The importance of nutrition cannot be stressed enough. It is necessary for every aspect of body health be it bodybuilding, toning or weight loss. Even if you are not involved in any of these activities, nutrition is vital for the normal functioning of your body. You cannot neglect your body’s nutrition and expect to live a healthy life. Why? Because nutrition supplies your body with the basic elements of growth and repair of your body cells. If you are interested in bodybuilding, weight loss or toning, even the more reason for you to be adept about nutrition.
Nutrition and bodybuilding
Bodybuilding is an intense activity which involves strenuous exercise. Bodybuilding involves muscle growth which can only happen with proper nutrition and hydration. Without proper nutrition, you place your body at risk of diseases, illnesses and make it harder on yourself to continue with your workouts.
First off, there are three macro nutrients that are vital for body building:
In bodybuilding, proper nutrition requires a sufficient intake of carbohydrates, protein and fats.
Amino acids, contained in proteins, are the building blocks of muscle tissue. This means that proteins repair and maintain your muscles. Since body building involves a lot of intense weight lifting, you cannot do without proteins. The foods rich in protein are like lean meat, eggs, oily fish, legumes and cheese.
Carbohydrates are the body’s sources of energy. They fuel the muscle building and any other necessary processes. Simple carbohydrates like those found in fruit, fruit juices and sugar provide the body with quick energy while complex carbohydrates like pastas and oatmeal are slow acting and provide the body with long term energy.
Unsaturated fats provide the body with energy and help in muscle building. These are two elements that are important in bodybuilding.
Bodybuilding places a high demand on your body and hence proper nutrition is required in order to achieve maximum results.
Nutrition is important for bodybuilding because it provides your body with essential nutrients to literally “build your body”.
Nutrition and Weight Loss
Many people associate starving the body of food as a way to achieve weight loss but this is a dangerous precedent to follow. As a matter of fact, nutrition can be considered the most important factor when it comes to weight loss.
During weight loss, proteins are the most important nutrient because:
- They increase your metabolism
- They reduce hunger
- They affect the production of hormones
- They help regulate weight
Another important source of nutrition is fiber because fiber:
- Slows down the movement of food through the gut thus reducing your appetite
- Decreases the production of hormones that make you hungry while increasing the production of hormones that make you full
Generally, weight loss is 80% diet and 20% exercise. Sounds strange, right? But it is true. If you are intending to lose weight, give more attention to your nutrition rather than to exercise.
Effective weight loss involves maintaining adequate nutrition while still adhering to the right food proportions. Even when people say that carbs result in weight gain, they are still important nutrients for your body. You don’t have to avoid them completely. All you need to do is take the right amount that satisfies your body’s needs.
Nutrition and Toning
When you exercise too much and don’t maintain proper nutrition, you leave your body vulnerable to fatigue and exhaustion. The importance of nutrition goes unnoticed yet it is essential for muscle toning and overall body fitness. Without nutrition, it is pointless to try and achieve toned muscles.
Nutrition necessary for toning must include protein, calcium, vitamin C and vitamin D.
Let us begin with protein. Protein is one of those nutrients which you cannot do without. Protein deficiency inhibits the developmental progress of your body. Your muscle growth becomes limited. By taking more protein, you will notice that you lose more weight and build more lean muscle. If you’re looking to tone your muscles you will need to include protein in your daily nutrient intake. In addition, you need to have a place for carbs in your diet since it helps to preserve muscle mass.
Secondly, calcium is a vital mineral for the body especially for the muscles and bones. During exercises, your muscles have to contract in order to grow. Without calcium, your muscles will not contract or grow. They will be weak and unhealthy. Consequently, achieving a good muscle tone will be practically impossible. Foods that contain calcium are:
- Sardines and canned salmon
Thirdly we have vitamin C. Your muscles need oxygen and nutrients for proper functioning. These two elements are supplied by blood vessels and they need to remain healthy. Vitamin C performs this function. A high quantity of vitamin C means the muscles will be more effective and quicker and recover better during exercise. Vitamin C helps your muscles to grow stronger thus increasing your muscle tone.
Dark leafy greens have a high quantity of vitamin C.
Last but not least is the importance of vitamin D for toning muscles. Vitamin D is vital for the following aspects of muscle functioning:
If you are looking to get the most out of your workout, vitamin D must be included in your diet.
The sources of vitamin D are like mushrooms, eggs, soya, cheese and oily fish.
Muscle toning encompasses making your muscles firm and reducing any body fat so that the muscles are not wobbly. Muscle toning exercise are a must but should not be overemphasized at the expense of your nutrition. You need a carefully planned diet to achieve a mixture of muscle size and low level of body fat
In conclusion, nutrition is not only about food but also drinking enough water and keeping your body hydrated. Nutrition encompasses including macronutrients, micronutrients and water in your diet. The importance of nutrition cannot be overemphasized enough because it makes the difference between health and sickness. There is no blurred line about nutrition.
Talking about nutrition, we can safely say that you are what you eat. So, are you ready to take your nutrition more seriously?