Bodybuilder nutrition

Pre and Post-workout Nutrition

Is there a better way to consume nutrients to maximize muscle and strength gains? In this article we will explain the importance of pre and post workout nutrition.

If you are a bodybuilder, powerlifter, strongman or a normal athlete, there is an established wisdom when it comes to eating and training that never fails – you need to consume protein with a high biological value (approximately 2-3g / per kilo of weight lean body), plus a diet rich in nutrients (fat + carbohydrates + protein) that meet the caloric needs of a progressive resistance training.

The problem of 3 meals a day

The goal of any diet is to provide the food or macronutrients necessary to support the athlete’s goals. The determination of the amount of these macronutrients is very individualized and will always depend on the preferences of the athlete. Not all of us eat 6 meals a day, there are people who consume 3-4 and even less.

So, really What’s the problem with dividing our diet into three meals, like our parents did when we were little?

There is a small glaring problem, and that is that trying to eat the number of calories needed by some athletes in three sessions is almost impossible – it is much easier and more comfortable for them to divide them into smaller portions. Imagine if we only ate 3 times a day with a 3600 calorie diet, we would have to consume 1200 calories per meal …

Nutrición Pre y Post-entrenamiento

Understanding protein synthesis a little

Muscle protein synthesis has shown high peaks approximately 30 minutes after ingestion of protein, staying elevated for 90 minutes, and then falling to low levels for four hours even though we have amino acids remaining in blood levels. There appears to be a cut-off point whereby muscle protein synthesis simply stops despite a continuous supply of amino acids. So what to do? Nothing. You have a fixed amount of food to eat during the day, and you have to arrange it in the most convenient way for you. What you do have to remember is that the pre-workout meal is one of the most important of the day to maximize protein synthesis. It’s worth remembering that the main stimulus for muscle protein synthesis is resistance training, not the protein itself.

The goal of any training nutrition protocol is to maximize muscle protein synthesis and minimize protein breakdown. In other words, the goal is to increase anabolism and prevent catabolism.

Post-workout vs Pre-workout meal

Let’s start with the most talked about, post-workout food.

It’s a mantra now: post-workout, you have to consume fast-acting carbohydrates and protein within a 30-minute window.

This mixture of insulin and amino acid spikes is transported directly to the muscles. Logically this makes sense, but unless you trained on an empty stomach first thing in the morning, your insulin and plasma amino acid levels will still be high enough after the previous meal to prevent protein breakdown.

Just 6 g of amino acids and 35 g of carbohydrates is enough to maintain high insulin levels for an hour after exercise.

It is the pre-workout meal that deserves our attention, not the post-workout meal.
A meal composed of protein, carbohydrates, and even fat (which does not affect insulin, as many have said times) consumed approximately one hour before training will provide the necessary insulin and substrates to maximize anabolism and prevent catabolism.

An example of a pre-workout meal could be: 100 grams of brown rice + 300 grams of chicken / meat / or fish + 100 grams of avocado.

About half an hour after the session, when the amino acids in the blood and the insulin levels have decreased, take a protein shake of whey so that the synthesis of muscle protein begins again.

Advanced concepts

We’ve got the basics covered: how we eat during the day and the way we eat around our training:

  • Should we consume large amounts of leucine to increase protein synthesis? As much as leucine (one of the three branched chain amino acids) by itself stimulates protein synthesis, which is really relevant in a fasting state, the rest of the time, eating large amounts of protein daily in our diet, we will have enough leucine. This goes for the other two BCAAs (isoleucine and valine) as well – about 30-50g daily.
  • Is it smart or just foolish to take BCAAs every 5 hours? Most of the studies done on BCAAs have been done with the body in a fasted state and in people with a very low total protein intake – anything helps in this situation!
  • What is the ideal nutritional protocol? After you have determined the macronutrient intake you need, you can decide the best way to divide it. If you work 8-10 hours a day and cannot afford to eat 6-7 times a day, try eating 4, as long as you meet the total calories.
  • Establish daily needs – the amount of protein, carbohydrates and fats needed for your goal. You may need to adjust the figure after a couple of weeks. If you want to gain weight to reach your goal and you cannot do it with your current diet, increase 250 calories and monitor the weight for two weeks. Similarly, cut 250 calories if you need to lose weight and are not making progress following your initial assumption.
  • Load up your food intake to coincide with breakfast and the pre-and post-workout period. If you follow diets like intermitten fasting, just worry about the last two.
Bodybuilder nutrition

