If you want to pack on some serious muscle, you not only need to pay your dues in the gym, you also need to provide your body with the raw materials it needs to build muscle and keep your energy levels high. So what kinds of foods can help you convert pumped iron into pumped up muscles?
These cooking tips for bodybuilders will help you find out.
What Food Groups do Bodybuilders Need Most?
Before you can decide how to cook for bodybuilders, you need to know what kinds of food they should be eating. A good bodybuilding diet has three important aspects:
Protein is the most important building block to creating strong muscles. If you don’t have enough protein in your diet, your body will simply be unable to pack on more muscle no matter how hard you work out.
Carbs help keep your body’s energy levels high, even when you are working hard. Complex carbohydrates like whole grain breads and rice provide you with a steady source of energy, whereas simple carbs like white flour and sugar give you a quick boost followed by a crash.
Bodybuilding isn’t just about being strong, it’s also about having a hard, ripped body. To achieve this ripped look, bodybuilders should have lots of muscle and very little body fat. Why? Body fat blurs and conceals the shape of the muscles underneath, ruining the effect of your hard training. On the other hand, “good” fats help to lubricate the joints and keep you healthy. Stick to a small amount of unsaturated fat (about 20% of your diet).
How to Cook for Bodybuilders:
When you’re bodybuilding, it’s easy to get into a rut and eat the same few healthy foods over and over again. However, that quickly leads to a boring diet. When cooking for bodybuilders, you need to be creative enough to add new flair to the standby ingredients.
Some ideas include:
Shake Up Breakfast with Egg White Omelets: Egg whites are full of protein but low in fats and calories. You can create a variety of delicious meals by combining egg whites with cheese and fresh vegetables.
Try Vegetarian Meat Substitutes:
Most vegetarian meat substitutes are very high in protein. Even meat lovers can enjoy some of these products, and reap the benefits of delicious, low-fat meals.
Put Spices to Work for You:
Spices can completely change the way a meal tastes without adding unhealthy fats or calories. Try lemon pepper with your tuna, add paprika to your omelets, or rosemary to your chicken. The next day, swap spices to keep your meals interesting.
Other Important Cooking Tips for Bodybuilders:
Avoid Hidden Cooking Fats – Avoid “invisible” fats by using non-stick spray instead of oil in your frying pans, and substituting olive oil for butter in recipes.
Don’t Overlook Extra Calories:
Remember that the pat of butter you put on your bread or the dressing you add to your salad could be full of calories.
Remove Chicken Skins:
A large percentage of the unhealthy fat from chicken is in its skin. By simply removing the skin, you vastly improve the healthiness of your meal.