It is widely known amongst bodybuilders, dieticians and trainers, that successful bodybuilding is over 50% nutrition based. You can gain strength and mass undoubtedly by working hard at the gym, but without a flawless program of nutrition, there is only so much you can achieve. Get serious about nutrition and you’ll gain muscle easier than ever. Most research will show you that attention to macronutrients – the right proteins, fats and carbohydrates – combined with diet supplements and appropriate meal timing, will ultimately reward you in the best possible way.
Simply put, you need to be consuming at least 1 gram of protein per pound of your own body weight – each and every day. Protein is the source for the amino acids which make up the protein strands in muscle. Essentially; muscle is made from protein, so you need protein to make muscle. The department of health recommends less than half a gram of protein per pound of bodyweight for the average adult, but extensive research has shown that athletes, muscle mass and strength dependant athletes in particular, need around twice that amount to see results.
If you are a beginner, you should actually aim for about 1.5 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight, each day, for at least the first six months of your new routine – this is the period during which your muscles will respond most rapidly to your training regime. In example, if you weigh 180lb, you need 270 grams of protein per day at the beginning, and an absolute minimum of 180 grams each day afterwards.
The quickest and most ideal sources of instant protein for beginners are lean animal products such as chicken, turkey, beef, fish, eggs and dairy. These are complete protein sources so they provide your body with every essential amino acid necessary. It is worth noting, however, that pound for pound all of the proteins needed for building muscle are even more readily available in a variety of plant based products than they are in meat; it is worth researching which vegetables etc. are of the most value in this case,
As a beginner body build you will need to consume 2-3 grams of carbohydrates per pound of bodyweight every day. Protein is undoubtedly the most important macronutreint for growing muscle, but it is crucial to remember that carbs are a very close second. Carbs are stored within your own muscles as ‘glycogen’, they keep your muscles large and full, and they provide them with fuel during your workouts.
To notice a gain in mass, as a 180lb individual, you will need to start out with 360-540 grams of carbohydrates each and every day. At meal time the best carbs to choose are slow-digesting sources such as whole grains, sweet potatoes, beans, fruit, oatmeal, vegetables. Further information on these and meal ideas can be found here.
Protein vs. Carbs – Which Is Best?
If you are a beginner to bodybuilding, you may have come across the question of whether it’s more beneficial to focus on carbohydrate intake or protein intake. In truth, both and more are essential to your nutritional development. Follow the rules about nutrition and do not sway from your lifting routine, and soon enough, the term ‘beginner’ will be long gone from your life.