Below are simple but very important nutritional principals for muscle building. You need to follow a balanced nutritional plan together with muscle building workouts to ensure optimum results. When you are following your workout routines, your body would need enough “fuel” to keep going. These principals would ensure that you will have adequate amount of nutrition that your body needs to gain the maximum benefits from your workout routines.
Principle 1: Fill your stomach every 3 hours per day
Gosh! This could lead to obesity! This is the first impression people would have. Now, let me clear the air of misconceptions. Eating every 2.5-3 hours would make you fat, yes!, if you don’t exercise! But if you are on a quest to build your muscles, your body would require a lot of carb and protein. Being on a 3 meal a-day plan would require a massive intake of carb and protein, and since there is a limit to how much your body can store calories per meal, the others will turn to unwanted fat around your body. So the best way to supplement the adequate amount of the nutrition that your body need is to have frequent wholesome meals.
You should start with your first meal 15-30 minutes after you got up and continue taking meals at every 3 hours gap. Make sure that you take decent size meals so that your body could absorb the optimum calories while preventing unwanted body fat.
Principle 2: Take different kinds of food
Just to give your body a variety of nutrition (and also to do some favor to your taste buds!), you should be eating different kinds of foods. While it is easier to go for a routine meal plan, a variety of food intake would help you to balance out your diet. You might be taking too much carb on your routine meal plan, so by switching to a different food which contains more protein, your calorie intake would be balanced out.
If you only stick to your routine meal plan, soon you would become sick of the food and you would not indulge in it. You would be eating just for the sake of eating without even enjoying it. Chances are that you might even skip a meal as you are too tired of it. This would be detrimental to you muscle building plan.
Principle 3: Ensure adequate intake of Calories
While you are on a muscle building quest, your body needs enough calories to keep going. Depriving your body of the calories that it needs would hamper the growth of muscles. You will not be able to see the desired results although you workout frequently. Calories are the main ingredient for muscle growth so you must make sure that your get enough calories to build your muscles.
Make sure the food take you take contains enough calories that you are going to burn later in the gym.
Principle 4: Ensure at least 50 grams of Protein contents for each meal
Protein should at least make up 35% of your caloric intake. If your body is not getting enough amino acids that it needs, it would take from your muscle tissues. Hence, it will hamper your muscle growth. Make sure you take at least 50 grams of protein content for each meal to build your muscle mass and keep your fat levels low.
It is good to eat lean meats such as chicken, beef or turkey. Casein and whey are good as supplemental shakes. Also, have an adequate intake of Omega 3 (linolenic acid) and Omega 6 (linoleic acid). You can also eat cheese, yogurt and partly skimmed cheese.
Principle 5: Ensure at least 60 grams of Carb contents for each meal
Carb is needed by your body for muscle building process and shortage of which, your muscle would not grow to the level you expect.
Your intake of carb may consist of simple carb or complex carb. Simple carb can be derived from sugar. But complex carb is highly recommended because it releases energy slowly and more long lasting that would be crucial for your workouts. If you ensure adequate intake of complex carb, it would rarely turn into fat.
Go for complex carbs such as barley, beans, cornmeal, potatoes, brown rice, oatmeal and whole grains.
Principle 6: Ensure at least 20 grams of Fat contents for each meal.
A well balanced diet should contain approximately 30% of fat. But the fat intake must be balanced out between saturated fat, monounsaturated fat and polyunsaturated fat.
Saturated fat are found in dairy products (especially cream and cheese but also butter and ghee), animal fats such as suet, tallow, lard and fatty meat, coconut oil, cottonseed oil, palm kernel oil, chocolate, and some prepared foods. Monounsaturated fats are found in natural foods such as nuts and avocados, and are the main component of tea seed oil and olive oil (oleic acid). Poly unsaturated fat are found in fish, cereal, whole grain, wheat, peanut butter, margarine, bananas, sunflower seeds and hemp seed.
The fat to avoid at all cost is trans fatty acids. It is formed when vegetables oils are hardened into margarine or shortening. It can be found in foods like french fries, fried chicken, pastries, crackers and doughnuts. These can lead to clogged arteries.
Principle 7: Ensure vegetables intake for each meal
Vegetables are good for their high antioxidant profile that would reduce the free radical (which leads to Rancidification) from your workouts and accelerate the healing of damaged cells. Vegetable and fruits which are high in alkaline are needed to balance out the high levels of acid loads in the blood caused by protein and grains.
So make sure that you have vegetables included for each meal, at least 1-2 cup serving per meal.
Principle 8: Ensure the ratio between whole food and liquid meals is 60:40
Solid food would ensure more vitamins, antioxidants, minerals and fibers to your body. They are loaded with digestive enzymes and help the absorption of food. Liquid food like shakes would save you from cooking but they should make up only 2 out of your 4 meals a day and not more than 3 shakes a day.