You can’t build muscle without protein. Protein is the basic building block of muscle cells and is necessary for maintaining muscle mass. Protein is not stored in the body, so you need to maintain a constant supply of it, in order to continue building new muscle cells throughout the day. Most foods do not have good quality protein or do not have the type of protein for maximum growth.
Animal protein is an important source and can include lean beef, chicken, turkey, pork, or fish. Animal protein is usually pure protein that contains a large amount of essential amino acids suitable for feeding muscles, after all, you are eating the “muscle” of animals in most cases.
Milk protein is very good for muscle building and can come from milk, lean cheese, or protein shakes. Protein shakes can come from casein or whey. These two components of milk are different forms of protein and have different biological values.
Whey protein can come in concentrate or isolate and is by far the best protein for building muscle mass. It is rich in essential amino acids and contains L-leucine, which is an essential amino acid for muscle mass. Casein is a slower digesting protein that can also build muscle and is best for people who have long intervals between meals.
Eggs are also very anabolic and have good nutritional value. Egg protein is of high biological value and although it is not as anabolic as whey, it is often easier to digest. Egg protein is complete with all the amino acids suitable for muscle growth and is an easy and convenient way to get protein.
Plant proteins are generally not as good as animal proteins, but some of them can be very competitive. Pea protein is one of the few complete proteins in a plant and they generally taste pretty good. Soy protein is not complete, but it is still a decent replacement for animal protein. Soy has less leucine and also has estrogenic flavones, which make it less popular with bodybuilders. Rice protein is also incomplete, but it does not have the flavones like soybeans. It usually doesn’t taste as good as peas or soybeans, however, rice alone can be difficult to eat.
Foods that help you lose fat
There are many foods that help burn fat or at least give the appearance of a slimmer body. Obviously, all vegetables are good for bodybuilders and people in general. Certain foods like celery, broccoli, and asparagus have become staples on a bodybuilding diet. These foods help cleanse the intestines and are also low-calorie foods, they will also fill you up and help burn fat. Salads with little dressing are also good for this purpose. One of my favorite ways to eat salad is by adding a small amount of olive oil, lots of vinegar / pepper, and a little salt. It is very low in calories and also tastes great!
Fruits should be used sparingly, but berries are always a good choice. Berries are rich in antioxidants and can help improve sleep quality (cherries) and burn fat (raspberries). Apples are also great to eat as a snack, as they help the body process fat into muscle.
Foods that give you energy
Carbohydrates fill the muscle with glycogen, which is the muscle’s energy source. Glycogen-rich foods come from many sources, but some of the favorites for many bodybuilders include sweet potatoes, whole oats, brown rice, and whole grains that are not processed. In general, you have to eat carbohydrate-rich foods 1-2 hours before a heavy workout to ensure that you have enough energy to train properly. Carbohydrates can make you gain a lot of fat, so be careful how much you eat per day!
Fats are divided into good fats and bad fats. Some fats are exceptionally good, like olive oil and avocado. The ones that aren’t so good are refined from canola oil, soybean oil, or just “vegetable oil.” Fats like coconut oil can be used in place of carbohydrates to help give you immediate energy, while other fats like olive oil are generally healthy for you. Fats in general, can be stored easily, so use them in moderation.
Many bodybuilders use flaxseed oil to help with their joints and to feel good. Flaxseed oil does not taste good and is not good for cooking, but it seems to help with joint pain by taking 2-4 tablespoons a day!