Weight Lifting Diet and Nutrition 

Weight lifting diet

Welcome To The Weight lifting Diet And Nutrition Article

Aside from performing weight lifting exercises there are only two other things that will be of major importance to you, if your trying to improve strength and muscle mass.

              First: after weight lifting itself, is your 'Weight lifting Diet' and all It encompasses.

     Second: you need rest/sleep for the regeneration of new Muscle growth to occur.

Unraveling The Mystery of The Western Diet?

Lots of people learn from magazines and advertised articles or even from friends to arm themselves with diet information. And merely guessing at what is right or wrong about dietary information, and what foods should make up a healthy diet?

This is in a lot of instances, about big and small companies trying to make more and more money off of the latest dietary fads.

Society in some cases here in the west, has made the word sound like this is a new way to slowly starve your-self to towards your physique goals. This simply is not true, in very simple terms, ‘Diet’; does not mean that at all.

The word as we should try to understand it, is simply: referring to the groups of foods that different cultures of people eat or consume. You generally have different food groups that will make up a diet. And of course this will vary from culture to culture.

Most of the food groups that grow naturally, whether it’s vegetables, fruit, or naturally raised or caught nutritional sources, are beef, fish, poultry etc. most of these are healthy nutritious dietary sources.

If you do not eat meat, and approach your dietary eating habits as a vegan you may have to substitute certain foods for higher protein found in naturally grown foods. I understand that everyone’s different in their ability to process and consume different or certain dietary food groups.

Some may even suffer from allergic reactions,such as: stomach disorders, diabetes etc., only you know your body. Substitute the foods that you know you have to, if you suffer from any of these or others. If it is naturally grown or raised, it is probably healthy.

Don't miss the most important meal of your day!

Healthy breakfast

Your first meal of each training Day is the most important! Don't be fooled into thinking its not; that meal is breakfast Bar none! After an entire nights sleep and no nutrition, what do think your body needs?

This meal gets missed and sometimes even forgotten entirely. Eating a good balanced breakfast and eating it early, the earlier the better. no later than 9:00 am. This sets up your bodies metabolism and starts the revving process of your bodies calorie burning furnace. 

What Makes Up a Good Weight Lifting Diet ?

Weight lifting diet macronutrients

For the most part, the primary nutrients that are found in the total food groups that we consume come from protein, carbohydrates, fats, including vitamins, minerals, fiber and water.

Healthy sources of foods that we consume that make up our daily diet do have the nutrients we need in them. The problem lies in that many food groups don’t carry them all and some of them don't come in ample quantities for your weight lifting diet.

So in short: consuming a wide variety of food and receiving these nutrients to complete and get them in enough quantity, will create a well-balanced diet that puts the body into in a positive nitrogen balance that will give  you a tremendous edge, in your weight lifting diet.

What exactly is protein?


Bear with me here as I try to explain proteins: essentially, are molecules larger in nature made up of smaller what are called sub-units. These are peptides, peptides are assembled in a chain and become peptide chains.

Peptide chains are made up of smaller units, these are called amino acids.

This exact amount of amino acid in each food group is the sequence in each chain that determines each proteins characteristics and determines how your body will use these proteins from each food group.

Your body can manufacture and produce 11 out of the 20 of the essential amino acids. The other nine sources must come from different dietary sources. Failure to receive and or produce all of these can lead to the depletion of the body’s protein-based tissues such as muscles, organs, and enzymes.

Besides proteins ability to build muscle and repair it, protein is also used structurally as a component in red blood cells and antibodies etc.

One other interesting fact about protein is: unlike fats and carbohydrates your body does not generally store excess amino acids for later consumption by the body. Protein should be consumed daily for the body to aid from this process.

Other sources can also be classified based on their amino acid make up. For the most part animal sources of protein are termed complete.

But plant sources, nuts, fruits and veggies on the other hand, are not, or are not for the most part and are usually deficient in one or more of the essential amino acids and are so classed as incomplete.

Getting Your Protein From a Verity of Sources


Protein - complete and incomplete:

Protein For example: should always be introduced in your weight lifting diet in variety.

Some protein that comes from grown food sources are incomplete. So verity is key, in protein and in protein consumption, It's important to get full and complete protein sources.

