diet for
your body

Diet to Support Muscle Growth

Growing muscle isn’t always easy. Sure, you can hop on a treadmill for thirty minutes a day—but you won’t grow any muscle, not in sizable quantities. If you want to grow muscle, you’ve got to hit the weights, but you also need to support your goal with a diet designed to augment protein development and weight gain. In other words, you’ve got to give your body the fuel to grow muscle. The best diets to support muscle growth will give you the strength you need to bulk up.

Information is your best friend when it comes to building muscle. And that certainly goes for your diet as well. After all, when it comes to muscle growth, your diet is going to be the foundation of your workout—this is especially true if you’re looking to build muscle quickly. Essentially, you need to make sure that you have enough energy to work out and enough protein to build your muscles back up after that work out. These diet tips will help ensure that you give yourself the best possible chance at meeting your muscle growth goals.

Why Diet is Important

For some, it may be counter-intuitive that you need to pay attention to your diet while bulking up. Dieting is for losing weight, many think, not for gaining weight. In order to understand why what you put into your body is so important, it’s helpful to know what’s actually going on when you’re maximizing your muscle.

In order to build something stronger, you first have to tear it down. That’s exactly what happens when you push your body, either lifting weights or doing other vigorous activities. In order to continue performing, your body has to start breaking down your muscles (a side effect of which is lactic acid—and heavy breathing). However, when your body rests and recovers it actually builds those muscles back stronger than before.

By repeating this process, you can build muscle. But that extra muscle has to come from somewhere. Your body needs raw materials. Your diet is what supplies those raw materials.

What to Eat

When it comes to planning your diet to support muscle growth, there’s definitely one thing you’ll want to make sure you have on hand: protein. This generally means meats and meat-like products. You’ll also want to make sure you get plenty of complex carbohydrates. Think about it this way: carbs give you short term energy while protein gives you long term reserves.

So, here’s what you should be putting on your plate:

  • Fish: They’re a lean, mean source of protein.
  • Pasta: One of the great sources of complex carbohydrates, pasta can give be a great source of energy.
  • Vegetables: That’s right, you still have to eat your greens; vegetables are a great source of a wide variety of vitamins and minerals your body uses in muscle building, especially high-cal veggies like beets and broccoli.
  • Citrus: Okay, really, it’s the Vitamin C you’re after, as it’s a great boost to your overall system.
  • Milk: Again, we’re actually after something more like calcium, but milk is a great source (in fact, marathon runners will often drink Chocolate milk after a race in order to recharge faster).

What Not to Eat

Just as there are some foods you’ll want to make sure you get your hands on, there are others you’ll want to make sure you avoid. The right food can have a positive impact on your outcomes, while the wrong food can make achieving your goal that much harder. So what foods should you avoid? Consider the following:

  • The “too-much” food: Sometimes when we exercise, we have a tendency to think “we can eat whatever we want;” overeating can hamper your results.
  • Hot Dogs: Generally you’ll want to eat meats like chicken and grass-fed beef, so while protein is good, overly-processed meats such as hot dogs are definitely bad.
  • Soy-based Proteins: If you’re a vegan, this may be your only option, but for others, soy-based proteins offer a subpar substitute for animal-based proteins.
  • Vegetables: Specifically, the low calorie kind; you need energy when building muscle, so filling your stomach with low calorie veggies such as spinach and celery may be counter-productive.

Do What Works

Above all, you should listen to your body. This might be a good time to indulge in some reasonable cravings (though, you should not overindulge). You can find a plethora of menus and dinner suggestions not only in various places on this site, but all across the internet. Make sure that you listen to your body and do what works for you.

To learn more about ways you can promote muscle growth with diet, be sure to browse our article archive.

related

statistics

500+

add to your diet

When exercising regularly, the rule of thumb is to add 500 calories to your daily diets--preferably proteins.

8.56+

calories per minute

Pushups burn up to 8.56 calories per minute. That's 256 calories in thirty minutes, if you can manage it.

387+

calories in steak

In your average steak, there are something like 387 calories. Be sure to watch what you eat.


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