As with any fitness or physique goal, your nutrition must be up to par with your training. As the old adage says, you can’t out train a bad diet.
Building muscle requires the same amount of discipline and control as it does losing fat.
And of course, we don’t want to gain massive amounts of fat while building muscle, we want to stay lean while still bulking up.RELATED: RECOMMENDED PLANS FOR YOU
This article won’t go touch on the overly common mistakes that can be found in a multitude of other locations; instead, I will give you some lesser known, but extremely important mistakes that most make when trying to build muscle.
Here is my top 5 list of muscle building diet mistakes, in no particular order:
1. Protein is NOT the most important nutrient. Yes, protein intake is important as it help rebuild muscle after training sessions. However, if you’re really looking to pack on muscle, carbohydrates are going to be your best friend.
In order to train as hard as you’re going to need to, your body is going to require greater amounts of carbs to fuel your workouts and help rebuild muscle. In short, your muscles run off carbohydrates when performing high intensity exercise, so you should give them the fuel they need to work hard.
2. You don’t make hydration a priority. Your muscles are made up primarily of water, so why would you deprive your muscles of their foundation? Staying hydrated properly helps nutrients absorb into the muscles, as well as the rest of the body, helping repair and build more muscle after your workouts.
Maybe most important, staying hydrated can help you avoid injury. Dehydrated muscles are tight and can easily be injured. Staying hydrated lubricates the muscles and makes them more pliable.
3. Thinking you can eat whatever you want. A great line that I heard recently is that you think you can “eat for quantity, not for quality.” Yes, when building muscle you have to make sure you eat, and eat a lot, that doesn’t mean you can load up on fast food and garbage.
Your body still needs nutrients within the food to build muscle. Not to mention, your goal should still be to stay lean while building muscle.
4. Relying on supplements to reach your goals. Supplements should never be used as a primary source of nutrition. I feel like this is an obvious statement, but it needs to be said.
I’ve been there myself, relying on the supplements to do the work and not put enough in to my training or nutrition. Make sure most of what you ingest are whole foods, then you can add in supplements to fill in any deficiencies.
5. This final point isn’t necessarily a diet misstep, but has a huge effect on both training and diet. SLEEP is huge when it comes to building muscle. When you have a lack of sleep, you put yourself way behind the eight-ball in so many different ways. You lose focus and motivation to train, your hormones get messed up and increases stress.
To touch upon the hormones involved with sleep, there are two major players: human growth hormone (hgh) and cortisol. During restful sleep, your body secretes HGH, which helps build muscle and burn fat. On the other end of the spectrum, lack of sleep is linked to high levels of cortisol, which has catabolic (breakdown) effects on muscle and increased levels of belly fat.
These are my most important muscle building diet mistakes that most people make. Of course, your training has to match your diet. Take a look at one of my previous article “From Skinny Guy to Muscle Mountain” for a full workout program intended to build quility lean mass.
As always, please comment below.