For the first post on my blog I’m going to review the basics of nutrition for muscle function. Although many of you reading this probably have some understanding about the diet you need to feed and grow your muscles, chances are you’ve picked up some bro science along the way that simply isn’t true.

 

If you’re like these guys, you’ve now reached douche level 9000, but f**k it at least your swole

‘YOU NEED PROTEIN TO GAIN MUSCLE MAAAN’  

Or so you’ve heard. The truth is proteins role in muscle building is vastly overemphasised , but we’ll come back to that later. Protein is one of the three macronutrients your body needs not only to build muscle but also to function. The other two being carbohydrates and fats. Micronutrients on the other hand are the vitamins and minerals your body needs and these two groups combined are the basis for what people call a ‘healthy diet’. The manipulation of these groups are also probably the greatest factor in muscle gain.

Like many sheep, you’ve probably vastly  different estimates on how much protein you need. Supplement companies have sprouted rubbish about needing obscure amounts of protein to build muscle, ending up with some people thinking anything less than 2g/lb bodweight will result in none of them gains. The truth is you only actually need about .8g/lb bodyweight and even at that its being cautious, there are studies showing muscle gain from as low as .35g/lb bodyweight. I like to gauge the requirements at 1g/lb bodyweight. That way you’re on the safe side of optimal protein intake and for those of you less fortunate in the IQ department you won’t have to run off looking for a calculator each time you have to calculate your protein intake.(I hope). All protein is not created equally and some are more useful to your body than others (higher bioligical value) all of which I will talk about at another time. For now, all you need to know is that good sources include eggs, chicken, lean beef, turkey and fish. Fish such as salmon have the added benefits of having some essential fatty acids, and beef has creatine that steroid that all the bros at the gym tell you makes you f**king juicy. (Although you’ll have to consume the best part of a kilo of beef to get it in the optimal levels your body can use).

Carbohydrates is another vastly misunderstood area of nutrition. I could write 10 pages on this but instead i’m going to write a short paragraph and hope you’ll understand. The general consensus is that carbohydrates are the devil particularly ‘starchy’ carbs and if your fat its because of carbs. You need carbs that are whole grain and have a low glycemic level. Glycemic level means how fast it raises your blood sugar levels and forces body to release insulin, which people credit to stopping fat loss. In my opinion, I don’t agree with the general conception of carbohydrates. I think for a person looking to add mass and who is in a calorie surplus, carbs, particularly fast digesting ones (simple carbs) act as a great means of providing energy/calories. The majority of my diet has always been made of these for many reasons.

  1. They’re easy and fast for your body to digest and won’t make you feel as sluggish as copious amounts of protein/fat/complex carbs that you’ll needed in a calorie surplus
  2.  Wholegrain can actually irritate digestive systems. Many people (myself included) have suffered from the fiber in whole grains irritating their intestines. Fiber from vegetables is a much better option and also means you’ll get more of your macro nutrients in.
  3. THEYRE CHEAP, and convenient, and your kidneys won’t suffer trying to break down all the extra protein that supplement company told you was needed to be swole

Fat is the last macronutrient. Its always made up the smallest part of my diet, as with many others. I don’t particularly like fat as an energy source, but keep it at .4g/lb bodyweight to keep my body functioning right. One of its main roles in relation to muscle mass is its help in the production of the bodies hormones. So keep your fat intake up for them natty testosterone levels. Good sources are poly/mono bad are saturated/trans fats. Although bad sources are warned alot, I mainly advise just to avoid large amounts of fried food.

FINALLY. micronutrients are our vitamins and minerals. To keep this simple, a multi-vitamin , some epa/dha from fish oils capsules and vit d if you’re in a country with poor sunlight such as the eternal monsoon country of Ireland where I reside.