When it comes to nutrition, things can get too complicated. However, it is clear that nutrition has a huge impact on the progress you make in the gym.
This article will highlight a number of considerations that need to be made and applied in order to make substantial changes.
Additionally, it will also serve as a resource and highlight nutrient-dense foods that one should incorporate into their daily diet.
Foods to add to your gym diet plan
There are mainly three macronutrients that play a crucial role in maintaining bodily functions and even promote changes in strength and composition – these are carbohydrates, proteins and fats and it is essential that we consume all three macros in sufficient amounts to optimize progress accordingly.
Let’s see what essential nutrients you need to include in your diet to gain muscle and lose weight.
First, carbohydrates are the main source of energy for the body and therefore play the most important role in fueling exercise. There are two different types of carbohydrates i.e. complex and simple. The names give an indication of the time needed to digest complex carbohydrates which take longer to digest than simple carbohydrates.
Additionally, complex carbohydrates provide the body with a slow and sustained release of energy and have a great nutritional benefit. While simple carbohydrates provide the body with quick-release, short-term energy, they contain little nutritional value.
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Therefore, you must consume complex carbohydrates, such as whole grains, beans, nuts, fruits, and vegetables to maintain a proper diet.
Specifically, the majority of gym goers will be well aware that protein intake is important. Likewise, the reason proteins are so important is that they play a key role in recovery and repair. A gym diet plan must include protein. During exercise, the body is exposed to stress and stress.
This causes muscle damage at a microscopic level. So, in order to repair the damage, proteins are needed. Without it, recovery periods will be prolonged and chronic fatigue can become a factor.
Protein is most commonly found in animal products such as lean meats, eggs, and dairy products. Likewise, it can also be found in smaller amounts in foods such as seeds, nuts, legumes, beans, and soy.
Fats are often mistakenly considered the main reason for fat gain. However, fats are not responsible for this and actually play a key role in nutrient absorption and transport. Plus, they can positively impact heart health and hormone production.
Although fats can have a positive impact on health, there are several types of fats, some of which are more beneficial than others in gym diet plans. Recent studies have shown that saturated fats are not as harmful as once believed, you should mostly focus on unsaturated fats primarily.
Examples of unsaturated fatty foods include avocados, seeds, nuts, peanut butter, fish (salmon, tuna, mackerel), oils (olive, peanut), and soy products you can include in your diet.
Gym Diet – Pre-Workout Foods
Focus on carbohydrates as any pre-workout meal or snack to provide the body with the energy it needs for the entire session. So, if energy levels are sub-optimal, performance will suffer and will have a big impact on our rate of adaptation.
So, to prepare the body for performance, consume complex carbohydrates, for example whole grains, oats, beans, nuts, fruits and vegetables. Also be careful not to consume them just before training because they take time to digest. The recommendation is to consume complex carbohydrates one to two hours before exercise to allow for complete digestion.
Next, focus on simple carbs in a gym diet because they take less time to digest and provide energy to the body. It may even be recommended to consume simple carbohydrates during a workout to maintain energy levels and performance.
For example, white bread, jam, granola, cereal, sports drinks, and fruit are all viable options for a pre-workout, energizing snack.
Although the main focus is on carbohydrates, it is also important to consume protein before hitting the gym. So, to promote muscle recovery and growth, protein levels must be kept high throughout the day.
Gym Diet – Post Workout Foods
The purpose of post-workout nutrition is twofold, first, to promote muscle recovery and second, to replenish energy. Therefore, the focus should again be on eating foods high in protein and good quality carbohydrates.
As mentioned earlier, the stress of training causes muscle micro tears that need to be repaired. So, consuming protein will result in a process known as muscle protein synthesis (MPS). It will also start the repair process and prevent muscle breakdown.
Additionally, there is a widely held belief that protein timing is extremely important for maximizing growth. However, a number of recent studies have indicated that total daily protein intake is more important than timing.
Therefore, high-protein foods such as lean beef, chicken, pork, turkey, eggs, dairy, seeds, quinoa, and nuts should be prioritized. Additionally, protein supplements, such as protein shakes and bars, can be a handy tool for effectively increasing protein intake.
