Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, it was found that chocolate milk is as effective as any sports drink in increasing the total exercise output and even delays exhaustion. This means that when you start exercising, your body will not get tired quickly and will have more stamina.
16. Banana: The most popular choice for many body builders, we cannot take banana out of the list. This is because banana contains three types of sugars: Fructose, sucrose, and glucose. These sugars are of prime importance pre-and post workout and training. Bananas do not contain fat and are cholesterol free along with being nutrient dense, making them the perfect pre-and post workout snack.
17. Lentils and chickpeas: If you are a vegetarian trying to achieve muscle building, lentils and chickpeas are essential for you. This is because they contain proteins which your meat eating counter parts get from non-vegetarian sources.
18. Almonds: Almonds are packed with vitamin E which are beneficial for your muscles. They also contain antioxidants and help you recover post workout faster than usual. Almonds are also great sources of protein and fat, making them idol snacks.
19. Watercress: Watercress is majorly high in iron and vitamin C. You can include this in your salad.
20. Cucumber: Cucumbers contains silica. Silica is a component of our connective tissue, making it a cheap muscle building food.
21. Papaya: Papayas contains papain which are responsible for breaking down dietary protein intro easily absorbable compounds. Papayas can be consumed as a pre-workout fruit and also during the day. You can also have it in the form of a smoothie with honey.
22. Turmeric: Yes, the Indian superfood is great for muscle building. This is because turmeric contains curcumin which promotes muscle growth and repair. You can have turmeric in your food or along with milk.
23. Olive oil: As mentioned earlier, olive oil contains monounsaturated fat. This fat prevents in muscle breakdown and joints. Other than this, olive oil also contains omega-3 fatty acids, which promote heart health. Olive oil also have anti-inflammatory properties which help with muscle pain and aids recovery as well.