Fitness trainers, athletes, and individuals trying to shed off some weight carry out heavy lifting at various hours in the day. A very key factor ignored by most is “Nutrition.”
The proper balance of food taken into the body before and after heavy lifting says a lot about when or if one will ever achieve his fitness goals.
History is yet to record an aircraft that flies without fuel, or a ship that sails empty. Likewise, humans who aren’t electronic devices or machines may suffer from muscle damage during a workout or slower recovery after heavy lifting. This can be prevented by supplying the body with the right fuel, the proper food.
Before a workout, the best foods to consume are very rich in carbohydrates, which is the main source of energy to the muscles and they are low in fats. Lack of enough carbohydrates can result in various health issues such as insufficient energy to perform physical activities. Even though carbohydrates are one of the most important nutrients to intake before a heavy lifting session, there are a couple of other nutrients as well that you should be aware of. In this article, we are going to list all such food items that contain everything you need to perform high-intensity heavy lifting and put on some muscles
Here are the ten best foods to eat before you begin lifting:
Smoothie rich in a variety of fruits is an excellent choice of meal to be taken 2 hours before commencing heavy lifting. Depending on the ingredients contained in the smoothie, its benefits vary. Smoothies made of dairy products are similar to milkshakes and rich in proteins, which is essential for muscle development. Those containing bananas, dietary fiber such as pulp, oats are healthier and thicker than milkshakes. They serve as a good drink prior to workout.
Cheese is a dairy product, highly rich in protein since it is derived from milk. The calories required by heavy lifters are derived majorly from protein which provides the body with essential amino acids. Cheese also contains a protein, Casein, which is broken down slowly, ensuring that the muscles do not lack protein and are not starved. Casein found in cottage cheese also helps the muscles recover faster after lifting. It contains several vitamins and minerals such as Phosphorus and calcium as well. Cottage cheese should be avoided if one is lactose intolerant.
Rice and Roasted Vegetables
Rice is a cereal grain that is highly rich in carbohydrates. For heavy builders who are going through the bulking phase, rice is also highly rich in calorie and helps in body mass gains. Brown rice and white rice are two categories of rice and have varying bodybuilding benefits. The white rice increases insulin levels in the body because it is low in fat and fiber. Brown rice is preferable for heavy lifters because the carbs are less likely to be retained in the body as fat. Roasted vegetables are essential for digestion and maintenance of an active immune system.
The meal can be accompanied by baked salmon, which serves as a calorie source. It should be taken 2 hours before heavy lifting.
Chocolate Soy Milk
Chocolate milk, despite coming into view very recently, is a valid drink for heavy lifters. It promotes protein synthesis of the muscles. Chocolate milk balances the water level and regulates the cellular balance of the body. It provides an excellent amount of protein and carbohydrates essential for heavy lifters. A very important property about this milk is the taste. Delicious!
Oatmeal is rich in unsaturated fats, fiber, proteins, and carbohydrates. Although it has been in existence for a long time and has been used by many, oatmeal still serves as the choice for many heavy lifters. The fiber contained in oatmeal helps keep the body in proper working condition before, during and after a workout. The carbohydrates present are slowly digested and provides the body with adequate energy. Oatmeal can be served with berries and other fruits to provide added nutrients like B vitamins. It contains iron which is essential for blood flow and transporting oxygen into the blood to form oxyhemoglobin.
Cereal and Milk
Cereals such as Granola and products like Wheat biscuits should be taken before heavy lifting. Mixing them with milk and an adequate amount of water before eating helps to increase the muscle protein and keeps the body hydrated during the workout. Oatmeal is also a cereal but is set aside because it is better consumed without the addition of milk and sugar. It is highly rich in nutrients. Shredded wheat is an excellent cereal choice for bodybuilders, containing dietary fiber and zero sugar. Berries, milk, and nuts can be added to spice up the nutrients.
Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich (PB&J)
The sandwich is made of layers of peanut butter and jelly on bread slices. Jelly serves as an excellent source of carbohydrate that prevents the muscle sugars from getting depleted. Peanut butter is a rich source of protein which is broken into amino acids in the body and taken up by the muscle cells. PB&J sandwich also helps in muscle repairs and reduces the risk of heart diseases. It is a very affordable source of calories. Heavy lifters should embrace its richness in nutrients and never ignore its potential in aiding muscle development.
Grilled Chicken Breasts and Vegetables
In bodybuilding, there is no more required nutrient than proteins, which the muscles won’t develop without. Beef, chicken, and fish, all possess high protein profiles. For heavy lifters, only the breasts should be consumed because it is boneless and has a lean protein content. The proteins contained in the chicken breasts are quickly digested and the nutrients are taken up by the muscles.
Vegetables that can be prepared with the chicken include garlic, chili, ginger etc., depending on preference. They help keep the body healthy by adding nutrients and aiding digestion.
Eggs are a rich source of protein. They are one of the most nutritious foods available. They contain B vitamins such as folic acid and riboflavin, vitamins A, E, and K. Minerals essential for muscle building and recovery are also found in eggs. They include zinc, iron, and calcium as well. The albumen of eggs contain no fat and only a small percentage of bad is fat present in the yolk. Eggs are digested easily by the body and can be eaten as an omelet or boiled. They ensure a balanced diet.
Fruits such as bananas, apples, cherries, grapefruit, and oranges should be taken by heavy lifters. They contain several nutrients including Vitamin A, B, C, E and K. Instead of the nitric oxide consumed by bodybuilders, an orange can be eaten thirty minutes prior to heavy lifting. Fruits also possess antioxidants important in maintaining a healthy immune system. They also serve as a source of fiber and aid digestion. The best time to consume fruits is when the stomach is empty. This allows the conversion of sugars to fat more effectively.
Nutritionists agree that the diet is very important in bodybuilding. Food, if not taken properly can lead to several complications such as general body weakness or muscle breakdown and delay in recovery after heavy lifting. So, eating healthy is directly proportional to gaining muscle mass.