Being a homeschooling dad, I have gotten my head around formulas. I drum formulas into my twins every day when I teach them math. In the adult world, we can apply formulas to many of our day to day routines as well. There is a formula to losing weight, for example, and there is certainly a formula to building muscle with nutrition and other factors.
If you follow these 10 rules for muscle building nutrition, you are likely to experience great results while training.
Rule for Muscle Building #1: Eat smaller portions more often to boost your metabolism
Many bodybuilders eat 6 small meals daily to achieve this objective. Eating 3 large meals a day slows your metabolism down and drains your energy. Eat what you need, don’t eat to get stuffed!
Rule for Muscle Building #2: Supplement your diet with quality products
If you are looking to bulk up, ensure that you take a quality protein supplement with added muscle building nutrition. Protect your joints and ligaments with a product that contains Glucosamine as this helps to keep joints lubricated.
Rule for Muscle Building # 3: Combine carbs and protein with every meal
Complex carbohydrates coupled with 30g of protein will work wonders. Wholemeal breads, brown rice, oats and whole grains are examples of complex or quality carbs. Look to fish, red meat, tuna, eggs and chicken for your protein sources. [Experts say that a balanced diet is best for everyone]
Rule for Muscle Building # 4: Keep your salt and bad fat intake to a minimum
Good fats are essential and can be found in fish, peanut butter and olive oil. By the way, fish oil supplementation contains good fats and helps to lubricate your joints as well. You will find this beneficial when you are lifting heavy weights. Especially on the knees and elbows.
Rule for Muscle Building # 5: Keep simple carbs to an absolute minimum
These are found in sweets, pastries and commercial soft drinks. All you achieve with these carbs is putting on fat and experiencing peaks and lows in your blood sugar levels. Sugar also mucks about with how you metabolize sugar leading to undue tiredness.
Rule for Muscle Building # 6: Supplement right after your session with a protein meal or supplement
Some people struggle to eat immediately after a workout, they can drink a protein supplement instead. You need around 40-50 grams of protein after exercise. This will help your muscles recover and rebuild. Carbohydrates replenish lost energy and spikes your insulin levels thereby causing the release of growth hormone into your body. [Water is not enough!]
Rule for Muscle Building # 7: Eat protein and carbs at least 30-60 minutes before training
The protein will strengthen your muscles during the workout and the carbs will give you sustained energy while you train. The protein also promotes the rebuilding of muscle after a workout.
Rule for Muscle Building# 8: Increase your weight and muscle strength by eating more calories than you burn
Eat whenever you are hungry. Combining protein and carbs is the best way to achieve this. Eat before retiring to bed as your body will use the food to repair while you sleep.
Rule for Muscle Building # 9: Water is the most crucial nutrient that you need to live and build that designer body you want
Water transports important nutrients to your cells. Water also replaces electrolytes that you lose during your workout.
Rule for Muscle Building# 10: If you are eating 6 small meals a day, you will not need to snack too much
While there are many healthy snacks, most people opt for the bad ones and you don’t want to put on fat. You are here to build muscle. Plan your 6 meals in advance and stick to them. This will keep the urge to cheat at bay.
A quick note on fish oil supplementation. Each year that you age, your muscles reduce in size and strength. Older people cannot rely on exercise alone to maintain muscle strength and size, they have to supplement. I am a huge fan of prevention is better than cure so I advocate supplementing at an early age.
British researchers have found that fish oil supplementation helps to retain muscle strength. A group of people increased muscle strength by 20% after 12 short weeks of resistance training and fish oil supplementation. This compared favorably to the placebo group which only increased muscle strength by 11%.