The importance of nutrition, when it comes to muscle growth, cannot be stressed enough. Without proper nutrition, supplementation, and hydration you will make minimal strength gains and will struggle to promote muscle growth. When this happens, most will tend to get down on themselves and quit. Most people who are in the gym lack knowledge of nutrition, so let's not overwhelm you and let's break down the 3 basics:
All About Proteins
Composed of various amino acids are the actual building blocks of muscle tissue. Protein builds, repairs, and maintains your muscles. Which is very important due to the fact most of us should or have intense weight lifting sessions and puts a high demand for it on your body. To achieve maximum muscle growth you will need a wide range of amino acids that must be consumed every day. There are 20 amino acids, and the human body naturally produces 12 of them. The others are called “Essential Amino Acids” which can only be obtained through food or supplementation. You need to get a good protein intake to make sure you grow, but many of you out there will take your protein consumption to absolutely un-necessary amounts, and this is a problem that needs to be addressed. Over excessive protein intake has a harmful effect on both the kidney's and liver, and makes the human body burn valuable protein for energy. Keep protein consumption to the ideal amount depending on your bodyweight, there is no need to over-do it.
The Different Sources
The system of ranking different sources of proteins is called the Biological Value (BV). The higher the BV, the faster the protein is absorbed and used within the body. Here are the best sources of protein and their BV's:
Derived from milk, this protein is by far the best source available. With a maximum BV of 157* note that normally a BV cannot be higher than 100, but keep this amount in mind as an approximation* , this protein is absorbed the fastest and most efficiently. Found in powder form and mixed with milk or water, it can be found in supplement/health food stores or the internet.
Before whey was marketed, the old fashioned egg was the leading source of protein, containing a maximum BV of 100. The reason being that there is a complete animal inside an egg. And I realize that some bodybuilders avoid this source because they don't like the taste of eggs everyday, but it is nearly perfect and very convenient to use because it can be eaten in many different styles, and can also be drank. You can also buy egg protein in powder form. The yolks can be bad for you if too many are eaten. I wouldn't recommend eating more than four per day.
This protein is a blend of casein and whey has a maximum BV of 91. The whey is fast acting and provides you with protein quickly, and the casein in milk is slow developing, this is why many bodybuilders drink milk before they go to bed. A very convenient source as well, and can be added to whey shakes to get some slow developing protein also. Casein supplements are also made in powder form.
Beef, tuna, and chicken all have excellent sources of protein, containing a maximum BV of 80. Also, meats contain creatine, a naturally made compound that produces energy for muscles through the bloodstream, then is converted into phosphocreatine which supplies muscles with ATP (in other words, energy to help your workout, we will discuss this in more detail later).
All About Carbohydrates
Carbohydrates are the body's most readily available source of energy, fuel the muscle building and other life process while sparing the protein you consume to be used for muscle growth. But beware, any unused carbohydrates can be easily stored as body fat, so the time of consumption will determine if they will be stored as fat or not. The trick is to consume just enough carbs to keep your body out of a ketonic state (using protein for energy). Ketosis is not a desired state to be in, because it will eventually lead to your body using muscle tissue for energy, which is obviously not good. A good rule is for every gram of protein you consume, consume 2 of a carbohydrate. Also, get a wide range of both simple and complex, and use the two sources to their advantage.
The Different Sources
There are two different sources of carbohydrates we are concerned about:
These are the fastest acting sources, and provide the body with quick energy. Some common sources are fruits, fruit juices and sugar.
These are slow acting sources and provide you with long term energy. Some common sources are pastas, breads, rice and oatmeal.
All About Fats
Contrary to popular belief, fats are essential for building muscle mass and help your body function properly. Fats are also the body's source of stored energy, protect inner organs, and act as an insulator for the human body to keep warm.
The Different Sources
There are two main types of fats:
Stay away from these fats as much as possible, they are usually found in beef. Keep saturated fat intake to a minimum.
These fats are stored for energy and actually help muscle building. Almost every food contains some unsaturated fat.
Hope this has enlightened some of you on the importance of NUTRITION and how important it plays a role in your strength and growth!
Remember “NO EXCUSES, JUST HARD WORK”.