Foods for Weightlifters

by Brick O’Neil

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Tuesday August 12, 2008

When are the most important times to eat high protein foods? There are 3 "most important" times. These times are first thing in the morning after you wake up, last thing at night before you go to bed, and directly after your workout. However, remember that the main point of eating a high protein diet is to give your body the protein it needs all day long, which is why it would be a good idea to eat a meal once every 3 hours or so this way your body will always have what it needs.

Not many people have time to make high protein foods like chicken breasts all day long or bring tuna fish around with them all day. This is where protein supplements come in. Protein shakes (which are just the powder mixed with any liquid you want) and bars are the perfect solution. Drinking your average shake with 2 scoops of protein powder will give you 30+ grams of protein, and it only takes a minute to make and drink. The average bars also have about 30 grams each, and are the size of your average candy bar, so they are very easy to carry around with you.

Here is a small list of muscle building foods. These are foods that should be included in your diet and stocked in your fridge and cupboards. Of course, you don't have to have all the muscle building food, but you should be consuming at least some of these foods in each of your daily meals:

- Chicken breast

- Lean ground chicken

- Venison

- Round steak

- Scallops

- Sirloin steak

- Lean ham

- Pork tenderloin

- Low fat milk

- Low fat yogurt

- Lean turkey

- Ground turkey

- Low fat cottage cheese

- Turkey breasts

- Low fat cheddar cheese

- Whey

- Egg whites

- Tuna

- Salmon

- Cod

- Halibut

- Mackerel

- Nuts - peanuts, almonds, sunflower seeds - unsalted and raw.

- Extra lean ground beef

- Turkey bacon - instead of bacon

Eating very little (if any) saturated fat is important as well. You want to get big, but you don't want to get fat. Also stay away from the rest of the junk food like cookies, candy, cake, anything high in sugar, soda, fast food, fried food, etc. and make sure you are eating enough calories!

1. How to shop?

Whole foods are cheaper and more nutritious than processed foods. Try to stock up on cheap protein sources, as they are the foods that will mostly likely build muscle rather than be stored as fat. Here are some examples:

  • Proteins: frozen chicken breasts, fish in a can, cottage cheese, yogurt, eggs, whey protein, and milk.

  • Carbs: whole grain pasta, brown rice, uncooked oats, beans, fruits, and veggies.

  • Fats: olive oil, flax seeds, real butter, natural peanut butter, and assorted nuts.

    2. Frozen fruits and vegetables are cheap, can be stored for long periods of time in the freezer, and are easy and quick to cook in a pinch. As with frozen fruit, save time with these pre-washed, pre-cut foods.

    − Apples

    − Yams

    − Mushrooms

    − Beets

    − Cabbage

    − Cucumber

    − Bananas

    − Strawberries

    − Blueberries

    − Zucchini

    − Spinach

    − Lima Beans

    − Whole Wheat Pasta

    − Asparagus

    − Broccoli

    With these hints and tips, you'll be able to eat a healthier, more balanced diet and see an increase in your weightlifting goals. And you'll receive those looks of desire and envy!

    Brick is an Health & Fitness contributer.