Whether you are bodybuilding competitively or just for self-improvement, there is no question that it requires a huge amount of time and effort. It is often said that a bodybuilding journey starts in the kitchen, not at the gym, considering that your diet could make or break the process. Although it is common knowledge that lifting weights and eating a protein-rich diet is the key, you should also avoid certain foods. In this article, we will explore the foods that kill muscle growth.
Tips for muscle growth
Increasing muscle mass requires a lot of time and effort, and the time you spend at the gym is only one part of your journey. It also requires a proper sleep schedule, ensuring that you are well dehydrated, and getting enough protein in your diet. Let’s take a look at our tips for muscle growth:
1. Eat more protein
Protein is a crucial macronutrient that the human body needs to function properly. It is essential for muscle growth as it is the primary source of amino acids. Without enough protein, your body will not be able to rebuild muscle tissue after exercise, and you will not see any gains in muscle size or strength.
2. Lift heavy weights
Lifting heavy weights is the key to building muscle, as it activates more muscle fibers than lifting lighter weights, which leads to greater muscle growth. Heavy lifting also increases testosterone and human growth hormone levels, both of which are essential for muscle growth. Furthermore, heavy lifting has been shown to increase bone density, which can help prevent injuries in the long run.
3. Get enough sleep
A heavy lifting program goes side by side with a proper sleeping schedule. Sleeping allows your body to repair and grow muscle. Eight to ten hours of sleep is crucial for muscle growth. A sleep deficiency can lead to a setback in your muscle growth and could also lead to a decrease in strength and power.
4. Drink plenty of water
Water is crucial for muscle growth. It helps to transport nutrients to your muscles, provides lubrication for your joints, and helps regulate your body temperature. When you’re working out, your muscles require more water than usual, so it’s essential to drink plenty of water throughout the day, especially before and after your workout.
Foods that kill muscle growth
Your diet is as important as creating a workout routine since both support each other. You should make a diet plan based on getting enough protein, but you should also avoid certain foods that kill muscle gains, such as the ones we listed below. Except for dirty bulk, some of these foods should be avoided regularly or consumed in moderation, while some should be avoided prior to your workout.
Alcohol inhibits the body's ability to build muscle mass, by affecting the way that the body metabolizes protein. For example, upon consuming alcohol, acetate is produced in your body. It is then used for energy instead of amino acids, which are the building blocks of muscle tissue. This means that your body is less able to build muscle mass when drinking alcohol.
2. Deep-fried foods
The oils used in deep frying are often high in saturated fats. These fats clog the arteries, which can cause heart problems and increase your risk for diabetes and cancer. Deep frying also produces toxic chemicals such as acrylamide and heterocyclic amines, which can damage your liver and kidneys. Therefore, you should avoid deep-fried foods like fried chicken and French fries to get the best out of your workouts.
3. White bread and white pasta
Although white bread has some protein, it's also high in simple carbohydrates, leading to spikes in blood sugar levels. These spikes can prevent the body from effectively using the amino acids from the protein for muscle growth. White bread and white pasta made from refined flour have had much of the fiber and other nutrients removed. It is not as filling, and you may want to eat more of it.
4. Raw vegetables
Raw vegetables may not be the best pre-workout snack. While they are a good source of nutrients, they can also cause digestive issues. Raw vegetables are hard on your digestive system and could cause stomach cramps, bloating, and gas. Eating them before a workout won’t give you enough energy to perform at your best. Instead of raw vegetables, try something easier to digest, such as a banana or a handful of nuts.
5. Junk food
Junk food is one of the biggest enemies of muscle growth. While a diet rich in healthy fats, proteins, and complex carbs is essential for building muscle, junk food can sabotage your efforts as it provides no nutritional value. It can lead to weight gain, reducing muscle definition and making it harder to build muscle mass. Junk food can also cause inflammation, hindering muscle growth and recovery.
6. High-fat dairy
Dairy products have a high level of saturated fat that can clog up your arteries and cause inflammation, which interferes with blood flow to your muscles and may cause atrophy. Also, the high amount of protein in dairy products may interfere with the absorption of essential amino acids in your body that you need to build muscle mass. Dairy products also contain casein proteins, which may prevent your body from absorbing zinc, a mineral important for building and maintaining lean muscle mass.
7. Refined grains
There are several reasons to avoid refined grains when trying to build muscle, the first being that refined grains tend to be lower in nutrients than their whole-grain counterparts. Refined grains can cause inflammation in the body. Finally, refined grains are often high in sugar, leading to spikes in blood sugar levels and hindering muscle growth.
Does candy kill gains? Definitely. Candy is one of the worst things you can eat if you’re trying to build muscle. It’s loaded with sugar, which will only promote conditions like type 2 diabetes and insulin resistance. High insulin levels will lead to increased fat storage, inflammation, and impaired insulin sensitivity.
9. Cookies and muffins
Cookies and muffins are the kind of foods that will kill your muscle gains. Both are high in sugar and simple carbohydrates, leading to increased fat storage and insulin resistance. Instead, focus on eating whole foods rich in protein and healthy fats.
Sugar is one of the worst foods for muscle growth. Studies have shown that sugar can lead to heart disease, body fat, and a decrease in muscle mass. Sugar has also been shown to increase the risk of injuries, preventing the body from recovering properly from exercise.
11. Sugary drinks
Sugary drinks might have the worst effect on your body when it comes to killing your gains. They not only contain empty calories, but block the absorption of important nutrients and promote the storage of fat, and increase the risk of type 2 diabetes.
High sugar coffee drinks are a popular choice for many people looking for a quick energy boost, but they do more harm than good. The high sugar levels in these drinks can lead to insulin resistance, which can lead to muscle loss. To keep your gains, you need to avoid high-sugar coffee drinks. Instead, stick to black coffee or tea.
Soda is often thought of as a harmless beverage, but it can negatively impact your body, particularly if you're trying to build muscle. Soda is high in sugar and calories, leading to weight gain. It's also acidic, which can interfere with your body's ability to absorb nutrients and build muscle. If you're trying to build muscle, ditch the soda and opt for water or a healthy alternative.
Fruit juices usually are rich in sugar, with no dietary fiber at all, and can cause spikes in blood sugar levels, resulting in cravings and weight gain. Fruit juices also tend to be high in calories, so they should be avoided. If you are looking for a healthy alternative to fruit juice, try unsweetened green tea or water with a squeeze of lemon.
Hours and hours of hard work at the gym should be accompanied by a proper diet and some general practices to support your bodybuilding journey. Adjusting your diet means that you should avoid the foods that kill muscle growth. Alcohol and sugary drinks should be avoided as they only contain empty calories that will hinder your growth. Deep-fried foods and junk foods lack the necessary vitamins and nutrients you need, and instead they could easily lead to atrophy. You should also stay away from simple carbs like white bread and cookies.