What Every Aspiring Bodybuilder Needs To Know About Nutrition
Most bodybuilders know about the importance of a muscle gain meal plan. If you want to add muscle mass, lose fat, or improve your overall health, you need a good muscle gain meal plan results. You’ll also have to track your calories and the amount of carbs, fat and protein you eat.
An essential preparatory step is to stock up on the materials you need for your muscle gain meal plan. Having a grocery list you can use to fill your fridge or pantry with all you need to whip up delicious meals can go a long way towards helping you reach your muscle growth goals.
What goes into your meals depends upon your bodybuilding targets and your desired weight. The quantity of starch-based carbs in your muscle gain meal plan will vary based on this.
What To Buy
Before and after working out, your body needs calories for energy and protein to rebuild muscle. So you must eat more starch and carbs, while cutting down on fats. A few hours after ending your workout, you can increase the quantity of fats in your food and reduce the amount of carbs.
Your high-carb muscle gain meal plan will include:
- Starches – brown rice, yams, quinoa, oats, sweet potato, potato and whole wheat pasta.
- Protein – Egg white, white meat, chicken, turkey, fish, Greek yoghurt
- Fruits and Vegetables – Legumes, tropical fruits, fiber-rich veggies, beans
For non-starch low-carb portions of your muscle gain meal plan, get these:
- Protein – Protein powders and supplements, red meat, oily fish
- Fruits and Vegetables – Berries, beans
- Fats – Avocado, nuts, seeds, coconut oil, cheese
5 Important Elements of muscle gain meal plan
1. Eat 6 meals a day
Consuming multiple smaller meals and snacks helps you meet your high requirement for calories and nutrients without causing blood sugar fluctuations that leave you weak and with hunger pangs. Your metabolism will be steady while delivering enough nutrients to grow muscle after working out.
2. Avoid processed foods
Anything out of a carton, box or bag is best avoided. Checking food labels will tell you if it’s highly processed food. Excluding these calorie-rich items from your muscle gain meal plan makes you healthier and helps muscle building.
3. Drink plenty of water
Staying hydrated is an important part of any muscle gain meal plan. Stick to water or beverages that are sugar-free. Soda, juices and other drinks containing sugar will load you up with calories that get deposited as surplus fat on your body. This also interferes with your body’s immunity and antioxidant-based defence.
4. Plan your intake of carbohydrate
Your muscle gain meal plan requires carbs. These come in two forms – starchy carbs which are easily digested and deliver a calorie boost, and non-starchy carbs like fruits, veggies and whole grains which deliver a steady glucose supply for maintenance. Starchy carbs are needed only before and soon after you workout.
5. Lean protein is good
From time to time, you must eat protein in your muscle gain meal plan so as to maximize tissue growth. Protein also helps produce fat-burning hormones which prevent weight gain through deposits of adipose tissue. Dietary sources of protein like lean meat, fish and dairy are the best choices. But a muscle gain meal plan also often needs protein powder supplements to make up the daily requirement.
How Much To Eat In A Muscle Gain Meal Plan
This diet will keep you healthy and energetic as you workout for muscle gain. Being low in carbs and high in protein, this will help you burn off fat and pack on muscle. It will also reduce inflammation which improves cellular health.
Of your 5 daily meals, the first (in the morning, shortly after you wake up) and the fourth (post-workout) are rich in starchy carbs which provide an energy boost. The second and third meals should have few carbs if any, and so must be based on non-starchy carbs. The last meal can be high or low calorie, depending upon your overall nutritional intake over the course of your day.
Your muscle gain meal plan may need modification if you’re looking to forge new muscle in a hurry. Such a diet will be high in both carbs and calories. Eating high quality, nutrient-dense carbohydrates around when you exercise ensures that your body gets the kind of nutrients it needs right at the time when it builds muscle.
A muscle gain meal plan often needs to be tailored to your specific needs, but the general principles outlined here have served many beginner bodybuilders well. Try it and see how it works for you.
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