Lifting weights will tear down the muscle to provide the push to build back stronger. Rest after the workouts will provide the time for the repair to take place. The most important piece after that is providing the right foods to feed the muscles so they can rebuild. The right foods to provide fuel for the workouts are important, also.
Best Muscle Building Foods
There are three major categories (macronutrients) of foods. They are carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. The fourth muscle building food (actually drink) is water. Water is essential for most functions within the body. The muscles are also about 70 percent water. The water helps with the transport of nutrients through the cell membranes and is involved in many metabolic processes within the body. Water is vital to the survival of the human body and even a 3 percent drop in the amount of water in the body (from optimal levels) can result in decreased strength, endurance, and performance. And, unfortunately, most people run around slightly dehydrated.
Muscle Building Food- Carbs
Carbohydrates are the preferred energy source for the body, especially during shorter duration, intense workouts. Those looking to build muscle should focus on quality, complex carbohydrates, with a few simple carbohydrate exceptions. Examples of these choices are; whole grain and oat breads, cereals, pasta, long grain rice, oatmeal, bagels, potatoes, squash, leafy green vegetables, beans and peas, oatmeal, white rice (in moderation), fruit (in moderation), and other vegetables (fresh preferred.) These carbohydrates will provide the energy for workouts and the glucose needed after workouts to replace glycogen stores.
Muscle Building Foods – Fats
Fats, mainly unsaturated, play many vital roles within the body. Saturated fats should be avoided as much as possible, because they do not provide any benefit to the body, and have been linked to many disease processes. Fats are used to protect and cushion vital organs, they provide lubrication to the joints, are used for energy in longer duration activities, and some fats have even been shown to improve cardiovascular health. These essential fats can be found in nuts and seeds, fish, olive oil, flax seeds, avacados, and even supplement form. Eating some fat also helps to prime the fat burning engine and help burn fat from the body fat stores.
Muscle Building Foods – Protein
Protein needs little introduction in the muscle building world. Everyone knows that protein is needed to build muscle. The amino acids from the protein are used to build new muscle fibers and repair the damaged ones. The protein source should be a complete protein to ensure all the essential amino acids are present. Good sources of protein include; chicken, turkey, fish, eggs (especially egg whites), cottage cheese, yogurt, milk (especially low-fat selections), and lean red meats and pork choices. This protein will provide the amino acids to rebuild the muscles, but also to repair the other structures in the body, build messenger proteins, produce hormones, and boost the immune system.
The best muscle building foods are clean, natural food choices. Supplementing a good clean diet with high quality supplements is fine, but the base of the diet must be quality, natural foods. Lean protein choices, complex carbohydrates, from natural sources, and some essential fats are all important to build muscle and keep the body running properly. The body cannot support the extra muscle if it is not functioning properly, and you will quickly lose all that hard-earned muscle. Keep the body primed and running properly and feed the muscles, and watch the gains explode.