Not all diets are the same. This is even more true for those who are eating to bulk up. Muscle building diets are different from regular ordinary meals because of the nature of muscle building itself. Tearing down muscle tissue and building it back up again requires more than the usual everyday diet. A muscle builder’s nutritional requirements have to be met since food is the fuel that makes muscles grow. The best muscle building workout is doomed to fail if it is not undertaken with correct nutrition in mind.
There are three essential nutrients to a muscle building diet. Protein, fats and carbohydrates — and they must all be taken in the right amounts. Protein is essential for the growth, maintenance and repair of muscle tissue. When you’re trying to build muscle, you need vast amounts of protein to heal the muscles broken down during workout. Carbohydrates are the body’s main source of energy. Eating enough complex carbohydrates like whole grains ensures that your body does not get its fuel from protein (since you need this to build muscle). Last but not the least, are the fats which should be taken in moderation. Consumption of “good fats” (those that come from plant-based oils and beans) over “bad fats” from animal-based products is advocated. These three should be staple nutrients in any muscle building diet. To bulk up, the ideal daily requirements per pound bodyweight is from 1 to 1.6 grams for protein, about 2.5 grams for carbohydrates and a meager 0.25 grams for fats.
Based on these nutritional requirements, it’s now a simple task of stocking up your pantry with foods that contain them.
To meet your protein requirements, you’d want to make sure that your refrigerator has lean meats (chicken without the skin, lean beef and pork), poultry, fish, eggs and an assortment of nuts. If you’re on a budget, go for ground meat since this gives more for your money. Pasta, rice, breads, potatoes and cereals and fruits and vegetable in season will meet your carbohydrate needs as you’re attempting to build muscle. Your fat requirement should come from vegetable oils like virgin olive, flaxseed and sesame. Meal replacement shakes that are rich in protein may also be helpful in muscle building but should be taken in moderation and not used as meal substitutes. It’s also good to have calorie-dense food like chocolates and almonds around to stave off sugar cravings.
Your muscle building meals must be spread out six times in one day, preferably in three hour intervals. Because it can be difficult to cook six times a day, you need to prepare your meals ahead of time and refrigerate them so they’re ready to eat. Make sure you invest in quality storage containers for your foodstuffs. Canned tuna and salmon are protein-rich foods that would be really convenient to have around. To provide you with the energy you need during exercise and the nutrients your body needs for muscle repair, it’s advisable to eat at least an hour before you workout and one hour after, making the latter your most heavy meal of the day.