FIVE-ITEM MEAL PLAN FOR MAX GAINS

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#1 PREEMINENT PROTEIN
Protein is the building block of muscle tissue, and you need a trainload of it to get big. Serious mass-building athletes require 1 to 1.5 grams (g) of protein per pound of bodyweight from complete sources, such as turkey, chicken, fish, steak, low-fat dairy products and protein powder. Complete sources of protein must contain the eight essential amino acids required for growth. A 200-pound bodybuilder needs 200-300 g of complete protein daily to build mass.

#2 WONDROUS WHEY
Whey protein is higher in branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) than solid food and is an absolute rock when it comes to packing on the beef. Leucine, one of the branched-chain aminos found in whey, stimulates muscle growth; collectively, BCAAs exert a muscle-sparing influence by decreasing protein breakdown. For best results, use whey as a complete source of protein at two of your daily meals.

#3 CRUCIAL CARBS
There's no way to train hard enough to build mass without the energy derived from carbs. Consuming carbs allows your body to release insulin -- perhaps the most important muscle-building hormone in the human body -- which increases protein uptake by muscles while preventing muscle breakdown. You need 2.5 to 3.5 g of carbs per pound of bodyweight to optimize your anabolic options. A 200-pound bodybuilder, for instance, should take in 500-700 g per day.

#4 TIME-RELEASED NUTRIENTS
For maximal results, split your daily calories into five or six small meals to provide a steady stream of nutrients to support recovery and growth. Include fast-acting quick-to-digest carbs in the two meals that follow your training session, as these easy-to-process carbs help replenish glycogen to aid postworkout recovery. Cream of Rice, Cream of Wheat, white rice, potatoes and honey are excellent choices.

#5 FORSAKEN FAT
Dietary fat should be fixed at .35 g per pound of bodyweight. Most of that required total will come naturally as a byproduct of protein-rich food sources, such as chicken, steak and fish. High-fat diets are completely overrated. Carbs and protein are the two most important nutrients for a bodybuilder. Opting for more fat at the expense of carbs is a dietary blunder that will make you big in all the wrong places.

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