Nutrition and physical activity are essential if you want to gain muscle. It is vital to challenge your body through physical activities, but it is also necessary to get proper nutritional support.
If you are working out intense and not consuming nutrient-rich foods, you will not reach where you want to. So, it is essential to obtain all the nutrients properly to get a perfect lean muscle mass and strength.
1. When And How Protein Should Be Eaten For Muscle Gain?
2. Nutrients Your Body Need For Muscle Gain
3. The Final Say
Our body breaks tissue every minute and replaces it with the food we eat. Therefore, we should consume more protein during building muscle mass than we usually eat.
The body needs high-quality protein to obtain strength, which is considered the most conventional way to achieve the physical goal.
A study in the Journal Of Applied Physiology found that muscle size increases by 0.2% each day during the first twenty days of a strength training program. Therefore, beginners need more protein than a person who has been training for a long time.
It is better to consume protein each rather than rating the whole day's protein in one meal. Although, if you are not able to consume protein in each meal, then three meals which contain protein should be consumed to replenish your body with lost proteins.
A study in the Journal of Applied Physiology shows that subjects who got at least 20g of protein 6 times a day lost body fat and increased lean mass, with or without training.
Here is a list of nutrients that your body needs for muscle growth.
Water is excellent for digestion and absorbing the nutrients in the body. In addition, it carries all the consumed nutrients to different body parts and muscles, making them stronger and reducing soreness.
Calcium consumption, primarily during bodybuilding, promotes contractions, increases energy and gets used as you work out.
Protein is mainly used to replenish the wear and tear of the muscle done through exercise. It is made up of amino acids that the body cannot produce. Therefore, it is vital to consume protein.
You can get these from plants or animal-based products. Moreover, it helps to link with some of the hormones and enzymes which signal the body to repair itself after heavy physical activity.
Glutamine is a conditionally essential amino acid that helps to repair the digestive tissue of the digestive tract. Therefore, it works when doing intense abs workouts or weightlifting. Moreover, it also helps to boost immunity and aids the function of the stomach. You can get glutamine from fermented foods, fish, chicken, eggs etc.
Magnesium is excellent for reducing muscle cramps that occur due to high-intensity workouts. Moreover, you can combine magnesium and calcium to bolster sleep and lower blood pressure.
Potassium helps to carry nutrients to the muscles. Moreover, it works as an electrolyte in the contraction of muscles.
The primary function of potassium is to carry water to the muscles. Likewise, it helps to eradicate sodium from the body through the kidneys. A few studies say, " People who do not get enough potassium are at higher risk for hypertension and heart disease.
Vitamin D strengthens the bones and promotes testosterone in the body which keeps the balance between the growth of the muscle and its maintenance. Although taking vitamin D daily helps to reduce anxiety and promote good mental health.
The vital function of B12 is to produce RBC (Red Blood Cells), which contains Haemoglobin and binds with oxygen and carries it through the entire body and helps to metabolise the fats and proteins for the repair of the muscles.
Carbs help to reproduce muscles by providing energy to them, especially post-workout. They work as building blocks which assist in the repair and growth of the muscles. Moreover, carbs help restore glycogen loss, and every bodybuilder needs some carbs in the diet.
Beta-alanine is a non-essential amino acid that has been shown to aid muscle cramps from intense workouts. In addition, beta-alanine helps to reduce cramping and fatigue.
Iron carries oxygen to the blood cells and muscle tissues which helps to aid immunity and metabolism. Low levels of iron prohibit oxygen transfer in the tissues and muscles.
Distinct sources of proteins and amino acids are required for muscle gain. Ample plant and animal-based sources provide a good amount of amino acids, proteins, and other vital nutrients the body needs. Beans, milk, paneer, fish, and chicken are some examples.
Along with that, the body requires specific micro and macro nutrients like carbs, vitamin D, iron, magnesium and potassium for the overall health of the muscle and other body parts that engage in healing. Therefore, it is essential to understand the need and how to provide it to the body to gain lean and strong muscles.
1. Which foods are best for muscle gain?
Foods like chicken breast, whey proteins, lentils, beans, nuts, seeds etc., are best for muscle gain as they contain high-quality proteins and amino acids.
2. When should I eat if I want to gain muscle?
As per The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, you should have carbs and proteins before the workout to build muscle. Also, you should ideally eat one to three hours before exercising. Again, it is because carbs fuel your body while protein builds and repairs it.
3. Is supplementation necessary to gain muscles?
If you are consuming a proper diet that fulfils all the body's requirements to gain muscle, then there is no need to opt for supplements. You can also consult your doctor and dietitian for better advice.
4. Which foods to avoid for muscle gain?
Processed foods, high-fat, fried, oily, and sugary foods should be avoided for muscle gain.
5. Is it compulsory to take animal sources if you want to build muscle?
No. If you are a vegetarian, you can choose plant sources like soy products, legumes, nuts, pulses, milk, paneer, etc.
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