Have you found that no matter how hard you train or what type of training regimen you follow, you still struggle to bulk up? If you’re nodding your head in agreement as you read this you may find the solution to your problem below. 1. NOT ALL CALORIES ARE EQUAL One of the most common misperceptions is that ‘bulking up’ means you can consume any food, good or bad to meet your daily calorie requirements. Well, let me convince you otherwise. Say for example you’re looking for a high energy meal before training. Although you may restrict yourself to a calorie controlled serving of sugar-coated cereal, this is not the same as consuming the same number of calories of a high fibre cereal. What’s the difference? Sugar-coated cereals may look colourful but that’s not good enough for your health. When comparing FUTURELIFE® Smart food to sugar coated cereals both meals can be equal in calories, but you would be able to consume a larger portion of a high fibre cereal such as FUTURELIFE® Smart food™providing you with more protein and less carbohydrates. In terms of fat, although sugar-coated cereals are generally lower in fat, a large portion of this is unhealthy saturated fat. FUTURELIFE® Smart food™contains omega-3 fatty acids which is a good source of fat our bodies require. In addition to this, FUTURELIFE® Smart food™ is lower in sugar and packed with more vitamins and minerals. So, remember that equal calories do not mean equal nutrients so make sure you choose the foods you consume wisely. 2. BE CARBOHYDRATE CONSCIOUS Carbohydrates play a much bigger role than just increasing your calorie intake. They are our muscle’s primary source of energy and the only source of energy provided directly to our brain. Did you know that carbohydrates spare protein for its core functions thus preventing muscle breakdown? In addition to the quantity and qualityof carbohydrates you consume, it’s important to be conscious of when you consume them too. Your meals main meals should always contain a high fibre carbohydrate option but so should your snacks or smaller meals around training. 3. IT’S ABOUT MORE THAN JUST PROTEIN Yes, protein is important, but people become so focussed on their protein intake that they lose sight of ensuring that they are consuming a healthy, balanced diet with the correct portions of fats and carbohydrates too.Remember that bulking up still requires a balance of all food groups. Although the aim is to increase calorie intake and the portion size is bigger when trying to bulk up, there is still needs to be balance with ½ your plate filled with a variety vegetables, ¼ lean protein and the last ¼ high fibre carbohydrates. 4. WHEY OUT YOUR OPTIONS Most people automatically associate muscle recovery with whey but it doesn’t end there. Studies have shown that a blend of whey, casein and soya can enhance muscle protein synthesis post exercise1,2. FUTURELIFE® has therefore formulated FUTURELIFE® HIGH PROTEIN Smart food™with a SmartProtein 3D blend.Thescience behind this is explained in the image below sourced from Gregory L. Paul (2013) The Rationale for Consuming Protein Blends in Sports Nutrition, Journal of the American College of Nutrition, 28:sup4, 464S-472S. 5. STAY HYDRATED Your bottle shouldn’t only be used to make a post workout shake. Studies reveal that even modest dehydration of <2% has negative effects on performance. These effects are exacerbated in hot environments3. So, in order to train at your best to look your best, make sure you carry around a water bottle and stay hydrated. Now that you have all the facts all that’s left is to put them into action. Go on and get bulking the right way! REFERENCES
  1. http://jn.nutrition.org/content/143/4/410.short
  2. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20234034
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10198142
  1. https://doi.org/10.1080/07315724.2009.10718113