These tips will give you the edge to fuel your body, gain a little muscle and become leaner.
The basic building blocks of muscles are basically what are called amino acids, and these are found in protein rich foods. The best quality of protein you can get that is the protein that contains the most amino acids comes from eggs but you can also obtain quality protein from meat, fish, dairy products and soya. If you’re working out on a regular basis or simply would like to get leaner you need to be eating around 1.5g to 2g of lean protein per kilogram of your body weight per day and this is one of the reasons that protein shakes are so popular as they are an easy and convenient way to take in protein without having to chow down all the time.
To be able to power and also fuel your way through your workouts you also need carbohydrates and it always makes sense to have a post workout shake that contains two kinds of carbs, namely slow release low GI (glycaemic index) and also quick release carbs, high GI. Try to get most of your carb intake throughout the day from a low GI source as in wholemeal foods but after a workout you’ll find that a high carbs mixed with protein in the form of a shake is the quickest and easiest way to replenish empty muscles.
Believe it or not you also need a sufficient supply of minerals in your body in the form of metals. No I’m not talking about eating iron filings but eat foods rich in minerals like red meat and spinach. Having enough iron in your diet is important as it helps to oxygenate your blood which improves oxygen levels in your muscles and increases fitness. Zinc is also an essential component for energy and you can find it in shellfish, nuts and seeds. Magnesium is also a great idea and can be found in wholegrains, nuts, seeds and soya.
Timing is everything and the sooner you down your combined protein and carb shake after a workout the better. Your body is crying out for nutrients immediately after a workout and is also at its most receptive and try to eat a nice balanced meal about two to three hours after your workout to help the building and “leaning” out phase.
Exercising against resistance is also ideal for increasing bone density so make sure you’re also taking on board enough calcium which can be found in cheese and other dairy products. Just don’t overdo the double cream.
Just because you’re working out hard and regularly doesn’t give you an excuse to eat all and everything as it’s counterproductive to take in empty calories. Ditch the junk as every excess empty calorie will trigger a hormonal response of insulin and take it straight to your fat stores.
Taking regular doses of creatine have been scientifically proven to help get you leaner and work out for harder and longer in the gym and also help your muscles to look and feel fuller.
Try to avoid having a truly empty stomach as the energy stored in your muscles and liver as glycogen burns off after about 45 minutes of intense exercise and it’s looking for fuel sources. Body fat is hard to break down so your body will go to your hard earned lean muscle tissue for fuel first, that’s why it’s so important to fuel up before and after your workouts as this will preserve your muscle (your lean tissue) and help to burn fat!
Caffeine has long been proven to give you an energy boost pre workout and is also a fantastic fat metaboliser, so have a double espresso before you hit the gym.
Fitness and strength are fantastically good for you but all that exercise can also release free radicals into your body so it makes sense to eat your five a day because of the stress you’re putting on your body and system. It’s important to eat high levels of fresh fruit and vegetables for their high levels of anti oxidants which will help to repair any damage.
Best wishes as always Garth.
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