4 Healthy Eating Tips for Body Builders

4 Healthy Eating Tips for Body Builders

Having a muscular body is a body builder's dream. To achieve this, there are various ways that can be done. One of them is implementing a healthy diet for body builders which is proven to support muscle growth and formation.

In the process of building body muscles, a body builder does not only need physical exercise such as lifting weights. Body builders also need proper and regular diet planning, so that muscles get maximum nutritional intake to develop.

Like This Healthy Eating Pattern for Body Builders

To build and maintain a lean and muscular physique, a body builder needs to go through two phases, namely the bulking phase which usually lasts for months and the cutting phase for 12–26 weeks, depending on each person's needs.

The bulking phase aims to build muscle mass, while the cutting phase is to maintain muscle mass while eliminating body fat. The rules of the right diet and the choice of nutrient-dense foods are very influential in undergoing these two phases.

Here are the eating rules for a body builder:

1. Watch your calorie intake

The calorie needs of each body builder can vary, depending on your weight and what phase you are undergoing. In the bulking phase, a body builder needs to increase calorie intake by 15% of normal caloric needs.

For example, if his daily calorie requirement is 3,000 kcal, he must increase his calorie intake to 3,450 kcal per day. So, every body builder needs to know first how much normal calorie intake is usually needed.

The easy way is to weigh regularly for 3 times a week and record what you eat. If the weight remains the same, the daily calorie count is a normal calorie which means neither losing nor gaining weight.

When switching from the bulking phase to the cutting phase, a body builder actually needs to reduce calories by 15% of normal calorie needs. That is, if previously he needed 3,000 kcal, in this phase the body builder only needs 2,550 calories per day.

2. Take care of your weight

Although the calorie needs in each phase are very different, the ups and downs of weight must also be maintained. Every week a body builder is advised not to lose or gain more than 0.5–1% of the total body weight.

The goal is to ensure that the body does not lose too much muscle mass during the cutting phase or gain too much body fat during the bulking phase.

3. Determine the ratio of macronutrients

After the body builder determines the number of calories he needs, he can determine the ratio of macronutrients, namely protein, carbohydrates, and fat, that he needs each day.

Unlike the difference in caloric requirements between the bulking and cutting phases, the ratio of macronutrients required in each phase did not change. The commonly suggested ratios are:
  • 30–35% of calories from protein, such as chicken, fish, eggs, and beef
  • 55–60% of calories from carbohydrates, such as rice, sweet potatoes, and oats
  • 15–20% of calories from fats, such as olive oil, fish oil, and seeds
The recommended meal schedule is actually the same as the usual eating schedule, which is 3 main meals (morning, afternoon, evening) with 2 snacks before lunch and before dinner.

In addition, after 60 minutes of exercise, body builders are also advised to consume about 20 grams of high-quality protein to help build muscle.

4. Consumption of recommended foods

A healthy diet is an important part for a body builder. Eating the right foods and in the right amounts can provide the nutrients your muscles need to get bigger and stronger. The food consumed in each phase generally does not differ, because the only difference is the number of calories.

Here are the recommended foods to eat:
  • Beef, chicken and fish
  • Yogurt, cheese and low-fat milk
  • Bread, cereal, oatmeal and rice
  • Oranges, apples, bananas, grapes, pears and watermelon
  • Potatoes, corn, green beans and cassava
  • Broccoli, spinach and tomatoes
  • Almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds and chia seeds
  • Peas, kidney beans and pinto beans
  • Olive oil
Meanwhile, the foods that need to be limited are:
  • Foods high in added sugar, such as candy, cakes, donuts, ice cream, sodas, energy drinks, and alcoholic beverages
  • Fried foods, including fried fish, fried chicken, and French fries
In addition to limiting these foods, body builders are also advised to avoid certain foods before exercising, such as:

  • High-fat foods, such as high-fat meats, foods containing butter, sauces, or heavy cream
  • High-fiber foods, such as broccoli or cauliflower
  • Carbonated drinks, such as sparkling water or soda
The reason is because the food takes longer to digest. As a result, food can last longer in the stomach and cause discomfort in the stomach when exercising.

Basically, a healthy diet for a body builder is a combination of balanced nutritious foods in sufficient portions. To get optimal results, always balance nutrition and exercise with adequate rest and if necessary additional supplements.

If necessary, consult a nutritionist to make a proper diet plan, and determine calorie and nutritional needs to build muscle mass according to the target to be achieved.