Muscle building nutrition is not rocket science; it just requires some basic knowledge, discipline and consistency. You need to eat a good healthy diet every day to get the results you desire. Nutrition is often overlooked by some weight trainers, but the fact is, if you don't have a good muscle building diet you are really limiting the results you get from your training. So Muscle & Strength have put together the 10 commandments of muscle building nutrition. These are 10 rules you should follow when trying to build muscle and gain weight.
RULE #1: Eat at least 6 quality small meals per day. Eating more meals per day increases the body's metabolism, gives you a constant flow of energy and reduces the likelihood of your body storing your food as fat. You need to shift away from the "3 meals a day" mentality - those days are over. You should only feed your body with what it requires, not how much can fit in your stomach.
RULE #2: Eat protein and complex carbohydrates in every meal. You don't have to eat alot, but try to get about 30 grams or protein and some quality carbs in each meal. Carbs are easy as they are found in bread, rice, potatoes etc. Stick to whole grains, oats, brown rice and wholemeal bread for good carbs. Good sources of protein are chicken, egg whites, tuna, red meat and fish.
RULE #3: Use supplements. Bodybuilding supplements are a great way to get nutrients to the body fast. At a minimum I suggest you use whey protein supplements. Depending on your goals and level of training, creatine and glutamine should also be considered. Best times to consume supplements are first thing in the morning, before/after training and before bed.
RULE #4: Avoid simple carbohydrates. Simple carbohydrates are the "sugary" carbohydrates found in sugar, soft drinks and honey. Simple carbohydrates give you an instant pick-me-up but they will drop you right back where you came from after a few minutes. Excessive sugar plays havoc with our insulin metabolism and leads to fatigue and fat storage. Stay away!
RULE #5: Stay away from fats and excessive salts. Some fat is essential for a healthy diet. Good fat is found in olive oil, peanut butter and fish. Bad fat is vegetable oil, animal fats and butter. This pretty much rules out all junk food and fizzy drinks.
RULE #6: Fuel up before your workout. Eat a small meal that contains a good portion or complex carbohydrates and protein about 30-60 minutes before your workout. The complex carbohydrates will give you the sustained energy to train long and hard. And the protein will assist your muscles during your workout as you break them down.
RULE #7: The after workout meal/shake is the most important nutrition boost your body needs. Directly after a workout your muscles are broken down and crying out for nutrients. A good dose of protein is a must (40-50 grams) and carbohydrates also play an important role because they are needed for an insulin spike which will release growth hormone. A supplement shake is the best method to deliver these nutrients to your body followed by a good post workout meal within 60 minutes of training.
RULE #8: Drink water, and lots of it! The most important nutrient in your body is water. The quality of your tissues, their performance and their resistance to injury is dependent on the amount of the water you drink. Sip water constantly throughout the day and make sure you get more than enough water during your workout.
RULE #9: Avoid snacking by planning your diet. Let's face it, most snack foods you're going to be tempted with are going to be unhealthy and full of sugar, salt and other unnatural ingredients. If you plan each meal for the day during the previous day you will find that you will not feel like snacking as you will always feel satisfied.
RULE #10: At the end of the day, if you want to gain weight and pack on muscle you need to eat more calories than your burn throughout the day. If you don't eat enough calories you will not grow any muscle. Never stay hungry. As soon as you begin to feel hungry eat a good meal of carbs and protein. Also get a good serve of carbs and protein before bed, you body will need it for repairing muscle tissue while your sleep.