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Muscle Building Nutrition 101

Mar 14, 2008
Correct muscle building nutrition and a quality muscle building diet are often the most neglected parts of a weight training program.

Building muscle requires the right nutrition. Make no mistake, it's an essential part of weight lifting and if you want to build muscle, you have to get it done. Bottom line -- if you want to build muscle, you need to consume quality calories.

How many calories?

You need to consume more total calories in your muscle building diet than your body uses each day. It's important to understand that the human body is constantly working, using and storing energy day and night.

It's also very important to understand that in order to keep the machine rolling, you need to know what and how much to feed it. This is the single most important element in the muscle building process.

You need to feed your body a correct balance of calories, protein, carbohydrates and fat. Complete muscle building nutrition is the key. If you can find this key, your muscle building efforts will sky rocket.

Complete muscle building nutrition leads to optimal nutrition and optimal results. Over supplementation of certain nutrients will lead to imbalances in overall nutrition and is damaging to your weight lifting diet and health.

It is very important that you understand the importance of nutrition when building muscle. Without good nutrition and diet, your muscle gains will be non-existent and at best, poor.

As a muscle builder, it's important that you get your muscle building nutrition down to a science. Your success is dependent on a well-balanced and complete diet that includes your optimal nutritional intake.

Poor dietary habits will hinder your progress and may eventually lead to injury to muscles and bones because they are not supplied with the nutrients needed to support the added stress of weight lifting.

What builds muscle?

Protein builds muscle. Without an adequate supply of protein, your body will not support any kind of muscle growth. If you supply your body with the optimum amount of protein, you ensure optimal growth; it's as simple as that.

After all, you want to build muscle and to do that, you need a steady supply of high quality protein. You must include an optimal amount of protein in your muscle building diet in order to build and sustain muscle growth.

So how much protein should you include in your muscle building nutrition for maximum performance and muscle gain? Each of us has very different body types and the amount of protein will differ from individual to individual.

Protein intake will also depend on the amount of activity involved and how frequently you do it.

Your muscle building diet should be comprised of 30% to 40% protein, or about 1 to 1.5 grams of protein per pound of body weight. You will have to do a bit of experimenting at the beginning to find out your optimal protein intake.

What fuels muscle?

If you want to build muscle, you're going to have to take in a lot of quality, complex carbohydrates. No question about it. You are going to have to fuel your body to handle heavy weight lifting.

You must include an optimal amount of carbohydrates in your muscle building nutrition program in order to fuel heavy weight lifting sessions.

Carbohydrates are a very important source of fuel for the muscles as well as the leading source of energy for your body. When you have a hard workout, your body draws on carbohydrates, which is stored as glycogen in the muscles.

Glycogen is the product of glucose, which comes from the breakdown of carbohydrates after the digestion of food. Glycogen is stored in the liver and muscle.

During a long intense muscle building session, you can easily deplete your glycogen reserves. When your muscles cannot get enough glycogen, fatigue sets in and your body begins to lose endurance and performance drastically reduces.

However, there is a way to delay the onset of muscle fatigue. By taking enough carbohydrates each day in your muscle building diet, you are ensuring that the amount of glycogen stored in the muscles is being constantly replenished.

Every meal must have sufficient carbohydrates to sustain your hard intense workouts It is suggested that your muscle building diet consist of 40% carbohydrates. If you want to build muscle, you need quality carbs every meal.

If you don't consume enough quality carbohydrates, your body will resort to other fuel sources such as protein.

Protein is a second rate energy source. Protein's primary job is to build muscle, not fuel it. Therefore, keep your body filled with grade A fuel to support and maximize your hard, intense muscle building workouts.

If you use the tips written above in making your own personal muscle building nutrition, you'll be a lot healthier and you'll succeed in having the rock-hard body you've always wanted.

But this can happen only by having good muscle building nutrition.
About the Author
Trainer and fitness expert Shawn Lebrun shows you, step by step, how to build muscle, lose fat, and get your best body ever in 2006. Learn how to build muscle and lose fat
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