Depending on the type of sport, there are various tips and recommendations for proper nutrition. There are also certain rules to be observed when lifting weights. With the right diet and supplementation in strength athletes, muscle building, strength performance and regeneration between units can be improved. In this article, you will learn what and how, as a weightlifter, you should eat to get your best performance!
How does a weightlifter have to eat?
For weightlifters, optimal nutrition can usually be ensured with good quality foods. Large amounts of special macronutrients that could affect health are not required. Super heavyweights, however, have a particularly high-calorie requirement, and that can usually not be met healthily.
In addition, these athletes often force significantly more mass on their bodies than they would naturally have. That alone is unhealthy. The three most important aspects of nutrition are the quantity, quality, and composition of the macronutrients. If optimum performance is to be achieved, none of these aspects should be neglected.
How much do you have to eat as a strength athlete?
By quantity, we mean the total amount of food that is consumed in a certain period. It is measured in kilocalories and provides information about the amount of energy supplied. It also serves as a control mechanism for major changes in the body, e.g. extreme weight gains and losses.
Pay attention to the quality of food?
Quality is a vague term that is easy to argue about. A simple basic principle applies to food: natural foods are generally better for your health. Athletes should eat mainly meat, fish, eggs, vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, oils, and certain dairy products.
Athletes should be aware that processed foods cannot compete with natural foods in terms of nutritional content and that they pose a variety of health risks. Even if performance improvements and physical changes can also be achieved with less high-quality food, the quality of the food helps to supply the body with the necessary micronutrients, to strengthen its immune system, and to maintain long-term health.
What about carbs?
Carbohydrates are our energy suppliers for training and can be stored in the liver and muscles in the form of glycogen. The use of glucose is also an issue - the basis for many low-carb arguments is only the partial emptying of muscle glycogen stores (only up to 30-40%). In this regard, new findings were able to provide even more detailed information about the emptying of the glycogen stores of the various muscle fiber types. Here, the intramicrofibric muscle fiber types 2 were emptied up to 70% in a strength training unit - these muscle fiber types being decisive for the power output and thus the premature fatigue especially for strength athletes.
A study should not lead to general conclusions too quickly, but they are indicators that low carb will not necessarily be performance-enhancing in high-performance athletes in weight training. The choice of the total amount of carbohydrates and the right timing depends on the status (diet, type of nutrition, training volume, and intensity) of the athlete.
Carbohydrate amounts between 4-8 g/kg/day make sense to prevent the depletion of glycogen stores and also not to negatively affect the immune system and mental performance as this study suggest here. Thus, if you do a high training volume, you depend on the optimal energy supply of the muscle glycogen stores and should not go to the next training session with (half) empty stores as long as there is no reason, such as a diet or something similar.
Diet composition for weightlifters: Protein is important
The most important aspect of the diet is the composition of macronutrients, i.e. the relative amount of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates in the diet. Just as quantity is a coarse control mechanism, the composition of macronutrients is an important mechanism for fine-tuning. For weightlifters and strength athletes in general, proteins are the most important macronutrient.
The recommended amounts of protein by doctors and health authorities are often very low: These values mostly refer to the absolute minimum for maintaining vital body functions. Sports performance, health, or effects on old age hardly play a role here. The basic recommendation for protein intake is 2.2 g per kg of body weight. On this basis, the amount can be individually adjusted for each athlete.
Many will find that double the amount (or even more during periods of weight gain) will perform better. It is advisable to experiment a bit yourself, but without falling below the basic amount of 2.2 g per kg.
3 Best Weightlifting Supplements For Weightlifting Athletes
To optimize the daily requirement, many athletes rely on supplements. These have the advantage that you can use them to ensure that all nutrients are present in the body in sufficient quantities. It should be noted, however, that dietary supplements are not a substitute for a healthy diet. They are just an addition. They can only develop their full potential in combination with a proper diet optimized for athletes.
Whey protein gets into the bloodstream very quickly after consumption. From there it migrates into the muscle tissue, where the protein reserves have to be replenished, especially after intense physical exertion. If you want to regenerate after a good workout, you can help with a whey protein shake. The amino acids it contains also stimulate the body's own protein synthesis and provide additional fuel for the muscles.
There are different products for different needs: This fast-absorbing protein powder by ICON Nutrition provides the amino acid precursors to promote lean body mass, muscle synthesis, recovery, and immune health. These four fundamental things every Professional weight-lifter wants in their diet without unwanted calories. Grass-fed whey is the purest form of whey protein on the market.
Creatine phosphate stores are one of the predominantly used stores in weightlifting and serve as an energy store for loads of 30-45 seconds. Supplementation can thus increase the intramuscular creatine phosphate stores in the body. Creatine is then relevant in energy metabolism as a carrier of the phosphate groups and improves you in terms of strength and muscle building.
Creatine Performance (3 in 1 Formula) by ICON Nutrition is a combination of creatine (an ATP initiator) and d-ribose (an ATP sustainer). The combination produces an ergogenic formula for improving athletic performance and endurance. In addition, A small amount of dextrose is added to allow for an easier passage of Creapure® and D-Ribose to pass through into the bloodstream and into your cells to fuel performance. Recommended daily dose (5g to 10g).
Optimal levels of vitamin D3 and K2 are important for bone health, immunity, inflammation in the body, muscle strength, and performance in athletes. Those who already have optimal levels of vitamin D3 through the sunlight can not attribute a new 1RM back squat to taking vitamin D3 through additional supplementation. However, low blood levels are associated with reduced performance. Means: Check your D3 level with the doctor (especially in wintertime) and otherwise adjust your "dose" depending on the season and serum level. When taking it, make sure that you take it with a source of fat, as vitamin D3 is a fat-soluble vitamin.
Vitamin D3 by ICON Nutrition is made in the UK to GMP Standards so you're safeguarded by the highest standards in the world. They are also free from artificial ingredients. In each tub, we provide you with one easy-to-swallow Vitamin D3 1000IU tablet a day for a full calendar year. Our Vitamin D tablets are also suitable for vegetarians.