5 DIET TWEAKS TO HELP YOU BULK UP

1. NOT ALL CALORIES ARE EQUAL

Have you found that no matter how hard you train or what type of training regimen you follow, you still struggle to bulk up? If you’re nodding your head in agreement as you read this you may find the solution to your problem below.

One of the most common misperceptions is that ‘bulking up’ means you can consume any food, good or bad to meet your daily calorie requirements. Well, let me convince you otherwise. Say for example you’re looking for a high energy meal before training. Although you may restrict yourself to a calorie controlled serving of sugar-coated cereal, this is not the same as consuming the same number of calories of a high fibre cereal. What’s the difference? Let’s take a look at the nutritionals.

Nutritionals per 729kJ Sugar-coated cereal FUTURELIFE® Smart food™
Serving size 44.0g 50.0g
Protein 2.8g 8.0g
Carbohydrates 37.6g 22.0g
Sugar 16.7g 8.2g
 Fat 0.7g 5.5g
Dietary fibre 1.0g 3.1g

Sugar-coated cereals may look colourful but I doubt you’re smiling about that anymore. As you can see, although both meals are equal in calories, you would be able to consume a larger portion of a high fibre cereal such as FUTURELIFE® Smart food™ providing you with more protein and less carbohydrates. In terms of fat, although sugar-coated cereals are lower in fat, more than 50% of this is unhealthy saturated fat. FUTURELIFE® Smart food™ is high in omega-3 fatty acids which is a good source of fat our bodies require. In addition to this, FUTURELIFE® Smart food™ is lower in sugar and packed with more vitamins and minerals as well as the additional benefits of MODUCARE® (a daily immune supplement made from a patented blend of plant sterols and sterolins). So, remember that equal calories do not mean equal nutrients so make sure you choose the foods you consume wisely.

2. BE CARBOHYDRATE CONSCIOUS

Carbohydrates play a much bigger role than just increasing your calorie intake. They are our muscle’s primary source of energy and the only source of energy provided directly to our brain. Did you know that carbohydrates spare protein for its core functions thus preventing muscle breakdown?

In addition to the quantity and quality of carbohydrates you consume, it’s important to be conscious of when you consume them too. Your meals main meals should always contain a high fibre carbohydrate option but so should your snacks or smaller meals around training. Here are a few examples of how to spread them out around your training schedule to yield the best results:

  • 2- 4 hours before exercise: FUTURELIFE® Smart food™ or a sandwich made with FUTURELIFE® Smart Bread™ and a protein option
  • 1-2 hours before exercise: Fruit serving
  • During exercise (only needed for sessions lasting 60-90 minutes): FUTURELIFE® High Energy SmartBar
  • After exercise: FUTURELIFE® HIGH PROTEIN Smart food™, FUTURELIFE® High Protein SmartBar or FUTURELIFE® Smart Drink™

3. IT’S ABOUT MORE THAN JUST PROTEIN

Yes, protein is important but people become so focussed on their protein intake that they lose sight of ensuring that they are consuming a healthy, balanced diet with the correct portions of fats and carbohydrates too. Remember that bulking up still requires a balance of all food groups. As you can see in the picture below, although the aim is to increase calorie intake and the portion size is bigger when trying to bulk up, there is still balance with ½ the plate filled with vegetables, ¼ protein and the last ¼ carbohydrate.

plates_1_

4. WHEY OUT YOUR OPTIONS

Most people automatically associate muscle recovery with whey but it doesn’t end there. Studies have shown that a blend of whey, casein and soya can enhance muscle protein synthesis post exercise1,2. FUTURELIFE® has therefore formulated FUTURELIFE® HIGH PROTEIN Smart food™, FUTURELIFE® High Protein and High Protein LITE SmartBars with a SmartProtein 3D blend. This science behind this is explained in the image below sourced from Gregory L. Paul (2013) The Rationale for Consuming Protein Blends in Sports Nutrition, Journal of the American College of Nutrition, 28: sup4, 464S-472S.

table_1_

5. STAY HYDRATED

Your bottle shouldn’t only be used to make a post workout shake. Studies reveal that even modest dehydration of <2% has negative effects on performance. These effects are exacerbated in hot environments3. So, in order to train at your best to look your best, make sure you carry around a water bottle and stay hydrated.

Now that you have all the facts all that’s left is to put them into action. Go on and get bulking the right way!

REFERENCES

  1. http://jn.nutrition.org/content/143/4/410.short
  2. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20234034
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10198142

IMAGES

  1. http://livegreeneatclean.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/Smaller-Plates.jpg
  2. https://doi.org/10.1080/07315724.2009.10718113