Bodybuilding training and dieting are typically divided into two phases: bulking and cutting. The bulking phase builds muscle, while the cutting phase is preserved muscle while losing body fat. Bodybuilders exercise on a regular basis and may eat well-planned, balanced, and nutrient-dense diets, both of which give several health advantages.
Bodybuilding Nutrition: Foods to Eat and Avoid
Just like a workout, diet is a vital part of bodybuilding.
Eating the right foods in the appropriate quantities provides your muscles with the nutrients they need to recover from workouts and grow bigger and stronger.
On the other hand, having the wrong foods or not consuming sufficient of the right ones will leave you with subpar results.
Include a variety of nutrient-rich foods across and within all the food groups in your diet. Avoid or limit alcohol, foods with added sugars, and deep-fried foods. In addition to your diet, whey protein, creatine, and caffeine can be useful supplements.
Here are foods you should focus on and foods to limit or avoid:
Foods to eat include:
Meats, poultry, and fish including Sirloin steak, ground beef, pork tenderloin, venison, chicken breast, salmon, tilapia, and cod.
Dairy including yogurt, cottage cheese, low-fat milk, and cheese.
Grains including bread, cereal, crackers, oatmeal, quinoa, popcorn, and rice.
Fruits including oranges, apples, bananas, grapes, pears, peaches, watermelon, and berries.
Starchy vegetables including potatoes, corn, green peas, green lima beans, and cassava.
Vegetables including broccoli, spinach, leafy salad greens, tomatoes, green beans, cucumber, zucchini, asparagus, peppers, and mushrooms.
Seeds and nuts including Almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds, chia seeds, and flax seeds.
Beans and legumes including chickpeas, lentils, kidney beans, black beans, and pinto beans.
Oils including Olive oil, flaxseed oil, and avocado oil.
Foods to avoid:
Alcohol can have a negative effect on your ability to build muscle and lose fat. This is especially if you consume it in excess.
Added sugars: These give lots of calories but very little nutrients. Foods that are high in added sugars such as candy, cookies, doughnuts, ice cream, cake, and sugar-sweetened beverages, such as soda and sports drinks.
Deep-fried foods: These might promote inflammation and when had in excess, they may cause disease. Examples are fried fish, french fries, onion rings, chicken strips, and cheese curds.
In addition to avoiding these, you might also want to avoid certain foods before going to the gym that can slow digestion and cause stomach upset during your workout.
High-fat foods such as high-fat meats, buttery foods, and heavy sauces or creams.
High-fiber foods such as beans and cruciferous vegetables like broccoli or cauliflower.
Carbonated beverages such as Sparkling water or diet soda.
Many bodybuilders take dietary supplements. Some of these are useful while others are not.
The best bodybuilding supplements bodybuilders can have include:
Whey protein is an easy and convenient way to increase your protein intake.
Creatine provides your muscles with the energy needed to perform an additional rep or two. While there are many brands of creatine, the most effective one is creatine monohydrate.
Caffeine reduces fatigue and enables you to work harder. This is found in pre-workout supplements, coffee, or tea.
A multi-vitamin and mineral supplement might be helpful if you’re having some limits on your calorie intake in an effort to reduce body fat during your cutting phase.
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