Bodybuilding isn’t just about lifting weights and without a doubt the most important aspect of it is nutrition. When it comes to discussing the right nutritional advice for bodybuilders, we often hear about a protein-rich diet that helps support muscle growth. However, many people wonder about the kinds of food which could potentially reverse the effects of your training.
It is good to learn more about which foods are good to eat while bodybuilding, but in the meantime, here are some kinds of food and drink that you should definitely avoid if you are trying to get a toned body.
Fruit juice is one of the most alarming items on this list. Since the bottle usually says “one of your five a day”, people often assume that fruit juice is a healthy alternative to, let’s say, fizzy drinks. Sadly, fruit juice which is purchased from supermarkets is processed and contains little of the nutrients from the whole fruit, meaning that you will be taking in a lot more calories with minimal gain. Although there are slight grey areas regarding juices not from concentrate, it is a well-known fact that consuming concentrated juices is the equivalent of drinking sugar and water; not something you want to be doing while bodybuilding.
The safest alternative to buying processed juices would be to make your own at home, or even better, eat the whole fruit for maximum benefit as it contains more fibre.
Soya or soy products are often consumed as a vegan-friendly alternative to meat, however, although soy is proven to have a percentage of protein that does aid muscle growth, the risks heavily outweigh the benefits. First of all, soy decreases the testosterone level in men which is an essential hormone for bodybuilding, and not only does it decrease testosterone levels, it increases oestrogen! More oestrogen can lead to an increase in body fat which totally counters what you are trying to achieve, whereas testosterone boosts muscle growth.
If you aren’t a vegan then soy shouldn’t even have to be an option for you as there are so many natural, protein-rich meats to choose from. If this didn’t put you off enough, then soy has also been linked to increasing the risk of cancer.
There is quite some controversy over the issue of white bread with people saying that bad calories are better than no calories, or that white bread is readily available and is useful for building mass quick. Before concluding, one important question should be considered, is it better to gain mass by eating lots of junk, or through the healthiest ways possible which will actually bring more benefit to your health?
White bread does help you gain mass but this method is called dirty bulking, which is a way used to gain muscle by some bodybuilders but is dangerous and the individual often ends up with a much higher level of fat in the body. People often look for a short cut but getting big through dirty bulking can cause some serious health problems later in life. It’s better to stay natural and safe.
Although meat is an essential source of protein and a must-have on the list for every bodybuilder, processed meats aren’t so good and can actually have the opposite effect of what you intended. To improve the flavour, processed meat often has added sugar and water with reduced protein content. So even if you get a small amount of protein from the meat, you just end up getting a whole bunch of calories that your body didn’t need. It is also a well-known fact that when consumed regularly, processed meat can cause diabetes, heart disease and even cancer.
Eating a lot to gain muscle can seem like an arduous task and weight gaining shakes seem like an easy solution to the problem. It should be taken into consideration that not only does weight gaining shakes contain a high amount of calories but a high amount of rubbish as well! These shakes are packed with artificial sweeteners, sugar and other unwanted additives. These shakes can do more harm than good and you would do well to avoid them and go for something more natural and homemade.
Deep-Fried food, although very filling, is a big danger to bodybuilders and adds a huge amount of fat to the body. They are extremely high in calories and the only benefit of deep-fried food is the taste! Fried foods can also contain trans fats which cause all sorts of diseases; there are actually so many health risks attributed to fried food that we could just go on and on about why you shouldn't go near it. If you are looking to get a healthy body, it’s a good idea to stay away from deep-fried and fast food and go for healthier, more wholesome options.
Unfortunately, most people get sugar cravings and when these occur people turn to all sorts of sugary foods. Chocolate, biscuits and sweets all contain high amounts of added sugar which contain a lot of empty calories and hardly any nutrients. The body digests sugar very quickly and excess sugar is stored as fat in the body, this is the reason why sugary foods cause fat to build up very quickly in the body.
Some bodybuilders who use dirty bulking, as mentioned previously, as a method to gain mass consume a lot of sugary foods. This can be detrimental to health however and can lead to obesity, diabetes, addiction and a huge list of other health issues.
An interesting point to note though is that a small amount of sugar in the morning could improve a bodybuilder’s performance during the day, so it is best to try acquiring your sugar fix through natural sources such as bananas and honey. Raw honey, such as Manuka or Jarrah, is full of health benefits and healing properties. In fact, Jarrah honey is produced by bees who frequent the slow-growing Jarrah trees, which can only be found in Western Australia. Find out more about jarrah honey benefits.
We hope we have guided you to avoid some of the foods that should be not be consumed if you are trying to bulk up. Nutrition is as important as lifting weights so make sure you count those calories too.