If you’re a vegan weight lifter, you should probably consume a wider range and variety of protein from plant or grown sources, to obtain all of the amino acids in sufficient quantities to support new strength and muscle growth in your workouts.

So Where Does This Put You In Regards To Protein Consumption Amounts?

In actual fact I think the answer personally lies with body size and type, and how physically active you pursue your form of exercise or sport you engage in age is also a factor etc.

Anaerobic exercise such as weight resistance training, bodybuilding, football, wrestling, etc., short burst energy sports and lifestyles are all under this anaerobic flag.

With that said; you do need more protein to promote muscular growth and repair to maximize hypertrophy levels, meaning: consuming or ingesting enough protein from plant and animal sources, including protein supplement drinks...

Should be somewhere in the consumption neighborhood of, 1 g of protein, per pound of lean body mass in males.

Protein in your  weight lifting diet if your skinny or a hard gainer; could be increased from 1 to 1.5 grams of protein per pound of body weight and increase caloric intake; or until you begin to reach muscular size and strength towards the goal your trying to achieve.

Then you can reconsider your protein intake and  back off to one gram of protein per pound of body weight, to maintain your size and strength levels.

Protein consumption for females - (female weight training).

Good Sources of Protein!

   Complete protein sources

•          Beef, preferably lean cuts or extra lean ground hamburger.

•          Chicken Brest, turkey, and fish, etc.

•          Dairy… eggs, low-fat cheese/cottage cheese, yogurt and low-fat milk.

•          A few sources from the dairy are not complete, but very close.

 Incomplete sources of protein

•          Peanuts, cashews, almonds, sunflower seeds, etc.

•          Soy tofu.

•          Quinoa.

•          Seeds, peas, beans etc.

•          Don't discard these sources of incomplete protein, there full of essential fats, nutrients, vitamins and minerals.

How much is enough?  

Meat, eggs, peanuts, spinach

Again, in the fitness bodybuilding and weight lifting arenas this varies with opinions and research, test studies have shown that protein is essential for growth and repair. 

Sticking within the parameters of protein consumption from dietary supplement sources has worked for all weight lifters and bodybuilders over the last 60 years.

But like anything, this is not a question of more is better. Excess protein does place more stress on the liver and the kidneys, forcing these organs to work overtime to filter and even excrete the waste generated by protein metabolism.

Therefore, athletes usually have to ingest more water to hydrate themselves to help assist this filtration phase, athletes put on their bodies.

Over doing protein consumption in your weight lifting diet, if you’re skinny or ectmorphic in structure, training hard and you’re a hard gainer, having no luck with gains in strength or muscle size.

The average well-conditioned athlete that engages in anaerobic training 3 to 5 times a week can generally process 25 to 30 g of protein every 2 to 3 hours. This is why meals are suggested at these time intervals, to restock protein and complex carbohydrate stores in your body.   

If you receive man-made protein in the form of a protein shake, this usually takes approximately one hour from the time of ingestion, for the body to process and fully use most of this protein.

Part of the reason is: if you’re using a whey isolate protein drink, the isolate version is generally quite fine. It goes through the body quickly and metabolizes fast for nutritional recovery and repair of muscles from strenuous workouts.

This is why when you drink your protein in the morning and perhaps have another 15 or 20 grams of protein with your breakfast, from food sources. acts as a protein stacking method...

Meaning: as your body finishes the processing and metabolizing of the original protein shake. The body has now begun to break down and process the protein that was extracted from the food sources you ate after the shake.

As I've said: overdosing on protein probably won’t give you the results you want. Staying consistent with 25 to 30 grams every 2 to 3 hours throughout your day and before you go to bed probably will.

What Are The Best Times to Drink Protein Shakes?

Drinking protein

Again, I encourage you to experiment with your weight lifting diet. As each of us and our fitness lifestyles age and gender all play a part in the quality of our life?

The best results that I found in regards to protein consumption are as follows:   

•          Too much protein puts stress on your body and is expensive.

•          Not enough will result in little or almost no muscle and strength gains.

•          I like to have my first protein shake 20 mins. before I eat breakfast.

•          The second shake immediately following my workout.

So as you can see I consume two shakes through-out each training day, morning and early evening, as evening is usually when I train.

The first protein shake, I have in the morning. I generally mix (whey protein isolate) with 8 ounces of water and add 3 to 4 g of pure creatine monohydrate.

