Most people believe that weight training is the most effective way to build muscle but it is really just a small part of the process. Along with your regular workouts, you will have to eat a balanced diet that contains all of the vitamins and nutrients you need to boost muscle growth. If your goal is to build muscle mass quickly, keep in mind the following diet-related tips:
1. Eat twice your body weight in protein.
Note that this tip does not mean the food on your plate should weigh more than you do. It means you should eat twice the amount of protein in grams as your body weighs in pounds. So if you weigh 130 pounds, your protein consumption should be around 260 grams.
2. Eat different types of proteins.
While meat is one of the most common sources of protein, other protein-rich foods are available that you can include in your diet. The more types of proteins you eat, the better because each of the brings something different to the table. So don’t just stick to a diet of pork and beef. Try alternating these foods with fish, soy, beans, cottage cheese, and eggs for more variety.
3. The more active you are, the more protein you need.
People who take part in strenuous and constant physical activities such as sports and aerobics require more protein in their diets. If you fail to consume adequate amounts of protein, your muscles will weaken and become slack. This is why most coaches of football or basketball teams encourage their athletes to eat a high-protein diet especially during the playing season.
4. Drink plenty of water.
Drink eight to ten glasses of water daily if you want to gain muscle as fast as possible. This amount should be enough to replace the fluids you lose during your workouts and while performing other daily activities.
5. Take protein supplements.
Many people these days are not able to get all the vitamins and nutrients they need from their regular meals due to the lack of time to prepare healthy home-cooked food. You can solve this problem by taking protein supplements, which you can buy from most health stores. When taking these supplements, however, make sure that you increase your fluid intake in order to avoid damage to the liver or the kidney, which are possibilities with a high-protein diet. Better yet, talk to your doctor before you start taking protein supplements.
6. Don’t forget to eat your carbs.
A lot of people equate eating carbohydrates with becoming overweight, so they tend to avoid eating carbohydrates whenever they can. Carbohydrates, however, are essential in producing energy in the body. A diet too low in carbs will eventually make you weak and sluggish. Don’t worry about the weight you may gain from eating carbohydrates. If you are following an active exercise routine, you can burn off the extra carbs with just a couple of workouts.
Realize that gaining muscle is not something that can be done overnight. There are no real shortcuts for this process so you should avoid taking steroids and similar substances, as they will only be harmful to your health in the long run.
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