Many of my clients start out just wanting to get fit and end up wanting to develop that beach body everyone envies. It’s all part of feeling good about yourself when you start to see results. I’ve heard some crazy ideas about what to eat when bulking up, which even extend to some fallacies about using snack foods to help put on weight or soda. Everyone has different builds and metabolisms, but one thing is certain, if you’re human, your body is constantly changing with every change you make and year you add. My advice to those who want more bulk, “Remember, what you do today will affect your tomorrow.”
Soda seems a harmless way to add calories to add bulk, but what kind of bulk?
Whether it’s that box of Oreos, the Big Mac and fries or a simple can of soda, it has lots of calories you might think will add weight, but at what price? Sure, you’ll add weight, but most probably it will be fat and you’ll have to lose it later. So what is the point of doing it at all when you can eat clean and gain more muscle than fat. Consider options like peanut butter instead of soda. Make a smoothie. The point is to gain muscle, not just to gain weight and get big. You don’t need a gym to do the latter.
Soft drinks have added sugar and negative side effects.
There’s a lot of health hazards linked to soft drinks. The amount of sugar it contains should be the first red flag to signal you to eliminate it from your diet. The sodium benzoate in can cause reactions that include eczema and asthma and the phosphoric acid can lead to kidney problems and the leaching of calcium from bones. It’s been proven that both the sugar and acids dissolve tooth enamel, while other studies show the effects of the high-fructose corn syrup on the body. It increases the risk of heart disease and spikes insulin levels. Why would you choose soda for bulking when there are other healthier options?
During the bulking phase, you’ll consume more calories, but what you consume makes a difference in the cutting phase.
Competitive bodybuilders and those that want that beach body, aim to increase muscle mass, so they enter the bulking phase, but that extra fat has to be removed during the cutting phase. In both stages, a blend of carbs, fat and protein are necessary. Consuming 30-35% of your calories from protein, 55-60% from carbs and the balance from fat is approximately the proportion. Eating healthy foods is important no matter what phase you’re in if you want to have a better, healthier body. Avoiding added sugar is part of that, just like avoiding deep-fried food and alcohol is. Soda contains added sugar, including sports drinks.
- If your plan was to drink soft drinks during the bulking phase and then switch to diet soft drinks during the cutting phase, think again. Recent studies show even soft drinks add visceral fat—belly fat.
- Add whey protein to smoothies and a banana. The whey protein will provide the protein to build and repair muscles, while the banana adds calories.
- You need healthy sources of protein to build and preserve muscles, such as fish, chicken, lean beef or turkey. Carbs keep your workout going and help decrease the breakdown of muscles. Choose fruit, rice and vegetables. Healthy fat, like in avocados and nuts help create hormones—like testosterone–to build muscle tissue.
- While bulking up starts in the kitchen, what you do in the gym gets you the final results. Work with your trainer on a program that will help you build muscles.
For more information, contact us today at Habitat Health & Fitness