Strength training builds muscle mass through lifting weights and resistance exercises. For optimum gains during strength training, follow a well-designed training program and a carefully selected diet plan. Protein needs increase during strength training due to the high-protein content of muscle fiber. Athletes involved in strength-training should daily consume 1.7 to 1.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight, obtaining protein from low-fat sources such as hard-boiled eggs. Follow your medical doctor's advice if you are on a restricted diet.
Hard-boiled eggs contain 6 grams of easily digestible protein and approximately 70 calories. According to the University of California, egg protein is among the most complete protein foods. Eggs contain fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K as well as B vitamins, phosphorous and trace minerals. The cholesterol content of eggs is a 2:1 ratio of unsaturated fatty acids to saturated fatty acids, making eggs a healthy protein choice. You can avoid cholesterol by eating only the egg white, but the yolk contains all the fat-soluble vitamins and a higher content of nearly all other nutrients compared to egg whites.
Protein requirements for strength-training athletes increase from 100 percent to 150 percent of the standard daily allowance, according to Vanderbilt University. Unless sufficient protein is available, muscle mass does not increase at an optimum rate, even with weightlifting and resistance exercises. Protein intake in excess of the body's requirements for sustenance and muscle-building, however, does not provide additional increase in muscle mass beyond the benefits of 2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. Excess protein is excreted in the urine in the form of nitrogen.
A well-balanced diet is important for the strength-training athlete, with ample supplies of carbohydrates for energy, protein for muscle-building, fiber, vitamins, minerals and trace minerals for optimal performance. Excessive protein contributes more calories than necessary to the diet and can deprive an athlete of valuable nutrients. Consume fruits, vegetables and complex carbohydrates such as pasta, potatoes and cereal. Eat low-fat protein, such as hard-boiled eggs, lean meat and fish.
Hydration is important during bodybuilding exercises. Strength-trainers should consume 16 ounces of fluid two to three hours before training and 8 ounces of fluid 10 to 20 minutes before exercise, according to Purdue University. Consume additional fluids during training and after training to prevent muscle cramps and other side-effects from dehydration. Monitor urine color to avoid dehydration. Normal urine is clear to light yellow. Orange or amber urine signals dehydration. Excess protein intake can lead to dehydration due to removal of nitrogen from the body.
- University of Montana: Sports Nutrition: Protein Goals
- Harvard Health Publications: Egg Nutrition and Heart Disease: Eggs Aren't the Dietary Demons They're Cracked Up to Be
- Purdue University: Foods and Fluids for Strength Training
- University of California: Egg Basics for the Consumer: Packaging, Storage and Nutritional Information
- Colorado State University: Nutrition for the Athlete