Nutrition Tips For The Bodybuilding Beginner
I think it’s fair to say the majority of beginners pay more attention, time and money on supplements than they do diet. Supplements, after all, are more exciting than food! You do not see “packed full of muscle building amino acids”, in capitalised font, on the label of your supermarket chicken. Yet as trainers become more knowledgeable they begin to realise the thing which makes the real difference to long term gains is sound nutritional intake, not supplements (although they can play an important supplementary role). This article aims to delivery five basic but fundamental nutritional tips which beginners should find helpful.
1. Eat enough protein
You may have gathered protein is important from looking at the vast array of protein powders available to purchase. Your staple protein source is not going to come from a supplement tub however, instead you should focus on consuming high protein wholesome foods such as chicken, red meats, oily fish, nuts, and eggs. Protein is important because it plays a vital role in the muscle repair process, providing the building blocks for muscle growth.
It’s not really possible to put an accurate figure on how many grams of protein you should aim for in a given day. Many sources talk about 1-2g per 1lb of bodyweight.
2. But don’t neglect the other macros
Much emphasis can be placed on the importance of protein, yet little is mentioned about the requirement for carbohydrates and dietary fats. A well balanced diet should include a spectrum of foods, including fruit and vegetables to ensure sufficient micronutrients are being consumed. Generally you would be in search of wholesome carbohydrates such as potatoes, granary bread, wholemeal pasta, sweet potatoes, rice, and so on. Oily fish, linseeds, olive oil spread, nuts etc can also be consumed to ensure sufficient fat intake, which is vital.
3. Eat enough, full stop!
To gain muscle mass you will generally have to consume a greater number of calories than you expel. This can come as a shock to many beginners who try to gain muscle mass whilst still eating the same quantity of food as they did before beginning bodybuilding. Eating plenty of wholesome foods (and varying your food sources) will ensure your body has the correct nutrients to sustain high intensity training and growth.
4. Post workout shake
The window immediately after a workout is the time when it may be wise to promote the use of supplements over food. If you can eat a meal directly after your workout then this would be equally wise, yet many people train at gyms where post workout time is sparse and there is no real means of eating a meal. In such a situation a post workout shake containing 40g of whey protein and 50g of maltodextrin mixed in water would be ideal for most people. This can be a quick and easy way of consuming fast acting protein and carbohydrates.
5. Forget wonder pills and powders, spend your cash on wholesome foods
The only supplements you may want to spend your cash on are whey protein, maltodextrin and creatine. These can be purchased relatively cheaply, so avoid the glossy supplement catalogues and advertising (who do you think ultimately pays for the advertising?), spend you cash on quality wholesome foods and your time reading quality web sites for free! Always consult your GP before you begin an exercise program and/or supplementary regime.