Expecting improvement in female muscle growth through diet is neither a myth nor a misconception. It is indeed possible for females to build enough lean mass, that too, pretty quickly just like males. However, the problem arises when you are inadequately informed about the most productive practices that lead to faster female muscle growth.
Even if you are maintaining consistent muscle growth, following an impressively progressive overload, and allowing your body enough time to recover, muscle build up won’t quicken. In order to give your body the most necessary building blocks that it needs badly to add to the muscle mass, you cannot expect optimal and healthy muscle growth.
So, how can you ensure muscle growth if adequate exercise isn’t enough? That’s where your dietary preferences come into play.
Role of Diet in Female Muscle Growth:
Believe it or not, your diet can play an important and decisive role in helping you gain lean muscle mass. The combo of a healthy diet along with exercise would help you gain your workout goals in the long run.
How does this happen? Let’s break it down to understand why diet has a critical role to play in female muscle growth.
For gaining lean muscle mass, the most significant micronutrients are proteins and carbohydrates. Proteins have the essential amino acids that our body requires to build muscle tissues. Conversely, our body needs the energy to consume these amino acids and create muscle cell. This requires carbohydrates and some amount of good fats.
Hence, the primary changes that an aspiring bodybuilder, whether male or female, need to make in the daily diet is incorporating proteins and carbohydrates in higher proportion. Without them, even the most intense workout sessions in the gym won’t yield favorable results.
How Much Protein Your Body Needs (female)?
You must have heard that male bodybuilders consume around 3gms of proteins per pound of bodyweight on a daily basis believing that this additional 3gms of protein will be turned into pounds of new muscle tissues. That’s wrong. This just puts an unnecessary burden on their kidneys.
Always remember that our body needs just a standard proportion of protein and any additional protein intake will be broken down into two parts. One of the two parts will be excreted in the urine and other will be used as fat or carbohydrate. In a majority of cases, it is observed that if you consume protein on a gram for gram basis, this would impose excessive stress on your finances by increasing your monthly grocery bill.
It is another misconception that protein cannot be turned into fat, so we can consume as much as we want to build muscle mass. Eating as much protein as possible is totally a wrong approach. Whenever you consume more protein than what your body actually requires, the additional protein will be turned into body fat. Your body needs just as much protein to build and repair muscles or to generate energy.
So what is the truth?
The truth is that our body needs no more than 1.0-1.5gms of protein per pound of body weight. This would help in not only increasing strength level but also add to the muscle mass.
Also, remember that to increase muscle mass, your body would need extra calories. So, when you are consuming more proteins, you will be contributing to increase daily calorie intake and ultimately you will successfully devise a balanced diet plan.
Also remember, you need to provide your body continuous supply of protein the entire day. This can be achieved by incorporating some form of protein in every meal. It is important to get protein immediately after a workout because that’s when our body has the highest anabolic activity and will immediately shuttle the protein towards the muscles.
Are Plant Proteins As Productive as Animal Proteins (female)?
Since your bodybuilding diet plan would be revolving around vegan food sources so, naturally, your main protein sources would be plant-based. It is a misconception that plant proteins aren’t as effective in building lean muscle mass as animal proteins are. The fact is that both sources are equally productive. It has beenvalidated by a recent study in 2017, according to which plant proteins are as beneficial for bodybuilding as animal proteins. It was also identified that there wasn’t any solid link between the protein type, that is animal or plant, and muscle mass. So your ideal protein sources would be tofu, lentils, and soy, which you can confidently incorporate in your diet to ensure continuous muscle growth.
How much Carbohydrate your Body Needs (female) ?
Carbohydrate, as discussed above, is another essential micronutrient that our body necessarily needs in order to facilitate muscle growth. Bodybuilding requires you to eat high-calorie diet and carbohydrates are responsible for providing the bulk of these calories.
This doesn’t mean that you can go on and eat anything and everything stored in your pantry or refrigerator to get the calorie count high enough. You don’t want to add bad fats to your body. The idea is to promote muscle growth in a natural manner. So, what you need is the will to ensure that carbohydrates are acquired from good sources. This will twofold your chances of gaining lean muscle mass without adding high amounts of body fats.
It is ideal to prefer incorporation of good sources of carbohydrates; such as you can opt for broccoli, mushrooms, celery, and cauliflower. You don’t necessarily need to cut out all the sources of carbohydrates because some do include many other essential nutrients that your body needs to build muscle mass. But, it is better to keep the amount of consumption in limited ranges. The best options in this regard would be whole wheat bread or pasta, sweet potatoes, oatmeal, and brown rice.
Also, you need to limit the amount of processed foods in your daily diet. Ideally, you need to consume carbohydrates during and after a workout session to acquire best results. These are the times when our body muscles require most energy and by providing them the necessary fuel, you can expect a speedy increment in muscle growth. It will also help in improving the rate of recovery and repair after the workout.
Another important factor to consider is the number of carbohydrates that our body needs. This is directly proportional to determining the number of calories body requires. A great idea to come to a fair conclusion in this context is to track your diet for 3 days and assess the number of calories consumed. Now add at least 200 more calories at a time. You may add 300 calories after 5-7 days’ time depending upon the rate of weight gain. Never add 1000 calories at once as your body won’t be able to adjust to the sudden change. Give it due time to undergo adjustment at a reasonable pace.