Dietary guidance of carbohydrates, carbohydrate loading, protein consumption and certain foods you should consume are all part of a diet for muscle-building. By following these recommendations, you will be able to increase muscle mass, decrease fat, and change your metabolic rate, further enhancing your muscle building capacity.
The American Dietetic Association recommends that athletes consume 3-5 grams of carbohydrate per pound of body weight per day. For the purposes of building muscle mass, closer to 5 grams would be ideal. Though carbohydrates are the body’s preferred energy source, not all carbohydrates are created equal. Complex carbohydrates that are low on the glycemic index are crucial to consume.
They are long chains of three to ten simple sugars such as glycogen and starch as opposed to simple carbohydrates that are shorter chains of sugar such as glucose, fructose and galactose. Carbohydrate loading, or intentionally consuming a larger percentage of carbohydrates in your overall diet, is another vital aspect to muscle-building when incorporated with exercise.
Eating more carbohydrates allows muscles and liver to store more carbohydrates in the form of glycogen. The more glycogen stored, the longer it takes for the body to be depleted of its energy sources during a prolonged heavy loading workout. Though you may gain a few pounds during carbohydrate loading because carbohydrates require a large amount of water for storage, this is just water weight and will even out in the process of building muscle mass.
You may be wondering where the most obvious muscle-building macronutrients fall among all this. Protein is a vital part of a diet for muscle building. Protein aids in the repair and thus, rebuilding of muscle tissue – especially when consumed immediately post exercise.
Protein also helps to keep lean muscle mass and keep the majority of weight loss coming from fats. Similar to carbohydrates, it’s important not to overdo it. Any excess protein that the body can no longer use to build muscle is converted to fat. Protein, which repairs and builds muscle, should be a major component of any diet for muscle building since it works hand in hand with carbohydrates that fuel the body. In order to implement a diet, you obviously need to know specifically what foods to incorporate. Egg whites are one of the purest forms of protein.
Lean meats are also key, such as chicken and turkey. Legumes (beans) are another healthy source of fuel since they contain high amounts of fiber that are essential for proper digestive function.
Fish contains the healthy types of mono- and poly-unsaturated fatty acids, rich in omega-3’s, which support muscle-building function. Non-fat Greek yogurt and cottage cheese are milk sources that contain large amounts of casein protein, which provides long-lasting energy.
Vegetables such as bok choy, spinach and sweet potatoes provide essential vitamins, fiber and calcium, which may help relax muscles, preventing cramping during training. Two of the best complex carbohydrates you can eat are brown rice and lentils.
For snacking, almonds and apples are a great source of electrolytes, carbohydrates, vitamins and fiber. As you can see, a true diet for muscle building has no gimmicks, but is rather a simple plan that anyone can follow.
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Best Diet for Muscle Building
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