If you are trying to build muscle and strength, then you probably already know that your diet is a huge part of that. Many people make the mistake of thinking that a fixation on food intake is only for those who are concerned about weight loss, but if it’s muscle you want, then you have to get your food right.
Building muscle requires a lot of nutritional, from vital proteins right through to the basic amino acids that make up our body tissues. If you try to build muscle without eating a diet designed to support that, then the chances are that you’re not going to see the strength increases that you’re hoping for.
However… what if you know all that? What if you have a carefully researched eating plan, that you stick to religiously and never stray from? And yet, even with hours spent in the gym crunching yourself into oblivion, you’re still not seeing any difference in your strength?
It turns out that the type of food that you eat – and where it came from – can make a big impact on your strength regime.
Food Is Not As Nutritious As It Once Was
A carrot eaten in 1950 would have been far more packed with essential nutrients than it is today. Studies have shown there is a “reliable decline” in the nutrients now found in foods like fruit and vegetables. Overfarming is a huge culprit in this, as the population has increased so have our demands for food – and the soil used is running out of nutrients to share.
That means that you have to eat more to get what you need to help your muscles along. If you can’t stomach the extra bulk of food, then consider muscle building supplements to give back what’s been lost and help you on your way with some extra benefits. You might be tempted to go for organic fruit and vegetables in the hope of reclaiming some of that lost potency, but sadly, the jury is out on whether organic food is actually better for you. Until there is a solid scientific consensus, it doesn’t make sense to buy organic if you have no other reason for doing so.
It’s worth remembering that this problem filters down the food chain, too. The grass and grains that livestock consume mean they are not as nourished as they once were, which has an impact on meat quality. It’s always worth looking for grass-fed meat, which can be more expensive but is infinitely better for both you and the environment.
What Else Can You Do?
It’s worth considering supplementing with trace minerals. These are essential nutrients that used to be found with abundance in soil, but have now been stripped away in normal production. Trace minerals don’t taste amazing (you generally add them to water) but a quick drink and you’ll soon notice a difference in your strengthening abilities.