Meal Frequency and Muscle Building
by Lee Labrada
Copyright 2012 Lee Labrada
When I am asked what the most important supplement is, my response is always “food”!
Food is the most important supplement in existence. Without a good, solid nutritional foundation, it doesn’t matter how many sports nutrition supplements you take. You just won’t see the gains that you’re looking for in terms of improved muscularity and size.
Anyone desiring to change the look of their physique should emphasis the intake of 5 – 6 small meals per day. This meal frequency is very important because it’s necessary to provide your body with protein, calories and vital nutrients every 3 hours to keep it in an anabolic, or muscle growing, state.
The easiest way to accomplish a 5 meal per day program is in this matter: Think of it as breakfast, lunch and dinner, plus 2 small snacks or mini meals in between. So the program would look like this – Breakfast – then at mid-morning a small snack – then lunch – followed by another snack at mid-afternoon – followed by dinner. Voila, you have a 5 meal per day program!
I usually build my meals by beginning with protein intake; I will make sure that I consume 25 – 40 grams of high quality protein at each one of my meals and mini meals. This means that on any given day I consume anywhere between 150 – 200 grams of protein, depending on my training for that day. On heavy training days my protein intake is in the higher range, and on off days it may be lower. I will add lots of good complex carbohydrates for sustained energy, and essential fats.
I place an emphasis on protein because protein is the macronutrient most stimulates your metabolism and helps you to build lean muscle tissue. The more lean muscle tissue you have, the higher your metabolic rate. This based on a simple fact that muscle tissue is very energy intensive. In other words, muscle tissue burns more calories than other types of tissue in your body. So the more muscle you have, the more calories that you burn in a day!
In a perfect world it would be easy for you to consume lots of chicken breasts and fish, low fat cottage cheese, lean meats and other high protein foods at every one of your meals and mini meals but this is not practical. In reality and that’s why as an athlete you should introduce meal replacement powders, ready to drink shakes and protein bars to help you comply with your dietary regimen. These products can help you make it easier to consume the protein that you need without fussing and cooking. When selecting meal replacement powders, ready to drink shakes and protein bars look for low sugar, high protein varieties with less than 30% fat by calories.
One way to incorporate meal replacement powders and ready to drink shakes into your daily nutritional regimen would be to use these products at the mini meals at mid-morning and mid-afternoon. So in other words, you would have a whole food breakfast, lunch and dinner and then a mini meal at mid-morning and mid-afternoon that would be based on a meal replacement powder or ready to drink, shake plus a small amount of carbohydrate. Our Labrada Lean Body line of meal replacement powders, ready to drink shakes and protein bars are excellent choices at these times. I hope that you’ll find this nutritional tip helpful.
This is Lee Labrada, your Lean Body Coach, wishing you continued success!
Your Lean Body Coach™