The importance of proper nutrition for your body is huge. It’s like sunlight for a plant, Jack Sparrow for the Black Pearl, Christiano Ronaldo for football, Spinach for Popeye, Mars for Elon Musk and Narendra Modi for India.
The first thing you do before going to the gym is learn about proper nutrition.
For any body muscle to grow, diet is the most important factor. Without diet and proper nutrition, there will be minimal or no growth in your muscles.
And we all know what happens when we do not see any muscle growth, we get frustrated and in most cases, people quit gym.
In order to prevent this from happening, lets collect some knowledge about nutrition.
First of all, there are 3 macro nutrients that help you in body building:
Protein is composed of various amino acids. These amino acids are the actual building blocks of the muscle tissue.
Protein helps in building muscle, repairing muscle and also in maintaining them.
When you do some physical exercise in the gym, your body muscles get to work. Anything which works needs to be refueled. So protein here acts as the fuel to your muscles.
There are 20 amino acids present in total and a human body produces only 12 amino acids by itself. So what about the rest?
The rest 8 amino acids are called ‘essential amino aids’. These essential amino acids can only be obtained through protein rich food.
Note: Over excessive intake of protein (in form of supplement) harms both the kidneys and also the liver.
There are many sources of protein. How do we determine which one is the best?
Well, sources of protein can be ranked based on their Biological Value (BV). The higher the Biological Value, the faster the protein is absorbed and used by your body.
Have a look at different sources of protein and their biological values.
Whey protein is derived from milk and is so far the best protein source available.
Whey protein has a BV (biological value) of 157, which is pretty much high. This protein is absorbed fastest by the body and is very efficient.
It is mostly found in powdered form and is mixed with water or milk before consumption.
Before whey protein was introduced to the world, EGGS were the leading source of protein, containing a BV(biological value) of 100.
As in some cases, the yolk is skipped in the diet, egg whites still hold the tag of ‘a very natural protein source’
Milk protein is a mix or blend of Whey protein and casein. Casein in milk is a slow developing protein and that is the reason many gym going individuals drink milk before going to bed.
Chicken and Tuna(fish) have excellent sources of protein, containing a BV of 80.
Meat contains Creatine. Creatine is a naturally made compound that produces energy for muscles. How?
Creatine, after intake, is converted into phosphocreatine which supplies the muscle tissues with ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate). ATP is the energy required for most cellular processes in your body.
Carbohydrates normally called carbs, are the most available source of energy for a body. Carbs intake is necessary to fuel your body for regular life processes like walking and moving etc. and help you spare the protein you consume for muscle growth.
But unused carbs get easily stored in the body as fat. So, the time of consumption of carbs determine if they will be stored as fat or not.
The simplest way is to have just enough carbs to make sure your body does not go into the ketonic stage (a stage where your body uses protein for energy).
A good protein to carbohydrate ratio would be 1:2. That means for every 1 gram of protein, take 2 grams of carbohydrate.
There are two different sources of carbohydrates.
Simple: These are the fastest acting carbs that provide the body with quick energy. Common sources are sugar, fruits and their juices.
Complex: These are the slow acting carbs that provide you with long term energy. Common sources are bread, rice, pasta and oatmeal.
Many think fats are not good for health. But that’s not completely true. Fats are essential to build your muscle mass and help your body function properly.
Fats also act as the body’s source of stored energy and protect our inner organs by acting as an insulator for the human body and keeps it warm.
There are two main types of fats:
Saturated: You have to stay away from saturated fats. These are usually found in beef.
Unsaturated: These kind of fats are stored for energy and help in muscle building. Almost every food contains some unsaturated fat.
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It is very important to have an insight of the nutrients required for body building. This article is officially published by Svasth India.