Even though we’re located in Denver, CO, our clients are from everywhere in the world. That’s because we provide both workout programs and menus to help bring each person’s body to perfection. We even focus on muscle building foods for women, since women have a harder time building muscle tissue. However, foods that build muscle tissue in women, also build muscle tissue in men, so they should be part of every bodybuilder’s menu.
Protein is the top priority.
Whether you’re building strength, in competition training or just want a body transformation, you need protein to build muscles. The amount of protein varies by your weight and activity. Women need approximately 0.68 to 0.91 grams for every pound they weigh. More isn’t always better. If you have more protein than your body requires it could affect the amount of carbohydrates you eat and negatively impact your efforts to build muscle. You actually can get so much protein, which either flushes out of the body or creates protein toxicity.
You need adequate carbs for workouts.
Your body burns carbohydrates quickly when you workout, so eating low glycemic carbs and some protein before a workout will help you get the most from your exercise time. Low glycemic carbohydrates include beans, nuts, pasta, brown rice, whole grains and vegetables. Low glycemic carbohydrates digest slower and give you a constant supply of energy as you workout. Try to eat at least an hour to an hour and a half before you workout to avoid getting sick. For those who do their workout in the morning, eat a lighter meal about thirty minutes before you start your program. A banana and some whole grain toast will do the trick.
Don’t forget the fat.
Sure you want to lose as much fat as possible, but that doesn’t mean you should restrict it from your diet. You need to include healthy fats, not trans fats. Healthy fats help maintain metabolism and keep your hormones functioning properly. If you don’t have adequate fat, you won’t get the muscle growth you want. Make at least 25 percent of your diet healthy fat from avocados, Greek yogurt, nuts, dark chocolate and other good sources of fat, but don’t go over 30 percent of your caloric intake from fat.
- Avoid sugary foods and high glycemic carbs that digest quickly before you workout. You’ll run out of steam in the middle of your session, since they provide a quick high that drops rapidly to a low.
- Don’t try to lose weight at the same time you’re attempting to grow muscles. Restricting calories when building will impede your progress.
- A good pre-workout combo is apple slices with almond or other nut butter. It has the carbs you need plus a source of energy for building.
- When you eat after a workout, you’re helping your body with the nutrients it needs to repair and regrow muscle tissue, plus replenishing its store of glycogen. Eating a combination of carbohydrates and protein will help you do that, plus improve recovery.