Today Vince Delmonte shares with us his bodybuilding nutrition tips. He recently spoke with some of the contestants in this years Mr. Olympia contest to find out what bodybuilders eat to help grow such big muscles.
Three top bodybuilders shared their nutrition and diet with Vince: Jay Cutler (3 times Mr Olympia winner), Branch Warren (came 2nd in the 2009 Mr Olympia) and Victor Martinez (winner of the Arnold Classic in 2007). All these guys are at the top of their game at the moment, and all huge.
The following are examples of a daily diet 10 weeks from the competition when they are aiming to maintain muscle, build new muscle and strip off as much fat as possible.
Jay Cutler’s Bodybuilding Diet
Jay Cutler starts his day with some fat burning pills followed by 40 minutes of cardio training before eating breakfast.
- Breakfast: 15 egg whites, a 6 oz steak, 1/2 an avocado, 4 packs of grits, 1/2 gallon water.
- Meal 2: 14oz chicken breast with 12oz sweet potato.
- Meal 3: A 12oz steak with 12oz red potato
- After these 3 meals he does his weight training workout for the day. One big session working on a specific muscle group.
- Meal 4: Whey protein – this comes straight after the workout
- Meal 5: 14oz chicken with white rice
- Meal 6: 15 egg whites, a 6 oz steak, 1/2 an avocado
So, to tally up, 30 egg whites in one day, 28-30 oz of chicken, 18 oz steak, a bucket of potatoes!
Victor Martinez Bodybuilding Diet
Victor’s daily diet is a little more regimental than Cutlers’ (not to say that Cutlers’ is not very strict too). The timing between each “meal” is carefully planned.
- 9:30 a.m. Whey protein and water
- 9:45 a.m. Cardio: 45 minutes
- 10:45 a.m. 10 egg whites, 1 whole egg, 1 cup of oatmeal
- 1:30 p.m. 10 oz. steak, 1 cup of brown rice
- 4 p.m. 10 oz. chicken, 10 oz. potato
- 5:30 p.m. Pre-workout drink, BCAA
- A big weight training session.
- 8 p.m. 10 oz. salmon, 1 cup of steamed broccoli
- 1 a.m. 8 oz. steak, 1 cup of steamed broccoli
Martinez’s diet is healthier than Cutlers’. He eats brown rice instead of white, and has a salmon dish, replacing one of the chicken meals. He consumers a lot of broccoli as well as his potatoes. He also treats himself to an egg yolk.
Branch Warren’s Muscle Building Diet
Warren likes to start the day with coffee and walks the dogs. This seems a much more chilled way to start the day than fat burners and cardio.
- Morning: coffee, walk the dogs for 20-30 minute
- Meal 1: 10 oz. buffalo, 2 whole eggs, 2 slices whole wheat toast, cup of oatmeal
- Meal 2: 10 oz. chicken breast, 2 and 1/2 cups white rice
- Weight training session
- Meal 3: Whey protein and Gatorade straight after the training
- Meal 4: 10 oz. chicken breast, 10-12 oz. white potato, 10-12 oz. white potato
- Meal 5: 10 oz. chicken breast, 10-12 oz. white potato, 10-12 oz. sweet potato
- Meal 6: 6 oz. steak, 6 oz. tilapia (fish)
Branch Warren eats less steak but more chicken. Lots of potatoes again, plus some fish to end the day. His diet seems the most “normal” of the lot, with coffee, eggs and toast for breakfast and chicken and potatoes for his meals.
Summary of the 3 Bodybuilding Diets
The most important things to note with these diets is that although they all take a whey supplement during the day, it is just one supplement after the weight training session. Whey is the most rapidly absorbed protein so is the best one to take straight after a workout. Casein/egg proteins are more slowly absorbed, and these are all obtained from diet – eggs, meats, poultry.
Fruit is kept to a minimum due to its sugar (fructose) content. Potatoes are eaten in abundance – they are a great source of carbohydrate and energy, so long as they are not fried.
None of these bodybuilders are eating cottage cheese, drinking milk or having a protein shake every 3 hours. This is just not required. Food is the best source of protein and carbohydrate and these guys know it. If protein shakes really were the best way to pile on muscle they would be drinking 20 a day. Instead they eat piles of chicken, eggs and meat with vegetables and rice.
Bodybuilding Diet Can Make You Live Longer
A startling discovery was reported in October 2010 which should help to promote bodybuilding as a healthy form of exercise. According to Professor Nisoli, of Brescia University in Italy, a bodybuilding protein / amino-acid supplement provides such essential ingredients for building new muscle tissue that it can help people become stronger and healthier.
Admittedly the study was carried out on mice, but it was found that the mice lived on average 80 days longer when given a protein supplement. In human years this is the equivalent of raising life expectancy from 77.7 years to 87 for men.
Amino Acids: Leucine, Isoleucine and Valine
Not all bodybuilding supplements are the same. In the study the supplement used had 3 specific amino-acids, leucine, isoleucine and valine. It is thought that these are the key to extending lifespan.
The research paper does go on to mention that exercise promotes survival and, in particular, extends average although not maximal life span. So diet certainly helps to strengthen the heart, muscles and bones of the body but exercise is required to realise the greatest gains.
Recent evidence points to a strong relationship between increased mitochondrial biogenesis and increased survival in eukaryotes. Branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) have been shown to extend chronological life span in yeast.
However, the role of these amino acids in mitochondrial biogenesis and longevity in mammals is unknown. Here, we show that a BCAA-enriched mixture (BCAAem) increased the average life span of mice. B
CAAem supplementation increased mitochondrial biogenesis and sirtuin 1 expression in primary cardiac and skeletal myocytes and in cardiac and skeletal muscle, but not in adipose tissue and liver of middle-aged mice, and this was accompanied by enhanced physical endurance.
Moreover, the reactive oxygen species (ROS) defense system genes were upregulated, and ROS production was reduced by BCAAem supplementation. All of the BCAAem-mediated effects were strongly attenuated in endothelial nitric oxide synthase null mutant mice. These data reveal an important antiaging role of BCAAs mediated by mitochondrial biogenesis in mammals.
Professor Nisoli says that the big challenge is now persuading the health service that large scale testing should be carried out on the human population to see if these results found in the laboratory can be replicated in society. Such as study will take many years to determine if it is successful, possible several decades.
Word of Caution
A word of caution if you are thinking of guzzling down protein shakes to help you live longer. Bodybuilding supplements are very high in calories (energy). Bodybuilders work very hard and burn a lot of energy, and their larger muscles require more energy. If you just start consuming additional protein supplement without adjusting other areas of your diet, and without exercising more, you risk putting on more weight, i.e. fat.
- Branched-Chain Amino Acid Supplementation Promotes Survival and Supports Cardiac and Skeletal Muscle Mitochondrial Biogenesis in Middle-Aged Mice by Giuseppe D’Antona, Maurizio Ragni, Annalisa Cardile, Laura Tedesco, Marta Dossena, Flavia Bruttini, Francesca Caliaro, Giovanni Corsetti, Roberto Bottinelli, Michele O. Carruba, Alessandra Valerio, Enzo Nisoli. Cell Metabolism – 6 October 2010 (Vol. 12, Issue 4, pp. 362-372).