Most people who want to bulk up generally start by gorging as much food as possible. Such people are likely to eat unhealthy foods regularly and drink a lot of sugary drinks. Although this approach works to some extent, it will only get you so far.
One downside is you could end up overweight or obese, which translates to health complications like type 2 diabetes. The good news is you can avoid these problems by eating the right foods and exercising regularly.
This guide offers great tips on how to gain muscle efficiently.
How to get it right
If you want to bulk up, make sure you get it right from the word go. Do not gorge on fast foods and spend all the day in front of the TV because you will end up putting on excessive fat. The rule of thumb is to combine diet with exercises that target multiple joints like squats, bench presses, deadlifts, and dips.
On the diet front, make sure you eat plenty of protein-rich foods like chicken breasts. Nevertheless, do not focus on lean meats alone. Include other sources of proteins in your diet such as sunflower seeds, beans, walnuts, peanut butter, and fish.
These foods provide essential nutrients required to promote recovery and muscle growth after exercise. Get yourself a copy of the Anabolic Cooking cookbook and start cooking the right kinds of food!
In depth look at foods to include in your diet
Majority of serious bodybuilders include liver in their diets because it is one of the best sources of essential nutrients and multivitamins like retinol and vitamin A. The rule of thumb is to eat liver at least twice every week. Do not eat too much liver because you will end up with too much retinol in your body.
Remember, retinol is an anabolic compound that plays a big role in muscle protein synthesis and production of testosterone. Even if you do not work out regularly, protein synthesis alone will exhaust the body’s meager retinol stores. For this reason, you will require more vitamin A if you eat more protein.
Most people associate fat with health problems like stroke and high blood pressure. However, some bit of fat in your diet is good.
According to Mark Sisson, the body requires saturated animal fats to produce hormones like testosterone. In addition, people who adopt low-fat diets end up with low levels of androgen in their bodies.
With this in mind, you should include some bit of fat in your diet. The upside of eating animal fat is it ramps up testosterone levels leading to improvements in muscle strength and size. Even eating egg yolk is good provided you exercise afterwards.
Besides diet and supplements, the human body can get vitamin D from sunlight. This vitamin plays a huge role in the production of hormones such as testosterone. It is worth noting that, although supplements also increase testosterone levels, the sun’s UVB rays offer more benefits.
Additionally, exposing your body to direct sunlight improves vascular function, enhances production of nitric oxide, and lowers high blood pressure. Nevertheless, remember to cover your skin with a broad-spectrum sunscreen, preferably one with an SPF of 15.
Remember, the sun’s UV rays can cause skin cancer, according to the Mayo Clinic. Moreover, spend no more than 30 minutes outdoors at midday.
Take a walk
Walking exercises are actually efficient muscle-building exercises. What’s more, you can perform these exercises virtually anywhere. For instance, you could walk around your neighborhood or head to the nearest walking trail. If you are new to this form of exercise, start by walking a few miles a day and then extend your distance steadily.
You can take walks on days when you are not exercising at the gym or after an intense workout. Since walking is a light form of exercise, set a goal of taking at least 10,000 steps.
Walking is highly recommended because it eases the body from a high-alert sympathetic mode to a relaxed parasympathetic mode. This relaxed state is very important if you want your body to recover after an intense session at the gym.
Do not forget your gut
Most people focus on exercise and protein rich foods while ignoring the gut. If your goal is to gain muscle efficiently, you should take care of your gut by feeding it the right bacteria.
Although there are various ways of achieving this goal, the best option is to include soluble fiber-rich foods in your diet. Foods that fit this description include potatoes, green bananas, as well as raw unmodified potato starch.
These will provide healthy gut bacteria and phytonutrients. Researchers estimate that healthy gut bacteria outnumber body cells by a staggering 10:1. Besides their importance in digestion, studies have shown that healthy/good gut bacteria can convert stress hormones into androgens.
Include gelatin in your diet
Gelatin has gained a dubious reputation of being a second rate or useless source of protein because it does not have essential amino acids. However, this is a simplistic view of gelatin because it can help you put on lean muscle mass.
To start with, gelatin contains ample amounts of glycine, an amino acid that improves quality of sleep at night. This is particularly important because sleep helps the body to recover and grow. Secondly, gelatin helps reduce joint pain. Remember lifting weights places a lot of stress on joints.
Thirdly, eating gelatin means the body does not have to use up the other proteins you eat. You can think of it as allowing your body to stretch proteins from other food sources a bit longer. Some good sources of gelatin include bone broth, ribs, oxtail stew, and beef/lamb shanks.
In conclusion, you can build muscle mass simply by eating the right foods and exercising regularly. The right foods include protein-rich foods, animal fats, liver, and gelatin.
Some of the other things that can help you to bulk up include getting adequate sunlight for vitamin D production, undertaking walking exercises, and feeding your gut with foods that provide healthy bacteria. You can also try new foods that offer the same health benefits or nutrients as those described in this article.