The Importance of Diet in Bodybuilding

The Importance of Diet in Bodybuilding

Eliminating unnecessary fat to build muscle is the key to a successful bodybuilding and training. The success of your efforts depends on your diet, nutritional supplements and exercise during the training period.

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Bodybuilding can be seen as a process in three parts.  Each part being the foot of a three-legged stool.

These parts are weight training, cardiovascular training and nutrition. This simply means that bodybuilders have to watch their diet and food supplements as much as their physical training. Here is a detailed overview of how a good diet can help you achieve a successful muscle building program and emphases the importance of diet in bodybuilding.


“Bodybuilding starts with nutrition”


Mastering nutrition is vital for beginners who do not have nutritional knowledge. In this case, it is the most important point (before training) and it should be the priority. A poor diet only leapfrogs progress in building muscle and losing fat.

Some basic considerations may include reducing refined sugars and trans fats.

They can be replaced with healthy fats such as omega-3 in fish and unrefined foods like whole grains, fruits and vegetables. Also, beginners who have low protein intake can add foods rich in complete proteins such as egg whites, fish and chicken breast, to build muscles faster.

These changes in diet may produce large improvements in strength training. You will not be able to witness it unless you change the way you eat.

A healthy diet

Every bodybuilder is determined to get good results.  A good diet is necessary throughout this period, to support your efforts without being overbearing.

A quality bodybuilding diet should contain healthy foods with little or no “junk food” and takeaways.  It should consist of healthy foods such as fish, eggs, beans, fruits and vegetables.

Also, remember to remove the saturated fat and added salt to prepare your body for better results.


The Importance of Protein

Bodybuilders need to consume a lot of protein to build muscle faster.  They can get their protein from natural sources such as fish, eggs, chicken and tuna. It is possible to consider specific supplements for bodybuilding, which are a great source of healthy proteins.

Proteins are composed of amino acids that are the building blocks of muscle tissue. Strength activities like lifting weights, increases the consumption of protein to build, repair and maintain muscles. Meats contain a natural compound called creatine that provides your muscles with power through the bloodstream. The compound is also converted into phosphocreatine which endows the muscles of additional energy in the form of ATP (adenosine triphosphate).


Just enough carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are the primary energy source for the body. They fuel weight, but also other processes of life by preventing the consumption of protein for energy and instead directing it for muscle growth.

However, unused carbohydrates are usually stored as body fat based on the moment they are consumed. The trick therefore is to consume just enough carbohydrates to prevent the body using protein as energy. You can get carbohydrates from simple and complex sources.

Simple sources act faster for quickly providing the body with energy. These are sugar, fruits and fruit juices. Complex carbohydrates are, on the other hand, slow-acting and they provide the body with a longer term energy. Among them are oats, rice, bread and pasta.


A sufficient amount of fat

Fats are necessary for building muscle. They help the body function properly and act as sources of stored energy. The bodybuilder should stay as far away as he can from saturated fats because they have several health risks.


Sources of saturated fat include dairy, beef, pork and egg yolks. The unsaturated fats are recommended because they help muscle building during training and help the body maintaining healthy cholesterol level. They also promote healthy levels of testosterone, which stimulates the body building efforts.

Some excellent unsaturated fats sources can be almond oil, olive oil and nuts.


Water in large quantities

A bodybuilding diet cannot be complete without drinking plenty of water every day. Water is vital in bodybuilding because it prevents dehydration, which can easily stop the exercises and processes that we use to burn fat. All processes in extreme workouts require water to keep the body hydrated.

Bodybuilders should therefore aim to drink more than 10 glasses of water a day to stay hydrated and compensate for the water lost through sweating while training. This leaves the body hydrated throughout the day, with enough water to transport nutrients and supplements to your muscle cells.


Good timing

Eating your meals at the right time is as important as the food you eat. A good diet for bodybuilding would be to have meals 1-2 hours before and after training. A smaller meal is needed before the workout followed by a high protein meal within an hour after the workout.


It is also better to have at least 5 small split meals throughout the day rather than three main meals. Many small meals provide a constant supply of nutrients that keep the body into a fat-burning process throughout the day.



Insulin Control

The “Zone” diet helps bodybuilders to control insulin and the rate at which carbohydrates are used by the body, with genes “in on or off mode.” Genetics can not be changed, but its expression may be changed.  The changes can influence the state of health, the amount of energy required for daily activities and ability to effectively lose and maintain an ideal weight.

 Bodybuilders training should therefore focus on a 1-2-3 system, where they are required to eat fats, proteins and carbohydrates in a ratio of 1/2/3. This diet is highly recommended for bodybuilders with diabetes as it promotes the choice of carbohydrates with low glycemic index.



Bodybuilding coaches will tell you that bodybuilding is 80% nutrition.

This is the truth because the two are inseparable and good nutrition is the foundation of a successful bodybuilding plan. The two are complementary regardless of your bodybuilding goals, ranging from athletic conditioning fat loss or muscle building.

You can work very hard, but your efforts can be considered unnecessary if your diet is poor. The trick here is to master the basics of nutrition for bodybuilding to provide your body with the necessary raw materials. Check your diet and make sure it helps you achieve your goals. This way, you will get superior muscle growth due to proper hydration, nutrition and supplementation (See our article on 11 essential food supplements.)

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