Building muscles is an art that many individuals want to master. While some want to flaunt a toned body, others just want to look and feel healthy. It is an easy process that includes four vital aspects; workout, post-workout routines, recovery, and diet.
Diet! Yes, that’s right! If you want to build muscles, you must follow a strict diet.
But wait! Strict diet doesn’t mean you must give up on eating your favorite food. Building muscles and toning your body is a simple process. All you have to do is adopt and adapt to a nutrient-dense diet. Here are some of the vital nutrients your body needs to build muscles.
Protein is crucial
Amino acids, the building blocks of muscle protein play a major role in the muscle-building process. They are essential to build and repair the muscles and are found in protein-rich food such as fish, lean meat, dairy, and legumes.
Don’t give up on fat
Did you know, that a diet high in saturated and monounsaturated fats can maintain testosterone levels better than low-fat diets? Testosterone is vital to increase strength, build muscle mass, and avoid fat. For saturated fat, you may consume ground beef, steak, olives, mixed nuts, and avocados; and for monounsaturated fat, include walnuts, flaxseed oil, and fatty fish in your diet.
Focus on carbs
It is a misconception that you must avoid carbs while building muscles. Carbs are the primary source of energy, and like protein, it acts as a fuel. They also improve muscle repair after a good workout. Some of the best sources of slow-digesting carbohydrates include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes.
Count the calories
It is crucial that you count the calories that you consume. A positive calorie balance wherein you consume 20 calories a day/per pound of your body weight helps build muscle.
Don’t ignore iron
Iron helps to bring oxygen to the muscles without which they cannot function properly. Furthermore, it helps regulate the metabolism which is crucial if you are trying to lose fat while building muscles. Fish, leafy greens, eggs, and poultry are the best sources of iron.
Magnesium is a must
Sleep is one of the fundamentals of the recovery process. When you are asleep, your body works to repair and heal the damaged tissues post-workout. For a night of good quality sleep, including magnesium in your diet is crucial. In addition, magnesium prevents cramps by relaxing the muscles and helps avoid unnecessary injury. The best sources of magnesium are whole grains, legumes, nuts, and leafy greens.
Where are your vitamins?
Vitamins are a vital part of the muscle-building process. Vitamins D, also called the 'Sun Nutrient,' improves immune function and strengthens the bones. It also helps build testosterone, a hormone needed for muscle growth and repair. Furthermore, Vitamin B12 helps improve red blood cells that carry oxygen to the muscles. Meat, dairy, fish, and eggs are the best sources of vitamins.
Get enough potassium
Chicken, greens, bananas, and some fish like salmon are the best sources of potassium. Potassium helps transfer nutrients to the muscles and hence is critical for muscle building.Some nutrients are crucial to build muscle mass, some to repair the muscles and make sure they can function, some to burn fat, and some to transport other vital nutrients to the muscles. It is vital to consume these nutrients in the right quantity and at the right time to make some serious changes in muscle mass.