Many people wish they had some quality bodybuilding nutrition tips when getting started. The reason is obvious. Most mistakes while trying to gain muscle mass are related to not knowing what to eat or when.
Beginners consistently underestimate how many calories they’ll need to bulk up, or how best to consume them. And even seasoned bodybuilders forget the importance of one or more other factors.
Hopefully these bodybuilding nutrition tips will be a quick and handy reference guide to help you along your journey to a healthier and more muscular body.
Bodybuilding Nutrition Tips
1. Eating Is Really Important
The way you eat determines how successful you’ll be at developing the right physique. In fact, it’s probably even more important than how you train! After all, exercise only makes up a tiny sliver of your life. What you do outside the gym will influence your results.
Eating a surplus of calories makes sure that your muscles have enough raw material to repair muscle cell damage caused by heavy exercise. That’s why the best bodybuilding nutrition tips are about developing eating habits more than what you eat.
2. Forget ‘Perfect’, Focus on ‘Good’
Aiming for perfection often leads to giving up when you don’t see quick progress. Remember, your muscles won’t magically appear overnight. These bodybuilding nutrition tips are meant to speed up the path to a better physique, but you should still stick to a program, be disciplined, sacrifice and suffer a little, just as with the pursuit of any worthy goal.
3. Simplicity Wins
Eating a simple diet that’s quick to prepare will make it easier to stick to. If you crave a more elaborate, complicated meal plan, limit it to weekends.
4. Eat Clean
High quality food choices will give you an edge in gaining muscle. Nutrients are necessary for performance and healing after a workout. Many collections of bodybuilding nutrition tips overlook this vital point. Poor choices like fast/junk food or processed foods can derail your fitness program.
5. Eat Often, Even If Small Meals
Some bodybuilders eat every 2 to 3 hours. That’s because bulking up takes a lot of energy. It’s impossible to get all your nutrients and calories in just 3 daily meals. Small, frequent and well-balanced meals are better. Eat high-protein snacks in between meals, also.
6. Eat Prior To Workouts
To preserve muscle mass, you must load up with calories before a workout. Otherwise, your body will cannibalize itself to fuel your exercise session. Consuming high glycemic-index carbs immediately before workouts is a great bodybuilding nutrition tip.
7. Limit Your Exercise
Weight lifting sessions should be less than an hour. Intense workouts are better at stimulating muscle gain than relaxed, lengthy sessions.
8. Speed Up Afterwards
The only time when carbs are desirable as food sources are following an exercise session, when muscles are hungry for energy. Sugar and processed carbohydrates like bagels or white rice are good choices.
9. Watch What You Eat
This, of all the bodybuilding nutrition tips here, is very important – because it isn’t always easy to know what you’re eating. Learn to assess what 50 grams of protein looks like, so you can make sure your servings are the right size, even when you’re eating at a cafeteria or restaurant.
10. Choose The Correct Carbs
Potatoes, simple sugars and other high-glycemic carbs are fine following workouts. Low-glycemic carbs such as vegetables are better at other times of the day. Complex carbs like quinoa, whole grain and brown rice take longer to digest and absorb, and keep you feeling energized for longer.
11. Don’t Succumb To Temptation
Here’s another powerful bodybuilding nutrition tip… Never go shopping when you’re hungry. You’ll only tend to pick up unhealthy foods. Sugary soda drinks or processed foods and pastries are best avoided. Don’t buy them, and you won’t be tempted.
12. Protein Is Important
All bodybuilding nutrition tips stress the vital role of proteins and aminoacids in muscle building. Most estimates of daily protein requirement are too low. Your goal should be to get at least 1 gram per pound of body weight, preferably more. Eating whole-food sources like dairy, steak, chicken, fish and eggs can help you meet this target.
13. Drink Calories
While you’re on the go, a scoop or two of protein powder in a glass of milk makes for a nice supplement of calories and macronutrient. It also tops up your fuel stores and reduces cravings for a snack of unhealthy food when you’re hungry.
14. Cook Food Right
All the benefits of high quality food can be neutralized if you prepare it incorrectly. Grill or broil meat. Avoid frying or using much oil or butter. Shun sauces and salad dressings.
15. Saturated Fat Isn’t Evil
While you shouldn’t over-indulge in them, don’t be afraid of eating saturated fat. It’s good for hormone production and a rich source of Vitamins A, D, E and K.
16. Snack Before Bedtime
Of the many bodybuilding nutrition tips, this is my favorite! A healthy snack before you retire for the night can serve many purposes. You won’t wake up hungry in the middle of the night. Your muscles get some extra nutrition while they heal and grow as you rest.
17. Sleep Tight
Muscles grow during periods of rest and recovery. Sleeping long enough is important to gain muscle mass. If you have trouble going to sleep, try melatonin or GABA.
18. Give It Time
Maybe you’re not seeing results as soon as you had hoped for. Don’t worry. Rome wasn’t built in a day. Neither will your body. Make minor changes to your workout routine and eating pattern and watch for improvement. Keep tweaking – and be patient.
19. Cheating Is Okay
Nobody can eat clean all the time. So if you cheat from time to time, that’s fine. In fact, indulging once in a while may actually help you adhere to your regular eating plan better.