The second protein shake is taken with natural fruit juice. The reason I add the whey isolate to the fruit juice is: the muscle stores of glycogen have been seriously depleted from the weight training itself.

At this point I add the protein to the 6 to 8 ounces of fruit juice and 3 or 4 grams to creatine monohydrate to the shake.

The body will naturally release insulin because of the natural sugars I’ve ingested from the fruit juice in the shake. The insulin will now transport the protein to where it is needed into the muscle tissue itself.

These are only guides to give you an idea of timing, amounts and results. I encourage you to listen to your body be instinctive in your training and dietary needs.

If you don’t think you need it, or you’re not getting what you hope or expect to get from your supplements, either change brands or try something altogether different.

Carbohydrates: What Are They and Where Can I Find Them?

Complex carbs

In your weight lifting diet; carbs are the body’s primary source of energy or fuel. Without enough carbs you simply can’t grow in strength or size.

The glycogen your body produces from carbs is generally stored in the muscles. If your carb levels are too low, your body will automatically turn to and use protein as its energy source.

This is something you don’t want! Robbing the protein rich building blocks your muscles need; undermines a lot of your weight training efforts.

Glucose is also the fuel that is used by the brain and nervous system that is supplied by carbohydrates you ingest. If you’re not receiving enough carbohydrate nourishment, this can drastically affect the brain and bodies performance, including your mood even your personality.

Fruits and vegetables

Carbs can be broken down into two types: simple and complex

Simple carbs: can come from different sources, refined flours and sugars meaning: candy, cookies, cakes, pies and pastry, etc. for more info on 'macronutrients' see (weight training fat loss).

Simple carbs: can also come from simple sugars that occur in nutritious foods such as milk, fruit and some vegetables. If you’re going to ingest simple carbs, its better that they come in the form of (fructose), these are definitely natural and healthier choices.

As I’m sure you know, eating simple carbs from refined sources are full of calories, the problem with these calories are: they are empty in nutritional value. This big, but short-lived energy high you receive from these sources is also known as: (an insulin spike).

Another problem associated highly refined simple carbs are: (the additives and sugars in candy and pastry encourages cravings adding another process for you to deal with). Simply said; keep these food sources in your weight lifting diet to a minimum, they offer you know, nutritional benefits.  

Complex Carbohydrates

Complex carbs

Complex carbohydrates are a much better fuel source for your weight lifting diet. They take longer than simple carbs/sugars for the body to break down. Grains that are unrefined are loaded with valuable nutrients such as vitamins, minerals and fiber.

(These help the digestive system work well and will keep you feeling full and help with cravings of wanting to over eat).

Once complex carbs have been ingested, the body immediately starts the process of breaking them down into simple sugars.

Once this process is completed, the sugars are then absorbed into the bloodstream, as the sugar levels begin to rise in your body; your pancreas now releases a hormone called insulin.

Your insulin transports the sugar from the blood into the cells where it is then used as a primary source of energy. The two main things; Complex carbohydrates offer is a better energy source and its ability to take the body longer to break down and use this as a fuel source.

Good sources of complex carbohydrates:

  From food Sources as follows:

.           Yams, sweet potatoes and potatoes in general, baked not boiled.

•          Oatmeal, rolled oats.

•          Millet, whole-grain barley.

•          Quinoa.

•          Brown rice, granola.

•          Whole-grain brown bread, Pasta.

Chinese noodles

Your carb sources should be high in fiber looking at nutritional facts on labels should be identified as; approximately 5 g of fiber per serving. Healthy foods that provide between 3 and 5 g per serving are considered good fiber.

Fiber in your weight lifting diet helps to bind food for the digestive process and also acts as a broom for the colon to keep it clean and working efficiently.

The pie chart shown above, should actually represent your plate for the most part when you’re eating, each time throughout each day. This is how important carbohydrates are in your weight lifting diet and daily activities.

55 to 60% of your meal should come from carbohydrates, 25% from solid protein sources and 10 to 15% from healthy fats.

Essential And Non-Essential Fats?

What are the fats to avoid?

These are the fats that are classed as bad for you and should be avoided!

This is a diet topic that the media and certain aspects of the health profession have over dramatized and popularized. This for some reason still to this day grabs people’s attention and still sells magazines and TV adds.

