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Natural Bodybuilding Nutrition
By Tom Faller
Wrong nutrition will hinder you from growing as much
as wrong training. If you got the basic rules in proper eating this will not
only help reach your training goals easier but also improve your health and overall wellness.
Generally you need all that is referred to as 'healthy' nutrition. If beer, cakes, soft-drinks,
sweets (chocolate), mayo, salad dressings are part of your everyday food, you should
rethink it. The following
elements are needed to make your training successful, to build and recover your body:
Everybody knows that muscles are made of proteins. Proteins are made of amino
acids in different proportions (e.g. glutamate, aspartate, alanine, serine, valine,
leucine). Not all proteins are as well
absorbing as others because of their chemical structure. Take cow milk for example
of which you will probably not get all proteins in your blood stream because of their complex
structure. How much protein are needed for a bodybuilder was always subject to controverse
discussions. In the end it seams that the following guidelines are true: There is
a minimal intake level to make sure your body can grow that is around 1 to 2 grams per
kilogram of your body weight. There is an upper level (more than 4 grams per kilogram?)
over which protein is just torn down by your liver. Some good natural protein sources
are turkey, chicken, fish (white), lean red meat, egg whites.
Do you need protein supplements?
Protein supplements are not needed and are no magic key to boost up your body, but they are
healthy so far. As a natural bodybuilder there is a reasons to take them:
If you can't or don't want to always prepare good food on a regular basis. A protein drink
at the right time can make life easier. L-Glutamine, the most important amino acid
for muscles, is another good example for supplementing: When dieting or doing much cardio
it can help to prevent your muscle tissue to be torn off.
The faster the local energy stores in the muscles are filled after a heavy workout
the faster protein synthesis can start and make you grow. Its urgent to have lots of
carbs ready during a workout and also after it.
To differ carbs by complex and simple carbohydrates was a pretty good approach but today there
is a better: Stick to carbs with a low glycemic index because they don't
let your blood sugar peak. Its is better to have a constant carb intake the whole day
which ensures that protein synthesis can go on without interrupt and its less probable
to save excess energy in form of fat.
They are urgent in catching free radicals which are the destruction products of weight
training, some are directly involved in the synthesis of muscle buildup (B complex vitamins).
They can also help to support your immune system which could be 'overloaded' by
Minerals are used in making bones, tendons and joints stronger, which is an nice side
effect of weight training (if you don't take steroids).
There are essential fatty acids that can't be built by the body and must therefor
come from your nutrition, say a tea spoon of them a day. But for the rest its a must
to have a low fat diet for every trainee. More and more people are realizing that
excess bulking up and dieting down just makes them stand still in a long time
perspective. There's normally no reason to have a high fat diet.
How to lose fat?
Sometimes people ask why I am always in shape. I think in a long time perspective when
it comes to fat. When I'm missing some weight (e.g. after holidays or after being sick)
I concentrate on eating a bit more than normally but still quality food and have
my weight back in 3 to 4 months. When I have too much fat I concentrate on eating
better food (but not necessarily less) the next half year or so to reach my goal
towards the following summer. I don't calculate calories, I steer by starting from
the current intake and adjusting towards my goals. Of course this needs some experience
with your body.
How much eating?
In the army I learned to eat a lot and I gained
8 pounds of pure muscles without much training (only on weekends). Thats when I realized
that for me its important to eat enough to grow. Now I eat enough when the 'engine is
burning', meaning hours and days after workouts. On real off days I don't overeat because
this would be stored as body fat anyway.
My main advice is: Eat healthy and eat a lot!
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