Train as hard as you want, but with no diet you will never reach your full potential. Usually teenagers are not that interested in the science of nutrition as they are with what they are supposed to eat. So with as little scientific information as possible, I am going to break down what you should eat and when you should eat it. First lets get to the most important part of a bodybuilders diet, protein. The body to repair and maintain muscle uses protein. Protein is broken down into amino acids. The protein must have all the proper amino acids in it in order to be used for muscle building. Some of the best proteins that contain all the amino acids needed are Eggs, fish, lean beef and milk. Now when I say eggs you immediately think egg whites. Wrong. The yolk may hold a little fat but that will not hurt. The yolk contains as much protein as the white so eat the yolk too. Now how much protein do I need you ask? Well that depends on what you are doing? No matter what if you train you should get at least 1 gram of protein per pound. A 150lb bodybuilder should get at least and I say AT LEAST 150grams. Now if you are trying to gain more muscle and mass go for about 1.5 to 2 grams per pound.
Now for the next important part of a bodybuilders nutrition is Carbohydrates. Carbs become a little more complicated than protein. Back in the 70's carbs were either simple or complex. Now there is a glycemic chart, which measures how fast the carbs from certain foods are metabolized or used for energy. What were know as simple carbs now have a high glycemic index, which means they are used for energy very quickly. As complex carbs have a low glycemic index and this means they are used for energy over a period of time. Now why are carbs necessary? Well, carbs must be used so are body will not go to our protein and use that for energy. Most exercises that you do are anaerobic. This means they are done in short bursts and outruns the use of oxygen. Once the oxygen supply goes down (which happens very fast) carbs become you main source of energy. Now how many carbs should you intake in one day? A bodybuilder should intake 2.5 to 3.5 grams per pound of body weight. So if you weight 150lbs then you should intake 525 to 375 grams a day.
Fat, what a scary word huh? Well not actually. Fats actually serve a bodybuilder well. Fats are broken down into 3 categories: Saturated, unsaturated and polyunsaturated. These terms refer to the amount of hydrogen atoms attached to each. Saturated fats are most likely to stay in the body the longest and get clogged in a vein. Unsaturated has a little less chance and polyunsaturated fats have the least chance. Saturated fats are found in: beef, lamb, pork, milk, cheese, butter, egg yolks. Unsaturated fats can be found in: cashews, peanut products, and olives. Polyunsaturated fats are found in: Fish, mayonnaise, walnuts, almonds, margarine. Health experts claim that two-thirds of your fat should come from polyunsaturated fats. How much fat should you in take? About .35 grams per pound. So using our 150lb bodybuilder he should get 52.5 grams.
Now that I have explained almost everything you need to know to create a good diet, lets go over what else you should think about. Calories are needed in order to gain weight. Write down everything you eat for a day and the calories. And if you want to gain weight try to add about 500 calories to the daily total. You must intake more calories that you burn so eat those calories. Another thing is drinking a lot of water. I would say about 7 12-ounce glasses through out the day.
Now I promised you I would tell you when to eat. So hear it goes. The best time to push protein is directly moments after your workout.
- 15-minutes after: 30-50 grams of protein (preferably a protein shake or drink) and 60-100 grams carbs (those on the high end of the glycemic chart)
- 90-minutes later: Another 50-70 grams of protein (food) and another 100 or so grams of carbs (food)
- 2-hours after that: another good time to slam some more protein (shake, bar or drink)
So to recap:
- Protein-1-1.5 grams per pound
- Carbs- 2.5-3.5 grams per pound
- Fats- .35 grams per pound (polyunsaturated)