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5 Bodybuilding Superfoods

5 nutrient-rich superfoods that you should be eating to build muscle

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The sport of bodybuilding is incredibly arduous on the body. In order to be successful within the sport, the body must undergo a brutal training regime, which focuses on breaking down the body’s tissue, so it can be replaced by new and improved cells. This kind of regime is simply not sustainable without fuelling the body with the right foods, to help counteract the side effects of this ‘barbell brutality’. Here are 5 foods which you should be including within a structured, methodical nutrition programme.

1. Eggs

Eggs contain ~6g of protein and ~72 calories per egg, making them a valuable food source when aiming to achieve a high-caloric diet; however, the benefits of eating eggs go way beyond this. Eggs contain high amounts of monounsaturated, saturated fats and cholesterol, which allow the body to synthesise more of the male hormone, testo – a key hormone for building muscle tissue and increasing strength.

2. Salmon

As well as being a fantastic source of protein, salmon also contains numerous other valuable nutrients; including vitamin A, D, B6 and E. Salmon also contains high amounts of omega 3, which aids with minimising the inflammatory response, and increase of free radicals induced by weight training. This effect can lead to a reduction in muscle soreness and improved muscle function in sessions to follow (Jouris et al., 2011).

3. Oatmeal

For muscles to function at a high intensity for long bouts of time, they must have a sustainable fuel source. The most efficient way of achieving this is through glycogen replenishment. Oatmeal allows glycogen to be replenished, giving the muscles a fuller look, whilst packing a low G.I punch, keeping unflattering weight gain induced by hyperinsulnemia, at bay.

Oatmeal also contains beta-glucan, which studies have proven reduce harmful LDL, which can lead to heart attacks and strokes (Behall et al., 2013).

4. Quinoa

Quinoa is a gluten-free, low G.I source of carbohydrate, which contains all 9 essential amino acids necessary for cell growth. Switching your carb source to quinoa during a cutting phase will prove to be incredibly advantageous for reducing body fat whilst giving your body the best possible chance at retaining lean muscle mass.

5. Watermelon

When talking about bodybuilding fundamentals, a phrase which quickly springs to mind is “the pump”. This is the process where in which blood fills the muscle, providing the muscle with essential nutrients for growth whilst also stretching the muscle fascia, enabling hypertrophy. Citrulline is a vital amino acid for obtaining the optimal pump within your workouts and is found in abundance within watermelon.


By Steve Watson

BSc Sports & Exercise Science

References

The Effect of Omega-3 Fatty Acid Supplementation on the Inflammatory Response to eccentric strength exercise (2011) Jouris K.B., Mcdaniel J.L., & Weiss E.P. J Sports Sci Med. 2011 Sep; 10(3): 432–438

Effect of beta-glucan level in oat fiber extracts on blood lipids in men and women (1997) Behall K.M., Scholfield D.J & Hallfrisch. J. J Am Coll Nutri. 1997 Feb;16(1):46-51
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