Building muscle in a healthy, efficient manner poses a formidable challenge to the busy people of today's world. Unhealthy diet crazes, overpriced workout machines, and damaging diet pills have all skyrocketed in production because of this; sleazy businessmen everywhere aim to profit off of whatever is in high demand. Fitness, or at least the appearance of fitness, is in high demand. However, there are healthy, realistic ways to accomplish this: proper nutrition, ample exercise, and adequate sleep.
Protein is key to building muscle, and there are five high quality sources at affordable prices. Canned tuna is very inexpensive and essentially pure protein. But always purchase the variety stored in water, not oil, as fats should be kept to a minimum. Tuna salad, made with mustard and light mayonnaise with some romaine is a tasty way to utilize this protein. Vegan mayonnaise is particularly good to use, as this is virtually fat-free, low in cholesterol and surprisingly tastes great, but it is on the expensive side
Making it into a sandwich with high fiber, high protein multi-grain bread (it does exist) will add some healthy complex carbohydrates if necessary. Eggs are a fantastic source, however, the yolks are very high in fat, so discretion is advised on how frequently the yolks are used. They should not be entirely avoided, as they are also a source of vitamins and minerals.
Protein powders are the cheapest, but soy is not recommended. Instead, try combining rice and pea powders; this ensures all amino acids are being consumed. Other non-animal sources, when combined, will aid the goal. Rice and beans work well, also providing fiber and complex carbohydrates. Black beans are highly recommended as they are rich in antioxidants.
But of course, exercise is crucial as well. A balanced program is recommended, however, the design is mostly dependent on the muscle group in question. Most programs consist solely of compound exercises, with perhaps a few isolation techniques. This is because unless there is a specific problem area, all muscles should be built up equally. However, it is important that cardiovascular exercises are incorporated not just because a strong heart is healthy, but because it will increase endurance. Still, this is a personal decision and so long as there is consistent exercise, there will be muscle.
Many fail to consider that sleep is important, too. Sleep-deprivation causes the metabolism to slow down, which means more calories are stored as fat. A slower metabolism than one is used to also means that if they are not paying attention, they will not notice when they get hungry. One might accidentally go for long periods of time without eating, and the body will begin to eat the muscle out of starvation. Also, when the body finally is given food, it will quickly be converted to fat to create a reserve in case it has to go too long without sustenance again. Sleep-deprivation also reduces the body's ability to convert fat to muscle.
Building muscle does not mean no carbohydrates; it does not require ridiculous workout machines, it does not need steroids or life-draining, fat-burning, muscle-building miracle pills. All it takes is consistency. A healthy diet, exercise, and sleep regimen will produce satisfactory results for the purpose it was originally intended: fitness.
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