This especially holds true to form when you have the word, (diet and fat) next to each other, in bold letters above a new diet strategy.

The fats to avoid are: Saturated and Trans or hydrogenated fats. All saturated fats generally (congeal at room temperature) meaning: harden, and should be kept to an absolute minimum, and Trans fats should be avoided entirely or altogether.

This is a product of 20th century food processing, these fats rarely occur in nature and our bodies simply don’t have the enzymes necessary to break them down.

Examples of some foods that have higher levels of these fats in them:

•          Potato chips

•          Ice cream

•          French fries and other fast foods

•          Sweet sauces.

•          Fatty cuts of meat

•          Cheese

•          Some pastry.

To give you an idea, an extra-large meat lover’s pizza has around 3,000 to 3,200 calories in it. This is enough calories from good food sources to last you most of the day and even have some vigorous activity performed in it.

Take the time to read and understand labels in your weight lifting diet. To learn to understand and discern which fats are good and which are not and avoid the ones that are. Try to learn what abundance there in, in the food you’re purchasing.

Ingesting these highly processed and fatty foods in quantity over time, does have serious health consequences. So avoiding these as much as you can; helps immensely with your waistline and visits to your doctor.

Are healthy fats needed in a weight lifting diet?

Healthy fats

The healthy fats referred to in the weight lifting diet are the essential fatty acids (EFAs) or omega-3 fatty acids. Getting or receiving enough healthy or essential fats in your weight lifting diet is important, and even essential to life.

The healthy fats to consume are the unsaturated type; these can be divided into (mono unsaturated and polyunsaturated fats). Unlike their saturated cousins, these fats are vital to life.

Unsaturated fats are usually liquid at room temperature and used for metabolic processes such as transporting vitamins A, D, E and K.

These are responsible for maintaining cell membranes, such as; maintaining health and appearance of skin, eyes, hair, joint lubrication, lowering cholesterol levels and serving as a source of energy.

Biochemically; fats are a concentrated source of energy that contain 9 calories per gram versus that of 3 to 4 calories per gram of protein or carbohydrate.

Fats can generally be divided into a number of different categories, but for the most part, saturated and unsaturated are the two primary distinctions of (EFAs).

As you can see there’s double the difference in the calorie density from protein and carbohydrates to that of fats. 

  Healthy sources of essential fatty acids:

  • fish, such as: salmon, halibut sardines albacore herring, etc
  • Foods with lesser amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, shrimp, clams, cod, and tuna etc.
  • Avocados, spinach.
  • Some of the better cooking oils high oleic sunflower oil, sesame oil and olive oil.
  • Sunflower seeds, flax-seed, hemp-seed, peanuts, almonds and walnuts unsalted.

These are just some of the foods that naturally carry good and healthy fats. Having and ingesting these fats from these sources are healthy, over dosing on them is not. Try to Remember only 10 to 15% of essential fats are needed and should be introduced each day for your recommended daily intake.

 Vitamins Are They Needed in Your Weight Lifting Diet?

Vitamins and weight training

The word on vitamins is yes! They are important in your weight lifting diet. Vitamins can generally be defined as inorganic compounds that are necessary for growth..

Vitamins in general can be divided into two groups:

Water-soluble vitamins

These vitamins cannot be stored in the body to any great extent. They must be consumed in your diet on a regular or daily basis. With regards to water-soluble vitamins only under certain circumstances that could be deemed as stressful to your body, such as illness, injury intense exercise, even disease.

Usually only under the conditions mentioned above, your regular diet for the most part should provide you with enough vitamins. But if your training hard; a vitamin supplement will become necessary.

Fat-soluble vitamins

These vitamins are named as such, simply because they dissolve in dietary fat. If excess amounts are consumed in your diet and not used immediately. These are stored as body fat, for later use.

This storage can have consequences; some of the fat-soluble vitamins can be toxic to organs in your body. In particular, the liver, if you ingest excessive amounts; studies have shown such as too much vitamin D has been linked to heart disease and kidney stones.

Here are some of the more important ones from the vitamin family, which will add the greatest value to your weight lifting diet: listed in order of importance.

•          Vitamin B-complex.

•          Vitamin C.

•          Calcium.

•          Magnesium.

•          Potassium.

•          Vitamin E, A and D

•          Including individual B complex vitamins B12 and  B15

•          Others in their order (Inosine, carnitine, arginine, ornithine, lysine, and tryptophan).

