Muscle is one tissue. Muscle cells contain protein filaments and primarily functions as a source of power. Appearance of a human as well built, medium or slim is due to presence of varying quantity muscles in the body. Although protein is a constituent of food which helps build muscles in our body, consumption of only protein doesn’t contribute to building of muscles. Building of muscles requires consumption of a well balanced diet and regular exercise. While a well balanced diet consists of ideal combination of protein, fat and carbohydrate that ensures adequate supply of vitamins and minerals to the body for its normal functioning, exercise is also required to promote physical growth and strength, mental strength, will power and self control for harmonious development of the whole body system.
Role of balanced food in developing muscles
Right food could work wonders. Generically, a complete and healthy food or diet is appropriate combination of protein, carbohydrate and fat. If our food is well balanced, then daily requirement of vitamins and minerals is automatically met with. For developing a muscular body, availability of adequate first class protein (protein having high biological value) in the diet is important. Along with adequate protein, enough carbohydrates and fats are also necessary to produce the required calories to generate required energy for sparing protein for development of muscles.
The daily requirement of protein is 0.5 gm of first class protein per Kg of body weight. For vegetarians this requirement is double. Vegetarians should eat variety of food items in combination to ensure required ingestion of protein. First class protein is the one obtained from sources like milk, eggs, meat, cheese and dairy products, fish, sea foods, poultry, pork etc. whose amino acid profile expresses the presence of all essential amino acids. When all the essential amino acids are present in the food item, then the biological value of that protein is high and therefore these food items are called first class proteins. Protein obtained from vegetable sources does not contain all the essential amino acids and therefore to ensure supply of all essential amino acids one should consume variety of vegetarian food in combination. Each gram protein produces 4 calories.
Almost all types of foods contain carbohydrates. Principal function of carbohydrate in the body is to produce energy. Each gram carbohydrate produces 4 calories
Fat is used in our diets in the form of cooking oil and butter. Dry fruits are also contain fat. Fat is important constituent of diet which imparts palatability to the food and is important source of energy. Each gram of fat produces 9 calories.
Vitamins are present in all foods to greater or lesser extent. A well balanced diet ensures adequate intake of required vitamins. Vitamins take part in digestion of food and its metabolism so that the digested food is properly utilized. Deficiency of vitamins results in specific deficiency disease. It is not possible to sustain life in the absence of essential vitamins. We must obtain them from a well planned diet or dietary supplements.
The mineral needed by the body in substantial amounts are calcium, phosphorous, iron, sulphur, magnesium, sodium, potassium and chlorine. In addition to that trace minerals like iodine, copper, cobalt, manganese, zinc, selenium, silicon, fluorine and some others are also needed in trace amount. Minerals are required for the efficient functioning of the cells of body.
Development of muscles and diet
When the objective is to increase the mass of muscles in the body, adequate supply of all the components of a complete diet is imperative. The basic idea is to direct the protein to the site where muscle building is required. This can be achieve by taking protein in adequate quantities along with carbohydrate and fat to meet the requirement of energy for day to day activities and spare protein for muscle development.
Ideally 50 % of energy should come from carbohydrates, 20% from fats and 30% from proteins. Maintenance of this ideal ratio is imperative to spare protein for growth. Calorie is the unit by which the energy is measured. Requirement of calories for people with different stature and age groups are different, change from males to females and depend on the level of activity. On average 1300-1500 calories are needed on resting basis. Very light physical activity requires 1.5 times the resting calories, light physical activity requires 2.5 times the resting calories, moderate physical activity requires 5.5 the resting calories, heavy physical activity needs 7 times the resting calories. On average young men require 1.6 times the resting calories and young women require 1.55 times the resting calories.
Regular exercise when taken properly enhances the utilization of food by the body, which enhances health, fitness and stature. A healthy person usually expresses a well built physique and a radiant glow. Regular exercise improves flow of blood through out the body and increases the mass of muscles, enhances the efficiency of heart and by offering resistance to fatigue, also improves overall efficiency of body and mind.
Exercise should be performed in such a way that it involves all the muscles of the body in a natural way. Walking is one such exercise. But it is very gentle exercise and one must walk several kilometers briskly to call it an exercise. Therefore, for building muscles of the body one should opt for other form of exercises, like static, isometric, dynamic and aerobic exercises, or one should take a reference from a gymnasium or join the one.
One should not perform vigorous exercises for one and a half hour after eating and immediately before meals. If you get tired while exercising or after completing exercising, then immediately stop the exercise. The objective of exercise is to feel refreshed and relaxed and not tired.
Ideally one should start with very light exercise and then increase the efforts gradually in several phases. One should aim at a comfortable sense of tiredness. Watch your pulse rate when you are taking exercise. At rest beats are 70 to 80 per minute. This rate increases during exercise. The pulse can go up to 200 beats per minute or more during vigorous exercise. Aim should be to exercise at about two-thirds of maximum capacity. So to say, the pulse should be about 130 per minute during and just after exercise. Overexertion should always be avoided and your pulse should never go above 190 minus your age per minute.
Keeping in mind these concepts, one can plan a suitable regimen of diet and exercise for development of muscles in the body.