The ABCs of Muscle Growth
Not a fan of the protein shake?
Can’t chug down those raw eggs?
Baffled about bodybuilding diets?
No problem! There’s more to building muscle than eating huge quantities of meat and hitting the weights 24/7. In fact, the best way to sculpt those perfect abs and arms is to make sure you’re providing your body all the nutrients it needs to stay strong during exercise, which includes a balanced selection of fruits, vegetables, proteins, carbs, and yes, even a few fats.
Your diet plays an crucial role in how effective your workout sessions will be, and if you’re looking to build a better body (or simply a healthier one), then you’re going to need a few vitamins along the way.
Why do I need Vitamins?
Vitamins are essential for cellular metabolism, which in turn promotes muscle growth, energy metabolism, and tissue regeneration. Whether you manage to consume enough vitamins in your diet or simply rely on supplements to fulfill your needs, Vitamins are vital for maintaining and developing lean muscle mass and enhancing your immune system.
Vitamin A is a fat-soluble protein, which means it needs a certain amount of fat in order to be absorbed properly. This unique vitamin aids in the synthesis of protein, the growth and development of lean muscle, and the conversion of glucose into glycogen. Additionally, Vitamin A is also important for the formation of red blood cells.In order to increase your intake of this vitamin, be sure to eat the following foods:
- • Sweet potato
- • Carrots
- • Spinach
- • Kale
- • Collard Greens
- • Turnip Greens
- • Swiss Chard
If you’re unfamiliar with this Vitamin B, then you might be puzzled as to why there are so many different forms of B vitamin and whether or not you need them all. There are over 20 forms of Vitamin B, and each of them has alternative names. The entire vitamin B family is important for maintaining good health and building stronger muscles.
For example, during intense physical activities, Thiamine (Vitamin B1) carries oxygen to the tissues of the body, which in turn inhibits lactic acid build up. Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), is used to metabolize glucose and fatty acids, which provides energy to the muscles. Niacin (Vitamin B3) increases the production of HDL (good) cholesterol, and Pyridoxine (vitamin B6) is used to improve overall energy levels.
Although you may have to eat a variety of fruits and vegetables in order to get high enough concentrations of all the B Vitamins, the following sources are rich in Vitamin B:
- • Tuna
- • Sunflower Seeds
- • Nuts
- • Soybeans
- • Shiitake Mushrooms
- • Chickpeas
- • Lentils
You may have heard that Vitamin C is a good immunity booster, but did you know that your body also needs this vitamin to increase muscle growth. Not only does Vitamin C cleanse the body of harmful toxins and bi-products, but it stimulates the production of Collagen.
Collagen is a natural substance produced in the body that is necessary for strong bones, muscles, and connective tissues. Although Collagen is primarily touted as a skincare ingredient, this substance signals to the body that it needs to repair and regrow connective tissues, decreasing recovery time and preventing muscle damage while lifting heavy weights.
Additionally, Vitamin C may be able to increase oxygen and nitric oxide levels to the muscles, so you can workout harder for longer periods of time.Looking for a good source of Vitamin C? Try these foods:
- • Oranges
- • Grapefruit
- • Bell Peppers
- • Broccoli
- • Cauliflower
- • Kiwi fruit