Now that you want to pack on pounds of pure muscle, working out seems like the logical thing to do, right? You are not far from ideality, because exercising is crucial, but there is more to it.
Practically speaking, you cannot build muscles from the air, so, the secret lies in your nutrition.
Your body depends a lot on what you eat. Whether supplements or food, what you consume will either support or undermine your muscle building efforts. Understanding how nutrition works will help you to utilize it for your fitness gains. Here is a guide that will bring you at par with the right nutrition.
1. You should load up on protein
Protein is known as the building block macronutrient for a reason. It is made up of up to 20 different amino acids, such as alanine that is essential in rebuilding and repairing the body.
If you want to utilize the benefits of protein fully, you should be smart on how much of the protein you eat. Although nutritional needs vary from an individual to another, following this general guideline will help.
From research, consuming 0.73 grams of protein for every pound is ideal for muscle building. To break this a little further, 3 ounces of steak beef will give you about 30 grams of protein. You should work on getting your protein from foods such as eggs, fish and lean meat. Supplementing with protein shake can be helpful.
2. Eat protein at the right time
The body is programmed to respond well to protein after exercising out or after engaging in an energy-exhausting activity. That is why you should work on getting at least 20 grams of protein from a high-quality source such as a cup of yogurt, 2 ounces of fish or meat or 3 eggs. That way, you will have made use of the hormonal changes that take place after strength training.
Resistance training breaks down your muscles, which means that you need amino acids to repair them. You have up to two hours after working out to eat protein for optimal results.
Eating a protein-rich meal two or three hours before hitting the gym will also help your muscle-gaining efforts. Now that you are working on consuming sufficient protein make sure that you do not eat large meals at once. Instead, spread out your protein throughout the day, but with emphasis on before and after working out.
3. Eat sufficient carbohydrates
Although protein is an essential factor in your muscle building regimen, you can only eat so much of it. For instance, your body is capable of absorbing only 35gramsof protein at a go. If you consume more than that, it will either be flushed out of your system or fuel other activities in your body that do not pertain muscle building.
Eating enough calories to fuel your workout needs is therefore necessary. You two options: fat and carbohydrates. Fat is not ideal because your body will store fat more easily than carbohydrates. Therefore, getting your calorie needs from carbs is a good choice. The critical aspect is to ensure that you eat the right carbs, such as sweet potatoes, brown rice, and squash.
You do not necessarily require carbohydrates to stimulate muscle growth, but they are crucial in training. They aid in refilling your glycogen reserves that sustain your working muscles. If they are not full, you cannot train effectively for growth.
4. Eat more calories
If you want to gain muscle, gaining weight is inevitable. You require a general caloric surplus to allow your body to store some protein in the form of muscle tissue. The extra calories are also essential in facilitating your workouts, which is crucial because the more energy you have, the more you can lift weight, strength train or engage in other workout activities.
On average, you need at least 2,800 calories in a day to workout. However, you will require more than this if you want to build muscle. You may also take your present caloric intake needs and add that in a shake containing about 30 grams of protein for a start. Shakes are easy to prepare, and they are essential.
5. Avoid junk food
Overeating may put you at risk of gaining body fat if you are not careful. Therefore, take note of where you get your macronutrients from. It is hard to increase fat by overeating protein while consuming unhealthy foods might do more harm than good to your muscle-building efforts.
Whether you are leaning out or bulking up, you should aim at eating healthy foods at all times. For starters, avoid all types of junk. Next, work on eliminating junk from your diet by taking into account the amount of junk you consume and what you can eliminate to stay lean. If you are having a hard time gaining muscle, consider eating at least 20 calories per pound of body weight.
6. Drink lots of water
All said and done; all these efforts will go into waste if you do not hydrate. Water is the gas to your system; without it, you will not make significant progress. Considering that 70 percent of your body is made up of water, it means that your tissues, muscles, and ligaments are made up of water. Even your blood, which is your force of life, is mostly water.
Strive to be in the best anabolic state possible. That is why drinking ten liters of water a day is recommendable. Keeping hydrated will also make your muscles full looking and attractive. Additionally, water is the sole medium of nutrient transport to your cells, including the muscle cells. Therefore, water ensures the efficacy of the supplements and nutrients you consume.
If you want to build muscle, working out is not sufficient. You should work on selecting the right nutrients, supplements, and foods to incorporate in your diet. By adopting the guidelines elaborated above, there is no doubt that you will achieve the physique you desire.
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