Getting bigger can’t be boiled down to just one nutritional maxim, such as “eat tons of protein.” Rather, successful muscle-building nutrition is the sum of eating properly, covering everything from total calories to protein, carbs and essential fats. That being said, an overlooked aspect of bodybuilding nutrition is the effect that foods have on blood sugar levels.
Blood sugar, or blood glucose, is the term used to describe the amount of sugar in blood. Your body breaks down carbohydrates you eat into sugar. It either floats in your blood until your muscles absorb it to make muscle glycogen (an important component of muscle recovery and muscle growth) or it is stored as fat, adding to your bodyfat.
This article discusses the nutritional keys to stabilizing blood sugar levels. Low blood sugar levels can lead to subpar growth; elevated levels can lead to an unwanted increase in blubber. Apply these eight tips to keep your sugar levels rock steady, free from slumping dives or unwanted rapid spikes.
1. CHOOSE YOUR CARBS
If you have trouble staying lean when you are following a high-calorie bulking diet, then avoid sugar and stick with slower-burning carbs, such as oats, Cream of Rye cereal, rye bread, whole-grain bread and yams. If you are a bodybuilder with a higher percentage of bodyfat, you’ll tend to experience greater swings in sugar levels — sugar tends to whisk in and out of blood too quickly. That can leave you weak and tired, as well as elevate catabolic (muscle-wasting) hormones. If you have a fast metabolism and tend to remain lean when bulking, you can choose whatever carbohydrates you prefer at most times of the day. Lean bodybuilders naturally maintain more stable blood sugar levels, and steadier levels help build nearly fat-free muscle.
2. PICK YOUR PROTEIN
Egg whites and fish are great fat-free sources of protein, making them ideal for cutting up. For bulking up, it’s better to consume protein foods with some dietary fat in them to help keep blood sugar levels stabilized. Mix egg whites with whole eggs, replacing low-fat fish (such as tuna) with lean meat (such as steak) and low-fat cheese. Dietary fat helps keep sugar levels in line (by slowing down digestion), preventing them from dropping quickly. When your blood sugar levels are stable, two things occur: you grow and you sidestep the fat-gaining process.
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