Bodybuilding can either be considered a sport, a hobby or a lifestyle. Not only does it require ample discipline while training, but anyone considering the bodybuilding lifestyle must also consider the proper nutrition.
Diets like these are typically very high in protein, lower in overall simple carbohydrates, lower in bad fats, and meals are usually spaced only a few hours apart to enable the dieter to enjoy four to six smaller meals per day as opposed to three larger meals. This helps feed the body with useable energy all day.
Bodybuilding Diet Basics
A bodybuilding diet can be demanding, as muscle growth demands ample energy both from nutrition and from effort.
Proper hydration is also essential to a bodybuilding diet, as water will help keep the body’s thermogenic process revved up, and thus energy levels increase with the metabolic rate.
As far as ratios go, the best way to approach a bodybuilding diet is to make sure you have an equal amount of carbs to proteins in your meals – a 1:1 mix, blended with other essential vitamins and minerals. However, we’re talking about complex carbs here – the kinds that take longer to break down in your system. Those simple sugars like found with processed and refined foods should be avoided.
Bodybuilding Diet Food Choices
As you’ll find in the vast majority of bodybuilding articles and magazines, egg whites are always a preferred protein when attempting to build lean muscle. Boneless, skinless chicken breast, lean beef, tuna and other types of fish, peanut butter, and essentially any type of lean meat is a preferred choice for a bodybuilding diet.
Now, remember: it’s important to have a mix of carbs and proteins. Why? Bodybuilding diets require plenty of training, and this means that the body needs ample fuel to operate. To feed the body, you’ll need to ingest plenty of complex carbohydrates.
The list here is vast. Just be sure to stay far away from any junk food, processed foods, refined flours, etc.
For complex carbs, you can have bran, wheatgerm, oatmeal, cornmeal, barley, buckwheat, apples, avocados, bananas, oranges, peaches, plums, strawberries, raspberries, apricots, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, celery, green beans, pears, leafy greens, nuts and seeds, and any type of pasta/bread/rice that’s a whole grain (like the abovementioned).
Since bodybuilding is a huge sport, a gigantic hobby and a popular lifestyle, there are thousands of supplements out there catering to the genre. You can find specific cereals containing nothing but complex carbs, all types of protein supplements, meal replacement shakes, powders, pills, and much, much more.
Be careful what you’re purchasing, though. If you’re buying any type of supplement, be sure to read the ingredients list and also user reviews online. You’ll want to make sure that what you’re putting into your body is healthy and will assist you in your ultimate goal.