Basic nutrition for weightlifting


Good nutrition is essential for bodybuilding. Eating the right foods and carefully planning your food intake ensures that you get the nutrients you need to perform well during a workout and maximize muscle synthesis after the workout is over.

A weightlifting diet plan doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. Use these tips and suggestions to fuel your workouts more effectively.

Basic nutrition for weightlifting

The essential macronutrients – carbohydrates, proteins and fats – are necessary for providing energy, building muscle and keeping your cells healthy. When the calories from these basic nutrients are provided with a balanced approach, they help your body build and maintain lean tissue and reduce fat.

For strength-trained athletes, it is recommended to consume 1.2 to 2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day.1 You should also aim to consume 5 to 12 grams of carbohydrate per kilogram of body weight per day with the higher end of 8-10 grams of carbohydrate reserved for those who train about 12 hours per week.2 There is no specific recommendation regarding fat intake, but healthy vegetable fats are advised.

But when you are fueling your body with these nutrients, it is also important. The timing of the meal can influence your performance in training or during an event. Some research also suggests that good timing can improve tissue recovery and repair, increase muscle synthesis, and even improve your mood.

The first step in making sure you get the most from your workouts is to make sure that you are consuming enough calories each day. If your body is in an energy deficit (you are consuming too few calories), it is more difficult to build muscle.

You can use a calorie calculator to estimate your calorie needs. You can also contact a registered dietitian for a personalized number. Keep in mind that because you are a bodybuilding athlete, you will need more calories than a typical sedentary person your size.

Some studies have estimated that elite strength athletes need around 43 calories per kilogram of body weight per day to maintain weight.

Men generally need a slightly higher calorie intake while women need fewer daily calories. Your personal number will vary, however, depending on the intensity of your training, how often you train, your height and gender. Once you know how many calories to consume each day, you can begin to create an eating plan tailored to your workout schedule.

You will want to plan:

Fluids during activity

Pre-activity foods and fluids

Post-activity foods and liquids

Keep in mind that the way you should eat for bodybuilding is different from eating to maximize a long endurance, swimming, or team sports workout. Workouts that involve continuous aerobic exercise for 2 hours or more require more carbohydrates and a different balance of food and fluids.

Since your focus is on bodybuilding, you’ll want to follow mealtime guidelines that are specifically designed to build muscle.

Healthy Christmas Treats, Cookies, and Desserts

If you have a sweet tooth, desserts may be your favorite part of the Christmas season. The seasonal flavors of spicy gingerbread, creamy eggnog, and winter fruits like cranberry and orange create delicious treats that may have you drooling in the New Year.

Fortunately, living healthy doesn’t necessarily mean giving up those delicious treats! Whether you choose the occasional indulgent sweets or reinvent classic dishes with low-fat ingredients, you can definitely enjoy dessert as part of a nutritious diet.

There is something for everyone among these 12 healthier Christmas desserts, from truffles and cookies to cheesecake.

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