Being not only muscular, but also healthy is very trendy. More and more men and women therefore regularly go to the gym and eat according to a special diet plan. In principle, this is to be welcomed, because building up strength and muscles has positive effects on our general well-being. Those who maintain a healthy level of both training and nutrition will feel fit and able to perform. Here is an overview of the most important rules for a muscle-building diet.
On the way to more muscles, the right nutrition plays an important role. No matter how hard you train - if essential nutrients are missing, no muscle growth will take place. Basically, our food can be divided into the three macronutrients carbohydrates, protein and fats. Carbohydrates provide us with quickly available energy, which we need especially during intense and strenuous activities such as a workout.
Protein is the so-called muscle building block and plays a central role in muscle building. Our muscle fibers consist of about 80 percent water, the remaining 20 percent are composed of amino acids, the individual components of protein. If you train hard, you create tiny micro traumas in your muscles that can be repaired with the help of protein. For this purpose, the protein supplied by the diet is broken down into the individual amino acids and can thus be used as a building material - the result: the muscle grows.
The third group of macronutrients is formed by fats. Fats have the highest energy content, but also provide numerous essential nutrients for the body. A distinction is made between saturated and unsaturated fatty acids.
Basically, to stay healthy and efficient, the body needs all three macronutrients. Radical diets, in which fats or other macronutrients are completely dispensed with, are counterproductive and can harm our health. If you want to lose weight, you should reduce carbohydrates or only eat them when you are really going to exercise. Those who want to build muscle should first consider three things in their diet plan:
- The daily calorie intake should be about 300 to 500 grams above the total metabolic rate for normal weight people, depending on their body type.
- At least 1.5 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight should be consumed daily.
- Meals should be taken in several small portions throughout the day to ensure a constant supply of nutrients to the muscles.
It is also important to include high-quality products in one's diet and to eat "clean". Junk food such as pizza, hamburgers or cakes mainly contain saturated fatty acids, quickly available carbohydrates and are almost free of vitamins, minerals and trace elements. Recommended sources of carbohydrates include potatoes, rice, quinoa or vegetables, as the carbohydrates they contain are metabolized slowly and contain numerous nutrients. Excellent sources of protein are low-fat meat, fish, eggs or dairy products, which also provide the body with high-quality fats. Fruit, for example in the form of bananas, berries or apples, and vegetables, for example avocados, broccoli or spinach, should not be missing from any diet.
Whether protein shakes, amino acids, weight gainers or creatine - the dietary supplement industry is booming at the same rate as the fitness scene is growing. New supplements appear on the market almost daily. But how useful are the powders and pills? Generally speaking, no supplement can replace a balanced diet, good training and sufficient regeneration in the form of sleep. Only if these three basic pillars are right, you will achieve good results. If you think you can get a shortcut with various supplements and build up muscles faster, you are wrong. Especially fitness beginners should first get used to the right diet before consuming additional products.
That being said, a protein shake after a workout makes perfect sense as it provides the body with amino acids faster. Creatine also very likely has a performance-enhancing effect, even if the final scientific proof is missing. However, one should not expect miracles. A substitute for intensive training and the right nutrition plan are these means never.