A healthy diet is important for everyone, but if you’re a bodybuilder, what you consume is especially significant. The food a bodybuilder eats can influence the quality and quantity of muscle growth, with poor dietary choices also leading to unwanted weight gain, low energy levels and a raft of health problems.
If you want to perfect your physique, these are some of the foods that should be kept out of your shopping trolley.
It’s common knowledge that sugar is the new evil when it comes to all things unhealthy, where too much of it can upset your blood sugar balance, affecting energy levels and increasing fat stores. Excess sugar can also disrupt hormonal balance, causing a drop in testosterone in men that can impair muscle growth. If you need a sweet fix, opt for honey instead. Dried fruit also delivers a natural sweet hit and is a good source of nutrients and fibre.
Meat is a good source of protein, and bodybuilders need ample protein to support muscle growth, but choose your meat carefully. Processed meat, such as sausages, bacon, burgers and deli meat slices, are high in salt, which can cause fluid retention and hinder muscle definition. Processed meats are often bulked up with water and sugar, meaning their protein content is actually much lower than fresh meat. Worse still, processed meats are often loaded with chemicals that can increase your risk of heart disease and cancer. Instead, choose good quality, fresh meat from a reputable butcher, and give processed meat a wide berth.
Refined grains are essentially whole grains that have had the fibre removed, and they include foods such as white bread, white rice, pasta, pancakes and some cereals. Without the fibre, refined grains don’t support a healthy digestive system, but since they digest rapidly, they can cause spikes in blood sugar which are disruptive to energy levels and may contribute to weight gain. Choose wholegrain alternatives instead, such as wholemeal bread, brown rice, brown pasta and wholewheat crackers. These are slow-release carbohydrates, so you’ll get a more even sugar balance in the blood, keeping you fuller and more energised for longer.
A diet high in saturated fats leads to unhealthy weight gain, and can also cause arteries to clog up over time, leaving you more susceptible to heart disease and strokes. Common culprits high in saturated fats include pies, biscuits, cakes, butter and processed meats. You shouldn’t eliminate all fats from your diet, however, as some fats are healthy, especially those rich in Omega 3 fatty acids. Fish, such as salmon and sardines, is high in Omega 3 fatty acids, as are walnuts, soybeans and flaxseeds. Omega 3 fatty acids support heart health, and help to reduce inflammation in the body, thus keeping joints and muscles supple after a workout.
A healthy diet can assist in building muscle mass, but if you also need a helping hand, Worldwide Anabolics offers a great choice of injectable or oral steroid products.