Whether you are a professional bodybuilder or simply a novice bodybuilding enthusiast with an interest in the sport, it is vital that you are feeding your body enough to make sure that you are correctly adding muscle mass. Here are some tips for how to make sure you are nutritionally benefitting from everything that you eat, and getting the correct sustenance before, during, and after your workouts.
Plan Your Macronutrients
Meal prepping is an essential part of establishing your diet plan if you are a bodybuilder. Meal prepping for an entire week’s worth of food can seem like a daunting task, but it will pay off relatively quickly when you can simply grab the food you need without having to think about its contents. Meal prepping has so many benefits, including reducing cravings by having your food readily available, saving money because you are not eating out or ordering food on impulse, and helping with weight loss or nutrition goals in general because you know what is in your food. Use foods that keep well in the fridge and will not lose their flavor or texture after a few days. Plan to be working on several different things at once, and set aside several hours on a weekend to cook your meals for the week.
Consume Healthy Fats
Although it has been a health trend in the past to cut out vast amounts of fat, it has been proven that this is not beneficial for a healthy diet. Good fats are beneficial for vitamin and mineral storage, as well as providing vital hormones that will help with endocrine regulation. Some of the most common health foods are actually incredibly high in unsaturated fats. For example, avocado is almost completely made up of fat, yet it has been shown through studies to play an instrumental role in lowering LDL cholesterol. A good substitute for almost any homemade baked goods that involve white or wheat flour is almond flour, which can also be added to oatmeal for a boost in flavor. For a healthy oil option, try extra virgin olive oil as well, which aids your body in absorbing many types of nutrients.
Increase in Protein Consumption
Protein is a staple for any bodybuilding regimen. The right amount of protein is essential for maintaining healthy bones, cartilage, hair, skin, and nails. Because protein can most often be found in meat and fish, getting the proper amount, especially more than the average person if you are bodybuilding, can be difficult. However, protein powders have become popular over the past few decades, and for good reason. Add a scoop or two to your daily shake, or simply mix with milk, for the benefit of your daily dose of protein in a conveniently easy form of consumption. However, be sure to monitor the amount of protein you absorb, because too much of it can cause problems as well.
Fuel Your Workouts with Carbohydrates
Carbohydrates have gotten somewhat of a bad reputation in the past few years, due to fad diets such as the ketogenic food plan and the paleo diet. However, for optimal health and exercise, it is important to get enough of all three of your macronutrients, including carbohydrates. A high protein and high carbohydrate meal is most beneficial immediately before your workout, as carbohydrates provide the direct, short term energy needed to fuel calorie burning and muscle building activities. Eating good carbohydrates has also been shown to improve recovery times after training sessions and promote faster healing times. Not all carbs are created equal, though, so make sure you are combining your carbohydrates with other healthy foods rich in nutrients as well.
Your nutrition plan, while you are bodybuilding, does not have to be difficult or complex. With these tips, you are guaranteed to find foods that will benefit you the most for the duration of your exercise time and provide you with vitamins, minerals, and nutrients to help you achieve your ideal body.