Importance of Nutrition for Muscle Gains

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Alongside of weightlifting, proper nutrition, supplementation, and adequate hydration are very important factors for bodybuilding and maintaining your physique.

Without incorporating these factors into your weightlifting routine, muscle growth will not occur.

For a bodybuilder to maintain proper nutrition, they should intake adequate amounts of water, macronutrients, micronutrients, and supplements.


The three key macronutrients are proteins, carbohydrates, and fats.

To begin, proteins are the building blocks of muscles and are made from the 20 different amino acids.

Proteins are essential for bodybuilding because they constantly repair muscles, maintain muscle growth, and allow your muscles to reach optimal growth.

However, protein intake should be done in moderation to avoid harmful effects to the body.

Protein can be obtained in a plethora of ways such as whey protein, meat, or milk.


The next major macronutrient which is essential to bodybuilding are carbohydrates.

Carbohydrates can be broken down into simple carbohydrates and complex carbohydrates.

Carbohydrates are vital for bodybuilders because they are the most readily active form of energy and fuel for the body.

Although carbohydrates are a crucial energy source for bodybuilders, an excessive amount of carbohydrates can be detrimental for the body because they can end up being stored as body fat.

The simple carbohydrates provide the body with a quick energy source and are derived from various sugars or fruits.

The complex carbohydrates provide the body with long term energy, and these carbs are derived from foods such as oatmeal, pastas, or rice.

Unsaturated Fats
Unsaturated Fats

The final macronutrient is fats, which are broken into saturated and unsaturated fats.

Fats are critical to a bodybuilder’s physique because they help your body reach optimal functionality through building muscle mass.

Saturated fats are commonly referred to as the “bad” fats and are most often found in beef. Saturated fats should be kept to a minimum to reach a proper physique.

Unsaturated fats are known as the “healthy” fats and are important for muscle growth.

Meeting your level of macronutrients each day will provide your body with fuel for a successful workout (Quade).


Although micronutrients usually do not receive high priority, they are extremely important for bodybuilding.

Some common examples of micronutrients are magnesium, potassium, calcium, iron, and biotin.

Micronutrients are very important for bodybuilders in particular because they contain no calories, are used as coenzymes in various parts of the body, metabolize macronutrients, and overall replenish the body.

The main way to receive micronutrients in your diet would be to eat earth-growth foods that have not been processed.

Earth-grown foods contain the essential micronutrients for the body to perform well during a workout (Dolce).

Whey Protein
Whey Protein

Another important aspect to bodybuilding is incorporating supplements into your diet.

Since most foods do not contain all of the quality nutrients, supplements are important for building muscle and fat loss.

The main goal of supplements are to supply our bodies with nutrients that we are missing from a normal and healthy diet.

For example, whey protein is a well-known supplement used by many weightlifters.

Whey protein is a protein supplement which contains leucine, glutathione and conjugated linoleic acid.

Those three ingredients are vital to weight loss and increases the overall health of the body.

To present optimal results, supplements should be incorporated into an already established diet to help repair the body (Robson).


One of the most important factors to bodybuilding is to drink lots of water.

Hydration is essential for bodybuilders because water builds muscle, aids in weight loss, and increases muscle tone.

Water helps to maintain muscle tone because water is a main component of muscles.

If water levels are low, this will decrease muscle contraction and overall decrease muscle tone. In addition, water is essential for muscle growth.

Water is essential for muscle growth because the cells receive the nutrients they need through the transportation of water throughout the body.

If the cells do not receive accurate amounts of water, this could lead to muscle cramps and fatigue which will not allow full performance in the gym.

Lastly, hydration is very important for weight loss. Water has the ability to decrease appetite which will stimulate weight loss. Water also has the ability to metabolize fat by increasing activity in the kidneys to break down fat (Behar).

All in all, nutrition, hydration, and supplementation are at upmost importance for weightlifting and bodybuilding.

Having a healthy diet, incorporating supplements, and taking in adequate amount of water will allow for optimal performance in the gym and a remarkable physique.


My name is Olivia Paul and I attend Santa Fe College in Gainesville Florida. I major in health sciences and I am graduating in a little over two weeks with my associate’s degree. I am transferring to UCF to major in Chemistry, which is the subject that I enjoy studying. I am a full time student and also work part time as a pharmacy technician at Walgreens. Along with work and school, I simultaneously incorporate weightlifting into my schedule. I work out at Gainesville Health and Fitness six days a week for two hours each day before I attend class. I begin my workouts with cardio and finish my workouts with weightlifting. Along with working out, I focus on adequate nutrition and hydration. I allot time in my schedule to plan meals for the week to maintain an optimal physique. A very important aspect of my workouts is consistency. Being consistent with my workouts and meal plans allows me to perform well at the gym and see results. Incorporating weightlifting and nutrition alongside of my academics allows me to live a healthy lifestyle and always try my best at everything I do.

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