Almost every gym enthusiast’s goal is to build muscle. It is achieved mainly by exercise and protein intake. But is that all that you need? Having extra protein and exercises might work for some and not work for others. The reason could be their diet, workout, and lifestyle difference.
Mostly when building muscle, it’s the diet that affects muscle building the most. Eating a lot of food and not eating at all doesn’t help either. There needs to be a balance in your diet according to your body. But what are the foods to avoid when building muscle? Should you do bulk eating?
Is Bulk Eating Helpful?
Bulk eating is not just overeating food during your dinner time. Bulk eating usually refers to eating in large quantities at a few intervals. It is one of the easiest ways to gain weight in your body. But it doesn’t always work out.
When bulk eating, one needs to ensure that the calories they get are from protein and fiber-rich food, not just carbohydrates. If protein intake is not enough, then the formation of muscles will not be successful. Exercising would result in weight loss, and some amount of muscle mass would also be gone. Further, continuing bulk eating in a similar way would only be an endless cycle, and there would be very little to no muscle gain.
Many bodybuilders even go on diets after bulk eating to reduce the extra fat they gain. It results in a leaner body, and muscles are present as well. Even in this diet, they ensure that they have a good source of protein. Though over intake or more than the needed amount of protein can lead to kidney stones.
What Is Meal Planning?
Meal planning is a very simple word and is self-explanatory. What matters is how you take this into action. It is genuine that you should know the proportions of carbohydrates, vitamins, and proteins you need. If not, then starting by knowing what you need and how much you need in a day is the better option.
Even after knowing that doesn’t mean you should scoop out your protein powder and eat chicken. There is a boundary to how much you should eat in every meal. You should divide your meals into food that will give you what you need throughout the day. Ensure that you prepare your next meal before or after your previous meal.
Meal prepping ensures that your diet is not too restricted and there is plenty of food for your body to sustain. While meal prepping in the beginning, you should get your proportions checked out professionally. It is so that you have a good start in your muscle-building routine and your body doesn’t suffer due to the uneven diet.
Is Glycogen Necessary For Muscle Building?
Glycogen is an essential part of our daily lives. When talking about muscle building, muscle glycogen is a necessary fuel for heavy exercises. It is this muscle glycogen that ensures that you have enough energy for your workout and later helps in the regeneration of your muscle fibers. All this leads to the formation of muscles.
The formation of glycogen altogether is a prolonged process; therefore, having a diet that ensures good glycogen production is essential. If your workout routine has limited time between two intense workouts, it’s even more important for recuperating the muscle glycogen. If glycogen is not enough, it will lead to low energy levels, and you would get tired quickly, which in turn would affect your exercises.
What Food To Avoid?
When muscle building, diet is integral to getting nutrients for your muscles. It ensures that all the carbohydrates and minerals you require are only from them. No amount of supplements and protein powder can support you if your diet isn’t proper. Therefore you should be conscious of what you are having in your meals.
When planning your meals, you should be aware of what will be good for you and what will not aid your muscle building if not harmful. When going randomly, many people take years to achieve the goal that they want, whereas few people even give up on their journey. To help you avoid that, below is a list of foods you should avoid and a few foods you can eat.
Many people of age love to drink a beer after a good workout but don’t know why their muscles are building so slowly. The reason is alcohol. Alcohol affects the building of your muscle very significantly. It alters the rate of recuperate muscle fibers and slows down the process.
There have been many studies to support this, showing that alcohol reduces the rate of protein synthesis and the process of muscle building in the body. Drinking in small amounts does not affect the body anyhow, but drinking alcohol in large quantities, especially after a workout, greatly cuts out muscle building.
Low Calories Veggies
In a diet, veggies are the primary source of vitamins but are low in calories, so should you avoid veggies altogether? Well, many veggies are higher in calories than expected, such as avocado, peas, kale, and so on. Whereas veggies that are low in calories, such as radish, tomato, celery, and lettuce, might provide you with nutrients but to achieve the goal of high-calorie intake, they are not preferable to be a part of your meal.
Even veggies which have a high amount of starch are good for muscle building, such as potatoes. They also help in increasing your depleted glycogen levels and are suitable for eating right after your workout. They will ensure that your body has enough energy for the process of muscle building to be good.
Low Carb Foods
Carbohydrates are one of the essential components of your meal when building muscle. They ensure that your body will have a high amount of energy and fat so that the muscle formation process is a success. Yet many people only eat high amounts of protein and try to avoid carbs altogether. Crabs are necessary for removing any fatigue and having the energy to perform.
Having complex carbs would help us not directly in muscle building but in giving energy to us for exercising and performing our day-to-day activities. Low-carb foods are cauliflower rice, zucchini noodles, and more. At the same time, higher carbs food, canned fruits, french fries, and even cereal have high carbs. Taking in these foods will ensure sufficient energy and glycogen in your body to ensure that your efforts don’t go to waste.
What To keep in mind?
Your diet should always be according to the amount of exercise you are doing. Knowing how much body weight you have and how much you need to lose to gain muscles is correlated as well. When the damaged muscle fibers are regenerating, the high protein that you take helps in this process. This high protein should always be a part of your diet; if not, it would result in weight loss and no muscles.
Other than that, having a good sleep is very important as well. A night of good sleep means your body has had good rest, and you can begin your day. If your body is not well rested, it would be difficult for you to exert the same force for your exercises. Sleeping also helps in refilling the muscle glycogen, which is essential for muscle building.
Last but not least is training. Doing the right exercises and having a routine helps in the faster building of muscles. You should also challenge your weight capacity for your muscles to exert more force. It would result in the breakdown of muscle fibers which would then later be helpful in muscle building.
For many people out there, muscle building is a significant part of their gym routine and, at times, even the main reason. Therefore knowing what to do and what not to is crucial as it has an impact on the muscles. Muscles can be affected by your diet, sleep, and exercise, which are essential things. While these topics highlighted above go in-depth, there are a lot of items related to them that affect us daily.
Hence, especially when building muscle, one should be careful with what routine they have. Doing so would help us further increase the speed of muscle building.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is eating vegetables bad for muscle building?
Eating low-carb vegetables is not preferable, but having some after your meal doesn’t really have a negative impact. It is essential to keep your nutrition needs fulfilling when doing heavy exercises; hence, it is preferable to have a few varieties of veggies.
What to drink after exercising?
You can drink any post-workout drink of your choice, ensuring that alcohol is not present in that drink. You can also have chocolate milk or banana milk if you don’t have time to make your post-workout drink.
When to go to the gym for maximum muscle building?
Going to the gym at a fixed time is more critical than deciding when it’s going to be good. Whichever AM or PM is suitable, you should stick to timing and make a routine for maximum muscle building.
Marija Vitorovic is a dedicated fitness professional with a passion for improving her clients’ health, wellness, quality of life, and overall well-being. She is an integral part of our team with her fitness-related insights, reviews, programs, and effective diets.