Proteins are the essential building blocks of the muscles and bodily structure. Every single cell contains some form of protein, including enzymes, amino acids, and some hormones, such as insulin. Protein builds muscles; carbohydrates fuel muscles and fat is necessary for distributing vitamins needed to build healthy cells. These three elements are essential for a healthy, muscle building diet.
In the case of athletes who want to add and maintain muscle bulk, it’s extremely importable to have ample dietary sources of complete protein that support muscle development. When protein is digested, it is slowly broken down into groups of amino acids. This slow digestion of proteins provides a prolonged feeling of fullness. In addition to protein for building healthy muscle mass, it’s important to fuel workouts with well-balanced meals containing 55-65% carbohydrates. Carbo-loading works by packing glycogen into the muscles. Glycogen is stored like powerful energy packs that are used to provide instant bursts of energy. When prolonged energy is required, the body burns fat instead of glycogen. Fat is another important ingredient for healthy cellular and muscular development. Many important vitamins, such as vitamins A, E, D, and K are fat soluble, which means the body cannot absorb them without fats or oils. Essential fatty acids and polyunsaturated fats found, fish, fruit, nuts, and seeds are also important for developing muscle bulk. Essential fatty acids help digest of protein, decrease insulin sensitivity, and regulate hormones.
A well-balanced meal for weight training and increasing muscle bulk should include 55% carbohydrates, 30% protein, and at least 15% healthy fats. All meals should be built around complex carbohydrates that provide the majority of the calories. To satisfy protein requirements, weight lifters require two to three servings of protein-rich foods daily, which equals 75-90 grams or up to 35% of a 2,000 calorie diet. Meals should include at least one serving of complete protein, such as meat, or two complimentary, incomplete proteins for a healthier amino acid package. Red meat should be consumed in moderation. When possible purchase the leanest cuts of meat and opt for chicken or fish over beef. Vegetable-based proteins are excellent because they provide carbohydrates and fiber as well as essential vitamins and minerals. Branched-chain amino acids found in whey and casein milk protein are extremely valuable for muscle development. Look for protein shakes and muscle supplements that contain these ingredients. Additionally, liquid amino acids can be used as a seasoning ingredient and food supplement.
Healthy Carbohydrates and Fats for Weight Training
- Baked potatoes
- Brown rice
- Nuts and seeds
- Sweet potatoes
- Whole grain cereals and breads
Sources of Complete Protein Include
Cosumnes River Community College, Weight Training Nutrition.
http://www.crc.losrios.edu/Documents/athletics/fitness/assignments/Weight Training Nutrition.doc
Mercer County Community College, Basic Human Nutrition, mccc.edu
Dr. Hirsch, Protein Lecture 6, rutgers.edu
Harvard School of Public Health, The Nutrition Source Protein, hsph.harvard.edu