Carbohydrates should also be part of post-workout nutrition because the energy that was spent during exercise needs to be replaced. Your Gym Diet plan for muscle gain must include the necessary nutrients.
Also, for a proper diet, it is advisable to consume protein and carbohydrates together, as this will have the most pronounced impact on recovery. Thus, it improves the synthesis of proteins and glycogen (energy). In addition, a carbohydrate to protein ratio of 3:1 is prescribed to optimize recovery.
Ideal 7 Day Gym Diet Plan
While calories and macronutrients are important, the ideal gym diet should be one that positively influences health. It is a vitamin and mineral rich diet in which all three macronutrients are consumed and nutrient poor foods are limited.
In the meantime, let’s find a 7-day gym diet plan for you:
Gym Diet Plan Chart – Day 1
|Breakfast||Oatmeal and banana pancakes
|Lunch||Multigrain Roti with Palak Chicken and Avocado Pepper Salad|
|Brown rice, paneer pea curry, sprouted vegetable salad|
Gym Diet Plan Chart – Day 2
|Breakfast||Rolled Oats with Greek Yogurt & Seasonal Fruits
|Lunch||Multigrain roti, fish curry, vegetable salad|
|Pre-workout snack||Toasted bread with jam|
|Broken wheat khichidi with carrot raita, egg white and vegetable salad|
Gym Diet Plan Chart – Day 3
Whole grain toast
|Lunch||Quinoa upma, chicken and broccoli salad|
|Pre-workout snack||Mixed nuts and dried fruits|
|Lean beef and vegetable curry, brown rice, cucumber raita
Gym Diet Plan Chart – Day 4
|Breakfast||Oatmeal with honey
whole grain bread
|Pre-workout snack||Peanut butter toast|
Gym Diet Chart – Day 5
Whole grain toast
|Lunch||Grilled chicken vegetable roti rolls
|Pre-workout snack||Mixed nuts and dried fruits|
Spring onion, peppers and broccoli
Gym Diet Chart – Day 6
Whole grain toast
|Lunch||Whole Grain Chicken Wrap
Black beans, peppers and Greek yogurt
|Pre-workout snack||Peanut Butter Apple|
|Keema bhurji and ground multigrain rotiLean Beef
Gym Diet Chart – Day 7
|Breakfast||oatmeal with walnuts
|Lunch||Whole wheat pasta with chicken and
|Pre-workout snack||Granola or cereal|
|Fish curry, boiled pea salad
All in all, the guide above will prove useful, but know that when it comes to nutrition, everyone is different. Not only will physical characteristics determine your nutritional needs, but the goals you set for yourself will also influence your diet.
For example, two extremely common goals are fat loss and muscle growth. So, to lose fat, calories must be restricted, which will cause stored body fat to be broken down. On the other hand, as with muscle growth, caloric intake must be increased to develop significant muscle size, as additional calories are needed to speed up the recovery process. A gym diet plan should be a combination of micro and macro nutrients.
Meanwhile, the macronutrient demands for fat loss and muscle growth are similar. First, protein intake must remain high for both. For muscle growth, protein is obviously needed for mass building. Therefore, the role of protein in fat loss is to prevent the breakdown of muscle tissue as much as possible.
Thus, carbohydrates are extremely important for energy and replenishment. Therefore, those looking to lose weight and build muscle should get the majority of their calories from carbohydrate sources.
While it’s important to eat healthy fats, reducing the total amount of fat you eat helps limit calories more effectively. Indeed, at nine calories per gram, fat contains the highest number of calories per gram. For example, protein and carbohydrates both contain four calories per gram.
Foods to avoid in your gym diet plan
Just as good nutrition has the potential to optimize performance and adaptation, poor nutrition can impair progress and health. The following three foods should be avoided or limited as much as possible.
For example, trans fat is a type of dietary fat that has consistently been shown to impact health. Although trans fats occur naturally in small amounts, artificial trans fats are notoriously dangerous. Artificial trans fats can be found in baked goods, fast food, and many snack foods.
