5 Big Nutritional Pitfalls to Avoid
Nutrition and supplementation are main ingredients in the recipe for building muscle. For bodybuilders and athletes the saying "you are what you eat" is a reality. Nutrition is everything if you hope to realize gains from your time in the gym. Avoid the following pitfalls to ensure you are getting the most results in the least amount of time.
1) Not Drinking Enough Water
The body is at minimum, 67% water; therefore we need quite a bit of this valuable resource throughout the day. Water flows throughout your body, piping through to keep everything functioning 100%. It helps to regenerate muscle cells, and removes all the toxins coming in and out of your body on a daily basis.
2) Eating Too Much or Too Little
Too much of anything is not healthy. Many bodybuilders in their quest for a muscular physique tend to overeat thinking these calories will all end up as newfound muscle tissue. Think again. To lose fat and build (or maintain)muscle you need to do cardio, and take in the exact ratio of protein, carbs and fat, this is right for your body. To keep all your hard earned muscle, you need high quality protein, on a regular basis. To have high energy levels to train hard you need quality carbs. You need healthy fats for general health, and to burn body-fat. Under eating will make it next to impossible to build muscle, and may also make it harder to lose body-fat. The key is balance. You need enough quality nutrients for muscularity, but they need not be in excess.
3) Insuficient Amounts of Protein
Protein is the king for building muscle and recovery. If it is to come from food sources, it should be kept lean and low in cholesterol. Egg whites, skim milk, fish, chicken (white meat), lean steak, sirloin, lean cuts of pork, and of course whey protein (preferably an isolate or blended whey with isolate as its main ingredient) are good choices. These foods are "clean" protein sources that are healthy and can be consumed on a daily basis. By ingesting 1 to 1.5 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight, divided over 5 to 6 meals, the uptake of amino acids will be an easy task for your muscles.
4) Not Taking Supplements
With all the potential shortcomings in our diet and training, supplements help to round them out. Many "old-school" bodybuilders follow the misconception that supplements are a hassle, expensive and overwhelmingly confusing. Supplements can save you money and time substituting for the large variety of food that you would need to ingest to attain the same array of nutrients. Weight training and other physical activity drain your body of vital nutrients. Providing your body with protein, vitamins and other supplements spurs muscle growth and fat loss. A multivitamin, quality protein powder, micronized glutamine, creatine and nitric oxide stimulator could exponentially aid in recuperation, training and intensity.
5) Not Taking Extra Vitamins and Minerals
Bodybuilders and other athletes are notorious for overlooking vitamins and minerals simply because these nutrients don't create a noticeable difference in their physique or training, like something such as creatine would. This doesn't mean these nutrients aren't integral to building muscle. Without enough of these key nutrients, muscle mass would decay, bones would become brittle, and all the basic functions of the body would begin to deteriorate. Proper vitamin supplementation is often what the "average" weight trainer is missing that is preventing them from realizing better results.