Diet for Heavy-Lifting Goals

Written by on September 3, 2011 and filed under Nutrition

AN ESSENTIAL component of physical exercise is also one’s diet. Without a supply of fuel and nutrition for one’s cells, exercise may not have the wanted effect. Muscle tissue is damaged when muscles are put to task and it is nutrition that builds back the muscles afterwards, usually growing and empowering those muscles as means of adjusting to future exercise. In essence, high-intensity exercise is about the erosion of muscle cells, resulting in increased growth of yet more cells.

The food that we eat can be broken down into 6 different types of components, only few of which are involved in much of the muscle-building process. Taken in excess, the body will most likely repel rather than absorb some of those. The key to a good diet is a healthy balance that depends on one’s personal objectives and body type. For heavy weights lifting, the required consumption of protein should typically exceed 100 grams per day, although this depends on the body weight, gender, age, etc. There appears to be some disagreement over the ideal dosage of protein one should strive to consume, but some sources say one gram of protein for each pound in one’s body (so about 0.2% of one’s body weight, daily), but some say that a lot less should be enough, maybe half a gram for each pound of body weight. The type of protein matters as well, but that is a discussion for another day. Protein is broken down inside our body into pertinent amino acids which the body can then reuse to expand its pool of cells, primarily muscle cells and other parts that are instrumental in our principal functions. Unlike carbohydrates, for example, protein is not much of an energy source but more of a building block. Suffice to say, energy too is needed for a good exercise to be carried out and fats tend to require some energy to make them readily available for cell combustion, so for fitness, appearance, and power, it is better to keep consumption of fat as low as possible.

To summarise the key points, power/weight gainers should strive to put on muscle but not fat and this can be achieved by increasing the intake of protein and substituting fat with sugars, wherever/whenever possible. Actual food/meal recommendation are a subject for another day.