Nutrition – The Other Side of the Coin
The world renowned (in the bodybuilding world, anyway) Iron Guru, Vince Gironda, trainer and consultant for many bodybuilding champions, said on many occasions, “Bodybuilding is eighty percent diet.” Vince was saying this before modern nutritionists isolated and identified all of the dietary elements necessary for successful athletic competition. He knew that you had to load your system with protein if you were working out hard and breaking down muscle tissue. Your body needs protein to rebuild torn muscle fibers.
Vince Gironda developed a bodybuilder’s just-before-the-contest diet many years ago, one that would remove the last vestige of subcutaneous fat from under the skin. This diet wasn’t healthy for a long term program, but it sure worked for the professional and amateur athletes who used it for about five or six weeks before a contest. This diet will be discussed later in the book.
Not everyone wants to be a competitive bodybuilder, but we all want to be as fit and healthy as possible. The normal dietary needs for an active person; one who has a regular workout regimen is approximately twenty percent of calories from protein, forty percent from complex carbohydrates (as opposed to simple carbohydrates like starch and sugars) and the balance from fats and fibers. A serious bodybuilder might up the protein to more than twenty-five percent with correspondingly less carbs.
Muscles are built by ingesting a lot of protein and exercising frequently and mightily. In order to be able to exercise, we have to have energy, thus a list of the best muscle building foods will include some complex carbohydrates and natural, unrefined sugars, such as those found in fruit.
Slower digesting carbohydrates take longer to breakdown into energy, so they don’t spike your blood sugar and increase insulin requirements. Because they slowly enter our bloodstream, these carbs produce fewer fat forming hormones and enzymes. Fast digesting carbs like refined starches and sugars will spike your blood sugar and dissipate very quickly. They will make you fat and their impact on your energy is very short-lived.