When you start lifting weights or bodybuilding, your nutritional needs change. You're trying to bulk up by building muscle mass, so you need a lot of protein and potassium in your diet. You're also sweating a lot, so you need to replace the salt and other electrolytes that you're losing. But when you walk into your local sports nutrition store, the choices are overwhelming. Where should you go for good advice on what to eat to help you gain muscle?
- Ask Your Trainer: If you work out in a gym, then your trainer is one of the best people to go to for advice on what to eat as you try to bulk up. Personal trainers study sports nutrition in school, so they can help you choose between supplements and groceries. Not only that, but your trainer will also help you choose what to eat based on your workout goals, and can help you figure out how many calories to eat.
- Ask a Dietician: If you don't have a personal trainer, then try to schedule a time to talk with a dietician. Look for a registered dietician, because they have certifications that show that they're highly educated on how food helps the body to function effectively.
- Ask Another Bodybuilder: Find a few people who have been lifting for a while, and ask them what they use to keep their energy up and to get plenty of calories while they're working out. Chances are that they've spent a lot of time researching different nutritional strategies, and they'd love to tell you all they've learned.
- Ask Your Doctor: If you have a primary care physician who you see regularly, then he is a great source of information. Your doctor knows your body better than most other people, and can steer you toward good food choices.
- Don't Ask at the Store: It's tempting to walk into a sports nutrition store and ask what you should take or drink to gain muscle while you're working out. It's not a good idea, though. Most of the time, the people who work in these stores don't have any training to offer nutritional advice. They are trained in raising the store's bottom line, though, and are more likely to sell you something that costs a lot of money but isn't necessarily the best source of nutrition.
- Use the Web With Caution: The easiest source of information is probably the Internet. As you're looking for information on bodybuilding nutrition, though, be skeptical of any information put out by a company that's trying to sell you their products. Look for info on reputable web sites, preferably written by personal trainers, dieticians, doctors, or nurses.