Likewise, many foods high in simple carbohydrates are low in nutritional value and high in sugar. Although they can be helpful for a short-term energy boost, consuming a lot of simple carbohydrates can be detrimental.
Eating a large amount of simple carbohydrates will initially raise blood sugar. However, very quickly blood sugar levels will drop and can leave you feeling sluggish, which is not optimal for exercise and performance.
Although technically not a food, alcohol is also a substance that should be limited as much as possible. Since a lot of research indicates that alcohol has a negative impact on recovery and can even interfere with the muscle building process, it may be good to stay away from it. So it’s not great to include it when you detox with your gym diet plan.
Nutrition Do’s and Don’ts
This final section will highlight a number of do’s and don’ts to help you stay on track with your nutrition for optimal results from your gym diet plan.
To do :
- Consume all 3 macronutrients
- Be sure to eat a wide range of fruits and vegetables for full vitamin and mineral intake
- Choose mostly complex carbs over simple carbs
- Make sure you are consuming protein regularly throughout the day
- Consume unsaturated fats rather than saturated and trans fats
- Moderate your consumption of products that will negatively impact health and progress in the gym
- Maintain hydration levels accordingly
- Cut one macronutrient from your diet because all are needed for specific functions
- Skipping meals, especially before or after a workout
- Eat a meal “heavy” in complex carbohydrates too close to the start of a workout
- Over-reliance on simple carbs to fuel performance
- Making poor nutritional choices to gain calories
In short, it is now clear that many aspects of nutrition need to be considered when it comes to maximizing progress in the gym and improving overall health. Thus, following the Gym Diet plan and the recommendations described in this article will allow you to make substantial changes in your performance and your health.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Q. What is the best diet for the gym?
A. Learn about the ultimate 7 day gym diet plan and be sure to have a positive impact on your health.
Q. What are 3 foods you should never eat?
A. The 3 white evils you should refrain from eating are white sugar, white flour, and white salt.
Q. Are bananas good for the gym?
A. Yes, you can eat a banana 10-15 minutes before training. They are rich in carbohydrates which eliminate the risk of weakness and fatigue, rich in antioxidants and potassium which prevent muscle cramps in the body. So, overall, bananas are great to eat before your workouts.
Q. What is a good high protein breakfast?
A. A good protein-rich breakfast should fill you up and regulate your blood sugar. Some good high protein breakfasts are oatmeal with nuts and fruit, banana protein smoothie, chickpea cheala, scrambled eggs and whole wheat toast, etc.
Q. What food is a bodybuilding food?
A. Protein is primarily responsible for building muscle. Some foods that are high in it are meats, eggs, dairy products, and cottage cheese.
Q. Is milk good for building muscle?
A. Yes, it is an excellent source of calories and protein. Thus, milk can promote muscle growth and replenish the body with energy.
Q. What should I drink after a workout?
A. It is essential that you stay hydrated. Not only does it detoxify your body, but it also supplies you with the fluid that drains from your body in the form of sweat. You can have water, herbal teas, electrolyte drinks, coconut water, fruit and vegetable juices, whey protein shakes, etc.
Q. Can I eat immediately after training?
A. A wise decision is to wait at least 15-30 minutes after your workout. Include the right amounts of carbohydrate and protein foods to replenish your body with energy.
Q. Can you drink cold water after a workout?
A. Your body generates heat when you exercise. The goal is to increase core body temperature and sweat. After training, your body may be in a dehydrated state and drinking cold/room temperature water can replenish and hydrate your body quickly.
Q. What should I eat 30 minutes before the gym?
A. You can snack on light foods which will benefit you during the workout. Eating a banana, yogurt or granola bar can be ideal before you start exercising.
Q. Which fruit is good after the gym?
A. The right food after the gym can multiply your chances of reaping the benefits of an intense workout. Fruits like bananas, dates, pineapples, avocados and kiwis may be perfect for you.
Q. What juice is good after going to the gym?
A. Freshly made fruit juices are great for post-workout pain relief. Coconut water, lychee and peach juice, watermelon or even pineapple juice are good for you.
Q. How many eggs should I eat after a workout?
A. There is no fixed number as such. It depends on your overall calorie and protein needs per day and how many meals you eat.