Intermitteng fasting

If you already have a good healthy fitness plan, and are looking for a way to take it to the next level, then you may want to consider intermittent fasting. In essence, this type of diet focuses on ordering meals on a schedule, skipping breakfast.

Intermittent Fasting (IF), or intermittent fasting, is a type of diet based on the combination of periods of fasting with periods of food intake.

It makes sense that our genes are optimized for this type of feeding schedule. It takes about six to eight hours for the body to metabolize glycogen stores so that it can then begin to switch to burning fat. However, if you are replenishing glycogen by eating every 3-4 hours, it becomes much more difficult for your body to actually use its fat stores for fuel.

Intermitteng fasting

Medical research

Recent research suggests that intermittent fasting may indeed be a key weight loss tool. It seems especially powerful when combined with exercise, meaning training while in a fasted state.

Exercise on an empty stomach has been shown to have a number of health and fitness benefits. It can even be a key to keeping your body biologically young. This is most easily accomplished if you exercise first thing in the morning, before breakfast.

Part of the explanation why exercising while fasting is beneficial is that this regimen supplements the sympathetic nervous system (SNS), along with its ability to burn fat. Your body’s fat-burning processes are controlled by the SNS, which is activated by exercise and lack of food. Another reason is that fasting can trigger a dramatic increase in human growth hormone (HGH), also known as the “sleep hormone.” Recent research has found an HGH rise of 1,300 percent in women and 2,000 percent in men while fasting!

The combination of fasting and exercise maximizes the impact of cellular factors and catalysts (cyclic AMP and AMP kinases), which force the breakdown of fat and glycogen to produce energy.

That is why training on an empty stomach will effectively force your body to burn fat. Exercise and fasting also produce acute oxidative stress, which keeps muscle mitochondria, neuro-motors, and fibers intact. (You may have heard of oxidative stress in a negative way before, and in fact, when it is chronic it can lead to disease. But acute oxidative stress, such as occurs due to brief intense exercise or periodic fasting, actually benefits your muscles)

Benefits for health and for bodybuilding

Since then, numerous studies support its countless health benefits:

  • Regulation of blood levels of glucose, insulin, triglycerides, LDL cholesterol, etc.
  • Regulation of blood pressure. Reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
  • Regeneration and care of the nervous system. Brain anti-aging effect.
  • Promotes lipolysis (fat burning).
  • Reduces oxidative stress.
  • Reduces appetite and regulates hunger

In recent years, numerous ways of practicing FI have been proposed. Actually it is a very variable method that can be included in our day to day depending on our lifestyle, work rhythm, training, etc. Some examples can be:

  • Fasting for 16-18 hours (counting the hours of sleep). Two meals a day.
  • 24-hour fast. Only one meal a day.
  • 24-hour fast alternated with 24-hour eating ad libitum (Alternative Day Fasting or ADF).

The IF that best suits our lifestyle is intermittent fasting within the same day (16-18 hours), although everyone can try what suits them best. It is quite likely that the health benefits of IF are due to hormesis, so each one has to assess what stress (also psychological) it produces in their body.

Bodybuilder nutrition

Nutrition Facts Regarding Bodybuilding 2012

In this article we will talk about the latest nutritional facts about bodybuilding.

