Weightlifting is an excellent way to reduce fat, develop body muscles and to enhance the overall body make-up. Weightlifters need different nutrient ration as compared with the others, as proper muscles are inevitable for weightlifters and gaining lean muscle mass is not that easy.
A well-designed nutritional plan can complement weightlifting exercise by providing stable energy that aids in repairing and building lean muscles. Even though, a number of factors like the age as well as the number of days and time you train determine the meal plan, a high-protein diet is widely accepted as the standard for most of the weightlifters.
A serious weightlifter requires 1.25 to 1.5 grams of protein per pound of body weight, especially while following a low carbohydrate diet. Taking the right food in right quantities at right time helps you to attain a perfect body.
Meals Per Day
Weightlifters should consume some food at every two to three hours interval, as they require constant supply of energy to build their muscles. Each meal should be consistently sized and hence consume some food one hour prior to work out and within one to two hours after the workout. It is also advisable to have a small meal or protein drink just before going to bed.
Make-up of the Meals
Generally a low fat diet is ideal for weightlifters. It is ideal to take 40 to 60% of calories from carbohydrates, 20 to 30 % from protein and 10 to 30 % from fat. In order to build muscle mass, you need to consume more calories than what you burn. Take around 15 to 20 calories per pound of your body weight a day. Try to include carbohydrates, protein and fat in your all meals.
In order to attain the body shape that you dream off, you will have to sacrifice fried and oily snacks. Rather, you can have snack bars specially made for weightlifters.
However, while purchasing the snack bar consider the carbohydrate to protein ratio of the bar, which should be between 2:1 and 4:1 and the total calorie content should be under 200 calories. You can also take almonds, tossed salads, apples, peanut butter, fruit smoothies and protein shakes made of low fat milk etc. as snacks.
It is important to hydrate the body with fluids, as you need to replenish the body fluids that are lost during workouts. It is highly vital to keep the cartilages hydrated as lack of fluid in the cartilage will lead to joint problems. Hence, drink plenty of water throughout the day. Also take sports drink during or soon after the exercise, as they helps to raise the glucose levels quickly and provide you with extra energy.
Nutritional Meal Plan
Breakfast is considered as the most important meal of the day and the carbohydrates during the breakfast provides energy for the brain to carry out its daily functions. Oatmeal mixed with twenty grams protein powder, one banana and few berries is an excellent breakfast for weightlifters.
A protein shake made up of thirty grams protein and ten grams carbohydrate or a sandwich with cottage cheese should be consumed at around 10 am. Limit the carbohydrate content in the protein shake to ten grams, as it quickly raises the blood sugar level and also drops quickly, thus making you feel tired.
Take lunch around 12 pm and it should be the biggest meal of the day. A great salad and spaghetti with lean meat or sea food is a god choice.
A sandwich made of two slices of multigrain bread, low fat cheese, ham, tomato and fresh spinach can be taken as snack at around 3 pm. Alternatively you can substitute it with a protein shake.
This can be taken just one hour before the workout and this snack provides you with more energy to work harder. A banana or a toast with yogurt and milk is ideal.
You can take a protein shake made of 30 grams protein and 30 to 50 grams carbohydrates after the workout or you can take a banana and chocolate milk.
You can take dinner after exercise at around 8 pm. Ideal time for dinner is one to two hours after the weight training and the dinner should include a chicken breast, salad, potato and cottage cheese. Dinner helps you to build and repair the muscles during the recovery period.
You can take a protein shake made of 30 grams of protein one hour before going to sleep or take an omelet made out of egg white.