The benefits of a good muscle building program are numerous. In addition to increased strength, you have more energy, stronger bones, less chance of injury, and less likely to get some major diseases. If you add good food to build muscle, you will find that the benefits increase many times over. What are some good food options for building muscle? Here are some solid principles for eating right to build muscle mass.
First, it is recommended to eat 5-6 smaller meals every day instead of the traditional 3 larger meals. You want to eat about every 3 hours. You can determine how many meals by dividing the number of hours you are awake by 3. If you are awake for 18 hours, eat 6 meals. This avoids overloading your digestive system with protein and carbohydrates at every meal, leading to bloating, poor digestion, and excess body fat.
Second, approximately 35% of your total daily caloric intake should consist of protein. The general rule of thumb is to consume about 1 gram of protein for every pound of body weight every day. This should be around 40-60 grams of protein at each meal for men and 30-40 grams at each meal for women. When choosing your protein source, look for high-quality protein, such as lean meats, poultry, and fish. For dairy products, try cottage cheese, yogurt, and some part-skim cheeses. Eggs, whites, seeds, and nuts are also an excellent source of protein. If you need it, you can add a whey protein powder to increase your protein intake.
Third, you should have between 60 and 80 grams of carbohydrates at each meal. Carbohydrates provide our body with energy. Without enough, the muscle building process will slow down because your muscle tissue can be used for energy. You want to eat mostly complex, high-fiber, low-glycemic carbohydrates, rather than the simple carbohydrates found in processed and junk foods. Try to eat mostly whole grains, brown rice, barley, oats, beans, buckwheat, and cornmeal along with a good variety of fruits and vegetables.
Fourth, getting the correct type of fat in our body is essential to any healthy diet. About 30% of your caloric intake should be fat. There are 3 types of fats, saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated, and the key is to balance your intake by consuming about 1/3 of each of them in a day. Since most Americans are lacking in mono (olive oils) and poly (fish oils) fats and are sufficiently saturated, then you want to make sure you increase the amount of olive oil and fish in your diet.
Finally, choose whole foods as much as possible. To optimize your health and muscle gain, plan to eat healthy foods at least 80% of the time. By following these tips for eating good muscle building foods, you are on your way to the best health benefits that will promote the best possible muscle gain.