  • The pre-workout meal is probably more important than the post-workout meal, especially if your training takes less than an hour. Remember that it takes time for nutrients to enter your system, and an increase in blood amino acids during training increases protein synthesis.
  • It is currently fashionable to say that breakfast is a waste of time. However, eating a high-protein breakfast is one of the best ways to increase satiety and increase the likelihood that the carbohydrates you eat at lunch will be stored as glycogen.

Datos nutricionales

To maximize protein synthesis, increase blood levels with leucine throughout the day. There is increasing evidence that adding a serving of leucine to meals is a very smart and profitable trick for bodybuilders.

  • Nuts are one of the best “weight gainers.” They are cheap, portable, nutritious, and high in calories.
  • There is no need to use mega doses of BCAAs before workouts lasting 60 minutes or less. 5 grams is all you need.
  • Forty grams of casein protein before bed increases protein synthesis during sleep by 26%.
  • Sleeping more is a classic strategy for people who train and want to increase muscle size, getting 8 hours of sleep is also essential to optimize fat loss hormones such as leptin.
  • Resveratrol, green tea, and curcumin have been shown to improve blood sugar control.
  • Creatine is not a fancy supplement, but it is still one of the most effective. Take creatine with your pre-workout meal. This meal has to be high in carbohydrates (100-150 grams) as insulin enhances the transport of creatine.
  • Being at very low percentages of fat or being very defined is not normal in today’s society. This means that you have to do the things that normal people don’t do. You have to bring your own food to work, you have to ask that food be prepared differently from what appears on most menus, the idea of ​​”fast food” should be a protein shake, and you can’t take the weekend off your diet as we could do when we are in volume.
  • The powers of fish oil don’t just extend to improving blood sugar control. It is incredible for many other reasons (an increase in protein synthesis, optimal fat burning, helps your heart, reduces joint pain, etc.) If you want to add it to your diet consume 2.5-5 grams of EPA / DHA daily.
  • Detractors of very low carbohydrate diets often refer to the fact that this type of diet leads to a decrease in insulin sensitivity. However, the decrease is negligible, and since you are not taking as many carbohydrates anyway, insulin sensitivity is not as critical. “Low-carb diets are still the most effective way to lose fat.”
  • L-Carnitine L-Tartrate can increase androgen receptors in muscles and reduce post-exercise pain. If you want to add it to your diet, consume 1 gram twice a day.
  • The inflammation that occurs during the training session is a natural part of the muscle building process. Drinking antioxidant-rich cocktails to prevent this from happening can decrease insulin sensitivity after training.
  • Environmental toxins like xenoestrogens play a role in blocking muscle building goals. Be careful about what food you buy, how it is prepared and stored.
    Xenoestrogens are man-made chemicals that can enter the body and mimic the effects of estrogen, a female hormone. We certainly know that large amounts of estrogen are not exactly suitable for people who want to be lean and muscular.
  • If you’re not making the gains you want, you need to spend more time quantifying exactly what you’re eating. You will be surprised at what you think you were doing.
Bodybuilder nutrition

Avocado in bodybuilding

After almost 4 weeks without internet, today Tuesday the 11th, they have finally installed it for me at home. It is time to continue writing articles about our beloved “sport”. And what better way to start than with an article about this incredible fruit.

You have most likely eaten this mysterious fruit before. Probably in your salads or even on your toasts.

The fruit I am referring to is the avocado .

Avocados are a misunderstood fruit. For one thing, it is often mistaken as a vegetable, but what is even more surprising is that many people believe that it should be avoided due to its high fat content. If you are one of those people then you are wrong. Avocados are packed with a ton of nutrients and may still play a role in weight loss and reducing your risk of various diseases.

Who cares if they are high in fat. The fats in avocados are good for bodybuilders because they are monounsaturated.

