Understanding nutritional science and consuming the right muscle nutrients at the right time can fuel both your training and the muscle hypertrophy process. Mastering the nutritional science of developing lean muscle is just as important as the intensity of your workout in the gym. Without the right knowledge, you stand to lose muscle mass (a condition called Sarcopenia), or hinder potential growth – its that simple.

THE BUILDING BLOCKS OF BUILDING LEAN MUSCLE WITH FOOD

Eat Right

Eat Right - Muscle Nutrition

Overload the muscles

Overload the Muscles - Nutrition

Keep hydrated

Keep Hydrated - Muscle Nutrition
The truth of the matter is, your muscles will not grow without the proper muscle nutrition. Consuming good nutrition is more than paying for the latest and greatest sports supplement – regardless of what promises the label may make. If you are truly serious about having that competitive advantage and making optimal gains you will need to implement the best nutritional strategies that are tested and proven by science. Your consumptions will need to be calculated and regimented, feeding your body with the nutrients it needs to adapt to your intense training program.

3 Vital Macro- Nutrients

Protein Carbohydrates Fat
Nutritional Protein nutrition-carbohydrates nutrition-good-fat

Micro – Nutrients Essential for Performance

Vitamins and Minerals

Vitamins and Minerals

Pre-workout meal   |    Post workout recovery meal

Lean Muscle Meal Planning

muscle nutrition - protein

Protein

For optimal muscle nutrition, protein should be consumed approximately every 3-5 hours.

The body should never go beyond 5 hours without eating some source of protein. Studies show the body’s anabolic response to protein consumption lasts approximately 3-5 hrs, therefore, to build muscle it is suggested you consume protein 4 – 6 times per day, and eat enough at each meal to meet your dietary regime. You should also make sure not to consume more protein than your body can physically absorb in one sitting.

Our bodies need protein in all instances of “growth” that it partakes.

Our bodies use protein to build and repair, as well as to produce hormones and enzymes. Protein is necessary for optimal functioning of the immune system. Weightlifting is one activity that places a great demand on the body. It needs protein to grow muscle and it needs protein for its upkeep. Protein is fundamental to building muscle and increasing strength.

Not eating adequate amounts of protein each day is the quickest way to prevent muscle growth and speed up the development of sarcopenia (loss of muscle due to ageing).

Types of Protein

There are two main sources: whole food protein and supplement protein.

Whole Food Protein

Whole Food Protein
Whole food protein comes from natural food sources. In this class you will find chicken, fish, and beef. The leanest whole food protein choices are chicken, fish, eggs, turkey and lean red meat. Protein from meat shows to be significantly helpful to the weightlifter. Studies have shown that meats (this includes fish, chicken, turkey, pork) help with the increase of testosterone levels. Lean varieties are better for consumption. The best vegetarian choices are eggs, low-fat cottage cheese, low-fat greek yogurt, tofu, quinoa, almonds, rice, and beans.

Protein Supplements

Protein Supplements
Protein supplements are found as powdered or in a liquid form. They contain protein from some different sources such as whey, egg, and soy (soy is not suggested). There are also plant-based supplements which are derived from high-quality protein sources such as hemp, quinoa, and brown rice.

Though you do not need to supplement your protein in this manner, it makes it easier when consuming protein 4-6 times a day.

Not all protein supplements are the same. In fact, most of the leading brands are riddled with unnecessary chemicals and additives. With the number of protein supplements and superfoods one has to choose from – it is important to do your research.

Protein Absorption 

The body is only capable of digesting and absorbing between 30 -60 grams of protein in one sitting. This is dependent on your individual metabolism and on the state of your digestive tract. What this means for the bodybuilder is that you cannot make up one protein meal by trying to consume 2 at the same time. The body cannot absorb it all.
Another point to factor in is that there are a variety of protein sources that will digest at different rates. Some will be used more readily by the body than others. Beef protein can be digested rather quickly, 80% of what is consumed, gets utilized. Whey protein is a fast- digested protein also. Egg protein digests at a slower pace than both whey and beef yet 90% of what is consumed gets utilized by the body.(90NPU) NPU and digestion speeds are important to understand because bodybuilders want to rely on proteins that are high-NPU.

Quick-digesting protein is essential for post-workout, whilst slow-digesting protein is needed as the final meal before going to sleep.

nutrition-carbohydrates

Carbohydrates

Many people equate eating carbs with becoming overweight. What people don’t understand is that carbs play an essential role in muscle growth.

The body breaks down carbohydrates into 2 substances: glucose and glycogen. Glucose is commonly referred to as “blood sugar,” glucose is an energy source that the cells use with frequency. Glycogen is a substance found in the liver and in the muscles. It may be converted fairly easily into glucose for instant fuel. When a bodybuilder lifts weights with intensity, what happens is the glycogen that is stored in the muscle gets burned up to deal with the overload.

How do we differentiate between carbohydrates?

Glycemic Index
There is a numeric system, which helps us rank how quickly carbs are converted into glucose. The name of this system is the glycemic index. Carbs are ranked from 0 to 100. It is dependent on how they affect the blood sugar levels once consumed. A GI rating of 55, for example would be considered “low GI,” 56 to 69 is medium, and 70 and above is high on the glycemic index. When one talks of a “simple” carb, it is by definition one that converts quickly and is high on the glycemic index. Examples of this would be honey or watermelon. A complex carbohydrate is one that is slow to convert (low GI). Examples of this would be an apple or broccoli, while a “complex” carb is one that converts slowly (is low on the glycemic index)

Knowing where your consumed carbs fall on the glycemic index is important. Evidence shows that regular consumption of high-GI carbs increases the risk of developing heart disease and diabetes.

