Your diet is just as important to bodybuilding as lifting weights. For best results, one cannot exist without the other. And just as you might change your weight lifting strategy for specific goals, it is just as important to change your diet for different needs.
For casual or competitive bodybuilding, two primary needs must be fulfilled; build lean muscle mass while cutting body fat. This difficult task is only achieved through a disciplined lifting routine coupled with a well thought out bodybuilding diet plan.
All bodybuilders want to build and shape lean muscle mass. Good bodybuilding diets need to be rich in healthy calories full of proteins and nutrients needed to fuel muscle growth and maintain good energy levels.
Like other sports specific diets, it is important to know all of your food and supplemental choices to ensure you have a well-balanced diet. The best bodybuilding diets will not only provide foods for muscle building, but allow for flavorful options and flexibility in choices.
If you are a serious bodybuilder looking to grow muscle and cut fat, you should consider a true bodybuilders diet plan to compliment the hard work you put into the gym. Start with a budget in mind. Know what you can spend on foods that will help you eat lean and healthy. A budget is also important for knowing what, if any, supplements you can comfortably add to your diet.
Dietary supplements are great for replacing natural sources of nutrients that might be difficult to consume through food. After you know what you can afford, think about implementing your bodybuilder's diet on a day-by-day basis. For serious muscle growth, it is recommended you consume nutrient-rich meals every two to three hours each day.
The foundation of bodybuilding nutrition is protein. Protein is made up of nitrogen, amino acids and other nutrients vital to muscle growth. It is terribly important to consume appropriate amounts protein above normal daily requirements.
Sports nutritionists commonly recommend 1.5 grams – 2.0 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day for serious bodybuilding. Too much protein is unnecessary. The most common bodybuilding foods rich in protein are beef, chicken, fish, milk and eggs.
To balance out protein intake, it is necessary to include healthy carbohydrates and fiber. Wholes grains such as oatmeal, brown rice and vegetables such as broccoli are great examples of quality carbohydrates.
Lastly, a good diet plan should include healthy fats found in fish oils, almonds and flaxseed, for example. A typical bodybuilding diet might be segmented to 40% protein, 40% carbohydrates and 20% healthy fats. It is rather easy to find and try a sample bodybuilding diet to start out with. One might look something like this:
The timing of these meals depends on your daily routine, but should occur no longer than every three hours for ideal nutrient intake. The amount of each food and supplement should be measure according to your specific needs. It takes effort to know how many calories and nutrients to consume for each meal.
A bodybuilding contest diet will be very similar to the above sample. Off-season and early contest preparation should center on bodybuilding diets for mass gain. You can slightly increase carbohydrates and healthy fats while maximizing your protein intake to give additional fuel for growing muscle mass.
Do this with consideration of your desired body fat percentage. Closer to contest you certainly want to eat bodybuilding diets for cutting. You can tweak your carbohydrate intake back and reduce certain healthy fats and dairy products. It is also of utmost importance to remain hydrated during any diet and fitness program.
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