El aguacate en el culturismo

Benefits for bodybuilders and for health in general

  • According to online nutrition data, an avocado (approximately 201g) contains 422 calories and 40 grams of fat – which means that approximately 81% of its calories come from fat. But we are not talking about bad fats; We’re talking about the goodies – monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA).
  • This fat is known to lower cholesterol. But the best thing is that while lowering bad cholesterol (low-density lipoprotein – LDL), simultaneously increasing good cholesterol (high-density lipoprotein – HDL).
  • Lowering LDL cholesterol alone may not be enough for people at high risk for heart disease. This is what makes avocado so good! Its high levels of MUFA raise and lower good and bad cholesterol respectively, making it an even more effective fruit to help reduce the risk of heart disease.
  • The monounsaturated fats in avocado help burn fat and maintain lean tissue. A study published in the Journal of Nutrition in 2010 established that, “The monounsaturated fats found in avocados are easily burned for fuel during exercise and actually stimulate fat burning.”
  • Avocado fats also preserve lean body mass during weight loss …
  • Avocados also contain a very interesting carbohydrate called mannoheptulose, a sugar that actually blocks the release of insulin and increases the absorption of calcium, both of which are essential to encourage fat loss.
  • Aside from its heart-healthy properties, Did you know that an avocado is considered a complete protein source? That means it contains all nine essential amino acids: histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine , methionine, phenylalanine, Theronine, Trypotophan and valine. For fitness lovers and for bodybuilders, this is excellent news! This means that eating avocado will help ensure that our bodies have what they need to regain and build new muscle. There are many fruits and vegetables that contain amino acids, but what makes avocado unique is that it does not leave any amino acids out. This is extremely important when repairing muscle tissue, « if an essential amino acid is missing, the body cannot adequately continue protein synthesis «
  • Nutrition facts online also claim that an avocado contains 13g of fiber – which is more fiber than 1½ cups of oatmeal! But what’s really interesting is that avocado contains both soluble and insoluble fiber.


It’s hard to believe there’s still something positive to say about avocado – it seems we’ve already covered everything! But, there is something else.

The avocado has another unique property; It contains three powerful antioxidants that help protect our bodies against free radicals – vitamins C, E and beta-carotene (precursor of vitamin A).

“These antioxidants play a very important role in helping to prevent diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s disease and macular degeneration.”

Bodybuilder nutrition

Ketosis (Ketogenic Diet)

What exactly is ketosis? The metabolic state of ketosis simply means that the amount of ketone bodies in the blood has reached higher than normal levels. When the body is in a ketogenic state this means that we will use fat for energy. This means that the body will begin to break down its own body fat to use for fuel. Energy to perform all the functions of the body.

The classification of ketogenic diets addresses the restriction in the amount of carbohydrates, either because fats or proteins predominate (low-carbohydrate diets) or because the total amount of nutrients is insufficient to provide the necessary energy (deficit caloric).

La cetosis

This is how they develop:

Low-carbohydrate diets: In general, they provide less than 50 grams of carbohydrates and which, in turn, are subdivided into:

  • Rich in fat: Generally they are rich in saturated fats but they can also be good fats and are subdivided according to the type of fat that predominates (such as medium chain triacylglycerides or MCTs) and the proportion of the other macronutrients.
  • Rich in proteins (hyperprotein): Although the nutrient that predominates from the energy point of view is fat, in these diets the proportion of proteins increases to 30% of energy. These are the diets that are most designed for bodybuilders

Low-energy (hypocaloric) diets: Such diets provide an insufficient amount of carbohydrates and energy (not more than 1,000 kcal). They are used in the treatment of obesity and are not intended for bodybuilders.

Establishing the metabolic state of ketosis, even for a short period of time, has many unique benefits.


