Everyone is aware that your muscle-building abilities are one-part diet, and one-part regular exercise. While it's great that common knowledge is so prevalent, people often ignore things like proportion or balance when it comes to planning meals that will contribute to this eventual muscle gain.
It takes a fair amount of nutritional savviness to shape a diet that inches you towards accelerated lean muscle mass growth, but we've got some tips to help you along.
HAVE A DOSE OF CLAs
CLAs, also known as conjugated linoleic acids, are a naturally occurring fatty acid made from omega-6s. CLAs are typically found in foods like beef and dairy, and are also readily available in supplement form. They are best known for being able to reduce body fat, and maintain this loss while amping up the body's ability for lean muscle mass growth. CLAs are also an anti-carcinogen, and have anti-diabetic properties. Try to work in CLAs because you'll not only have adequate protein to build muscle, but reap all its other benefits too, especially on the fat burning front. In order to get lean muscles to show up, you need to burn fat as you gain muscle mass. Swap out the chicken for a beef steak once in awhile, or take a CLA capsule. Check out our CLA supplements here.
DON'T AVOID FATS
Many tend to think that a diet targeted to lean muscle mass growth entails minimum carbs and no fats. This is false. Eating healthy fats has numerous benefits on your physicality, including the ability to reduce inflammation, promote heart health and lowering the cholesterol levels in your blood. Though these plus points may not have obvious links to building muscle, you definitely can't hit the gym to push for the body you want when you've got heart issues, as well as sore muscles. Ideally, eat poly and mono-unsaturated fats. These are fats that are not solid at room temperature, similar to olive oil. Also try to supplement with omega-3s where possible, as it definitely helps keep your blood pressure stable, while reducing inflammation in your joints. Keep the fats moderate, and make healthy fats your focus where possible. Check out our omega-3 supplements here.
We're not talking about carb-loading here. Just don't ignore those carbs entirely. Carbs are actually integral to getting your body into an anabolic state, where it builds lean muscle mass. There are key periods during the day where a dose of carbs is a must. First off, right when you wake. Your body is in starvation mode, your cortisol levels are up, and you need to give yourself some fuel lest your body goes into breaking down muscle for energy. Next, after your workout. Eat fast carbs that will cause your insulin levels to increase, as this pulls out the amino acids from the blood, which you've consumed through you protein shake, and directs them to the muscle tissue.
EAT FOODS THAT ARE RICH IN GLUTAMINE
Glutamine is one of the essential amino acids that contribute to protein metabolism. This is because it is a key amino acid that encourages your body to secrete Human Growth Hormones — an important hormone to support lean muscle development in the body. It is the most common amino acids in your muscles, and the main transporter of nitrogen throughout your cells. When you work out, your glutamine sources dip significantly, and this causes a lowering of strength, the ability to recover, and your stamina. When you take glutamine, you'll receive all its anti-catabolic, muscle-building benefits, and this is especially useful for anyone looking to cut, or get lean. Glutamine is commonly found in foods like spinach, fish, eggs, nuts and cabbage. You can also choose to get your daily dose from supplements. Check out our glutamine supplements here.
KNOW HOW MUCH TO EAT
All these tips would be useless if you don't exactly know how much your body needs to eat, or if you over eat. A caloric deficit is counter-productive, and so is a caloric surplus. Know the right proportions of carbs, fat and protein that should be in your diet so you have a better grasp of what you ought to eat, and how much of it. Calculate your macros, or seek the help of a professional nutritionist to advise you on an eating plan. Having fixed numbers to guide you does wonders for being able to monitor your food intake too.
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