Most of the daily carbs you consume should be eaten before a training session and at post workout. This is when your body needs them the most.

Suggestion:

10 – 15% of your daily carbs should be consumed before training

30 – 40% of your daily carbs should be consumed after training

Metabolism -by definition

Calories

A calorie is a measurement of potential energy in food. It may come from protein, carbohydrate, or fat. Our bodies use the energy from food to perform all the physiological processes required to live. Every organ in our bodies uses energy to fulfil their tasks.

In the case of our muscles, they also need the energy to contract and extend. Our bodies need energy so that it can build muscle. We even require energy to lose fat.

Definitions of Nutritional Science : Food Science

How does our metabolism factor into muscle nutrition?

Our metabolism is at its natural peak in the morning. What happens as the day goes on, is it slows down. Strangely as a society we have typically favoured having our most important meal of the day in the evening. An evening is not the optimal time of day for our bodies to digest a large amount of food. Just as the circadian cycle dictates the best time for us to sleep is when the sun goes down, our digestive cycle should be considered when planning our meals of the day. It makes more sense for our bodies to consume our largest meal of the day when the metabolism is cranking, rather than later when it has slowed down. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day and it should always be consumed. It sets us up for the day, and our bodies will respond with its full digestive prowess.

Hormones and Fat Loss

Insulin that is created by the body has a job to do. It processes and absorbs carbohydrates that are consumed. This stops the body using fat as an energy source. Interestingly, our bodies will naturally burn most of the fat consumed while we are sleeping, thus when one goes to bed with elevated insulin levels it interferes with fat loss.

Studies also indicate that the production and processing of insulin interfere with GH production. GH has potent fat-burning properties. Our bodies will naturally produce growth hormone when we are asleep. When the body has too much insulin consumption before we sleep, growth hormone production suffers which then robs you of the natural fat burning and muscle building benefits of sleep.

You should only consume lean proteins after dinner so as to avoid stunting one’s growth hormone production.

nutrition-good-fat

Fats

Consume healthy fats - saturated fats
Fats are important to consume, for they help the body absorb other nutrients that you have consumed. Fats nourish the nervous system, regulate hormone levels and assist in the maintenance of cell structures. There are fats that are unhealthy, which can lead to disease. For years we have been misguided by studies of the past which have convinced us that all fats essentially make us fat and increase the risk of heart disease. This is not true. Not all fats are the same. Not all fats are bad. Unprocessed saturated fats, for instance should be consumed daily. Saturated fat is found mostly in animal products like meat, dairy and egg yolks. There are also some plant foods that are high in saturated fat. Examples of these are coconut oil, palm oil, and palm kernel oil.

SATURATED FATS ARE GOOD FOR YOU! ESPECIALLY MCT’S (MEDIUM CHAIN TRYGLICERIDES FOUND IN COCONUT) 


The Truth about Cholesterol and Saturated Fat

The Omega 3 : Omega 6 Ratio

The Ketogenic Diet 

Keep-hydrated

Water

EPOC training
The human body is approx 60%- 70% water. Muscles are made up of approx. 70% water. In order to have your body working optimally you must have adequate hydration. Your body’s ability to digest, transport, and absorb nutrients from the food you eat requires water consumption. Water also helps us prevent injuries by its ability to cushion joints. Dehydration negatively affects every physiological process in the body.

Assure when you are drinking water that you choose water that is filtered and purified. Check the mineral content.  Do your research so that you are not consuming contaminants  in drinking water. The best drinking water is that which is derived from a spring and is “live water” or reenergized water.

Vitamins and Minerals

Vitamins and Minerals

There is a full spectrum of vitamins and minerals necessary for the body to carry out the millions of tasks required of it, even just on a cellular level. Consuming a continual supply of vitamins and minerals is necessary to support the growth and repair process that occurs within the body.

Unfortunately, in the world we live in, we can no longer rely on absorbing vitamins and minerals from the food we eat. The quality of the soil our fruit and vegetables are grown in, alongside all the pesticides and additives used in farming – supplementing is imperative for the maintenance of health. This holds true for organic vegetation as well.


The Benefits of Vitamin C

Safe Tanning and Vitamin D

Bodybuilding and Muscle Hypertrophy 

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  • The Fit 5: Pre- and Post-Workout Nutrition. Men’s Fitness. 2012
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  • Cribb PJ, Williams AD, Stathis CG, Carey MF, Hayes A. Effects of whey isolate, creatine, and resistance training on muscle hypertrophy. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2007 Feb;39(2):298-307.
  • Hulmi J, Lockwood C, Stout J. Effect of protein/essential amino acids and resistance training on skeletal muscle hypertrophy: A case for whey protein. Nutrition & Metabolism 2010, 7:51.
  • Van Loon LJ, Saris WH, Kruijshoop M, Wagenmakers AJ. Maximizing postexercise muscle glycogen synthesis: carbohydrate supplementation and the application of amino acid or protein hydrolysate mixtures . Am J Clin Nutr. 2000 Jul;72(1):106-11.
  • Varnier M, Leese GP, Thompson J, Rennie M. Stimulatory effect of glutamine on glycogen accumulation in human skeletal muscle . American Physiological Society. 2012.
  • Poole C, Wilborn C, Taylor L, Kerksick C. The role of post-exercise nutrient administration on muscle protein synthesis and glycogen synthesis . Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (2010) 9, 354-363.
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