Why Nutrition Is Essential for Building Muscle?
Strength training is the new buzz word when it comes to fitness and health. If it hasn’t been your thing well now Is a better time to start than any. Rocking muscle is more than looking good in a tank or legging and crop top… the benefits are huge.
Here are many reasons gaining muscle mass may be one of your goals. It comes with a variety of health benefits, namely, a speedy metabolism, increased lean body mass, including reduced risk of injury, stronger bones, definition and these are just a few…
Muscle mass requires a combination of a lot of good food and hitting the weights, but not all diet and exercise plans will provide the gains you’re looking for. You probably already know that gaining muscle mass requires a combination of proper nutrition and strength training — Fuelling your muscles with the right amounts is one of the most important factors to achieving your muscle-building goals.
The first thing that comes to mind when people are ready to start their diet to gain mass is protein, protein, protein…. (poached chicken and broccoli anyone??)..
Protein is great but it won’t get you there solo.
You also need quality carbohydrates to spur muscle recovery and repair. Glucose from carbohydrates pre and post activity increases your ability to pump more weights, so super important.
Yes, You Have to Eat Enough Protein
In simple terms, protein is the building block of muscle tissue and contains amino acids
that help our bodies synthesize hormones that help us to build muscle, Amino acids helps us fuel our workouts as well as regulate our sleep — which is when our muscles recover and rebuild.
Specifically, the one main AA, leucine, is super critical. When working out our muscles tear, this means our muscles develop tiny tears that allow for new muscle growth — and leucine stimulates that growth and repair.
Where do we get this super amino acid from?
To see gains, getting enough Leucine and other AAs is essential. Animal products have the 9 essential AA so, leucine from eating meats, poultry, eggs, dairy and fish. If you are plant based, a combination of plant protein means you will get more varies AA profile. Good Plant-based sources of leucine (and protein) include; Firm tofu, Navy beans, Squash and pumpkin seeds, Peanuts.
The AMOUNT of Protein?
Well this is very much dependent on everyone’s individual needs.
The daily RDI for protein is 0.8g per kg body weight and for someone trying to gain muscle it would range between 1.2-1.7 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day.
A July 2017 (1) meta-analysis published in the British journal of Sports Medicine, evaluated a total of over 1,800 study participants, resulting in an ideal protein intake for building muscle is up to 1.6 grams of protein a day to support muscle growth. However, loading your plate with even more protein won’t do you any good with no additional gains.
Best protein sources are, plant based natural protein powders and natural smoothies, nuts, legumes, lentils, eggs, tuna, fish, meat.
Is timing important?
We know why and what to eat, but is timing of importance? Yes, it certainly is. Timing keeps us on track to meet the amount of protein we need for muscle gain. It also ensures a slow and steady supply of amino acids throughout the day thus reducing the amount of muscle protein breakdown that may occur. A good quality protein powder is a great idea, it allows for a fairly complete amino acid profile and can be easy to take throughout the day, not to mention is lean and low in saturated fats.
If you’re hitting the gym early morning, I would drink about 1/3 of your smoothie upon wake up and the rest in between your workout. Followed by a car and protein meal after your workout as absorption of glucose and glycogen is peak.
Muscle growth occurs after training, during and in recovery. So, to build muscle, you need to not only train well, but you also need to recover well from those workouts — which is where nutrition comes into play. Muscle synthesis increases by 25% when protein intake is spread throughout the day as opposed to just at the dinner…. supported by a 2014 research article.
In fact, muscle protein synthesis increased by 25 % when protein intake was spread throughout the day versus eating the majority at the dinner meal (2). Researchers suggest aiming for 30 grams of protein per meal (2).
Worried about your carb intake?
Without carbs there is no fuel, rather muscle atrophy!!
Protein for sure is needed to build muscle but it isn’t the only thing you need to get lean…. Carbohydrates are super crucial in muscle-building and maintaining endurance during workouts. The body uses glycogen, or glucose (a carb) that’s stored in the liver, as fuel for your workouts.
To sustain your strength training sessions carbohydrates are essential, whole carbs such sweet potato, whole-wheat pasta, quinoa, brown rice, beans and fruit will provide a slow releasing carbohydrate along with other vitamins and minerals that the body needs to adequately recover from workouts.
Carbohydrates stimulate insulin which promotes amino acid uptake and muscle protein synthesis. How much is not so concrete, but the consensus is 1:1 or 4:1 carb to protein.
Building Muscle means more Food – doesn’t sound so bad!!
Muscle increasing is a process needing additional calories. If your weight is currently stable, start by increasing 30g protein…. via lean nutritious proteins, like seafood, fish, tofu and carbs like whole grains, fruits and vegetables. Increasing high processed fat will only lead to gaining fat.
The most important thing is progressive overload?
You must lift heavy weights and continue increasing the weight to see results — also known as progressive overload.
Training hard, strength training progressively, larger load or heavier weights all build muscle!
One must strength train progressively to build muscle. The loads must get heavier, the reps greeter. A muscle-building diet won’t help you build muscle if you’re not strength training!
Reversing ageing – yes please!!!
After 30 we lose about 3-5 percent of our muscle mass per decade, unless we are actively strength training…. metabolism decreases with loss of muscle with age…So not only will muscle gain, through nutrition and diet help but more so it will help counteract Mother Nature.
As with any new nutrition or exercise program, be sure to consult with your physician and a registered dietitian before making any changes to your normal routine.
(1) British Journal of Sports Medicine 1. Publication history Accepted May 31, 2017 First published July 11, 2017.Online issue publication, March 01, 2018
(2) The Journal of Nutrition Dietary Protein Distribution Positively Influences 24-h Muscle Protein Synthesis in Healthy Adults, Madonna M Mamerow et al
The Journal of Nutrition, Volume 144, Issue 6, June 2014, Pages 876–880