The body of scientific research about bodybuilding – when and how to lift weights and eat specific foods – has exploded in the past 30 years. According to Professor W. R. Lemon, head of research on exercise nutrition at the University of Western Ontario in Canada, “Nutrition is an area that has so much misinformation. Everyone thinks it’s simple. In reality, it’s very complex”.
Along with new findings on how best to build muscle, science has also discovered myriad benefits from lifting weights. The more muscle you add, the higher your metabolism becomes, converting you into a more efficient weight-loss machine. Weight-bearing exercise slows bone loss. Weight training and other forms of exercise also give you more energy. Exercise even improves your mood. Researchers at Duke University Medical Centre concluded that depressed patients who were placed on a 16-week program of exercise showed almost the same improvement as those who were given antidepressant medications or a combination of medications and exercise.
Eat often and eat less. Smaller, more frequent meals spaced strategically throughout the day enable your body to get the maximum benefit from food’s nutrients and give you the best shot possible at building muscle. If you gorge yourself at the dinner table, your body simply can’t absorb all the nutrients. You literally flush them down the drain. Frequent meals, however, parcel out nutrients as needed and help your body maintain an anabolic or tissue-building state. Plus, eating several times a day raises your metabolism because your body has to burn calories to digest the food. This in turn helps you burn body fat. Your body will use those calories as fuel rather than storing them as fat.
The best ratio of carbohydrates, protein, and fat that will best enable you to build muscle is this: 15% protein, 20-25% fat and 60-65% carbohydrates.
If you are unsure about your diet, book a nutrition test with us and we’ll carry out a thorough assessment of your diet and activity level. We will then advise on the type of foods that would best suit your lifestyle and help you achieve your goal, whether it’s weight loss or to build more muscle.