Are you hoping to make the most of your gym session?
Building muscle isn’t just about dropping sweat on the treadmill and avoiding the weights. You will have to follow a good diet and swallow your pride.
Keep reading to find our top tips on eight foods to avoid when building muscle. We’ll also give our personal favorites to keep in your body as well as drop.
Read on to learn more.
1. Processed Carbs
Processed carbs are one of the foods to avoid when making your muscle building meal plan. This is because processed carbs have a high glycemic index, meaning it enters your system very quickly and ultimately causes a spike in your blood sugar.
These spikes can cause energy crashes and hinder muscle growth while providing minimal to no nutritional value. Instead of processed carbs, it’s recommended to go for complex carbohydrates like quinoa, whole-grain bread, and sweet potatoes.
Not only will these slower-digesting carbs provide a steadier stream of energy, but they offer much more nutrition, helping to maximize your progress when building muscle.
2. Refined Grains
Refined grains are grains that have had the bran and germ removed, leaving the endosperm. This means that they lack essential nutrients, such as vitamins, minerals, fiber, and healthy fats, and are usually higher in sugar and calories.
Refined grains have long been an essential part of the Western diet foods, but they are not ideal for gaining muscle as they cause a spike in insulin levels and, therefore, are not a good source of sustained energy. This causes you to lose focus and tire quicker, potentially slowing down your momentum.
3. Processed Meats
Processed meats are a major contributor to poor health outcomes when trying to build more muscle. They are high in fat and contain many preservatives and harmful additives, which can make it difficult for the body to absorb the nutrients it needs.
Additionally, many processed meats contain large amounts of sodium, which can lead to dehydration and cramping. By avoiding processed meats, you can maximize your progress in building muscle by ensuring that your body is receiving the proper nutrition and nutrient balance necessary for optimal muscle growth.
It is recommended that you replace processed meats with lean, unprocessed proteins such as fresh fish, chicken, and lean cuts of beef, pork, or lamb. Eating natural and unprocessed whole foods will provide your body with the nutrients it needs to build lean muscle mass.
4. Processed and Refined Foods
Processed and refined foods should be avoided when trying to build muscle. These foods lack nutrients, are often high in fat, sugar, and calories, and are often stripped of vital fiber.
Eating these unhealthy foods also adds unnecessary calories, which can lead to weight gain. Processed and refined foods tend to be very low in protein, and protein is vital for the growth and maintenance of muscle.
Eating processed and refined foods can also increase the risk of constipation, which can interfere with efforts to build muscle. Finally, processed foods may contain high amounts of preservatives, chemicals, and other unhealthy ingredients, which can be damaging to overall health and compromise muscle building efforts. Eating natural, whole foods is the best way to maximize your muscle growth.
5. Trans Fat
Trans fats are unsaturated fatty acids found in vegetable shortening, some margarine, crackers, cookies, snack foods, and other processed foods. Studies have shown that diets high in trans fats are linked to heart disease and other health issues.
Trans fats can also slow down your progress when trying to build muscle as they may inhibit your body’s ability to use protein, creating a barrier to muscle growth effectively. By avoiding trans fats and opting for more natural, unprocessed foods, you can maximize your development for building solid muscle.
6. Sugary Drinks
Sugary drinks are one of the biggest culprits when it comes to sabotaging progress in muscle building. The processed fructose and high sugar content cause a rapid insulin spike, followed by a crash.
This not only leads to cravings for unhealthy foods but can also cause water to be trapped between the muscle cells. This is counterproductive to achieving a lean and sculpted look.
Sugary drinks have been linked to higher levels of fat around the abdominal area, as well as increased risk of obesity, cardiovascular disease, and type 2 diabetes. By avoiding sugary drinks altogether, you will maximize your muscle growth.
7. Alcoholic Drinks
Alcoholic drinks should be avoided when attempting to build muscle. The primary problem is that alcohol reduces testosterone levels, which inhibit muscle growth.
Furthermore, alcohol inhibits the use of protein in the body, preventing the production of muscle tissue. The empty calories found in alcohol can cause weight gain and impede on the body’s ability to shed fat.
In most cases, these calories are not beneficial at all and should be avoided. For those wanting to build muscle, they should avoid all forms of alcoholic beverages, including beer, wine, and hard liquors.
8. Dried Foods
Fried food is full of unhealthy fats, chemicals, and sodium. High-fat, high-calorie fried snacks and meals can easily lead to weight gain and derail your progress.
Additionally, fried food is often cooked in oils that are high in Omega 6 fatty acids. These fats can trigger inflammation in the body and can hinder or slow the muscle building process.
Many fried foods contain unhealthy additives like hydrogenated oil, MSG, and preservatives, which can also cause inflammation and impede muscle growth.
Overall, these are just some of the best muscle building tips that you can use to maximize your goal of getting that perfect muscle.
Know by Heart These Foods to Avoid When Building Muscle
Proper nutrition is essential for your success when building muscle. To ensure the best results, it is important to minimize or avoid foods to avoid when building muscle, sugary and high-calorie foods.
Instead, try to focus on eating plenty of lean proteins, healthy fats, complex carbs, and plenty of fiber-rich vegetables. Start optimizing your diet today to maximize your progress toward muscle build-up!
Check out our other blog posts for more health and lifestyle tips.