Nutrition is more important than you know

i see it everyday on the forums how guys and girls “Smash it” in the gym or rely on far to many supplements or Steroids for muscle growth yet they neglect the key factor in building and sustaining muscle growth, and that is diet it really is that simple if you nail your daily/weekly meals you grow ……FACT!!!!!

So let’s break it down to the nuts and bolts, to just the vital information you really need to build more muscle and become leaner than ever before.

The key is a series of rules, Follow all not only will you not be bogged down with scientific jargon but you’ll also be well on your way to a bigger upper body, better abs and a massive set of wheels. How’s that for simple?

Have A Meal Every 3 Hours

Mass-building boils down to nutrient delivery, and nothing beats eating every 2-3 hours, which works out to 6-8 meals a day. Frequent feedings ensure a constant influx of protein, carbohydrates and essential fatty acids required to maintain an anabolic state. Following the three-hour rule, you should eat at least the same amount and up to twice as many carbohydrates as protein at most meals, along with a smaller amount of healthy fats at most meals (more on specific macronutrient intake in later rules). Because you’re eating every three hours, don’t overstuff yourself; keeping each meal relatively small enhances nutrient absorption while simultaneously allowing you to sidestep gains in body-fat.

Eating smaller, more frequent meals creates an environment inside the body in which blood sugar levels don’t elevate and drop as drastically as when you eat fewer larger meals.
Elevated blood sugar levels cause the body to increase insulin production in an attempt to store that sugar for later.

When insulin is present, fat-burning is blunted. Lowered insulin levels and steady blood amino acid levels (a product of eating relatively small, frequent meals throughout the day) help fight against this situation.”

Load Up On Protein

A meal should never go by without a sufficient amount of protein being consumed. To maximize muscle-building, you’ll need to consume at least 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight per day. (This means 200 grams of protein daily for a 200-pound person.) In order to provide your muscles with a continuous influx of amino acids the building blocks of protein throughout the day, you’ll divide your daily protein by the number of meals you consume. For example, if you eat six meals per day, 200 grams of protein divided by six meals would mean at least 30-40 grams of protein per meal.

Your main protein sources should be lean animal sources, such as chicken, beef, turkey, fish, eggs and dairy (more on red meat and fish in later rules), and, as with your training regimen, variety is crucial.

Sticking to the same one or two protein sources each day may not be as effective as mixing it up and including the widest array of protein sources available. “There’s a phenomenon in the body called the all or nothing principle, in which all amino acids must be available for proper utilization of digested protein,” Harris says. “Many proteins can be made by the body; those that cannot are called essential amino acids and must be derived from nutritional sources. You’ll need to mix various sources of protein to ensure that all essential amino acids are consumed.”

Carb Up The Right Way

When it comes to carbs, too few can shortchange your gains in mass and too many can transform you into a bulked-up softie. A good rule of thumb is to consume 2-3 grams of carbohydrates per pound of bodyweight per day when trying to add mass. And as with protein, you’ll want to divide this between however many meals you eat daily, with the exception of two times during the day: breakfast and your post workout meal.

“Breakfast and the postworkout meal are also vital in aiding muscle growth because the higher carb content boosts one of the anabolic hormones responsible for driving nutrients into muscles, thereby producing a favorable hormonal environment that kick-starts recovery.” At most meals (pre- and postworkout notwithstanding, as you’ll learn in rule No. 7), you should consume slow-digesting carbs such as wholegrain breads and pastas, oatmeal, sweet potatoes, fruits and vegetables, rather than fast-digesting sources such as white breads and sweets. The former help build muscle and provide sustained energy.

Hydrate Yourself

The importance of drinking plenty of liquids goes beyond the obvious benefits of staying hydrated; at a much deeper level, it’s all about pushing more water into muscle cells. The more water that’s inside muscles, the better they’ll function and the greater their strength and size capacity. “The consensus in the bodybuilding community is that high water storage within muscles helps act as an anabolic factor,” says Chris Aceto, nutrition consultant to Mr. Olympia Jay Cutler and author of Championship Bodybuilding and Everything You Need to Know About Fat Loss. “This allows the muscles to maintain a positive nitrogen balance, which directly impacts muscle growth.”

And if you’re supplementing creatine, glutamine and BCAAs, your muscles will have a greater capacity to store water, because when muscle cells are stocked with these nutrients, more water is actually drawn into the muscles. Consume at least 3-4 litres of water every day, and drink around 8 ounces of water every 15-20 minutes during training.

Eat Fish

A lot of bodybuilders seem to live on fowl and low-fat beef, but salmon, trout, bluefish and tuna offer advantages other sources of protein can’t namely, they’re sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which can indirectly make you leaner and bigger. Omega-3s help the body make glycogen, the storage form of carbohydrates that gets socked away in muscle tissue. Glycogen is the main source of energy for training and, generally speaking, adequate levels are a marker for muscle growth and repair. Omega-3s also fight muscle inflammation in the body and spare the loss of glutamine, a vital amino acid that plays a backup role in the muscle recovery process by boosting the immune system. You don’t have to go overboard, but including fish in your diet a few days a week will go a long way toward promoting lean muscle gains. All in all, don’t be afraid of fat 20%-30% of your daily calories should consist of healthy dietary fat.

