The most common issue for everyone who regularly exercises is the proper nutrition.
There are several reasons why most active practitioners lack proper training diet and therefore do not achieve the desired results.
The first and main reason for this is the rampant presence of numerous inaccurate information in the media by people who lack knowledge of the basic rules for proper training diet.
In this article you can read the answers to frequently asked questions about proper nutrition.
Question 1 – Is protein necessary to have regular muscle growth and how much should be consumed?
Protein is the basic and most important macronutrient for proper muscle growth.
Amino acids that are part of protein are necessary for the construction of any new muscle tissue as well as for proper functioning of our body.
As for the daily amount of protein, it should be from 1 to 2 grams of protein for every kilogram of body weight for all active athletes and bodybuilders.
Question 2 – What is the most important thing to know about the consumption of carbohydrates?
The two most important things for all active practitioners associated with the consumption of carbohydrates are glycogen and insulin.
Glycogen provides energy from carbohydrate reserves in the muscles.
When you consume bigger amounts of carbohydrates these energy reserves are recharged and our body has sufficient amount of energy to perform physical activities, resulting in proper utilization of imported protein in the process of building new muscle tissue.
If you consume a small amount of carbohydrates, these energy reserves will be quickly spent, so our body will be forced to break down its own muscle tissue.
Consuming carbohydrates also increases the level of insulin, which is one of the most powerful and most important anabolic hormones in our body.
Insulin is particularly important in the transmission of amino acids and glucose to the muscles to allow faster muscle recovery and proper muscle growth.
For proper muscle growth and to obtain the necessary energy to perform daily physical activities it’s recommended to consume 1.5 to 2.5 grams of carbohydrate for every kilogram of body weight for all active and regular practitioners.
Question 3 – Are all carbohydrates the same and which are the best to consume?
There is a big difference between different types of carbohydrates, but what you need to know is that you need to consume large amounts of slowly degradable (complex) carbohydrates (vegetables, grains and grain products are considered the primary source of complex carbohydrates, also white and brown rice, potatoes, oat flakes, fruit, leguminous plants and pasta are good sources of complex carbohydrates).
These sources of carbohydrates will allow proper muscle growth without contributing to increased excess fat.
Question 4 – What should be the total daily calorie intake?
Besides the intake of sufficient protein and carbohydrates it is necessary to have an appropriate total daily intake of calories because regular muscle growth requires a regular amount of energy in the form of calories.
The general rule is that every active and regular practitioner needs to consume 30-35 calories for every kilogram of body weight to maintain existing muscle mass.
Depending on the needs and desires of each individual this number can be higher or lower.
Question 5 – Do you need to avoid healthy fats in your diet if you want muscle definition?
Consuming small amounts of healthy fats below 10% of the total daily calorie intake is excessive and in some cases may be harmful.
What active practitioners need to know about healthy fats is that they are essential in maintaining the level of testosterone in the body.
If the testosterone levels lower down, muscle mass will certainly decrease which will contribute to smaller combustion of excess fat.
Healthy fats stimulate the burning of excess fat and improve the cardiovascular system.
Therefore it is recommended that all active athletes consume about 20% healthy fats of the total daily calorie intake.
These fats must be entered through the consumption of fish, nuts, seeds, olive oil and avocados.
Question 6 – How many meals should be consumed per day?
Professional bodybuilders are the first athletes who began to practice the method of consuming 4-6 or 5-7 meals throughout the day.
The reason for this is simple, the diet certainly gives the best results. Eating more meals throughout the day helps to have ever-greater amounts of amino acids and glucose entered through the consumption of protein and carbohydrates.
These amounts of amino acids and glucose contribute to proper muscle growth and quick muscle recovery. Therefore all active practitioners are advised to have a diet that includes a minimum 4-5 meals throughout the day.
Question 7 – Is it necessary to consume a variety of foods?
The professional bodybuilding athletes have strictly-planned diet and rarely change sources of food.
But although such a diet produces results it is recommended to consume more diverse sources of food for two weeks.
This is especially important when it comes to the consumption of vegetables and fruits.
It is recommended to consume about 3-5 different fruits and vegetables in a period of 10-15 days.
Question 8 – How much water do you need to drink?
The consumption of a smaller amount of water will certainly reduce regular muscle growth.
The reason for this is that our body consists of 75% water and the intake of water is necessary for proper muscle growth.
All active practitioners are advised to consume a minimum 4 liters of water throughout the day.
Question 9 – What to eat when you wake up?
When we wake up, our body is in a catabolic state so in order to avoid further muscle breakdown it is necessary to consume about 20-40 grams of quickly degradable protein and 20 grams of rapidly degradable carbohydrates in the form of fruit.
Question 10 – What is the best protein source for healthy snacks?
The best source of protein and calories as a healthy snack is whey protein combined with a piece of fruit.
Question 11 – Which source of protein should be consumed immediately after a hard workout?
The intake of quickly degradable protein is crucial for rapid muscle recovery and proper muscle growth.
But what you need to know is that eating slowly degradable protein ( casein ) combined with quickly degradable protein continues protein synthesis and allows better muscle growth.
Question 12 – What should be consumed as the last meal before bedtime to allow additional muscle growth while we sleep?
About 1-2 hours before bedtime you should avoid consuming rapidly degradable carbohydrates (sugars) and fats.
What you need to eat during this period is slowly degradable protein (casein) or a serving of cottage cheese in order to allow bigger supply to the body of amino acids that serve as energy for the proper functioning of the body.