When it comes to muscle growth, the common notion that comes to mind is getting a gym membership. Well, it is true but also overrated. Increasing muscle mass and gaining a few inches in your biceps is not just about hitting the gym and pumping with heavyweights. It is necessary to understand that lifting weights in the gym puts your body in distress, and the cells try to cope with regrowth. Your body will only recover when you have a balanced diet and consume the essential nutrients needed by your body to promote muscle growth.
Calcium is an important component to promote good bone density. This includes the exoskeleton(bones) and the endoskeleton (teeth, nails). However, calcium also plays another important role in triggering metabolism and instigating muscle contractions. Experts have observed that calcium deficiency can lead to releasing hormones responsible for storing fat known as Calcitriol. Therefore, to avoid fat accumulation and trigger muscle growth, it is necessary to consume calcium adequately. Common sources of calcium include dairy products, fish (sardines or anchovies), and almonds.
Consuming multivitamins is an important aspect of your diet when targeting muscle growth and increasing muscle mass. Vitamins are an essential component that acts on a molecular level to aid muscle recovery and promote its growth. On a molecular level, multivitamins are responsible for reducing oxidative stress and contribute to the formation of collagen. It also acts as an agent of muscular repair and is a natural antioxidant. The essential vitamins that play an important role in helping you see your target muscles include Vitamin B12, Vitamin C, Vitamin B2, or Riboflavin.
For consumption, vitamin B12 can either be consumed in its pure form packed in capsules available in your local pharmacy or from fish or poultry sources. Vitamin C can be derived from broccoli, citrus fruits, and other green vegetables like green pepper. Additionally, important sources of Vitamin B2 or Riboflavin for consumption include chicken, cornflakes, marmites, and spinach.
Omega 3 Fatty Acids
Omega 3 fatty acids are responsible for protein synthesis in your body. Therefore, they act as an enzyme to break down protein faster and convert it into the energy required by your muscle for good performance and recovery. Furthermore, they are also responsible for improving blood circulation and keep your heart healthy. Hence, you will be free from cardiovascular diseases and at the same time see active results from your efforts put in the gym. You can consume omega 3 fatty acids by adding fish like salmon & mackerel to your diet. Other sources of omega 3 include flaxseed and walnuts.
Magnesium & Selenium
It is important to understand the need for magnesium in your body to appreciate its importance. Magnesium has the role of blocking calcium naturally and aids in muscle relaxation post contraction. Therefore, when the body is in Magnesium deficit, muscle contraction is increased, causing cramps and spasms. Hence, it is necessary to maintain Mg levels in the body to avoid such symptoms and help you grow muscles at ease.
Furthermore, Selenium is responsible for a strong immune system. Selenium also helps fight cancer and prevent cardiovascular diseases. It also prevents the body from suffering from radical damage due to intensive weight training. Common sources of Mg include green veggies, garlic, and nuts. You can consume Selenium by adding tuna, brown bread, and hazelnuts to your diet.
Zinc & Copper
Copper is an important trace element in your bloodstream. It is responsible for strengthening the muscle tendons aiding you to improve endurance and lift heavyweights. In addition to this, zinc is accountable for instigating the release of muscle-building testosterone in the body and aid in muscle recovery. Zinc mainly derives from lean red meat, eggs, and pulses, whereas one can consume copper by including sardines, tomatoes, peanuts, crabs, and sunflower seeds in their diet.
Hemoglobin is responsible for maintaining oxygenated blood in the body, aiding in metabolism, and promoting nutrients’ breakdown for easy consumption by the cells. Well, iron is the block that forms a part of hemoglobin. Therefore, an iron deficit in the body correlates to lower hemoglobin pigment, causing anemia and weakness. Consequently, consuming iron and improving your performance to lift heavy and challenge yourself to get visible results is necessary. You will not face iron deficiency if you include sardines, apricots, and bran cereals in your diet.
Protein Or Amino Acids
Proteins or amino acids are considered the building blocks of cellular growth and are therefore an essential macronutrient. Proteins help achieve a lean body mass and are responsible for producing hormones and enzymes needed for muscle growth and recovery. Thus, many athletes consume protein drinks additionally to their current diets. Common sources of proteins include meat, fish, chicken, cottage cheese, soybeans, legumes, and many more.
Studies have shown that beta-alanine shows promising results in the prevention of muscle cramps or spasms. This is because beta-alanine helps the body in producing carnosine, which helps maintain the pH balance in the muscles. Hence, excess build-up of lactic acid is prevented since lactic acid build-up is responsible for stimulating cramps and spasms. Beta-alanine is found in seaweeds, watercress, turnips, asparagus, and animal & plant-based protein.
The most underrated nutrient in the human body is water. Water plays an important role in aiding the transportation of nutrients throughout the body in addition to quenching your thirst. Having a good fluid intake also aids in the absorption of nutrients and prevents constipation. Therefore, water is an important nutrient helping the muscles get the required nutrients by efficient circulation.
In addition to hitting the gym, one needs to look after their diet and consume all the essential nutrients required for muscle growth. Failure to do so will hinder your performance and make you feel lethargic, thereby instigating the sensation of quitting gym and exercise. Hence, it is very important to consume essential nutrients for muscle growth and intensive training & weight lifting.