FEEDING THE PERKS
Most men understand the importance of protein in building muscles. When working out, the stress of weightlifting damages muscle fibres. This damage activates a special repair process that eventually forces individual muscle cells to grow. All of this growth requires loads of amino acids, the basic building blocks of life.
But the process of muscle growth requires more than just protein. Weightlifting also burns energy in the form of muscle glycogen, so your diet also needs to include a healthy serving of carbs to both replenish muscle glycogen stores and to boost insulin, a hormone that helps shuttle amino acids into the muscles. Muscle building can never be a complete success without the proper diet and the adequate nutrients to feed those fibers. Curious?..No neeed!
This should be a STAPLE of your diet if you want to gain muscle mass. Why? Because it is loaded with all sorts of things conducive to muscle growth. On average, a three-ounce serving of lean beef is only 154 calories, yet it provides ten essential nutrients, including iron, zinc and B-vitamins. More importantly, it provides your body with high quality protein (not all proteins are equal), and a high level of amino acid that works with insulin to promote muscle growth. For those who are trying to lose weight, this should come as great news – a 3 ounce serving of lean beef provides roughly the same amount of protein as 1.5 cups of beans, but at half the calories.
Like beef, it is an excellent source of high quality protein, which is important for muscle maintenance and repair, bone health, and weight maintenance. And of course, there are so many ways you can cook and prepare chicken. Go down to the store and you can easily find chicken meat cut into single serving sizes that can be seasoned and quickly cooked.
Eggs contain high quality protein, nine essential amino acids, choline, the right kind of fat, andvitamin D. But you have to eat the yolk. In addition to protein, it also contains vitamin B12, which is necessary for fat breakdown and muscle contraction. To sum it up, they are the most value for money. And please note, eggs are not harmful for your health, as numerous studies have already shown.
There is a reason why whey protein supplementsare the most popular supplement in the bodybuilding world: because they provide a fast and convenient source of protein at an affordable price. Bodybuilders normally use them when they wake up, right after their workout, and mixed with some of their meals. However, for those of us non-bodybuilders, simply using itright after our workoutscan be very effective for muscle mass gains. Do not rely on it completely though. It’s more important to get high quality protein fromwhole foods, and use whey protein as a boost. There’s so much more about whey protein, if you want to find out more,click hereto read a comprehensive article I have written on how to best benefit from it.
Tuna and Other Fish:
High in protein, low in fat, and rich in omega-3 fatty acids. The key here is omega-3 fatty acids. They are essential, not only for health reasons, but also becausethey improve fat lossand ensurethe proper function of your body processes, such as yourmetabolism. “Omega-3’s can decrease muscle-protein breakdown after your workout, improving recovery,” says Tom Incledon, R.D., a nutritionist with Human Performance Specialists. This is important, because to build muscle you need to store new protein faster than your body breaks down the old stuff.
Oatmeal is an ideal source of carbs due to both its lowglycemic index (GI) valueand the fact it is minimally processed. The benefits of a low GI diet are as follows:
*Better micronutrient profile and more fiber
*Lower subsequent energy intake (second meal effect)
In short, enhanced fat loss for those looking to lose weight, and a constant source of carbs for muscle preservation.
Whole grains digest more efficiently and provide more nutrients than refined grains, and as such promote sustained energy levels and overall health. For instance, brown rice can help boost your growth hormone levels, which are critical for encouraging lean muscle growth, fat loss, and strength gains.
The monounsaturated fat in olive oil appears to act as an anti catabolic nutrient. In other words, it prevents muscle breakdown by lowering levels of a sinister cellular protein called tumor necrosis factor-a, which is linked with muscle wasting and weakness (kind of like watching The View). And while all olive oil is high in monos, try to use the extra-virgin variety whenever possible; it has a higher level of free-radical-fighting vitamin E than the less chaste stuff.
How it builds muscle: Whether it’s in your shins or your shoulders, muscle is approximately 80 percent water. “Even a change of as little as 1 percent in body water can impair exercise performance and adversely affect recovery,” says Volek. For example, a 1997 German study found that protein synthesis occurs at a higher rate in muscle cells that are well hydrated, compared with dehydrated cells. English translation: The more parched you are, the slower your body uses protein to build muscle.
Although we typically suggest that you eat fruit as a preworkout carb, since most fruits are slow digesting, watermelon is one of the few fruits that are fast digesting. That means it spikes insulin levels, making it a good postworkout carb. The red flesh and especially the white rind of watermelon are high in the amino acid citrulline, which is readily converted to arginine inside the body and boosts arginine inside the body and boosts arginine levels even better than taking arginine itself. Higher levels of arginine lead to higher nitric oxide levels and higher GH levels after training, both of which are critical for enhancing muscle strength and growth. Boosting NO levels after workouts means there’s more blood flow to the muscles, which will enhance recovery and aid muscle growth.
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The author Prince
Hi, I’m Prince.. a registered Dietitian, an avid reader and a passionate writer. I hope you enjoy my articles as much as I enjoy writing them