Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Article # 289. How to Feed Your Muscles


How to Feed Your Muscles
Muscle is a metabolically active tissue, so the more you have, the more calories you burn daily. Muscle tissue is primarily made of protein, so your protein intake must be sufficient to maintain, repair and grow the tissue, according to the National Strength and Conditioning Association. Your diet should meet the demands of your lifestyle and exercise program so you do not lose muscle. A healthy, balanced diet that includes protein, carbohydrate and fat is necessary to feed your muscles.

Protein

Step 1

Consume lean protein sources each day. Lean cuts of beef and pork, poultry, fish, eggs; low-fat dairy and legumes are the best choices.

Step 2
Bake or grill your food as often as possible. Avoid frying or adding excess fats to your food when cooking.

Step 3
Consume adequate amounts of protein for your muscle goals. The average sedentary person needs .4 g of protein per pound of body weight. People who exercise should consume .7 to .9 g of protein per pound of body weight. Calculate your protein needs with a calculator and write them down.

Step 4
Supplement with protein drinks and bars, if necessary. These are beneficial when you are busy or after a workout.

Carbohydrates

Step 1

Consume carbohydrates daily to preserve, repair and grow muscle tissue. Carbohydrate is essential for your health and muscles.

Step 2
Choose whole-grain sources of carbohydrates. Whole-wheat products, oats, brown rice and barley are ideal choices.

Step 3
Include fresh fruits and vegetables daily. These are natural sources of carbohydrate and fiber.

Step 4
Consume 40 to 65 percent of your total calories from carbohydrates. Needs will vary based on your activity level and type of activity. For example, endurance athletes should consume more carbohydrates than a recreational exerciser.

Step 5
Nourish your body with food or drink that combines carbohydrate and protein within two hours of a workout. This will aid in muscle recovery and replenish carbohydrates lost during exercise.

Fats

Step 1

Fats, which are necessary to a healthy diet, provide energy for the body and preserve muscle tissue.

Step 2
Consume heart-healthy unsaturated fats over saturated fats like butter. Olive and nut oils, avocados, olives and nuts are optimal choices.

Step 3
Limit the amount of fats to 10 to 30 percent of your total calories. If you are overweight and want to lose weight, eat 10 to 20 percent from fat. If you are an athlete, you can consume up to 20 to 30 percent from fat.

Tips and Warnings
  • Vary the foods you eat to provide the necessary nutrients to your muscles and avoid boredom. Drink at least 64 oz. of water a day for your muscles, which are up to 70 percent water. Eat smaller portions and spread your calories over five to six meals. Record your food intake daily and adjust your diet if you don't get the results you desire.
  • Do not consume excessive amounts of protein at the expense of other nutrients. Do not dramatically increase your protein intake overnight, as this may cause gastrointestinal stress.




4 comments: