Finding the right diet as a bodybuilder can be challenging, but it is possible, especially if you are trying to maximize your own personal benefits.
What we eat is directly related to how we feel and how we perform. As bodybuilders, we need to provide our bodies with the right nutrition to get that most nutrients possible how we seek the best for our profits. When it comes to finding the right diet, so many out there claim to be the right one, but how can we tell which ones are full of them and which ones are actually useful? Let’s take a look at a number of possible diets and by the end you can research which one you like best to maximize health and performance.
Find the best diet for you
When looking for the best diet for you, you need to consider how it fits your exercise goals, but also your overall health. Dieting is not worth trying if it interferes with your ability to function properly in and out of the gym. Sometimes your diet becomes a way of life and what you eat is a product of how you see the world. But for some, they eat to perform and see growth, so the diet can be focused on foods that encourage better performance.
It’s important to look at the number of macros, but depending on your goals, you might want to consider lowering your carbohydrate count, for example. These non-dairy or sugar-free diets should also be carefully studied as they can limit the number of foods or types of foods you can consume. At the end of the day, you know what you are looking for and you know your body. Listen to what it takes to be successful both inside and outside the gym.
Types of Diets to Consider
High in protein
Eating a high protein diet is a great option for those looking to lose weight, as increasing the amount of protein can fill you up, leaving you feeling the urge to snack less (1). Protein will also help increase your growth and recovery.
Advantages: A protein-rich diet can enable better muscle and cell development while staying full longer. Fewer carbohydrates and sugars can also help you lose weight.
Disadvantage: Animal protein is usually high in fat so it will gain weight easily. It also tends to be low in carbohydrates and fruits and vegetables, which are important sources of vital nutrients.
The keto diet is a low-carb diet where the idea is to get your calories from protein and fat as opposed to carbohydrates. The goal is to promote ketones in the body to provide your body’s source of energy (2).
Advantages: Weight loss is usually quick as it decreases appetite and uses fat for energy. You will also be a bit sharper mentally, and that increased burst of energy is nice to get you through the day.
Disadvantage: It’s high in fat and can cause digestive problems. It can also be quite restrictive and requires a careful count of all of your macronutrients.
Intermittent fasting involves an eating cycle in which you alternate between eating and fasting phases throughout the day (3). It really cares more about when you eat than what you eat.
Advantages: This diet leads to weight loss for those looking to lose that unwanted fat and it can fight inflammation as well. There is no calorie limit and the only focus is on the time window that you eat.
Disadvantage: There is increased hunger levels and low energy levels for part of the day that you are not eating. This can affect performance and potential social situations when going out for dinner with friends or family.
The vegan diet avoids animal products, including meat, dairy products and eggs. This diet therefore involves consuming foods that are only made up of plants (4).
Advantages: With this diet, you promote better health benefits and are sure to receive a healthy dose of plant-based vitamins and minerals. It increases food efficiency and, if done correctly, can lead to weight loss.
Disadvantage: There are valuable nutrients that you will be missing out on if you don’t eat animal sources, and this diet can get quite expensive. For those looking to increase strength and size, while it is possible to do so, it is much more difficult and can result in an unbalanced diet.
The carnivore diet is exclusively a diet based on meat, fish and poultry. Plants are completely eliminated by this diet in most cases, although some do opt to supplement them with vegetables here and there.
Advantages: This diet will surely keep you full and support growth and performance by pumping you with protein. It can lead to weight loss and most of these nutrients are absorbed by your body.
Disadvantage: You lose the value of many vital nutrients that can seriously affect your health. Supplements should be a priority if you choose the carnivore diet.
Recommended supplement for any diet
While some supplements tend to not fit one diet or another, there are supplements that work for most, if not all, diets. A pre-workout, or BCAA, is great for your pre- and intra-workout needs, but a protein powder on your shelf will work wonders. Most of the popular protein supplements are typically based on whey, and this may not be conducive to certain diets, such as the vegan diet. Companies have started making dairy-free products with alternative sources of protein to give you the best possible boost while being conducive to all diets (5).
Performance Lab SPORT Protein
Performance Lab SPORT Protein is a formidable source of brown rice protein that is cleaner than most other protein powders. Great for muscle growth, recovery, and weight loss, this is absolutely a top protein supplement.
Performance Lab SPORT Protein is much cleaner than other protein powders out there. Naturally flavored with organic cocoa, vanilla pod and Ceylon cinnamon, this is the best tasting protein powder that many customers have tried. Since it is a brown rice protein powder, anyone can use it for growth and weight loss as this powder has great ingredients. Whether you have a milk intolerance, a vegan, soy or gluten allergy, Performance Lab Protein can be easily added to your diet at any time, regardless of whether you cut yourself open or fill up.
Price: $ 59.00
Take a look at our individual test for the Performance Lab SPORT Protein!
Check out our list of the best non-dairy protein powders for more great vegan and plant-based protein options!
The food we eat and the nutrients we ingest have a huge impact on our health and performance. With the right nutrition, all of our needs can be met and we can be successful both inside and outside the gym. Check out these diets above and see which ones might work for you.
Let us know what you think in the comments below. You can also follow Generation Iron on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
* Images courtesy of Envato
- Antonio, José; Ellerbroek, Anya; Silver, tobin; Vargas, Leonel; Pfau, Corey (2016). “The Effects of a High Protein Diet on Health Indexes and Body Composition – A Crossover Trial in Resistance-Trained Men”. (Source)
- O’Neill, Blair; Raggi, Paolo (2020). “The Ketogenic Diet: Pros and Cons”. (Source)
- Patterson, Ruth E .; Laughlin, Gail A .; Sears, Dorothy D .; LaCroix, Andrea Z .; et al. (2015). “Intermittent Fasting and Human Metabolic Health”. (Source)
- Appleby, Paul N .; Keys, Timothy J. (2016). “The Long-Term Health of Vegetarians and Vegans”. (Source)
- Carbone, John W .; Pasiakos, Stefan M. (2019). “Dietary Proteins and Muscle Mass: Translating Science into Application and Health Benefits”. (Source)