We all know there are certain staple foods that are great for the stringent dietary requirements set by the body building and strength enhancing process.
These are great for providing anabolic stimulus that’s so integral to body builders all over. However, apart from these staple food items, there are many underrated edibles which can do wonders for you as you bulk up and tone up your body.
So the next time you find yourself in the supermarket, make sure you treat yourself to these essential foods for bodybuilding to give a boost to strength and muscle goals.
Add them to your weekly nutritional plan and enhance your growth, strength and recovery.
Do you want to enhance the production of hormones that body builders actually want? Do a lot of lifts? Then what you need is oysters.
This particular seafood is super rich in zinc, something that can help with both lifts and hormone production.
According to ‘Biological Trace Element 2011’, an athlete given a zinc diet supplement for a month (30mg/day) prior to some exhausting exercising regimen, it was observed that the post-workout testosterone was higher than the placebo 12.
According to the findings, the androstenedione to testosterone conversion happens when zinc is present in higher levels.
Other foods that are rich in zinc are chicken liver and pumpkin seeds.
#2: Greek Yogurt
By straining excess liquid and carbs from regular yogurt, you get Greek yogurt. It has a high concentration of protein as well as casein.
Casein is a slow-digesting protein, meaning it releases amino acids after a finite amount of time in your bloodstream. Think of them as time-delayed enzymes.
In ‘Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise,’ a study carried out in 2012, it was observed that the consumption of casein before sleep can yield as much as a 22% increase in protein synthesis.
This can increase amino acids in the bloodstream throughout the night.
You can either opt for a full Greek yogurt or even a half-serving when you are looking to enhance your muscle-building regimen.
It is recommended to go for the plain version which has less sugar.
#3: Saturated Foods, like Steaks
Steak, eggs, poultry and full-fat dairy, all of these are great for body builders.
These are all a source of saturated fats which can give you as much as 12% higher levels of testosterone. The findings proving this observation can be checked in the ‘American Journal of Clinical Nutrition’.
A high-fat/low-fibre diet of saturated fats is more effective than a low-fat/high fibre diet. This is because when you integrate weight training with a high fat/low fibre diet, you get a significant increase in testosterone levels as compared to a normal ’active’ lifestyle.
It should be noted that trans fats are to be avoided in any bodybuilding diet. And also keep the amount of saturated fats to 15% overall in your daily intake of calories.
#4: High-Fibre Food, like Oatmeal
When people train for building better bodies, they always seem to neglect fibre. This most underrated and under-valued of food groups provides water and the ‘bulk’ you associate with food residues.
Fibre has many advantages: it can ‘scrape’ on the cells in the gut wall and it can dilute the effect of harmful chemicals in your body. It can also aid in digestion by helping the body get rid of unwanted food residue.
Oatmeal is a great source of fibre. Just one serving of oatmeal is enough to give you a good helping of complex carbohydrates and 13% pure fibre.
Even the most trained athletes are found deficient in fibre. It is recommended for an adult man to consume about 40 g of fibre daily, a figure which goes down to 25 g for women. This is applicable for a diet that comprises of 2000-2500 calories. The more calories you consume, the more fibre you need to compensate for the increase.
Fibre is slow-digesting, which is why many trainers recommend not to eat too much of it before your training session starts. This advice is equally valid for the post-exercise time.
This is because this is the time when the body’s regenerative and restorative processes kick in, and fibre could only serve to slow the process of nutrient absorption as the regeneration process gets underway.
This is why a good rule of thumb is to eat high-fibre foods throughout the day.
Whole grains and items such as fruits, vegetables, seeds, nuts, legumes and beans are some of the best examples of fibre. They can also be replaced by soluble fibre-rich food items, such as carrots, beans, peas, apples, citrus fruits and oats.
Foods full of vitamin C, such as grapefruit, are perfect for a well-adjusted and performing metabolic system. This means vitamin C foods are great at burning fat too.
Just half a grapefruit contains a 40 mg serving of vitamin C.
They regulate the daily metabolism rate by reducing the levels of insulin. Energy in the body can be more efficiently processed when insulin levels are constant and steady.
A 12-week study undertaken by The Scripps Research Institute in California found that people who took half a grapefruit before their meals at least 3 times a day are likely to lose 3.5 pounds.
This is in sharp contrast to a paltry 0.5-pound loss without any grapefruit.
Nitric oxide is a gas that makes your blood vessels dilate and accommodate a greater amount of blood to flow throughout the body. This gas is produced by the body, and can be further enhanced by the intake of beetroot and beetroot juice.
By having more blood passing through your body, you can take advantage of more oxygen and nutrients being delivered to your body.
Thanks to this, athletes gain better performance and recovery features, plus their mass building gets a boost. It reduces the physical exertion level and it decreases the amount of oxygen needed to complete a workout.
#7: Grass-Fed Beef and Butter
Move over regular old beef and butter, its time to try an alternative like grass-fed beef and butter with high nutrient content like CLA.
The grass-fed breed of cows contain as much as 2 to 5 times the levels of omega-3 as regular beef. That’s in sharp contrast to grain-fed cows with less omega-3 acids.
Grass-fed beef also contain a higher amount of stearic acid, helping stem the rise in blood cholesterol levels.
Bananas have many benefits. They contain Vitamin B and riboflavin. They also possess bromelain that is great for treating indigestion and inflammation in the body.
Grapes are a great source of antioxidants. They contain resveratrol, a naturally occurring chemical that contains the anti-oxidising polyphenols.
These can help take care of the free radical molecules in the body, helping calm down these unstable molecules. They can also aid as an anti-bacterial.
Red wine is also a source of resveratrol and they can also be purchased as a dietary supplement if you like.
Resveratrol is also a known aromatase inhibitor. This way your testosterone won’t be converted to oestrogen by the aromatase enzyme, which can help you to increase your lean muscle mass.
Together, these 9 foods can help you take your body building diet to the next level so be sure to try them all out.