Building Big Muscles Naturally

14416335_sRemember when Michael Phelps was swimming for the US Olympic team? The news reported his diet: the thousands of calories he consumed daily in order to have energy for strenuous work of practicing for and competing in the Olympic Games that particular summer several years ago. Most people don’t eat like he did. If their calorie count was that high, most individuals would die of a heart attack. Athletes, especially the people involved in long-distance, competitive, or muscle-intense moves need a lot more food than the ordinary person taking a 30-minute walk every morning to stave off heart disease.

The Body Builder’s Friend

Which is the most important food group for someone involved in sports? When muscles are involved, protein is the key. This is something that Dave Ruel talks about in his best-selling ebook, Anabolic Cooking (available at www.anaboliccooking.com) Body builders and anyone whose sport of choice involves a lot of heavy lifting or throwing eat more protein than is recommended for the average North American adult diet. Usually, a person’s plate should feature one quarter carbohydrates, the same amount of protein, and the rest vegetables and fruit. A healthy dinner plate would feature boiled brown rice with healthy seasoning, a steamed chicken breast, and a large salad or steamed vegetables of various colors. A serving the size of one’s fist is recommended rather than a particular volume as everyone’s needs differ according to their size and age.

Great sources of protein include chicken and fish, especially when they are steamed or poached. Don’t add much to a fillet of trout, salmon, or tuna; just squeeze lemon, sprinkle salt and pepper, maybe add a sprig of dill or a clove of garlic, and cook quickly until the meat becomes flaky. Slice your chicken breast into stir-fry pieces and cook covered in a pan with water, basil, lemon, salt, and pepper. When the color is uniform, your chicken is ready.

Boiled eggs are also excellent, better than omelets, fried or scrambled eggs, but poached eggs are also good. They don’t contain anything extra; not butter, milk, or cheese. Additional protein sources found in food which provide some benefit include lean red meat, yogurt, cheese, milk, nuts, seeds, and leafy green vegetables. Plant sources are not as densely packed with protein as meat. Red meat contains the most protein, but it is often fattier or more difficult to digest than chicken, fish, or plant protein.

A body builder will eat more like twice the usual serving of protein plus whole grains and lots of vegetables on the other half of his plate, but amino acids from animals and nuts, etc. are most important.

Why Protein for Muscle

Protein contains something called amino acids. These are regarded as the building blocks for muscle but also play other roles. For instance, during a strenuous workout, muscles become strained or perhaps injured. This can be avoided by consuming additional protein right after a session. Muscles are cannibalized by the metabolic system to obtain energy if you don’t eat enough prior to, during, or right after working out, so consuming additional protein can help to protect newly developing muscle from what’s known as a catabolic reaction. A carbohydrate-rich treat is also acceptable in order to supply instantly-accessible energy which will not be converted to fat.

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