Muscle Building Myths

Many individuals want to look good with a flat stomach, toned muscles and a ripped body. Many want to look like the guy in the poster which is put up in the gym. But wait, are you aware of what it takes to get there? So, apart from the exercise routine given by your gym trainer what you really need is a proper diet routine to go along with your workout. Sure your gym trainer will give you tips on diet but do remember he/she is not a trained nutritionist. So remember, when he/she suggests you a diet ask �why?� without the fear of looking stupid. There are a lot of myths circulating with regards to gaining muscle. Here are 5 muscle building myths which we would like to clear:

1. Eating more protein will help you build muscle

This by far is the biggest myth that goes around in the gym. Even the individual who has just started working out will start including more protein in the diet and start with protein shakes. But wait, hold on, do you even require that much protein? To a point, sure protein helps. So, put down the shake for a while and read ahead to what science is telling you.
Protein has various important body functions. It also promotes the muscle-building process which requires a variety of amino acids (which are the building blocks of proteins) � some of which are to be obtained from food since our body does not synthesize these amino acids. Muscle mass increases over time when there is a combination of the right nutrition with resistance exercise.

But for this, one does not require exorbitant levels of protein. 1.2 to 1.5 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight is the recommended intake depending on the nature of exercise and the intensity. Elite athletes require more than this amount.
These levels can be generally met with diet alone � no additional amino acid and protein supplementation. Any extra protein is stored as fat and can lead to an increase in weight.
So, NO, excess protein won’t help you build muscle.

2. You can’t lose fat and gain muscle at the same time

Gaining muscle and losing fat is by no means an easy feat. However, the right combination of exercise and diet will help you do that. Losing fat will require a downsize of your calorie intake while gaining muscle requires an increase in the protein intake without an increase in the total calorie intake. Remember that your body can’t turn fat into muscle and vice versa. But if you are overweight, your body can use your stored energy to actually fuel the muscle building process.

3. Doing cardio will make you lose muscle

Doing cardio doesn’t jeopardize muscle gain or strength as per science. In fact, it may even help in increasing muscle. So how much of cardio is good enough? 20-40 minutes is good enough for you to gain muscle. Doing cardio till you drop (over exhaustion) or over training hinders muscle gain. Doing an aerobic exercise in fact improves aerobic capacity along with muscle mass. Interval training (alternate periods of high intensity with periods of low intensity) increases you’re the body’s production of the growth hormone which creates muscle mass.

4. Say no to carbohydrates

Eating the right, clean, healthy foods in each meal is the key. Don’t demonize the carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are the fuel for your workout. Not eating enough means your workout may potentially suffer. In the absence of carbohydrates, the body uses the alternate source, the valuable proteins in your body to fuel the workout. So, to avoid any loss of lean body mass it is vital to maintain your carbohydrate stores.

5.More protein after a workout will give more muscle growth

Good quality protein after a workout does play a role in enhancing muscle growth. However, more protein does not mean more muscle growth. 25 gms of protein after a workout (within two hours of a workout) is sufficient to stimulate maximum protein synthesis.
Be wary of any promises made to you in the name of building muscle. Every suggestion by your trainer should have a scientific backing and not be just �a blind statement�. As far as diet is concerned a qualified sports nutritionist would be able to chalk out a meal plan with the right balance of carbohydrates, proteins and the good fats in the diet along with the essential micro nutrients. Many nutritionists besides offering weight loss in Mumbai are offering sports nutrition services for the sports and fitness enthusiasts.

Gain Weight And Build Muscle

Naturally thin people may be the way they are on account of their genetics or their low food intake which means they feel fuller faster thus prompting them to eat less or a hormonal imbalance or a high metabolism which metabolizes the food that they eat instantaneously thus increasing the overall requirement of the calories and other nutrients. According to the BMI (Body Mass Index) range, a BMI of less than 18.5 is qualified as being under weight. Though a growing minority, the underweight people may be at risk for health concerns like nutrient deficiencies, osteoporosis especially in women, lowered immune system and fertility issues in women to name a few.

‘Eat as much as you can’ is a common advice one gets when one is trying to gain weight, especially for someone who has always been lean and lanky. You may gain weight but it may not be the best indicator of how healthy you are. The body composition is a better tool to ascertain your health and fitness along with the weight. It is a measure of how much of your weight comes from lean mass, which includes muscle, bone, connective tissue and water, and how much comes from fat. It is commonly noticed that in spite of the weight and BMI being well within the normal range, the fat composition is very high suggesting that the fitness levels are not appropriate and this makes the individual susceptible to various metabolic diseases.

It may sound odd, but it’s possible to get thinner without actually seeing a change in your weight. This happens when you lose body fat while gaining muscle. Your weight may stay the same or even increase, even as you lose inches, a sign that you’re moving in the right direction. Similarly, while gaining weight it is again possible that the individual is gaining weight with an increase in the fat mass and not the muscle mass indicating that the weight gain is not happening in the right manner.

Here are some healthy ways to gain weight if you are underweight:

1. Eat more frequently: If you feel that you cannot eat more food at a time then it would be wise to eat five to six smaller meals rather than three main meals.

2. Increase the calorie intake: Determine your daily calorie needs with your BMR and gradually increase the number of calories (watch where you get them from).

3. Snack smart: Calorie dense snacks like nuts, cheese, dried fruits, hummus or guacamole with whole wheat breads, peanut or almond butter with bread, smoothies and milkshakes will help you get calories with other nutrients.

4. Pay attention to the fat: Avoid the saturated fats from butter, margarine, ghee, salad dressings like mayonnaise and thousand island dressing and full fat dairy and dairy products. They are not good for your heart. Instead use vegetable oils which contain the good fats. You could drizzle extra olive oil on salads, soups and breads (do not overdo it).

5. Don’t overdo the protein: Medical research shows that consuming more of protein could actually harm your body. Eating more protein and increasing the calorie intake will add up to the fat mass in the body and cause stress on the other body systems. So, consume proteins in moderation (15% of your total daily caloric intake). Lean chicken and fish are your best choices when it comes to animal proteins.

6. Chuck the junk: Avoid the sweet and processed foods. Your weight gain will be mainly fat gain which will increase your risk to the diseases that result from their consumption.

7. Remember to exercise: Exercise, especially weight training helps in building muscle and thus gain weight. Exercise also helps stimulate the appetite.

No matter what the reason is to put on weight, it is important to focus on the nutrient profile of the calorie dense foods and not just the quantity of calories in them. Eating more calories should not give one a license to binge on the junk foods that have only empty calories and no other nutrients in them. Eating more calories from the right foods along with a monitored exercise program will ensure that the weight you gain is the muscle weight and not from fat.
A qualified nutritionist plays an important role in formulating a good weight gain diet. She would be able to provide the right body building nutrition with appropriate percent of the macronutrients carbohydrates, proteins and fats in order to maintain the desired body composition. If one does not have means to visit a qualified fitness and sports nutritionist in and around their place there are various nutrition companies offering online nutrition services for the same.