Often food and how it affects the body are the last thing on a bodybuilders mind, but the simple fact is that bodybuilding nutrition is super important. No truer word has been spoke than when people say that you are what you eat. I’m sure you know the feeling of being bloated when you’ve had too many carbs, or sluggish if you’ve eaten just too much. Those are just small examples of how your body is affected

While just eating intelligently won’t build your muscles, it will fuel your body so that you’ll have enough energy to really make a difference. This tiny fact is something that many bodybuilders overlook.

And when I say ‘intelligently’ it’s not just about the food you’re taking in, but when you’re doing it. And I’m guessing that 50% of everyone who lifts weights to get ripped wouldn’t even have considered such a thing. And if they have, the confusion is immense:

  • Should I eat just before I workout?
  • Should I eat afterwards?
  • When should I have carbs?
  • And when should I eat all my protein?

To answer these questions is simple. The best time to ingest the nutrients that best aid in muscle growth, such as

  • Protein
  • Carbohydrates
  • Creatine

Is after your workout. Preferably within the hour. During this time the body will process these nutrients at its maximum efficiency, building lean muscle and metabolizing the carbs.

Secondly, ingesting a similar amount of carbs, protein and/or creatine before you workout can have beneficial effects. Much more so than outside the hour surrounding your workout.

This being said, I know that when I eat some junk food in the evening, my workout the next day is much more painful than normal. My cardio abilities are lessened and my lifting doesn’t feel as smooth and I struggle to really push myself. And while this sounds like a bad thing, it really spurred me on to eat food I knew would fuel me well.

For those of you who don’t want to go the way of supplement drinks, there certainly are recommended foods:

  • Lean poultry
  • Fresh fruit and veg
  • Complex carbs
  • Fibre

Plenty of water

While this is a basic guide, if you’re regularly fuelling yourself with pizza and soda you’re doing yourself a disservice.

Bodybuilding nutrition isn’t rocket science, but it can mean the difference between flabby and ripped and I know which one I’d rather be.