For many bodybuilders, getting strong is the easy part. What’s often more difficult is the endurance that’s required to get and stay competitive. Whether you’re working out hard during a bulking cycle or increasing your cardio during a cutting cycle, you need the right energy levels to keep yourself going and avoid injuries and illnesses. If you’re an athlete training for competition, your endurance is even more important. Not only do you have to stay in shape, you also have to work harder and harder while you’re training for the next competition. And, when competition day finally arrives, you need to stay several steps ahead of the other athletes.
You need to focus on your endurance, even while your primary goals are to build muscle and sculpt your body. When you have a high level of endurance, you can do anything. The way you eat will have a lot to do with your physical and mental motivation.
Eating for Endurance: Lots of High Quality Carbs
Fill your plate with carbohydrates. This might make you cringe, especially if you’re cutting. But, don’t worry. These carbohydrates are going to fuel your body in ways that other types of nutrients cannot. With the right carbs, you’ll be able to keep your blood sugar stabilized and your brain and body working together to burn calories, build muscle, and stay strong.
High quality carbs are whole grain, high fiber foods like brown rice, whole grain bread and crackers, and even pasta. Your cutting cycle might require you to limit the amount of carbohydrates you consume, and that’s okay. But if you’re not cutting, make sure you’re eating a lot of great, energy-filled carbohydrates that will power you through workouts and competitions. Start your day with avocado and eggs on toast. Fill a brown rice bowl with protein and veggies. Eat pasta with chicken or fish. Those carbohydrates will give your body what it needs to raise its endurance levels and keep your performance level at its peak.
Eating for Endurance: Include High Performance Fats
In addition to all those great carbs, you’ll need to introduce some good fats. Your diet should already include healthy oils like coconut oil, olive oil, flaxseed oil, and sunflower oil. When you cook with fats like that or dress your salads and vegetables with them, you’re getting a lot of great nutrients that feed your body what it needs to get and stay strong. When you’re eating for endurance, you should also snack on things like nuts, seeds, and avocado.
Eating for Endurance: Keeping Pushing Protein
Protein rounds out the ideal nutritional plan for endurance seeking athletes. Your muscle tissues need to stay nourished, and nothing is better for that than protein. You already know this as a bodybuilder, and hopefully you are already filling your plate with eggs, fish, chicken and turkey, lean beef, and pork. Get creative with your protein. Try some ostrich or bison. Eat duck or goat. You have a lot of options. Stimulating the retention of nitrogen and the synthesis of protein is important for bodybuilders at any stage of their development. It’s still important when you’re working on your stamina, and combining all your protein with healthy fats and whole carbohydrates gives you a well-balanced, healthful eating pattern.
It can be difficult to turn your attention from a protein-first philosophy and concentrate mostly on carbs. However, you’ll quickly see the benefits in your endurance level. The stamina it takes to continue working on your body is pretty intense. Give yourself a little help by increasing your carbohydrates and otherwise sticking to your normal healthy eating plan.