Growing your muscles bigger without supplements means you must plan your meals and snacks. Without supplements, your foods must contain a sufficient amount of protein and calories to ensure you have plenty of amino acids and glucose to support your workout program, increasing the size of your muscles. Consuming 1.4 to 2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight and eating 350 to 700 calories a day above your daily caloric intake will ensure you maximize your muscle gains from your bodybuilding training routines.
Consume lean beef, chicken or fish for protein. A 6-ounce serving of beef tenderloin has 350 calories with 48 grams of protein. A 6-ounce chicken breast has 280 calories with 54 grams of protein while 6 ounces of salmon has 350 calories and 38 grams of protein.
Include calcium-rich foods to enhance the capacity of your muscles to contract. Drink skim milk for 9 grams of protein per cup and about 90 calories. Eat ½ cup of low-fat cottage cheese for 14 grams of protein and about 80 calories. Eat ½ cup of calcium-fortified tofu for 183 calories and 20 grams of protein.
Choose whole grain carbs like beans, lentils and whole wheat pasta for their high-protein and high-carb content. The protein from whole grains will help you reach your daily protein requirement. One-half cup of canned black beans has 110 calories, 7 grams of protein and 19 grams of carbs. One-quarter cup of uncooked pink lentils has 166 calories, 12 grams of protein and 29 grams of carbs. One cup of cooked whole wheat pasta has 190 calories, 12 grams of protein and 29 grams of carbs.
Whip up egg whites for an omelet or eat them hard-boiled. Each egg white contains 17 calories and 4 grams of protein. Boil whole eggs, peeling them and discarding the egg yolk. Rinse each egg white, adding a few to your oatmeal, chili or soup.
Eat a mixture of fast-digesting carbs with some protein and fat immediately after every weight-training session. Combine a baked potato with 3 ounces of a lean steak and an orange. Or, swing by your local grocer or sushi house for sushi with plenty of white rice and some protein. White rice and baked potatoes are absorbed quickly into your blood stream, enhancing glycogen replenishment and muscle growth.
- Essentials of Strength Training and Conditioning; Thomas R. Baechle and Roger W. Earle
- The NutriBase Complete Book of Food Counts; NutriBase
- Linus Pauling Institute: Calcium
- Strength and Conditioning Journal; Strength Nutrition: Maximizing Your Anabolic Potential; Stephen Bird, Ph.D.
- Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition: International Society of Sports Nutrition Position Stand: Protein and Exercise