Eating to help muscle growth
There are a number of diets out there today, and each one does something different. Whether you want to lose weight, gain weight, lower cholesterol, or anything in between, there are plenty of diet and eating guides to help you reach your goal.
If your goal is to build muscle, your approach to eating should be a little different. When it comes to building muscle, your diet is just as important as your form and the amount of weight you lift. Muscles need fuel to grow and repair themselves, but the wrong fuel can quickly turn to fat instead of muscle. The following tips will help you eat properly for muscle growth.
Protein is perhaps the most important food you can eat for effective muscle growth. You can find protein in a number of foods, such as beef, fish, chicken, nuts, milk, eggs, and cheese. These foods are a good start to getting a diet rich in protein. However, eating the wrong proteins or too much can increase cholesterol and fat intake. It's best to stick with lean proteins like skinless chicken, fish, and lean cuts of turkey. Red meats should be eaten sparingly, as they are very high in fat.
Protein requirements vary from person to person and depend on weight, gender, and body fat percentage, among other things. As a general rule, 1gram of protein per pound of body weight is the minimum amount someone who is weight training should eat. So, a 180-pound man would need about 180 grams each day.
It's unlikely the average person can consume this much protein without eating way too much. Protein supplements and powders are necessary for building muscle. Powders are soluble protein and more easily absorbed by muscles when they are growing. But remember that they are just that-supplements. They are not designed to replace your entire meal.
They get a bad rap, but carbohydrates are essential for muscle growth. The right carbohydrates are complex. Complex carbs are good because they are digested slowly and released into the bloodstream steadily over a period of time, giving the muscles a steady source of energy. Processed white flour, like that found in white pasta, white bread, pastries, cakes, and white rice should be eliminated from the diet and replaced with whole grain breads, whole wheat pastas, barley, and brown rice.
Your diet for muscle growth should also include plenty of vegetables. Dark green vegetables, such as romaine lettuce and spinach, are particularly important for optimal health and muscle growth. You should have at least 1-2 cups per day. While it may seem like a lot, be sure to include a salad with dinner, or eat spinach as a side dish for lunch.
Sugar in general is not good for the body, especially in terms of building muscle. Cut as much sugar from your diet as you can without feeling deprived. Sodas, alcohol, and sweets like donuts or candy bars are an excellent place to start.
Drinking plenty of water is important for muscle growth as well, as 70% of our muscles consist of water. Minimum requirements are 8 8-ounce glasses per day, but you should be trying to drink at least 10 cups throughout the day.
A healthy diet high in protein and vegetables is an important part of your diet if you're working towards gaining muscle mass.