Bodybuilding Nutrition Basics If you are into bodybuilding than you owe it to yourself to at learn the very basics of bodybuilding nutrition. Bodybuilding is not just about lifting weight! Learn the basics of how to feed your muscle and you will excel in the sport of bodybuilding. The following article should be a big help so read it before you hit the gym! Basics of Bodybuilding Nutrition By Jim Atilson Some subjects are too confusing and harder to understand, such as; Math, Chemistry, Biology, and in the case of bodybuilding, Nutrition. There is more to bodybuilding and building muscle than just lifting weights. A very important part of the process of gaining muscle, along with sufficient rest, is Bodybuilding Nutrition. Fortunately, to achieve your fitness and weight lifting goals, you do not need a degree in Nutrition. Instead, all you need is to have an open mind and willingness to learn as much as you can about it. Now, lets go ahead get started with the basics of bodybuilding nutrition. Most people use the terms Bodybuilding Nutrition and Supplements interchangeably. They assume that by using over-the-counter supplements their nutritional needs will be taken care of. Nothing is farther from the truth. There is a big difference between bodybuilding nutrition and supplements. In addition, supplements should be used very sparingly, if not at all. However the topic of supplement use is a totally different one all together. You may be wondering, if we are not going to talk about supplements, then, what this article is all about? Well, for those who are not familiar with what bodybuilding nutrition is all about, it consists of four basic components; Proteins, Carbohydrates, Fats and Water. Now, let's go ahead and examine each of the components briefly. Proteins: Proteins and Amino Acids go hand in hand. Protein is made up of amino acids and amino acids are the building blocks of muscles. And they constantly build, repair and maintain your muscle tissues. So, in order to achieve your bodybuilding and fitness goals, you should be consuming sufficient amounts of protein a day, which is usually about 1-1.5 gram(s) of protein per pound of your body weight. You may be wondering, what kind of sources should I get my protein from? Well, you have a variety of sources to choose your proteins from like; beef, fish, poultry, eggs, turkey, tuna and soy protein. Carbohydrates: Carbohydrates are your body's main source of energy and they also provide your brain with the energy it needs in the form of glucose. There are two types of carbohydrates; simple and complex. Simple carbs are digested fast and most likely to be stored as fat. Whereas, complex carbs are digested over a period of time and contain a higher concentration of dietary fibers. Carbohydrates play a vital role in developing muscle mass. There are simple guidelines you should adhere by with carbs; 1) Choose complex carbs over simple carbs; Complex carbs come from such sources as;potato, brown rice, oatmeal,etc. Complex carbs have a tendency to keep your blood sugar levels in check and since they burn slowly, they can act as a longer lasting energy source, especially for your workouts. 2) Since your body uses carbohydrates for energy, then, it is only logical to consume some carbs before and after your workouts. A norm is usually an hour before and no later than 1/2 hour after your workouts. 3) Did you know that even though fruits are a healthy choice, they are made up from simple sugar(carbs). If you did not know, simple sugar turn into fructose, then, stored in the body in the form of fat. So, for the purposes of building muscle, keep fruit consumption to a minimum. 4) Do not consume carbohydrates by themselves, always have carbs with proteins. By doing so, will help you minimize the chance of carbs being stored as fat. Fats: All your cells have some fat in them. Just like your body needs carbohydrates and proteins, it also needs healthy fats to function on a daily basis. Aside from carbohydrates, your body utilizes fats as an energy source as well. And on a more scarier note, the excess fat which is not burned by your body will be stored as body fat. There are 3 types of fats; 1) Saturated fats; which are often associated with heart disease and high cholesterol levels. 2) Polyunsaturated fats; are fats that are found mostly in vegetable oils. 3) Monounsaturated fats; which have a positive effect on cholesterol levels. Among some of the benefits of healthy fats are a young looking skin and hair and healthier joints. Remember your daily intake of healthy fats should not exceed 20% of your calorie intake. Water: It is widely known that our bodies are made up of 70% of water, and without it we simply cannot survive. Having said that, you do not want to start consuming excess water as well. A simple way of figuring out your daily water need is by multiplying your body weight by 0.66. The end result, then, would be the amount you need in ounces on a daily basis. In conclusion, here are 5 basic nutritional guidelines to follow which may be helpful in achieving your bodybuilding goals. 1) Stay away from unhealthy fats and simple carbohydrates. 2) Throughout the day eat smaller portions of food and eat frequently(4-5 times). 3) It is OK to use protein shakes, especially after workouts and sometimes in between meals when you can not consume "hard food." 4) Drink plenty of water 5) Get enough rest and sleep. There is no question that nutrition as a whole plays a very important part in building muscle and losing weight. And due to its "complexity" it is also one of the subjects that most people are shying away from, but, what they seem to be forgetting is that without proper nutrition all of their hard earned gains will ultimately come to a halt. In my opinion, the only remedy to this "problem" is through research and willingness to learn. Ask questions and exchange information about the basics of bodybuilding nutrition with your peers. In the end, there is no reason that you should not be improving, let alone regressing.