Smarter Bodybuilding Nutrition: Change the Way You Think About Food

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I think it’s smart to think less about what food is and more about what it does. You see, the way nutrition interacts with your physiology is more than a checklist of calories and grams of protein/carbs/fats on a label. In order to build the best your body, you need to recognize that food is more than just the sum of its parts. Most gym-goers figure a “healthy” diet is more of a just a means to an end; basically, eat anything as long as it gets you to a certain macronutrient and/or calorie goal. That is a woefully short sighted way of approaching nutrition.

As such, smart bodybuilding nutrition should focus on foods/nutrients that fulfill several crucial objectives, including:

  • Sustain energy levels without crashing
  • Provide fullness and satiety
  • Boost mental function without food coma, brain fog, and digestive issues
  • Provide sufficient and comprehensive macro- and micronutrients.
  • A tool to maintain or achieve ideal weight
  • A staple of a diet that supports long-term health

To achieve these goals, your diet needs to:

  • Be highly anti-inflammatory - An inflammatory response and can be triggered by food, via your immune system. Small amounts of inflammation can be good, but chronic inflammation is a bad thing, and is well known to be the primary mechanism behind chronic conditions like obesity, type-2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease . Consume a diet that is low in omega-6 essential fatty acids, added sugar, and highly refined carbs to minimize inflammation.
  • Fight oxidation - One of the biggest causes of inflammation from food is excessive oxidation caused by free radicals. Too much oxidation without enough antioxidants can lead to chronic inflammation, brain fog, fat gain, and even more worrisome conditions. Eat foods that are high in omega-3 fats and antioxidants/polyphenols from plants, which work to reduce oxidative stress.
  • Maintain proper hormonal response - Your body does what your hormones tell it to do. Insulin and leptin resistance can lead to obesity, cause diabetes, trigger energy crashes and the inability to ever feel satiated, which leads to overeating. Combat this by keeping sugar and starchy carbohydrate content low, having multiple forms of fiber and resistant starch that slow absorption and feed healthy gut microbes.
  • Support your gut microbiome health - We all have about three pounds of bacteria in our guts that allow us to digest our food correctly and provide us with nutrients. This is our gut microbiome. It’s critical to maintain the health of these microbes, as they can affect endocrine signaling, immunity, and even your genetics. Your diet should contain foods that feed the healthy bacteria while starving “bad” bacteria. This is primarily accomplished by eating adequate prebiotic dietary fibers and minimizing sugar consumption.

This is all in the smallest of nutshells. The more you learn, the more you realize that there are caveats to all things nutrition. Ongoing research in the next couple of decades will work out more of these mechanisms. This is why it’s imperative to keep in touch with the MPA Supps blog for updated findings.

Comprehensive Bodybuilding Nutrition: Which Foods Are Best?

With an understanding of the mechanisms that help achieve the aforementioned objectives, we can now dive into specific foods you should implement in your bodybuilding diet. I specifically selected each ingredient below for what it can do for your health, and the way it would work within your diet to create a smarter bodybuilding nutrition plan.

 

Ingredient

Description

Proteins

Whey, collagen, pumpkin, and pea are chosen to create a balanced amino acid profile with a full spectrum of absorption times, designed to maximize protein synthesis without the drawbacks of high animal protein intake.

Grass-fed Whey Protein

Grass-fed whey concentrate is rich with branched-chain amino acids and contains bioactive polypeptides that allow the body to absorb with maximal efficiency.

Pumpkin

Pumpkin protein is a hypoallergenic protein uniquely abundant in the essential amino acids arginine and phenylalanine.

Pea

Pea protein is a hypoallergenic protein abundant in branched-chain amino acids and arginine.

Grass-fed Collagen

Collagen is the protein used to compose connective tissue. It is uniquely abundant in the essential amino acids alanine, glycine and proline.

Fats

Fat sources below contain the full spectrum of fatty acids for energy, satiety, and cell membrane integrity. It’s imperative to eat a balanced ratio of polyunsaturated omega-3 to omega-6 fats for the anti-inflammatory benefits.

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is one of the keys sustaining energy without a sugar rush. Coconut is high in healthy fats, including medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), which are quickly absorbed, difficult to store as fat, and used instead for immediate and sustained brain fuel.

Macadamia Nut Oil

Macadamia Nut Oil is a unique nut oil that contains monounsaturated fats for fuel and cell membrane integration without excess unstable polyunsaturated Omega-6 fatty acids.

Sunflower Lecithin

Sunflower Lecithin is a superior source of bioavailable choline necessary for neurotransmitter production. Lecithin also as an emulsifier that allows oils to mix well with water and increases fat digestion efficiency.

Chia Seed Oil

Chia seeds are an incredible vegetarian source for omega-3 fatty acids - even more so than flax seeds. So abundant in healthy oils and fats, the name ‘chia’ comes from the word ‘chain’, meaning ‘oily’.

