Many bodybuilders believe the right nutrition is ultimately responsible for as much as 80% of a bodybuilder's success. It is true that what you eat is a large contributor to body composition and how quickly you are able to achieve your bodybuilding goals. Below are five basic guidelines for bodybuilders to use when planning your diet.
1. Get Enough High Quality Protein
All of the muscles in your body are formed from protein, and so it is important that you get enough extra protein in your diet to accommodate the muscle growth you are trying to achieve. Animal protein, is significantly more usable that the protein you can get from plant or vegetable sources. The protein present in egg white is one of the best sources of protein, as around 90% of it is absorbed easily by the body. The protein in milk is also readily absorbed, followed by white meats such as chicken and fish, and then by red meats.
2. Avoid REFINED Carbohydrates
I want to make it clear that carbohydrates are a vital part of any diet and should not be omitted unless you have some medical reason for doing so. However you should be trying to get your carbohydrates from unrefined and fresh sources like fruit and vegetables, and whole grains. The beauty of these types of carbohydrates is that they are Low GI foods, which provide lower peak but more long-lived sources of energy. Refined carbohydrates such as white flour and white sugar are High GI foods and provide large yet brief bursts of energy in the form of glucose. Because you can't use all of this energy at once, you have a short-term surplus which often gets stored as fat. It also leaves you flat and hungry once the short-term effects have worn off.
3. Minimize Animal Fats
All types of fats contain substantially more calories than either protein or carbohydrate. Animal fats however can be more harmful to the circulatory system, in particular the heart, than vegetable fats. This is relatively easy to do by avoiding egg yolks (which are quite fatty), eating fish and skinned poultry and avoiding high fat meats like pork.
4. Drink Lots Of Water
I don't think I need to go into this much, but dehydration has been shown to reduce performance levels. While you might want to reduce your fluid consumption immediately before consumption to make yourself looked more ripped, it is important that you keep you fluid levels up in your training to ensure that you are operating at your peak. Keep in mind that you will sweat quite a lot in the gym so you need to add extra water on top of the average 8 glasses a day that is a general recommendation.
5. Eat Four To Five Smaller Meals A Day
We are usually taught to eat three big meals a day, however if you are serious into your bodybuilding you might want to consider eating 4 or 5 smaller meals each day. By eating smaller meals more frequently you provide more consistent nutrient and energy levels for your body throughout the day, instead of large peaks and troughs. This also makes digesting meals a bit easier for your body as it doesn't have large volumes to content with.
These are just five of the many dietary recommendations for bodybuilders. They are some of the more fundamental recommendations however, and if you follow these guidelines you are well on the way to correct nutrition for bodybuilding. The next think you might want to consider is how much protein and energy you need to consume each day I order to meet your energy needs.