Food Role In Muscle Building & Strength Training

For gaining muscle and increasing strength, you require more than just working out and lifting weights.

Is Workout Enough For Building Muscles & Gaining Strength!

The fact is that any change in your body composition – whether you want to build muscle or lose weight – depends as much on what you eat as on a regular workout routine, if not more.

Usually the people who want to build lean muscles and gain strength just go gung-ho to get in the gym and lift, and that’s really great! But they should focus just as much on their diet as well. They need to learn some basics about macronutrients, calorie intake, specific foods that they should eat and avoid.

You need to realize that muscle gain happens slowly, but with the right diet, you can hit your strength & muscle gain goals really faster. Read on here how?

If your goal is to gain stronger and bigger muscles, working out is necessary. Strength training breaks down your muscle tissues. And during recovery process those muscle tissues rebuild bigger and stronger.

But, your body can’t produce those muscle tissues out of nothing. Your body will need the right nutrients to create tissues in order to build muscles.

What You Eat, And How Much Is Important For Building Muscles!

This means that what you eat, and how much, both are critical in building muscles. Doing strength training & lifting weight without enough nutrition, particularly without adequate protein, can actually cause loss of muscle tissues.

Moreover, if you don’t eat the right diet you won’t have enough energy to perform the workouts that to build muscle mass.

To have the most gains in strength & muscle mass you need:

(i)  Adequate calories total, every day, and

(ii) Enough protein to actually rebuild more muscle tissue.

It’s important for you to know even if you eat a lot of protein but not adequate overall calories, you will not be able to workout to gain more muscle.

On the other hand, If you eat adequate calories but too much junk and not adequate protein, your body will rather gain fat instead of muscle mass.

[Read here: How To Gain Muscle & Lose Fat]

How Much To Eat When Gaining Muscle

For gaining muscles, your body will need more fuel as compared to when your goal is only maintaining body composition. This seems to be a difficult concept to grasp for some people. They may defy, particularly those who are worried about weighing more or gaining fat.

But the truth is extra calories go into muscle gaining, and not fat, as long as you work out in the right way.

Exactly how many calories a person requires in a day when working out for gaining muscle vary from person to person.

Protein—Dietary Building Block For Muscles Development

Whatever kind of your workout plan may be, to stay fit and healthy you should eat a balanced, nutrient-dense diet.

But, when goal is muscle gains, getting enough protein becomes more important.

Muscle tissue is made up mostly of proteins – that is why this macronutrient is so necessary.

For sedentary individuals, protein turnover in the body is quite slow.

But in case of active people, particularly those who are looking for muscles growth, the protein intake has to be necessarily looked into.

As per the sports science and nutrition organizations, the general guidelines regarding protein are:

(i) Sedentary Individuals: Approximately 0.81 grams of protein per kilogram of body mass is considered adequate. This translates to about 55.5 grams of protein in a day for a 150-pound person.

(ii) The Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics and American College of Sports Medicine both recommend 1.2 to 1.7 grams of protein per kilogram of mass. This means for a 150 pounds individual, about 95 to 136 grams of protein in a day.

However, a recent study that scrutinized 49 other studies established that the ideal amount of protein a day for building muscle is 1.6 grams per kilogram of body mass. For some one who weighs 150-pound client, this would mean about 109 grams of protein per day.

Don’t Ignore Carbohydrates

When focusing on the protein intake, some people tend to overlook the other macronutrients. A balance is crucial, and carbohydrates are particularly essential for fueling the tough workout routines that help gain muscle mass.

The body struggles to absorb more than thirty five grams of protein in one sitting, so try to include protein along with carbohydrates and a little bit of fat in your every meal.

Role Of Fat In Building Muscle

Also don’t forget fat. It’s also important but not as necessary to track. If you eat adequate protein and carbohydrates, you are likely to have enough fat in your diet. Moreover, fat is easier to store in your body, so it’s less likely to be deficient.

Selecting Foods For Muscle Growth

Right foods help build muscles. You require lean proteins – foods that are rich in protein along with micronutrients, and complex carbs.

15 Best Protein-High Foods with Complex Carbohydrates

Opt for high-quality protein foods that also contain other nutrients. It’s also recommended to include a variety of protein sources in your diet:

(i) Eggs: One egg provides about 6 grams of protein as well as healthy fats and B vitamins.

(ii) Chicken: Go for chicken breast for a lean source of protein. One ounce of chicken has about 8-9 grams of protein.

(iii) Lean beef: Beef is a great protein option as long as you stick with lean cuts. Besides protein, it provides creatine, believed to enhance athletic/sports performance and has other health benefits.

(iv) Cottage cheese: Depending on the type you eat, cottage cheese can offer as much as twenty five grams of protein per serving, plus calcium.

(v) Salmon: This fatty fish is high in protein as well as omega-3 fatty acids, which can help in muscles development.

(vi) Beans: Kidney beans, Black beans, Pinto beans, and some other varieties are a good lean protein choice with fifteen grams per cup. They also provide a lot of vitamins, minerals, and fiber.

(vii) Tofu: Made from soybeans, tofu is a great source of protein, especially for vegetarians and vegans and is also rich in calcium.

(viii) Tempeh: This fermented type soybean product is less processed than tofu and so retains more micronutrient while also providing vegan protein.

(ix) Greek yogurt: Yogurt is an easy protein snack and good smoothie ingredient, but make sure that you use Greek yogurt for more protein.

(x) Tuna: This is an excellent protein as part of a meal or snack. It provides a lot of vitamins and 7 grams of protein in one ounce.

(xi) Protein powders: Whereas whole foods are always best, protein powders can be an easy way to add in extra grams of protein in a day. Whey-based powder is an excellent option. Vegans can choose pea protein powder.

(xii) Quinoa: This classic grain offers about 8 grams of protein per cup as well as forty grams of complex carbohydrates.

(xiii) Brown rice: Unlike white rice, brown rice is not refined, so it provides more nutrients and protein.

(xiv) Peanuts: This nut-like legume contains seventeen grams of protein per half-cup.

(xv) Nuts and seeds: Include a variety of nuts and seeds in your diet, like walnuts, almonds, cashews, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and others for protein, carbohydrates and many micronutrients.

Knowing What To Avoid Eating To Gain Muscle Is Also Important

When trying to gain muscle without adding fat, getting the right balance of nutrients and calories is crucial. You need to keep away from so-called empty calories. That means avoiding junk food.

Besides protein-rich foods and complex carbs such as listed above, make sure to source the rest of the day’s calories from mostly vegetables. Some fruit is good too, particularly before a workout.

[Read here: What To Eat For Effective Muscle Gain]

Foods That You Should Avoid

The kinds of foods that don’t contribute to muscle growth and need to be avoided include.

(i) Alcoholic Products: They are really empty calories with almost nil nutritional value. Also, drinking may make you skip workout the next day.

(ii) Added sugars: While natural sugars contained in fruits and vegetables help fuel workouts, but added sugars in processed foods only contribute to fat gains.

(iii) Fried and processed foods: They are kinda junk food. May have protein, but the presence of fats and additives can promote inflammation and contribute to putting on fat, not muscle tissues.

You need to have patience to gain muscles. You can gain muscles faster with a healthy, protein-rich diet along with an effective workout plan.

Here is a useful, informative VIDEO on How Vegetarian Can Get Protein In Their Everyday Diet:

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