Eat Like a Pro, Lift Like a Pro: Basic Weight Training Diet
Any hardcore athlete knows that long training hours in the gym are useless unless they are supplemented with a well-balanced diet that is high in macromolecules, minerals, vitamins and other essential nutrients that support endurance, strength, and mental focus. For any beginner who wants to train like a pro, this basic training diet promotes peak physical performance.
Increase Protein Intake
Protein is essential to every workout regimen. Protein not only promotes muscle repair, but also provides muscles with the ATP energy you will need to push yourself to the absolute max during your workout. Proteins are also responsible for maintaining bodily processes, so eating plenty of protein is important to make support overall function. Athletes that actively weight lift should consume between 1.6 and 2.4 grams of protein per pound of body weight daily for max muscle regeneration and strength in the gym. So, average optimal daily protein intake is 2 grams of quality protein per pound of body weight. You can supplement with whey or soy protein if you struggle getting to your, but the majority of your protein should come from food products.
Sources of Quality Protein Should Include…
- Eggs, chicken, beans and legumes, lean red meat, shellfish, grains (buckwheat, bulbur), as well as dairy products; Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, and milk are best)
Increase Fat Intake
Fats from plant oils, nuts, seeds, and fish provide a decent amount of the calories needed by every athlete. Among these, Omega-3 and Omega-6 Fatty Acids are arguably the most important fats as they are imperative to overall joint and nerve health by decreasing inflammation and supporting joint and nerve structures. These fats will give you the strength and focus you need to power through your workout with proper form and will prevent future inflammation from overtraining.
Sources of Omega-3 and Omega-6 Fatty Acids Include…
- Chia, Hemp, and Flax Seeds, Walnuts, Mackerel, Wild Salmon or Tuna, Herring, Sardines, and Anchovies
In addition to the Omegas, saturated and monounsaturated fats should be included in your training diet. Recent studies confirm that these fats, long condemned as gain killers, are associated with active testosterone production. Testosterone is the male hormone that promotes physical strength, mental focus, anabolic growth, and an array of other health benefits. It will empower you to push out those last critical reps for maximum growth.
Sources of Quality Monounsaturated Fats Include…
- Avocados, almonds, peanuts and peanut butter, olives and olive oil.
Sources of Quality Saturated Fats are…
- Coconut oil, dark chocolate, eggs (yolks), cheese, and red meat.
Regulate Carbohydrate Intake
Carbohydrates are chains of sugars that get broken down and converted to ATP energy that is then utilized by the entire body. While carbs are an amazing source of energy, optimal intake varies depending on what your goals are as an athlete. If your goal is to stay lean and light, try to limit carb intake; keep it at or under 100 grams daily (any less and you will not have the energy to lift the way you need to, to become a better athlete). If your goal is to gain serious mass, your daily carb intake should exceed 300 grams and approach 350 grams. Regardless of how many carbs you’ll be eating daily, you want to make sure you’re eating complex carbs which decompose slower than simple sugars to give you lasting energy throughout the day and aid in muscle recovery.
Sources of Quality Carbohydrates…
- Buckwheat, oats and oatmeal, potatoes (sweet potatoes are best), chickpeas, brown rice, blueberries, and bananas
Dietary fiber, the type of fiber you can eat, is present in grains, fruits, and vegetables. You’re going to be eating loads while training, and fiber can be your digestive system’s best friend. Insoluble fiber promotes digestion by increasing stool volume and optimizing stool consistency. Be careful not to overeat insoluble fiber as it is filling but not as calorie and nutrient dense as other foods.
Sources of Insoluble Fiber Include…
- Whole-wheat products, wheat bran, nuts, beans, legumes, cauliflower, green beans and potatoes.
Alkaline Ionized Water
Water…key to life, key to training. Water is arguably the single most important nutrient a human needs; the human body is roughly 70 percent water by weight. You are going to be using and losing a lot of fluids during lifting and recovery. Replenishing lost fluid electrolytes is crucial to having energy throughout the day, maintaining a solid metabolism, and being able to recover after an intense gym sesh. According to The Institute of Medicine, adequate intake (AI) for men is about 3 liters of water daily. The AI for women is approximately 2.2 liters of water per day. For maximum electrolyte replenishment, consider buying alkaline ionized water. It is said to have immeasurable health properties; including energy, immune, and bone support.
Follow this simple training diet, and you’ll be lifting like a pro in no time at all.