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Meals For Bodybuilders

While fitness and nutrition play an important role in weight loss or weight gain routines, bodybuilders have to pay special attention to ensure that they do not suffer from loss of muscle. For this, both pre workout meals and post workout meals need to be an integral part of your bodybuilding regimen. For aspiring bodybuilders, intense workouts leave the body depleted of essential nutrients such as proteins and amino acids. Immediately after your workout routine, your body is literally starving for these nutrients. It is important to consume meals for bodybuilders within an hour after your workout.
This enables the body to absorb and assimilate essential protein used by the body to aid the recovery process of worn out muscle tissue as well as to build muscle mass.

While plenty of fitness and bodybuilding literature focuses on high protein meals for bodybuilders, this does not mean that you gorge on meat and poultry at your post workout meal. Your body needs proteins to create energy, repair muscle damage and kick start increased muscle growth. It is best to consult your nutritionist about your protein intake specific to your bodybuilding needs. Some healthy meals for bodybuilding include leans cuts of meat, poultry or white meat from chicken and turkey, seafood and egg whites. Some other bodybuilding meals, which provide protein, include plant sources such as soy protein, lentils and legumes, dried beans and peas, nuts and seeds and so on. These are especially good recommendations as vegetarian meals for bodybuilders. Vegetarian meals for bodybuilders may also focus on soy protein or whey protein shakes as substitute for meat proteins.

Apart from proteins, lean meals for bodybuilding must also focus on intake of carbohydrates. For athletes and bodybuilders, working out leads to loss of glycogen, which can be replenished by consuming complex carbohydrates such as whole grains, oatmeal, fresh fruits, and vegetables. Slow burning carbs ensures that your body works hard to absorb essential nutrients and refuel the body for the next workout. Bodybuilding bulking meals also concentrate on carbohydrates, since they are protein-sparing meals. However, with both carbohydrate and protein intake timing is a key issue. Some experts recommend multiple bodybuilding meals per day consisting of proteins, carbs, and essential micronutrients such as vitamins, minerals and fiber. It is best to avoid or limit fats to avoid weight gain. However, there are conflicting opinions on how many meals per day can contribute to your bodybuilding needs. A simple rule to follow: make sure you consume the prescribed portion of proteins and carbs in every meal. Bodybuilding breakfast meals hold special significance since your body demands food after seven to eight hours of rest and starvation. Egg whites, whole grain bread, cereals and oatmeal with skimmed milk, fruits such as apple, banana, and even sliced avocados provide a perfect balance of proteins, carbohydrates and mono saturated fats.

Bodybuilding Meals For Women

Why should female bodybuilders pay special attention to bodybuilding meals for women? On average, women tend to carry more fat in their body, less muscle mass and possess slower metabolism than men. This, in turn, means that bodybuilding routines for women focus on building lean muscle mass while losing excess fat. However, improper nutrition may contribute to muscle fatigue and weight gain. Bodybuilding meals for women should focus on a plan that includes a well-balanced diet of healthy lean proteins, complex carbohydrates, and an adequate amount of ‘good’ fats to support or balance the fat in a woman’s body. Most female bodybuilders’ meal plans will focus on an intake of small sized portions and frequent meals. It gets easier when female bodybuilders can cook large quantities of pre and post workout meals, which can be frozen or ready to carry. Divide the day’s worth of calories over these small meals, while assigning the highest number of calories post workout. Protein sources may include egg and egg whites, lean or extra lean cuts of meat, white meat from poultry such as chicken breast, and seafood rich in omega 3 fatty acids such as salmon and tuna. Vegetarians may also use soy protein or whey protein shakes to substitute their need for protein intake. Complex carbohydrates in the form of whole-wheat pasta, bread, brown rice, and grains like quinoa and amaranth act as essential fiber. Carbohydrates satisfy your hunger more quickly and for longer durations. They release sugar-absorbing insulin into the blood stream, which helps to stabilize the blood sugar levels and boosts your metabolism.

Bodybuilding Meal For Men

Bodybuilding meals for men must focus on the two phases of bodybuilding: bulking up and cutting back. Without proper nutrition focusing on macronutrients such as proteins and carbohydrates, no amount of exercise or high intensity workout will help you build muscles and stay healthy. A bodybuilding diet for men in the bulking up phase must focus on foods that will serve to build more muscle mass. Earlier bodybuilding trainers and experts would recommend eating large portions at least three times a day to amass excess calories. However, a more moderate approach now focuses on small, frequent meals through the day to attain at least 15 to 20 percent more calories than your daily requirement. Bodybuilders usually bulk up in the off season and start to cut back on calories during competitive season to show off their well defined or muscle toned bodies. In the cutting back phase, it is important to reduce the amount of calories consumed followed by aerobic exercise to lose any additional fat as a result of bulking up. Reduce your calorie intake gradually and ensure that the calorie cutting does not affect your lean muscle mass. In either phase, a diet plan for bodybuilders must focus on foods that provide proteins and essential amino acids for muscle growth and carbohydrates for boosting metabolism and replenishing lost glycogen during your workout.

Bodybuilding Meals For Weight Loss

Bodybuilders follow a strict fitness and diet plan over two phases, namely, bulking up on muscle and cutting out on fat. Bodybuilding meals for weight loss will differ for different individuals based on your size and intensity of workout. However, it is important to focus on proper nutrition even when you are cutting back on your fat.
Bodybuilder meals for fat loss focus on the amount of calories you consume per day. In the bulking up stage of bodybuilding, you tend to consume more proteins, carbohydrates and good fats to build muscles required for high intensity bodybuilding workouts. As you aim at fat loss, you need to gradually start reducing your calorie intake, forcing your body to use reserves of fat and muscle tissue for energy needs. At this stage, it is important to continue your bodybuilding workout routine to preserve your muscle and ensure that your body uses only stored fat to create energy.

How much and at what frequency you eat also determine fat loss. Typically, bodybuilding meals for weight loss must include at least six small meals, eaten every two to three hours. In this cutting back stage, you may focus on consuming foods that provide essential protein and amino acids as well as complex carbohydrates. Reduce your fat intake considerably from your bulking stage. Experts recommend using this yardstick to measure your calorie intake. Bodybuilder meals for weight loss may focus on 50 to 60 percent carbohydrates, 20 to 30 percent proteins and about 10 to 20 percent fats. Along with a diet for weight loss, bodybuilders must focus on cardio exercise routine to burn the excess fats they may have gained during the bulking phase. It is imperative that your trainer or nutritionist monitors the weight loss diet closely, so that you do not lose the benefits of your bodybuilding routine by losing muscle mass along with fats.

Submitted on January 16, 2014