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Bodybuilding Nutrition Tips

Bodybuilding Nutrition for Muscle Building

A big part of your progress is related to nutrition. Your muscles recover from the stresses of training and grow in direct proportion to the quality of food you consume. How you eat is also important. Divide your total food intake into four to five meals each day to ensure a constant supply of vital nutrients.

Protein is the most important nutrient for building muscle mass. Protein is broken down into amino acids, which are essential for the repair and growth process to take place. Make sure that you consume 1 gm of protein per pound of body weight daily, derived mainly from fish, chicken, turkey, lean beef, egg whites, yogurt and protein supplements.

The next category is carbohydrates. All carbohydrates are broken down into glucose (sugar), which is the body's primary source of energy fuel. The speed at which this conversion takes place, however, varies. Carbohydrates that are assimilated rapidly cause a high insulin response, which leads to increased fat deposition. You're better off with carbs that take longer to be absorbed. These are known as low-glycemic-index carbs. Try to consume plenty of fresh fruits, vegetables, legumes and pasta. Limit your intake of sugary food and processed foods like white bread. Medium-index foods such as rice and potatoes are OK in moderation. Consume 1.5 to 2.5 gm of carbs each day, depending on your metabolism and activity level.

The final nutrient is fat, which is the chief stored form of energy inside the body. Fat is important for your health, so don't try to eliminate it from your diet. Doing so will actually slow down your muscle-building efforts. Still, most people consume more fat than they need. Restrict your intake to 30 gm per day, and whenever possible, avoid saturated fats. Choose the healthier mono- and polyunsaturated fats instead, such as virgin olive oil and flaxseed oil.

Your daily food intake should consist of 40 to 60% carbohydrates, 20 to 30% proteins, and 10 to 20% fats. An easy way to approximate the right ratio is to eat two portions of healthy carbohydrates for every single portion of protein. Remember, too, that many protein sources contain fat, so part of your fat intake will be "hidden." If you want to get the best results from your training, you have to eat plenty of high-quality protein every day.

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