Algae Oil

Algae oil is very high in DHA, the most critical polyunsaturated Omega-3 fatty acid and has been shown to benefit neuronal health, neurogenesis, and cardiovascular health.

 

 

Carbs, Prebiotics, and Fiber

Low-glycemic,non-sugar carbohydrates from hypoallergenic, natural sources for energy. These foods include prebiotics and fiber to support healthy gut bacteria and increase micronutrient absorption.

Tapioca

Tapioca is a clean starch that helps to increase energy and binds to the fatty acids in macadamia nut and coconut oil to improve their digestion.

Green Banana

Unripe banana flour is derived from unripe bananas that contains resistant starch that feeds certain strains of healthy gut bacteria in a similar way to dietary fiber.

Sweet Potato

Sweet potato starch is a natural source of glucose polysaccharides and is free of damaging fructose and sugars.

Psyllium Husk

Psyllium husk is a dietary fiber from the seeds of the plantago ovata plant. It gives foods a thicker feeling, improves digestion, and provides sustenance to feed certain strains of healthy gut bacteria.

Acacia Fiber

Acacia fiber is a dietary fiber that aids in digestion, increases food thickness, and provides fuel for beneficial gut bacteria.

Chicory Root Inulin

Inulin from chicory root is high in FOS (fructo-oligosaccharides). These act as prebiotics, meaning they provide food to healthy gut bacteria. FOS also appears to decrease triglycerides and improve mineral absorption.

Micronutrient-Rich Greens

Natural plant extracts high in vitamins and minerals that allow for superior micronutrient absorption and utilization.

Organic Cacao Powder

Cocoa powder is a very good source of iron, manganese, magnesium, and zinc. It is also uniquely high in catechins and other flavonoids that help the body fight inflammation.

Organic Wheat Grass

Organic wheat grass is very high in chlorophyll, B vitamins, manganese, and potassium, and naturally contains dietary enzymes which help the body incorporate nutrients.

Organic Barley Grass

Organic barley grass neutralizes the negative byproducts of metabolism called free radicals with 20 times the antioxidant capacity of spinach

Organic Alfalfa

Alfalfa is very high in Vitamins A, B7, C, D2, E, and K1. It is also high in calcium, zinc and iron.

Organic Chlorella

Chlorella is a nutrient-dense algae high in Vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, and B6. It is very high in calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus and zinc. It also contains high amounts of EPA, a beneficial Omega-3.

Organic Spirulina

Spirulina is an incredibly nutrient-dense seaweed high in Vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B5, C, E, and K1. It is also abundant in calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron, manganese and selenium.

 

 

Probiotics

The probiotics below supply your body with healthy bacteria to maximize digestion. Healthy gut bacteria create micronutrients, feed gut cells, and allow for optimal mineral absorption.

Lactobacillus acidophilus

L. acidophilus is the most studied of all probiotics. It colonizes the small intestine, where it helps maintain the integrity of the intestinal wall, ensures proper nutrient absorption, and supports healthy overall digestive function.

Lactobacillus plantarum

L. plantarum is known for its ability to produce hydrogen peroxide. The body uses hydrogen peroxide as a defense against bacteria consumed in food, as well as other microorganisms. Research has also found this strain to be effective in helping support immune function in healthy adults.

Lactobacillus rhamnosus

L. rhamnosus is known to break down foreign material, and has been shown to decrease incidence of Traveler's Diarrhea.

Lactobacillus paracasei

L. paracasei is a probiotic strain that has the unique ability to support liver function.

Lactobacillus salvarius

L. salvarius colonizes the mouth and small intestine, and increases markers of immunity.

Bifidobacterium lactis

B. lactis stimulates the body's immune system, and aids in in preventing diarrhea, relieving constipation, and decreasing chronic colon inflammation.

Bifidobacterium longum

B. longum provides the digestive benefits of breaking down carbohydrates, while scavenging and neutralizing everyday toxins found in the gut. It has also been shown to increase immune function.

Bifidobacterium breve

B. breve is a strain known for its superior ability to metabolize many types of food, while increasing nutrient absorption.

Streptoccocus thermophilus

S. thermophilus is very effective at improving digestion of lactose, while creating lactic acid which is used as fuel by colon cells.

Lactobacillus casei

L. casei is a lactase producer which aids in the optimal digestion of lactose, promoting optimal digestive health.

 

Final Take-Home Points

When in doubt, leave it out - Most dietary issues in first-world countries are diseases of excess, rather than deficiency. We get in trouble when we consume unproven chemicals. This is why MPA Supps sticks with ingredients that have integrated with our bodies through millions of years of evolution. MPA trusts the stress-testing of thousands of years of nutrition.

Nature is the best validation - It’s fallacy to say that we know exactly what in food is best for us. Exactly why plants are healthy, for instance, is still biochemically unclear. When in doubt, stick with mother nature’s formula.

 

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