Power Foods Defined
The Basics of Body Building – Power Foods Defined – When you decide you want to undertake a body building program, the foods you eat can make a huge difference in the effectiveness of your program.
Many people don’t pay enough attention to the types of food they eat. But food is very important in a body-building program.
Food supplies us with calories. Calories are tiny bits of energy that your body uses to perform work. Counting calories isn’t as important as knowing what calories will be the best ones to consume for the maximum effect on your workout.
To have enough energy to perform your workout, you’ll need a lot of different nutrients. One of the most important would be carbohydrates.
Carbohydrates are the body’s main source of glucose. Glucose is a simple carb that is stored in your muscles and liver as glycogen.
Glycogen is the principal form of energy that is stored in muscles. When your muscles are filled with glycogen, they both look and feel full.
Glucose also provides energy for your brain and makes blood in your body.
Glucose can be made from protein, but that requires the breakdown of body protein from muscle. If you’re not eating enough carbohydrates, your body will start breaking down muscle tissue for glucose.
Carbohydrates should be the bulk of your daily caloric intake when you are starting a body-building program.
Focus on unprocessed complex carbs like sweet potatoes, potatoes, whole grain breads, oatmeal, and brown rice.
These natural complex carbs are made of long “chains” of sugar and are digested very slowly.
Slow burning carbs promote consistent blood sugar levels, which help to offset fatigue while promoting the release of insulin, which is the body’s principal anabolic hormone.
For men, the amount of carbs that should be taken in by multiplying their body weight by three. That number will be the number of grams that should be consumed daily.
Women multiply their body weight by two to get their carb gram intake.
For example, a 200-pound man should consume 600 grams of carbs per day and a 125-pound woman would eat 250 carb grams daily.
Along with carbs, you must consume enough fiber in your diet. Eating fiber makes muscle tissue more responsive to anabolism by improving sugar and amino acid uptake, and aiding in muscle glycogen formation and growth.
Beans and oatmeal are two excellent sources of fiber.
Divide your carb meals into six servings throughout the day. This divide and conquer approach stimulate a steady release of insulin to create an anabolic, or muscle building, state.
If you eat too many carbs in one sitting, the net effect is that fat-storing enzymes kick into high gear and you lose that lean and hard look.
Eat some simple carbs after your workout and eat more of them. Honey, sugar and refined foods such as white bread and white rice – typical simple carbs – are digested quickly and easily. The resulting insulin spike is a double-edged sword, however.
After training, it can prevent muscle catabolism while promoting anabolism. If you have not been working out, the intake of simple carbs can stimulate fat storage.
A high carb intake at your post training meal will have less chance of being stored as fat, as carbs must replenish depleted glycogen levels before they gain the ability to stimulate fat storage. Eat about 25% of your daily carbs at this meal.
Breakfast is definitely the most important meal of the day, and besides your post-workout meal, it is also the best time to load up on carbs.
Blood sugar and muscle glycogen levels are low from your overnight fast. Your body must replenish these levels before stimulating the fat storing machinery in the body.
As your day wears on, your carb intake should decrease. Your energy requirements will also decrease at this time, so your body won’t need as much.
If you eat carbs late in the day, your body will store them as fat and increase weight gain instead of muscle mass.
If you feel that you need to lose fat along with building your muscles, you will want to rotate your carb intake.
Bodybuilders who rotate their carb intake tend to lose more fat than bodybuilders who maintain a steady flow of carbs while dieting.
For example, instead of eating 600g of carbs every day (the typical daily total for a 200-pound bodybuilder), try varying the volume of intake.
Eat 50% fewer carbs (300g) for two days, then the standard 600g for the next two days, then 50% more (900g) for the next two days.
The total carb intake is the same, but this schedule works because it lowers muscle glycogen in the first stage (promoting fat loss), and then increases insulin levels (ensuring no loss of muscle) on the final two days.
Carb rotation gives you the best of both worlds: decreased fat with no loss of muscle.
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Consider the following general tips for your nutritional needs.
Drink skim milk or soy milk
Cut sugar from your diet.
Use artificial sweeteners instead.
No regular soda!
Pizza and hamburgers are a big no-no
Eat lots of fish to increase your levels of Omega 3 fatty acids
Chicken breasts are good for you
Limit the amount of fruit you eat.
Protein and complex carbohydrates are very important
Instead of eating three large meals a day, eat six smaller ones
Don’t skip meals
Vegetables are always a good choice at mealtime
When eating out, choose foods wisely.
Avoid most fast-food restaurants or opt for healthy choices – remember no burgers!
Behavioral Health Rehabilitative Specialist
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