FACT #1: You Need Both Protein & Carbohydrates to Gain Muscle Mass
|Build Muscle, Gain Strength the "Pro" way|
- Protein is required to repair muscle tissue after a rigorous workout. This workout may last anywhere from 30 minutes to one-and-a-half hours.
- Protein gives you the staying power to get the most from your training while also insuring exercise and nutrition consistency. It's the most important nutrient for muscle strength and a determinant of workout intensity (i.e., how hard you can lift and how long you can last).
- If you get your pre-workout protein from shakes or whey supplements then make sure that you have 1 scoop of Whey Protein Isolate, 30 minutes before you start lifting weights or doing resistance exercises.
- Based on the duration and intensity of your training, a protein blend with Creatine (nitrogenous organic acid) or Casein (phosphoproteins) is also recommended so that you have a steady amount of essential amino acids entering your bloodstream over the course of a workout day. This aids long-term protein absorption into muscles compared to Whey protein.
- Food protein is a vital requirement for bodybuilders. Dietary sources of high-quality protein include chicken breast, red meat, egg whites, tuna fish, nuts, brown rice and quinoa (these last two are actually rich in both proteins and complex carbs, i.e., good carbs).
- Carbohydrates are essential energy sources that supply Glycogen to your muscle cells. They are like fuel for the body.
- When you’re done with your workout, you will need to restore depleted blood sugar and energy levels through a complex carbohydrate meal. Just as a lean protein diet fixes your fatigued muscles, a complex carb diet restores your cellular energy.
The metabolic interaction between proteins and carbohydrates (carbs) is really a symbiotic process because they balance and support each other nutritionally.
If you're deficient in one of these sources, you'll have a harder time getting any kind of meaningful or lasting results from your workout. That's an honest-to-goodness fact of muscle building and weight training.
Your muscles may feel soft and spongy, or may lose toning after a few days of skipping gym.
Now, here's the thing: How do you decide which nutrient (protein or carbohydrate) do you need more in your diet?
That's actually quite simple to calculate and figure out.
Compare your current body weight and energy levels to your protein and carbohydrate intake.
- If you feel low on energy then you need more carbs to get that glycogen flowing more freely through your body.
- Alternatively, if your body weight (fat mass) is going up -- i.e., you are gaining weight -- then cut down on carbs and increase protein.
The best diet is always the one that takes into account your body weight, existing nutrition and weight loss / bodybuilding goals.
One more thing to remember: Carbs burn faster when you're working out, so replenishing them should be #2 on your list (after proteins at #1).
This is just as important as hydration (water intake) to insure optimum energy levels toward a fitter and metabolically active body.
So Do You Want an Easier Way to Get Fit?
FACT #2: Safely Go Beyond the “1 Gram Protein Per Pound of Body Weight” Rule
|Get protein. Get ripped. Boost your workout technique in record time.|
The rule says: you need 1 gram of protein for every pound of body weight. This means, if you currently weigh 115 lbs then you need 100-115 grams of protein per day, if you're into any kind of weight training exercise.
As I said above, protein is the nutritional building block of your muscle. Without protein, your muscles won't receive the basic nutrition (amino acids) to recover, rejuvenate and "bulk up". These protein-derived amino acids are the single most important thing in your diet (or whey isolate shake) that give you the strength to go for your health and fitness goals.
So if you weigh 120 lbs, you can safely consume 120-140 grams a day IF you work out extensively. However, don't overdo the protein. You need complex carbs too.
Since we are counting proteins, it is only valid that we count carbs too. Or at least establish a percentage baseline so that you don't have to literally count carb and calories.
Here’s the simple rule for veggies: Get them in all available colors! Red, green, orange, yellow, purple.
#2.2 Multivitamins, Juicing & SmoothiesNext, move on to multivitamins. Vitamins B, C, D and E, in particular, that take care of your nerves, blood, skin, and also supply dopamine-boosting, anti-aging antioxidants.
You can buy them in either supplement form or as fresh fruit.
|Smoothie Power! With energy-pumping antioxidants|
Smoothie #1This smoothie recipe is rich in antioxidants, vitamins and fiber. All you need are:
- Blueberries (1 cup)
- Strawberries (1 cup)
- Mango pieces (2 cups, peeled & chopped)
- Water (1/4 cup)
Smoothie #2This smoothie recipe is great for instant energy, courtesy a glorious mix of vegetables and apples. All you need are:
- Red Apples (2)
- Cucumber (half)
- Lemon (half, peeled)
- Spinach (half a cup)
- Kale (half a cup)
- Fennel (1/4 bulb)
- Celery (quarter bunch)
- Ginger piece
- Romaine lettuce (quarter head)
#2.3 Dopamine and Tyrosine: Dynamic Mood Enhancers
|Mind & Body - The Motivation to Power Ahead toward your Fitness Goals|
The biggest advantage of Tyrosine is the clean burst of mental energy lasting several hours. It makes you more alert and clear-headed without the drowsiness, dependence or side effects typical of certain nootropics.
Tyrosine is also available in supplement form (L-Tyrosine 500-1000mg) and is often taken along with Vitamin B6 50mg (pyridoxine) or Vitamin B12 (methylcobalamin) for better absorption.
5-HTP (5-Hydroxytryptophan) is added to the mix for for serotonin balance, which is vital for good sleep.
By the way, Tyrosine is also a form of amino acid, so its application in sports and muscle nutrition is valid from a cognitive enhancement ("thinking athlete") standpoint.
#2.4 Genetics and Bulking UpAt this point, let me touch on an important topic that seems to bother a lot of people who are either unable to gain weight, add muscle bulk, or simply dissatisfied by the results they are seeing from years of training.
Don't let anyone tell you its all because of genetics. Don’t let them tell that you can NEVER bulk up, or that you’ll always be skinny or fat or average.
Sure, genes do have a BIG role to play in how big, hard and muscular you can get. But since you're here -- motivated and keen on making a difference to your body (and life) -- let me tell you this:
Nutrition in the right proportion CAN (and WILL) make a helluva difference to the quality of your workouts and the quality of your results.
And so does attitude and persistence.
FACT #3: Zinc is a Natural Testosterone Booster
For male bodybuilders, an extra testosterone boost is like that mystical manna from bodybuilding heaven. This essential growth hormone adds a double-digit percentage of "man" to your manliness, making you hard in the right places and easier to gain bulk where it counts.
Also, the fact that 90% of zinc is found in muscles and bones, underscores the importance of this vital mineral to bodybuilders and weight trainers.
Just as amino acids (whey, BCAA, etc.) help your muscles bulk up post workout, testosterone provides hormonal support for the whole bulking up process.
So does that mean you start popping testosterone pills on the double?
NO! Just get more zinc from your diet.
Oysters (seafood), chicken & red meat are the best dietary sources of zinc while beans, nuts and whole grains are good supplementary sources of zinc.
Your body will thank you for it.