Why do muscles grow? Have you ever wondered about that? When you lift weights you place your muscles under stress and “break down” their fibers. Your body considers this a threat and repairs this damage by making your muscles bigger and stronger so as to protect them from any future threats. What you need to do is to force muscle growth upon your body, so that it has no other choice but to adapt.
Here are 5 tips that can help:
- Eat the right foods: you need to provide your body with adequate amounts of nutrients. Here are some great muscle building foods:
- Eggs: An egg contains 6 grams of high quality protein, which can be easily absorbed by the body. If you are worried about fat, you can eat only the egg white, which has no fat at all.
- Milk: Milk is a slow digesting food and an excellent source of calcium.
- Tuna: It has a high amount of omega fatty acids which promote muscle growth and is low in fat and carbohydrates.
- Cottage cheese: It is also low in fat and contains glutamine that prevents muscle breakdown.
- Red meat: Choose lean red meat that has less saturated fat and provides your body with B-vitamins, zinc, iron and creatine.
- Nuts: Nuts such as peanuts and almonds can help you gain muscular weight, because they are full of magnesium, potassium, vitamin E and fiber.
- Get at least 8 hours of sleep every night: Sleep deprivation has a negative effect on the production of growth hormone, which plays a key role in building and maintaining muscles.
- Consume a meal every 2-3 hours: Skipping meals will cause metabolic gaps and your body will break down your existing muscles to repair itself.
- Avoid certain foods: You shouldn’t eat high amounts of soy (it lowers testosterone and elevates estrogen levels), alcohol (it will reduce your strength and dehydrate you) and anything that contains sugar like ice creams, juices and sodas.
- Consume more calories than you burn: Obviously if you burn more calories than you consume, you won’t be able to gain muscular weight. Of course if you eat the wrong type of food the only body weight you are going to gain is fat. Just choose some of the muscle-building foods described above.