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Nutrition is without a doubt the #1 most important factor to ensure your success in bodybuilding. You can grow if you don't put a total effort into your training, but if you are not eating properly, you won't grow. Food is the fuel that builds muscle, and knowing a little on the topic of nutrition is something which will ensure your success.

Nutrition is the combination of proper consumption of both macro and micro nutrients. Macro nutrients refer to protein, carbohydrates, fats and water, while micronutrients refer vitamins, minerals and trace elements. You should consume whole foods as often as possible and never allow the use of supplements to take over your diet.

In order to provide your body with an optimum metabolic environment, the following suggestions are to serve as a strong template for the design of your vigorously customized diet plan.


The desire to consume protein is directly related to how hard you work. The more you push yourself, the more protein you will want to consume. Below is a breakdown of the protein structure:

Aminos and Peptides

A protein is formed from a long polypeptide, which itself consists of amino acids held together in peptide bonds. More than 100 different amino acids have been identified in nature but only 20 of these are incorporated into your body's structure. All human tissue protein is formed from these 20 primary amino acids through the process of anabolic sysnthesis.

Numerous derived amino acids are also formed from these 20 primary aminos. Some derived aminos are cystine, carboxyglutamate, and hydroxyproline. Each of the 20 primary amino acids is a unique structure with specific metabolic roles to perform well beyond the synthesis of larger protein structures.

Amino acids are further classified according to their respective dietary requirements. Those aminos that can be synthesized within the body in sufficient amounts are considered non essential or dispensable. The essential aminos must be supplied through dietary sources and are considered to be indispensable. Remember: an indispensable amino acid is an essential amino acid; a dispensable amino acid is a nonessential amino acid.

In recent years, a third classification of amino acids has emerged, which is deignated as "conditionally essential." This reflects the observation that under certain conditions of stress, the following aminos become essential: arginine, glycine, cyctine, tyrosine, proline, glutamine, and taurine. Needless to say, if you're training hard, then the conditionally essential aminos may become essential due to the elevated metabolic stresses.

Protein Metabolism

Protein metabolism is the set of processes whereby whole proteins are used by the body. Dietary proteins are first broken down into amino acids then absorbed into the bloodstream, and finally used in body cells to form new proteins.

Amino acids in excess of the body's needs may be converted by liver enzymes into keto acids and urea. The keto acids may be used as sources of energy via the Krebs citric acid cycle, or they may be converted into glucose or fat for storage. Urea is excreted in urine and sweat. Growth hormones and androgens stimulate protein formation, and adrenal cortical hormones tend to cause breakdown of body proteins.

Many aspects of bodybuilding are deliberate efforts to force the body to surpass its natural parameters. This is not a negative observation, but a very positive one in that much has been learned about how individuals can take control of their bodies through disciplined effort. So, as you attempt to expand your existing levels or muscular development, you are actually continually forcing your genetic framework beyond its original set of metabolic instructions. It is almost as tough to accomplish as it sounds, but it is obtainable for those who want to grow badly enough!

Protein Uptake and Utilization

Once protein has entered the stomach, the major work of breaking whole proteins into smaller peptides, and eventually, free amino acids begins on a large scale. Upon leaving your stomach, many of the amino acids ingested may never reach general circulation due to their required role in the organs involved in the transport process. For example, after the stomach, the small intestine has first choice on the aminos. The liver then restores its amino needs and releases the remaining aminos and small peptides (dipeptides and tripeptides) into general circulation to tissues such as skeletal muscle.

Once the amino acid enters a cell, peptide structures are formed, which in turn create proteins. This ongoing process or repair and synthesis leaves relatively few amino acids for storage inside cells. However, the liver, kidneys, and intestinal mucosa do store large amounts of aminos for their respective needs. From a bodybuilder's point of view, this indicates the benefit of maintaining a steady supply of amino acids in your body throughout the day. Proteins are used to produce body tissue and synthesis of hormones and their agonists and antagonists, buffering comppounds such as glutathione and carnosine. The enzymes utilized to break whole proteins into smaller components are synthesized from amino acids.

Protein to Energy

Protein performes or provides the materials for more than muscle growth. Dietary protein is also used in the production of energy as in glucogenesis, the formation of glycogen from fatty acids and proteins rather than carbohydrates. An example of this protein - to - energy shuttle is known as the glutamine - alanine cycle. Glutamine, the most abundant free amino in skeletal muscle tissue, is mainly synthesized from other amino acids.

Roles of Protein: First Maintenance, Then Growth

We need to separate your daily protein needs into two distinct areas: Maintenance and growth. Of the two aspects of protein requirements growth is more often thought of as a bodybuilding role - you need protein to grow. After puberty, there is essentially a cessation of growth that leaves us with daily protein intake being shuttled through the body to take care of existing lean body mass.

Within your body, protein is broken down into its amino or peptide structure. It's then transported to the correct metabolic arena for final active absorption. Once actively absorbed, protein's constituents are responsible for the following areas:

(1) Synthesis of hormones, neurotransmitters, enzymes, and other biochemicals.

(2) Energy consumption during periods of intense stress, injury and caloric deficiency.

(3) Optimal functioning of your immune system.

(4) Repair of existing tissue levels.

(5) Synthesis of new tissue.

(6) Synthesis of other amino acids.

Protein Requirements

It takes a lot of protein to get big. Requirements for most people will differ than that of the bodybuilding population. Specific considerations to take into account include sex, age, height and weight.


The idea that too much protein in the diet has caused problems in kidneys is a common fallacy. This incorrect association of higher levels of protein intake with kidney distress is the second line of the average guy's defense, the first one being that there is no need for extra protein as it will only go to waste.


Listed below are some excellent sources of protein:

(1) Lean meats

(2) Eggs

(3) Poultry

(4) Milk

(5) Fish

(6) Nuts

Supplements should never be used to replace whole foods. Although protein powder is a cheap and convenient way to get your protein, it should always be secondary to protein attained from healthy dieting.

Maximize Your Protein Intake

To maximize your intake of protein for maximum growth, you might benefit from the purchase of some supplements. A bucket of N - Large might very well be the kicker!!

Below are some tips which will help you make the best of your supplementation:

(1) Consume smaller and more frequent meals. Try to eat a minimum of six well balanced, healthy meals per day.

(2) Try to get as much protein as possible!

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