I don’t want or expect expect you run out and buy all of these vitamins and begin taking them in mass quantities, simply to become bigger and stronger.

Most of the vitamins listed above will come from good food sources. So, over dosing on vitamins and minerals can become expensive and inefficient.

I will give you some recommendations towards weight training, then you can experiment and learn what works best for you, there’s no substitute for education in your weight lifting diet.

For weight lifters on a fixed or small budget good common sense prevails, my own suggestions over the years of training and experimenting from my experience;

I would suggest:

Investing in a high potency B complex vitamin formula, the B-complex vitamins have a lot of importance in the cycle of muscle hypertrophy; without B complex vitamins, it’s tough to make good gains in muscle mass, and/or strength.

As a second essential supplement: you may want to purchase ascorbic acid or also commonly known as; vitamin C. This helps to keep the body detoxified and again also helps and assists with good gains in muscle.

A good protein supplement drink one or two times a day from a (whey isolate source), or if it’s not affordable a good non-fat milk, milk powder or cooked eggs with only half the yolks. All serve as great protein sources.

As a final source you can introduce either all at once or throughout your day is ‘creatine’; specifically: pure creatine monohydrate, this is generally ground and processed differently and has a finer consistency, like that of icing sugar.

5 or 6 grams of pure creatine per day is generally enough for most hard training athletes.

Water and Hydration

Stay hydrated

This just seems to get overlooked a lot in weight lifting diet plans; is the ability to stay hydrated throughout your day and work out, is so important. People in general can survive for weeks without protein and carbohydrates as the body will utilize what is stored naturally. But...

If you fail in your ability to hydrate yourself, in one or two days at the outset going without water is fatal. Water is the major component of every cell. This makes up two thirds or more of your body’s overall mass and also forms most of the volume for your blood.

Water also serves in almost all chemical reactions for your digestion, regulating body heat and excreting body waste. Typically an average person will lose 1.5 to 2 L of water every day through simple waste excretion and sweating.

Of course intense exercise only adds to the amount of water consumption you need.

If you begin to feel thirsty while you’re working out, this is an indication to obviously drink water. But generally this indication is coming too late. Staying hydrated throughout your day and throughout your work out is paramount to life and weight training success.

Instead of drinking just when you feel thirsty, you should be revering this process in regards to hydration. and remain this way through-out your day.

The recommended amount of water each day is obviously going to fluctuate some; with age, gender, intensity of physical activity and of course the temperate fairness of your weather in your location, simply meaning: hot or cold climates.

An average healthy active adult male: if active should be approximately 13 cups or 3 liters per day.

For a healthy adult active woman: approximately 9 cups, or 2.2 L of total beverage intake.

Concluding with Simplicity:

Some of the simplest things in life and in our diets in general, that are a major part of our life can be overlooked and even manipulated, because many are trying to make huge profits off of this. With tricky advertizing and cool looking images in magazines etc.

The truth with your diet lies where most don't look? educate your self, like you are here; keep your weight lifting diet simple. Add lots of verity, make it fun and interesting and you will grow, in size and strength

Regarding simplicity; our bodies biologically are much, smarter than anything that is man-made, that you’re going to ingest. Your body already knows how to process and metabolize vitamins, minerals calories in the natural molecular form they come in, in your everyday food.

Don’t be fooled by what you’re reading or what others are telling you: most of the things we need, come from healthy foods you can purchase right in your own grocery store. 

If you’re eating properly meaning: buying food from your grocery store, preparing it properly and eating it at the right times. Your success rate has nowhere to go; but up.

All of us love flavor; If you can, use spices eliminate salt, be creative and add very low-fat flavorings to the food you prepare. Add flavor with out adding fat, to achieve your weight lifting diet hopes and dreams.

Life is full of choices, try to make the right ones when you reach for food. If you want to see and feel positive results; make a positive effort.

I hope that the weight lifting diet information has been helpful. This information is meant to be just that: information and for the most part has just been generalized.

If you wish to change or alter anything in your life to do with fitness or diet, I would strongly suggest consulting with your doctor or health care physician first.

And of course the best is wished to you, in your weight training and diet goals. Be creative in the your kitchen and weight room and I promise you will see results in your weight training diet. DWT

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