The process of increasing your muscle mass can’t be simplified to a single nutritional prescription. You can’t just say something like : take more protein and that’s it.
In order to create a successful diet you must take into consideration all the aspects of your eating habits, and include all the needed nutrients like protein, carbs and essential fats, which provide you with the good calories. In that respect, one of the aspects of bodybuilding diet that often gets overlooked is how the consumed food affects our blood sugar levels.
Blood sugar level is how much sugar, or glucose, you have in your blood. This sugar is derived by your body in a process of breaking the carbohydrates you consume. Depending on the scope of your daily activities, this glucose will either be absorbed by your muscles and turned into muscle glycogen, which is very important for muscle recovery and growth, or shall be stored as fat.
In this article we’ll try to present the nutritional keys in blood sugar levels stabilization. While low blood sugar level can result in slower growth, increased levels can have disastrous effect on your body. Follow these eight tips to maintain your sugar levels stable, preventing unwanted ups and downs.
1| CHOOSE YOUR CARBS
If you have noticed that you keep piling up fat when following bulking diet high on calories, you should avoid sugar. Instead, turn to with slower-burning carbohydrates, such as oats, whole-grain bread and yams. People with higher percentage of body fat might experience these drops and rises of sugar level more often than leaner people.
One of the properties of sugar is that it gets in and out of our blood very quickly. When blood sugar suddenly drops, you may experience weakness and fatigue, and increase the catabolic hormones. People with faster metabolism who remain lean even when exposed to a bulking diet, on the other hand, should increase their daily consumption of carbohydrates.
Leaner people have more stable blood sugar levels, which helps them in building up nearly fat-free muscle tissue.
2| CHOOSE YOUR PROTEIN
Egg whites and fish are ideal sources of protein for people who try to cut down on fats. When going for bulking diet, you should consume protein food that has more nutritional fat, in order to stabilize your blood sugar levels.
Dietary fat slows down the digestion, thus preventing the sudden drops in blood sugar levels. Maintaining them stable, is very important for two reasons: at the same time you increase your growth and reduce gaining fats.
3| CHOOSE OF PROTEIN POWDER
Although whey protein is fantastic source of amino acids, sometimes your body can absorb it and process it so that it affects your insulin production, thus causing chaos in your blood sugar levels. If you experience sudden drop of energy immediately after eating you should consume your whey mixed with casein.
This sudden drop of energy can be experienced by bodybuilders who find it difficult to stay lean. The mix of whey and casein is especially advisable for them. As it acts quickly, whey should be consumed immediately after exercise.
Some 30 to 45 minutes later consume whole-food meal. If you’re planning to have your meal later than that, add casein to your whey-protein shake. This will slow down your digestion rate, preventing your blood sugar to rise or drop rapidly.
4| LISTEN TO YOUR BODY
Bodybuilders are often faced with the question how much protein and carbs they should eat at a meal. However, there is no one answer suitable for all, since this varies from one person to another.
One easy solution to this problem is to consume twice as many carbs as protein. In other words, if you consume 40 grams of protein eat them with 80 grams of carbohydrates. If you keep gaining mass without accumulating body-fat, this ratio is just perfect for you.
If, on the other hand, you’re feel weak or fatigued after eating, you’re taking too much carbohydrates for your needs, and should go with an increased protein consumption. In this way you change your blood sugar levels, and improve the way you feel.
5| GINSENG AND CINNAMON
Consuming American ginseng — about 1-2 g per day — helps your sugar level stay stable. When you experience a sugar crash, your body reacts by increasing the production of catabolic hormones. They are also known as muscle-wasting hormones, and inhibit the muscle growth and repair. It is important to consume ginseng before meal, so take 1-2 g about 30-40 minutes before eating food high in carbohydrates, especially when consuming fast-digesting carbs.
Avoid taking it after workout because in this period you want the carbs digest as quickly as possible. Cinnamon is also a good choice. You can add it into your morning oatmeal, or sprinkle it on rye toast. One teaspoon should do the trick in terms of stabilizing you blood sugar, improving your energy and growth by reducing the fat storage at the same time.
6| SUPPLEMENT WITH BCAAs
Branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) is popular among the bodybuilders who take it before and after training as a prevention for muscle breakdown. They can also be consumed when feeling low on energy. Consume 4-5 g of BCAA supplement in that period of day when you are most prone to fatigue. For some people this happens in the midmorning; for others, in the afternoon. The reason for this sudden feeling of lethargy is triggered by a drop in sugar levels. BCAAs prevent the burning of sugars, maintain blood sugar levels stability an in this way keep your virility.
7| EAT EVERT 120-150 MINUTES
By consuming unsubstantial meals consumed in intervals of two to two-and-a-half hours your sugar levels stay stable, contributing to better physique. Three hours without food is enough for your sugar levels to drop, which hinders tour ability to grow and recover. So, if you train extremely hard, you should consider eating smaller meals more often.
8| AVOID OVERTRAINING
The last tip is not about nutrition, however, these two segments are extremely intermingled. When you overdo with training, too many hormones and chemicals end up in your blood. As a result, your blood sugar levels change, which affects recovery. Overtraining can lead to a state where your muscles just can’t exploit the sugar, and it remains floating in your blood.
Blood sugar is one of the most overlooked aspects in bodybuilding diet. Maintaining stable balance is crucial for correct growth. That is why you should listen to what your body is telling you and prevent rapid spikes and downs in blood sugar levels. Only then you’ll succeed in achieving the wanted growth.