“Fish is an excellent source of protein, with an amino acid profile very beneficial to enhancing muscle growth,”.

“Omega-3s can increase the insulin sensitivity of the tissues, creating an environment in which less insulin is necessary to shuttle nutrients around the body, which benefits you getting leaner.”

Protect Muscle Mass With Pre- And Post-Workout Meals

The catch-22 with training is that stress hormones, namely cortisol, can run amok and blunt muscle-building to the point that getting back on track is not as simple as following the basic rules. The solution? Eating and supplementing with the right foods in the pre- and post-training meals. This is where whey protein is essential it gets into the blood faster than any other source of protein, providing amino acids that muscles harness for growth and interfere with cortisol uptake. A slower-absorbing protein such as casein takes longer to combat cortisol levels.

Throw in some fast-acting carbs those that digest quickly such as Gatorade, fat-free Pop-Tarts, childrens cereal like coco-pops and or a toasted bagel and you benefit further. These carbs, when combined with whey protein, are extremely effective at almost immediately halting muscle breakdown.

“sandwiching” your workout with protein and carbs causes greater protein synthesis and inhibits muscle protein breakdown.

Consume at least 20 grams of whey protein before and 40 grams after training, a slow-digesting carbohydrate (refer to rule No. 4 for the best sources) 30 minutes before training and a fast-digesting carb Immediately afterward, along with your whey.

As for dietary fat, pre- and postworkout are the two times of day when you want to forgo eating foods high in fat. They’ll slow the absorption of protein and carbs, which will delay the muscle recovery process.

Eat Red Meat

Steaks and beef burgers often scare people off because of the high fat content found in many cuts. But when you’re looking to build muscle, shunning red meat is the last thing you want to do: It’s high in B vitamins, including [B.sub.12], which supports muscular endurance and growth, and yields, gram for gram, more iron, creatine and zinc than any other source of protein. These nutrients play important roles in muscle recovery and growth, so if you’re sticking with chicken, turkey and protein powder, you’ll likely fall short of your hypertrophy goals. “Red meat is a great slow-digesting source of protein that can aid in nitrogen retention and sustained elevation of amino acids in the blood,” says Alan Aragon, MS, CSCS, a private-practice nutrition counselor in Thousand Oaks, California (alanaragon.com). “Red meat can be used for all seasons, not just mass phases.”

When choosing an appropriate type of red meat, select primarily leaner cuts such as ground round and sirloin, looking for meat that’s at least 93% lean.

Schedule A “GET BIG” Day

While eating a sound diet by implementing the steps above is the foundation for growth, taking one out of every 7-10 days and eating far above and beyond your typical dally food intake increasing protein, carbohydrate and overall calorie intake can trigger new muscle growth by driving up your body’s levels of growth hormones. Some people call this a “cheat day.” When you occasionally overeat, the body responds by increasing the release of naturally occurring growth agents, such as growth hormone, IGF-1, thyroid hormone and possibly testosterone . Since even a small boost in one or all of these can impact recovery and muscle growth, it makes sense to harness them, and temporarily eating “really big” can do just that.

“Eating relatively clean all the time can lead to boredom and compromised adherence to a bodybuilding diet,”.

“Periodic spikes in calorie consumption are a great way to achieve a net caloric surplus that can speed muscular growth and strength. To avoid large gains in body fat, make sure ‘once every 7-10 days’ doesn’t turn into cheating on most days.”

Supplement The Big Three

As you become more advanced in your training and nutrition knowledge, try a variety of supplements to help improve strength, size, energy, fat loss and overall health. But for now, just stick to the basics: creatine, glutamine and branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs), three of the most effective and affordable supplements on the market. Creatine has been shown in numerous studies to boost muscle power, strength and size; glutamine is a key amino acid in preventing muscle breakdown and boosting the immune system; and BCAAs also thwart muscle wasting and delay the onset of fatigue during training.

Take these dosages both before and after working out: 3-5 grams of creatine, 5-10 grams of glutamine and 5-10 grams of BCAAs. Adding these supps to a diet full of protein and complex carbs will ensure that you reap all the benefits from your training.
you can get all from Cardiff Sports Nutrition

Don’t Fear Late Night Feeding

In the 7-9 hours you sleep every night, your body is more or less in a fasting state, taking aminos from your muscles to fuel your brain in the absence of food not an ideal situation if your goal is to pack on muscle. However, you can offset this by eating right before you turn in for the night. The key is eating a slow-digesting protein source along with a moderate amount of fat so amino acids feed your muscles gradually throughout the night. At bedtime, consume approximately 30 grams of casein protein or 1 cup of lowfat cottage cheese along with 1-2 tablespoons of peanut butter, an ounce of walnuts or mixed nuts, or 2-3 tablespoons of flaxseed oil. Casein is a slow-digesting protein (as is cottage cheese) that comes in powder form, and the healthy fats found in peanut butter, nuts and flaxseed (almost exclusively unsaturated, by the way) will help slow the absorption of protein even further.

Some would say that to extend the growth phase eating/drinking a meal through the night is a crucial to get the most growth, i would argue that it is more important to sleep and rest allowing the body to recover and repair from the intense training you have put it through.