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Building Muscle Through Your Meals

By Chris Brown

Working hard in the gym is hard enough without counteracting the gains with outside-the-gym bad habits. What one feeds their repairing muscles determines just how much physical results are seen from gym efforts. Eating for large muscles means constantly resupplying the building blocks required for the energy exhaustive muscle growth process. In fact, a poor diet could be the primary reason why you believe you are unable to build those large, formidable muscles, regardless of lifting techniques or time in the gym. A change to your food intake can take your fitness to the next level.

Protein

Protein is a macronutrient building block of most every part of the body, including your muscles. When you push your muscles during weightlifting and exercise, the muscles tear at a microscopic level and get larger as they repair, with protein. Keeping your protein influx at its maximum absorbable level means that the body is never in need. This means consuming approximately a gram of protein per pound of bodyweight a day; which is, according to a study in the Journal of Applied Physiology, the maximum amount of protein a body can absorb in a single day.

Starchy, Nutrient Rich Carbs 

The other side of the muscle-intake equation is to power your workouts with nutrient-dense carbohydrates, such as quinoa, yams, or leafy greens. It is especially important to consume these foods when you will be using the energy most, around workouts, to load your body's tanks with the condensed fuel of carbohydrates. This helps prevent the body from counteractively depleting one's muscle mass for its calorie-dense energy.

Eat Enough Calories

Keeping your body in a calorie surplus is probably the most necessary piece of the muscle-gain puzzle. Remember, you are not only burning calories when you work out, the maintenance calories needed to keep your current weight increases as your muscles grow larger. Because of this, it is recommended that you start by increasing your calorie intake 15 percent above your maintenance amount during bulking periods and reassess as you gain weight. For building lean muscle, Healthline recommends that 80-85 percent of these calories come from protein and carbohydrates, with a low fat intake.

Bonus Diet: Supplements

In order to reach your calorie and protein goals, supplementing with protein powders can be a great way of meeting your intake requirements. Just make sure to choose a protein supplement with minimal sugar. Once you move beyond simple protein powders and shakes, research and personal trial-and-error comes into play. Creatine (a naturally occurring chemical found in muscle and brain tissue) is a popular and safe supplement to add for most people. However, any supplement can have unwanted side effects, so caution and research are encouraged.

Getting the most out of each weight training session starts in the kitchen. Providing your body with the nutrients it specifically needs to build muscle will ensure that you maximize your bulk after heavy lifting.

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in North Las Vegas, Nev.

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