Thursday, June 30, 2005

Bodybuilding Tips: Eat Right to Build Muscle

One of the first things that any bodybuilder learns isthat
your body requires the right nutrients to build muscle.
No matter how much you work out and exercise, withoutthe
proper building blocks, your body will not be able tobuild
the muscle that you want.

A bodybuilder's diet isn't just a matter of calories.It's
important to consider where those calories come from,what
sort of nutrients they're made from, and even when andhow
often you fuel your body with them. Physical trainersand
sports nutritionists have come a long way since the days
that they recommended a huge steak and a lot of pastafor

While the importance of protein in a bulking up diethasn't
changed, it's now only one of many recommendations fordiet
and nutrition while you're trying to build your body.The
focus these days is on total nutrition - a healthybalance
of proteins, carbohydrates and other essentialnutrients.

Instead, experts suggest splitting your calories oversix
meals, spaced out over the course of the day. Your first
meal should be immediately after rising, your last aboutan
hour before bed.

Your body needs six basic groups of nutrients:
Protein is the basic building block of cells for yourbody.
In bodybuilding, it helps repair cells, builds andrepairs
muscle and tissue, provides energy and helps regulatethe
metabolic processes of your body. While training, youneed
to eat at least one portion of protein with every meal,but
red meat is no longer the favored protein source. Whey,
chicken, fish and other seafood provide completeproteins
that are easily digested by the body and translated into
lean muscle mass.

Your protein should come from a low-fat, high quality
source. While red meat is fine on occasion, the added
calories and saturated fats can play havoc with some of
your bodily systems. Plan on fish - tuna fish is fine,as
is shrimp or scallops - at least three times a week. Eat
chicken, cheese, eggs or legumes as well. Don't forgetthat
peanut butter is an excellent source of protein, too!

Fats have an undeservedly bad reputation in weight lossand
nutrition circles. Your body needs some fat in order to
build and repair itself. The trick is in eating theright
fats in the right amounts. Fats break down into three
types - saturated, mono-unsaturated and poly-unsaturated.
The unsaturated types are the kind you want in yourdiet.
They add essential fatty acids to your diet that youcan't
get anywhere else. Fish is one of the best sources.

Another vital indredient your body needs when you'retrying
to bulk up and define those muscles is plain, oldordinary
water. You need just about 1/2 ounce of water for every
pound of your body weight daily to stay healthy andbuild
new tissues. The bigger you are, the more water youneed.
An easy way to be sure you get plenty of water (and yes,
you can drink those fancy new fruity waters if you want)is
to drink 2-3 8 ounce glases of water with each meal.

Your body also requires minerals - non-organiccompounds
that are found in plant and animal foods - to processand
rebuild itself. Calcium, magnesium, iron, manganese and
zinc are just a few of the minerals that your body needsin
order to function properly. The only way to be sure toget
all the minerals that you need is to eat a varied diet,or
to take a mineral supplement that includes therecommended
daily allowance of all the minerals your body needs.

Minerals are inorganic compounds that our bodiesdon't
create, but need. That means that they must be consumed
in your diet. These include iron, magnesium and zinc,
which your body uses for building strong muscles.

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