The Bodybuilding Beginner’s Guide to Eating Right
“Bodybuilding is an art; your body is the canvas, weights are your brush and nutrition is your paint.
We all have the ability to turn a self-portrait into a masterpiece” words of the ultimate bodybuilding maestro, Kai Greene.
He basically sums up everything needed for bodybuilding in a single line.
There is no doubt that to get a ripped body workout is a must but what’s more important is nutrition.
I am sure you will agree with me.
If you are just getting your bodybuilding journey started, here’s everything you need to know about what you should eat and when you should eat.
Since your goal is to transform yourself into a human tank, it is highly important that you fuel your body before a workout, during the workout and also after you finish it.
The most debated topic among bodybuilders is whether or not carbohydrates should be included in the meal.
There is a common misconception that carbs make the body bulky and that it should be avoided.
On the contrary, carbohydrates are the most preferred fuel source of the body.
They can quickly restore the glycogen levels and get you ready for your workout.
It is usually recommended that you go with 2 pre-workout meals.
One at least 2 hours before the workout and the next one 45 minutes before the workout.
Carb meals which are low to moderate glycemic should be chosen for the first meal.
High G.I carb meals quickly burn out during the workout, and hence they should be avoided.
Suggested: Brown rice, Oatmeal, Ezekiel bread, Whole wheat pasta or sweet potatoes.
It goes without saying that no meal is ever complete without protein.
It is highly recommended for bodybuilders to get started with whey protein as the branched-chain amino acids can cause anti-catabolic and anabolic signaling effects.
Consuming protein before a workout can restore better energy levels and this, in turn, leads to better results when you workout.
The whey protein shake acts as a balanced source of amino acids which can help you achieve nitrogen balance.
Suggested: Egg whites, Chicken, Turkey, Skim Milk or Protein shake like whey protein shake
Consuming supplements has been scientifically proven as an effective way to accelerate muscle growth and help you attain your goals quicker.
Creatine Monohydrate supplements are an excellent choice as the body uses creatine phosphates to produce energy for intense workouts like weightlifting. 2-5 grams of it per day can help you train better.
An important aspect when it comes to strength training is conserving muscular energy.
Beta-Alanine supplements can assist you with this and also help prevent intramuscular acidosis.
Suggested: Micronized creatine monohydrate supplements, beta alanine supplements.
Nutrition During Workout
Bodybuilders who prefer short workout sessions generally don’t require nutrition during the exercise, as the pre-workout meal serves enough energy and maintains the glycogen levels.
For those who aim to work out for long hours, an intra-workout supplement is recommended.
This extra fuel can elevate net protein synthesis and help you train better.
This is only for people who prefer to workout for more than an hour. For the rest, the only thing you will need during the workout is water.
Suggested: A cocktail of water, BCAAs, and electrolytes or water with hydrolyzed protein.
Once you are done with your workout, it is vital that you feed those hungry muscles.
In some cases, you should also include food apt for muscle repair.
What you eat after your workout will also maximize your workout benefits.
A good post-workout recovery drink would be a protein shake.
If you are looking for the best protein powders on the market, head over to Everynutrient and find out more about it.
Protein to Recover and Build Muscle
Exercise mainly triggers the breakdown of muscle protein, so obviously your post-workout meal should include a lot of protein.
Including protein in your meal provides the body with a good amount of amino acids which are needed to repair and build your muscle protein.
You can also recover quickly when you consume a lot of protein.
Post-workout, protein can be consumed based on your body weight. In general, it is 0.5grams/kg of protein soon after the workout.
Suggested: Greek yogurt, Cottage cheese, Salmon or Chicken
Branched-chain Amino Acids
During long intensive workout sessions, catabolism might occur especially when the glycogen levels are low. This can slow down your recovery time.
BCAA supplements can restore the amino acid levels and also acts as a source of fuel for muscles.
It is highly recommended you go with a BCAAs shake when you have finished an intensive lifting session.
Suggested: 10 grams of BCAAs
When you finish an intense workout session, there is a fall in blood sugar and glycogen level.
The first thing your body looks for after a workout is to restore the blood sugar level.
Fast digesting carbs can come in handy here.
They restore blood sugar and glycogen level and also spike insulin.
For a faster recovery, it is suggested that you go with a good amount of fast carbs.
Suggested: Quinoa, Sweet potatoes, Rice cakes or fruits.
Post workout nutrition can also include healthy fats such as Avocados, nuts, Dried fruits, etc
Cereal with milk and berries
Bread and peanut butter or almond butter
Oatmeal nut butter snack
Protein almond pudding
Turkey and greens
Steak and Veggies
Salmon and beans
Ready to get ripped?
What you eat matters a lot when it comes to bodybuilding.
Spending countless hours in the gym will yield necessary benefits only if you follow a proper diet.
Breaking down your meals into 5-times a day can be very helpful.
Get going with the right nutrition!