Bodybuilding might seem to revolve around harsh exercise regimens, intense training cycles and long workouts, but that’s not all there is to it. A big part of success in bodybuilding relies on maintaining a strict diet with a limited intake of carbohydrates and fats – the focus really is on protein intake for improved muscle development.
Many bodybuilding diets also advocate the use of supplements, although the use of steroids for stacking is frowned upon by mainstream bodybuilders and is illegal in competition.
You also need to eat about six small meals a day, so what should you eat to make sure that your body is at peak form?
It’s all about the protein when it comes to bodybuilding and you’ll find that all of your meals on the bodybuilding diet will be made up primarily of lean proteins. Egg whites are central to this diet because of their low fat content and high protein content.
Skinless chicken or turkey breasts, lightly grilled with a little olive oil, are an excellent option as is fish.
Fish might seem like an odd choice here because it’s known to be heavy in omega-3 fatty acids but since it’s not a trans-fat or a saturated fat, it’s actually good for you. Omega-3 acids also promote joint health and muscle development which is crucial to bodybuilders.
Any diet needs to have a reasonable fiber content or you’ll end up with digestive difficulties like constipation and gastric distress. This is especially true when your diet necessitates a high level of protein intake.
Legumes, beans and lentils are the ideal option for bodybuilders – they not only have a high fiber content, but they also contain large amounts of protein which is the basis of the bodybuilder’s diet.
The fiber in beans and legumes also helps to maintain muscle mass by promoting insulin production in the body.
Insulin helps with nutrient absorption and energy production, both of which are key to bodybuilding success.
It might seem counterintuitive to eat carbohydrates when you’re trying to maintain a fit physique, but carbs are an important part of the bodybuilder’s diet.
Carbohydrates are your body’s main energy source and if your body does not get enough of them, it turns to other sources of energy, namely fat and muscle. In bodybuilders, there is very little fat to get hold of, so the body breaks down muscles for energy, which leads to muscle deterioration and atrophy. The best way to avoid this is to concentrate on low sugar, slow-burning carbohydrates like sweet potatoes, cauliflower and broccoli. Oatmeal is also a low glycemic carb and is an excellent snack to have between workouts or even as part of one of your six daily meals.
There are so many different schools of thought about which supplements to take that it can get horribly confusing for the novice bodybuilder who’s trying to figure out how best to balance their diet. There are some common guidelines, however, that can help clarify things.
The one supplement all bodybuilders take is whey protein, which can be mixed into smoothies, oatmeal or just taken with water. Many bodybuilders also recommend taking a daily dose of creatine and glutamine, both of which help boost muscle mass while keeping fat levels low. A standard multi-vitamin is also a good idea because the bodybuilder’s diet can be a bit low on fresh fruits and vegetables.
Conclusion to Bodybuilding Diet