So most of us know that some foods are full of nutrients, and others barely even qualify as nutritional at all – but not everyone thinks of the same thing when they think of health food. A person seeking to lose weight might see avocado as excess fat, for example, but to the budding weightlifter, an avocado is brimming with healthy fats that will help them make potential gains in the gym.
If you have ever wanted to know which foods are the best foods for performance, then sit back, relax, and let Ageless Nutrition talk you through it!
Power Foods For Bodybuilding Workouts
The main, most important, and primary fact that we should never, ever forget, is that a balanced diet is essential for the full functioning of your body. If you come across a diet that promises optimum results in short periods by cutting a straightforward thing from your diet – then it is most definitely a scam. Scam diets are everywhere and, for the most part, are very unhealthy. Always eat a varied, balanced diet when you are bodybuilding.
Some foods are what we nickname ‘power foods.’ This means that they have a maximum nutritional impact for minimum calorific value. When we use this term as applied to a bodybuilder’s diet, we have also included high-fat foods, where those fats are the positive kind that your body will quickly burn off. Be sure to work out what your total maximum body fat intake is before you commit to a food plan. This article might help you work out how to do that if you are inexperienced.
The Best Strength and Energy-Boosting Foods Include:
- Eggs – both egg white and egg yolks are incredibly healthy. They are a great way to get protein without digesting the fat meat contains and every single egg contains between 6 and 8 grams of that same protein. Two eggs in the morning is a great way to start the day. Don’t overdo your egg intake though. They may be too rich and upset your stomach.
- Water – it might not sound like it is a food, nor that it has any calorific potential. However, lots of exercise, plus lots of eating means little hydration. Aim to drink 8 liters of water a day and more if you are training hard. Nutrients need water to operate, and your system also requires it to flush away any excess vitamins or minerals that it does not use.
- Nuts and seeds – these are full of the right kind of nutrients. As a general rule, all seeds and nuts are high in protein, high in healthy fatty acids, full of minerals and great to snack on. Keep some trail mix in your gym bag and chew often.
- Lean meats – chicken, fish, trimmed pork, or beef and turkey are some of the best proteins. Be wary of meat that isn’t white as it tends to have the highest fat content.
- Beetroot – is also crucial for building muscle and increasing energy levels, since it contains vast quantities of nutrients, particularly nitric oxide, which helps improve circulation.
- Fresh fruit – fruit is high in vitamins where nuts are high in minerals. The correct balance should see you get the right mix of both. Some fruit can be high in sugar, so beware not to overindulge!
- Vegetables – veggies have the right mix of essential minerals and vitamins. Try to eat five portions of fruit and veg a day to keep you on the right path.
Other Diet Tips
Numerous other foods are good for bodybuilding. As a general rule, avoid all things junk food, keep alcoholic intake to a minimum (or be prepared to work it off) and try to eat as fresh as possible. The closer food is kept to its natural state, the healthier it will be. Keep in mind that boiling food destroys many of the naturally abundant vitamins and minerals found in it. Switching to steaming your veggies instead could be a great way to make noticeable improvements in your diet.
Consuming The Right Foods At The Right Time
The last thing you want to be doing is eating high-calorie foods on a cutting cycle, so let’s examine what kind of foods you should eat and at what times.
Best Foods For Bulking
Of the above list, eggs and nuts are great bulking foods. Red meats like beef are also ranked at the top, but you should also add some brown rice and some lentils into your diet. Both are low calorie, high energy foods with lots of nutrients. Plain baked potatoes are similar in nutrition, but you should always ensure you retain the skins, as that’s where most of the nutrients are. We found this handy blog post about bulking power foods just for you.
A clean bulking cycle focuses on healthy fats, protein, and carbs. Protein should be a focus at all times, but when bulking, you will need extra so that your muscles can go through synthesis while you are at rest. If you want to bulk faster, sleep and protein are the two key ingredients to do so. Avocado, eggs, oily fish, cheeses, and nuts should all be staples.
Best Foods For Cutting
When cutting, the main aim is to tighten and tone all the bulking work you just did. This means that your diet will inevitably change to focus less on calorific content, and more on nutritional value. Instead of aiming to eat lots of high carb or high-fat foods, choose a high protein, lean meats, eat extra fruits and vegetables, and cut down on the pasta. Cutting out sugar almost entirely is a high starting point.
It is also at this point in your cycles that water will become one of the critical things that pass your lips. The more water you drink, the better. It’s not just keeping you hydrated, but it is helping your body get rid of any extra nutrients it doesn’t need. Most vitamins are water-soluble, which means water will wash away the excess and stop you from getting sick. While cutting, your body fat is releasing toxins as it is broken down. Plenty of water is needed to flush these out.
Don’t Forget About Portion Sizes!
Controlling portion size can help you cut effectively, proving that it isn’t only the foods you eat that affect your body, but also the amounts you intake. When cutting, eat plenty of fruit and veg but keep the portion sizes small. One of your five fruit or veg portions a day should weigh 25g. White meats like chicken and turkey are lean and suitable for cutting diets. Grains will fill you, so make sure portion sizes are minimal. Yogurt and low-fat milk are good dairy alternatives during this phase.
Unfortunately, you will also need to cut out all that delicious cheese. Good luck with your new performance-boosting diet!