  • The main benefit is that it increases the body’s ability to use fat for fuel, which makes it very lazy on a high carbohydrate diet. In high carbohydrate diets the body normally expects an intake or source of energy. However, in the state of ketosis the body has to be efficient in mobilizing fats for energy.
  • Another funny thing about being in a state of ketosis is that if the body has no more use of ketones, they can simply be excreted in the urine as a waste product. This means that sometimes your body urinates the fat from your body! This is a novel topic, as the body is very efficient at storing energy substrates for later use.
  • Ketosis has a protein-saving effect, assuming you are consuming adequate amounts of protein and calories in the first place. Once in ketosis, the body actually prefers ketones to glucose. Since the body has copied amounts of fat, this means that there is no need to oxidize protein to generate glucose through gluconeogenesis.
  • Another benefit has to do with low levels of insulin in the body, which causes more lipolysis and the release of free glycerol compared to a normal diet when insulin is around 80-120. Insulin has a lipolysis-blocking effect, which can inhibit the use of fatty acids for energy. Also, when insulin is lowered, many beneficial hormones are released into the body, such as growth hormone and other effective growth factors.
  • Another small but very important advantage over the ketogenic diet is that when we are in the state of ketosis, ketones seem to alleviate hunger in many people. Since on the ketogenic diet you have to consume a lot of fat, which contains 9 calories per gram.

Scientific data

The state of ketosis is for the most part controlled by insulin, glucagon, and blood glucose levels. Insulin is one of the hormones that the pancreas secretes in the presence of carbohydrates. The effects of insulin are to keep blood glucose levels in check by acting as a conductor, pushing blood glucose into cells. If insulin is not released, blood glucose levels will spiral out of control and this is not good for the body.

Glucagon on the other end of the spectrum is the insulin antagonist hormone that is also secreted by the pancreas when insulin drops to very low levels, this normally happens when a person skips meals, or does not consume adequate amounts of carbohydrates for an extended period of time. When this happens, glucagon is secreted by the pancreas to break down the glycogen stored in the liver into a more user-friendly form, glucose. But what if this continues and the glycogen in the liver is depleted? This is where the metabolic state of ketosis comes in, because the pancreas can also begin to break down free fatty acids into a usable energy substrate, also known as ketones, or ketone bodies.

Side effects of ketosis

  • During the first few weeks of the ketogenic diet, the body has to go through the “metabolic shift.” The body will experience a small degree of fatigue, but once the body gets used to making ketones as the body’s main energy substrate it actually has more energy than it previously had. Also when we are in ketosis, ketones are the brain’s preferred energy substrate, much more so than protein.
  • The blood lipid profile is also a concern in the ketogenic diet, due to the huge amounts of saturated fat in the diet, even though the diet can be around healthy fats, 90% of people on this diet eat saturated fat. The issue of blood lipid profile is undergoing much debate due to the fact that some people who followed the ketogenic diet experienced a drop in cholesterol levels, while for some it increased.
  • Another point is that since carbohydrates are so limited in this diet, there may be a problem with micronutrient deficiencies. The best thing you can do to avoid this is to make sure you take a high quality vitamin / mineral twice a day to ensure that you are getting 100% of the daily value. Also supplementing with a fiber supplement is a good idea.
  • When doing this type of diet, we should not be more than 3 months with it.

Anti-catabolic effects of the ketogenic diet

Every reduced calorie diet is catabolic, which means it can cause muscle loss. It is a fact! This is mainly due to the fact that on a low calorie diet many of the anabolic hormones in the body are significantly reduced. In addition to the fact that most dieters do large amounts of aerobic exercise, which is a very good way to catabolize muscle. So the main thing we can try to do is lose as little muscle as possible when dieting, or even possibly rebuild lost tissue, which is where carb-up comes into play, but I won’t talk about that in this article.

Aside from hormonal reasons, the main reason catabolism occurs is because protein breaks down, or catabolizes, to create glucose. This is because the brain uses a glycogen cargo ship, more than 25% of the body’s glucose. Now, when carbohydrates are restricted, the body still needs glucose for the brain, so it is forced to break down the protein in its own muscle tissue.

Now, in the state of ketosis, the brain prefers ketones over glucose. For the diet it is very good because the body will not have to break down proteins for energy. In turn, the body will be forced to use its fat stores, also known as its love handles, for energy. This is why ketogenic diets are a great option.

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