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Muscle Building Nutrition Basics

Mar 15, 2008
Nutrition is probably THE most important part of building muscle. In fact, I'm willing to go a step further and say that you will NOT build muscle without the proper nutrition.

You could have the best bodybuilding workout in the world but if you don't have good nutrition, you're not going to get anywhere. The same applies to weight loss. You could run all the time but if you are eating junk food you aren't really going to lose the weight.

For building muscle the number one thing to keep in mind is you need protein. Protein is the building block of muscle. A lot of people will argue about how much protein you need but a good rule of thumb is one and a half to 2 grams of protein for every pound you weigh.

So, say you have an individual who weighs 160 pounds he needs 240 to 320 grams of protein every day. Personally, I'd recommend between one and two times your body weight. Also, it is important to eat healthy.

To build muscle, there are a couple of important times you need to eat. You should eat immediately after you lift. It's important to get protein immediately after lifting. Preferably you need whey protein, which you can get from a supplement and just mix with juice, milk, or water.

One of the things that have helped me gain a lot of muscle the past few years is taking a pre-workout and post-workout shake.

I take a scoop of whey, mix it in 12 ounces of juice or Gatorade, and add some creatine and/or glutamine. I sip one before and after working out and it's helped me gain about 30 pounds of muscle the past 2 years.

When you lift weights your body is going to be using a lot of glucose, so in order to refill that and repair the muscle you need carbs right after training. I'd recommend that you get that from fruit juice, like grape juice, or from a sports drink, like Gatorade.

When you lift weights, you're using up all your glucose and you need to replace that so it can repair and build your muscle tissue.

Certain types of fat are definitely good and other types of fat aren't going to help you at all.
There is saturated fat and polyunsaturated fat and you want to keep the saturated fat low.

If you're having a meal that has over 5 grams of saturated fat and you are eating that all the time that is probably going to be too much.

You can get good fat from peanuts, peanut butter, flaxseed or lean meat.

Everybody needs to be getting a multi-vitamin. I would also suggest as I said earlier a 100% whey protein and for a lot of people creatine is a great supplement and also a multi-mineral and flaxseed.

For breakfast, some of the foods I have are egg whites, orange juice, bananas, oatmeal, whole wheat bread, bagels, and meal replacements.

I don't eat all of these, I pick and choose depending on my mood, but I like to vary it.

For lunch, I have tuna, chicken, fish, lean red meats, brown rice, and a ton of green veggies like brocolli, green beans, and asparagus.

For dinner I usually have tuna, other fish, steak, hamburg, chicken, turkey, or another lean meat. I also have either brown rice or a potato. And more veggies. You almost can't eat enough veggies.

In between meals, I'll usually have a meal replacement shake or whey protein shake. To build muscle, you need to be eating every 3 to 4 hours.

For supplements, I currently take a multi-vitamin, fish oils or CLA, whey protein, creatine, and glutamine. I only use supplements that have been proven to help build muscle, lose fat, or increase strength. The rest I stay away from and save my money.

That's basically how you set up your nutrition to build muscle mass.
About the Author
For more about muscle building nutrition and some of the proven supplements he recommends to his personal training clients, check out Shawn LeBrun's supplement and nutrition page: Proven muscle building nutrition
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