Some of the best bodybuilding foods are ones you've never thought of before. While most people know what the standard bodybuilding diet looks like, it turns out there's actually more variety possible with even bigger benefits for those who keep digging. These surprisingly beneficial bodybuilding foods feed muscles while providing fuel to keep going. That means better recovery, increased weight loss and faster muscles.
While underrated, "overlooked" bodybuilder foods are gaining popularity as people search for ways to get the nutrition they need without necessarily spending tons of time or money on sourcing specialty foods. Take a look at five little-known bodybuilder favorites that can help people to bulk up without "burning out" on the same boring foods.
The Benefits of Bodybuilding
Why is bodybuilding so important? While many people are initially attracted to bodybuilding because they want to look leaner and stronger, there are actually much deeper benefits to building muscle. Take a look.
Bodybuilding decreases a person's risk of developing coronary heart disease. Weight training and aerobic exercises keep high blood pressure and cholesterol under control while providing protection against many of the health issues related to obesity. In fact, researchers at Iowa State University determined that lifting weights just once per week can reduce a person's risks for heart attack or stroke by 40 percent to 70 percent.
Getting in the best shape of your life isn't just about looking and feeling great physically. Bodybuilding has tremendous benefits for mental health. First, many people are able to move from a place of being self-conscious to a place of self-confidence by taking control of their health. People who train also enjoy all of the endorphins that go along with physical activity. This can help to improve mood, reduce anxiety, fight depression, combat stress, end fatigue and improve sleep.
When people get into bodybuilding, they immediately begin to see their bodies as vehicles that require the right fuel to carry them to their goals. As a result, they begin to eat for the purpose of fueling their bodies properly. This means that they are nourishing their bodies with foods that are rich in vitamins, minerals, protein and antioxidants. While this emphasis on purposeful eating offers the benefit of producing better results today, it also contributes to a lifetime of long-term health.
The Five Best Bodybuilding Foods
What are the foods that might be missing from the average bodybuilding meal plan? The good news is that people can probably find all of them right in the local grocery store. The other good news is that they are all really delicious!
In addition to bodybuilding foods, keeping up exercising will help your bodybuilding routine be more effective. No matter what type of exercise you participate in, you need to choose comfortable exercise gear, including sportswear, sneakers, gym bag, etc.
The debunked idea that "fat makes you fat" isn't something that bodybuilders entertain anymore. That's why olive oil has become the default "dressing" and "marinade" for many fitness experts who are into clean eating. High-quality olive oil offers a great form of healthy fat that also enhances the flavors of foods. One of the purest ways to consume fat, olive oil is easily digestible to provide a steady source of energy that's easily converted to usable omega fatty acids.
No, bodybuilders don't necessarily stay away from all yogurt. It's obvious why fruity, sugary yogurts that are packaged like desserts aren't necessarily on the menu for bodybuilders. However, Greek yogurt is on another level.
During production, carbohydrates are actually strained from Greek yogurt to produce a higher concentration of protein with fewer carbs. That also means extra casein that makes the protein in the yogurt more sustaining. The benefit of adding Greek yogurt as a protein source is that it's so easy to pack in a gym bag to enjoy on the go instead of skipping a meal!
Grapefruit is a top way to satisfy a sweet tooth while in fat-burning mode. Dripping with vitamin C that keeps the metabolic system flowing, grapefruit has actually been found to help reduce insulin levels in a way that helps to regulate the metabolism. Studies have also shown that people who consume fresh grapefruit with meals lose more weight than people who don't.
No, dinners at a favorite seafood joint aren't over when sticking to a bodybuilding diet! There's plenty of room in a bodybuilding meal plan for some delicious oysters. Oysters are great for consuming tons of protein without increasing fat intake. They contain 8 grams of protein with just 2 grams of fat in a 3-ounce serving. Oysters are also full of protein-synthesizing nutrients like zinc, B12 and selenium.
The magic of vinegar for bodybuilding rests in the way that it actually directs nutrients away from fat cells to ensure that they get to muscles instead. In studies, researchers have found that adding vinegar to meals with carbohydrates actually causes a greater percentage of carbohydrates to be stored as muscle glycogen. Talk about a powerhouse food for recovery that's cheap and easy! The way that vinegar appears to spur weight loss by increasing metabolism is something that's been documented in multiple studies.
Foods to Avoid for Bodybuilding
When learning how to diet for building muscle, it's important to know which foods to keep off the list. While a bodybuilding meal plan is a highly personal decision that each person should make based on their own personal goals and health history, there are some foods that are generally shunned by bodybuilders because they don't "feed muscles." The list of foods that are considered to be the "worst for your muscles" includes:
- Meats/sausages made with nitrates.
- Cured meats.
- Processed cheeses.
- Snack chips.
- Ice cream.
- Granola bars.
- Breakfast cereals.
The simple rule is that refined sugars and flour are out. While low-carb eating is the default for a bodybuilding diet, carbs can be used strategically to fuel the body. Ultimately, the goal is to only consume things that the body can use.
The bottom line is that clean eating doesn't have to mean dull eating! These foods prove that flavor and satisfaction go along with building muscle to create a lean, strong physique. The best part about these foods is that they don't just nourish muscles. They also activate the body's ability to burn fat more efficiently!