Even Bodybuilders Need a Balanced Diet

December 2, 2011 by  
Filed under Bodybuilding

A bodybuilder or strength athlete’s performance is impacted to a large degree by their diet. That is to say, what an athlete eats affects their ability to do their chosen sport. Because of this it is important that all strength athletes learn to choose and eat in a way which is both healthy and promotes success in their sport. For muscle builders this means increasing protein and carbohydrate intake without neglecting the vitamins and minerals contained in vegetables and fruit. Essentially weight lifters still need to maintain a balanced diet. But what is a balanced diet for a weightlifter?

The diet of a bodybuilder needs to contain enough of the right nutrients for them to be able to perform their workouts and then allow their muscles to grow during rest. The carbohydrates give the energy, the proteins build the muscles and the vitamins and minerals provide a healthy boost to the system or the body’s running gear. The fruit and vegetables produce health results over a long period of time and also help to keep the body protected against viruses, diseases and general wear and tear. Lets look a little more closely at each of these food groups.

Protein rich foods, such as lean meats and protein shakes provide the protein that the muscles need to grow. Muscles grow in strength by increasing the proteins actin and myosin, about 30 grams per meal will help your body do this. (Scientists are questioning whether any more than 30 grams per meal is beneficial as it appears this is the maximum amount the body can process at any one time.) Protein shakes help the process of getting protein by giving an easy way to consume protein between meals and at times when convenience is needed, such as directly after a workout.

Carbohydrates provide long lasting energy and are ideal for consumption an hour or two before a workout. Because they have to broken down to be used complex carbohydrates give a bodybuilder the energy they need to keep up the intensity of their training right through a lengthy weight training session. All successful bodybuilders load up on carbs,a lot of people forget that successful bodybuilders and weight lifters don’t do low carb diets!

The most important group is the vegetables (particularly green vegetables) and fruit, simply because these are the group that provide you with lasting health. As well as the vitamins and minerals from this group, a lot of fruits also contain electrolytes which your body loses from sweating. Fruit is fantastic after a sweaty workout and replacing lost electrolytes quickly can help avoid fatigue and head aches. This group of foods is the one that dictates your long term success in the weight lifting field!


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