Protein is your muscles’ building block. An adequate amount is required each day to keep your body in an anabolic environment so your muscles are able to keep recovering and growing. Without this you will become catabolic, a state in which your body literally eats itself to gain the nutrients required. The amount per meal varies depending on what you are trying to achieve at the time (dieting or building) and also varies from person to person. However, some groups discuss ridiculous volumes of protein consumption whereas it is more important to have a regular supply rather than excessive quantities.
The best protein sources are first class proteins which are the ones that supply the body with the full array of amino acids. These are typically eggs, turkey, chicken, fish, lean red meat and good quality protein powders. Try a serving 4 to 6 times a day where possible. Carbohydrates, or carbs, have gotten a bad rap for a while now: you will get fat if you eat them. However, this is only if you eat too many or choose the wrong carbs at the wrong times.
Carbs are required for energy, but what is mostly overlooked is that they store what is needed for muscular contraction. So eat carbohydrates with your meals but stick to slow burning sources which are less likely to be stored as body fat. Typical ones, complex carbs, are oatmeal, white potatoes, sweet potatoes, brown rice and brown pasta. The best time to eat a faster burning source is after your workout when your body is desperate to top itself up after the exhaustive effect of the exercise, You also have white bread, white rice, white pasta, fruits and carbohydrate powders. Vegetables help maintain blood sugar and give you a whole host of benefits so eat them in abundance. Fats are required for proper brain function given that the brain is one third fat. They regulate hormones, insulate you to keep you warm and help look after your arteries.
I know you’re thinking, hang on, half the time we are told these are so bad. Again, too much of the wrong fat can be. Saturated fats can cause issues, however, in small amounts they can be good for you, especially for men as they can help keep testosterone levels up. Things like red meat are an excellent example. Good fats in the form of avocados, coconut oil, nuts and nut butters are fantastic for you and should definitely be a part of your daily diet unless you have an allergy. Eggs are also a great source and won’t hurt you since most of the egg yolk contains good fat.
My last point is about water. We are made up mainly of water so you must keep yourself hydrated with a minimum daily intake of 2 litres, if possible, which can include other beverages, but considerably more if you exercise a lot and certainly in the summer months.