Are you looking for a powerhouse ingredient that can fuel your fitness goals while also providing a wide range of essential nutrients? Look no further than lentils!
These tiny legumes may be small in size, but they are heavily packed with essential nutrients that can greatly benefit fitness enthusiasts like you.
Loaded with protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals, lentils are a versatile and nutrient-dense food that can help you power through your workouts, aid in muscle recovery, and support overall well-being.
Here is everything you need to know about lentils and their benefits for bodybuilders.
Are Lentils Good For Bodybuilding?
Yes, lentils are a boon for bodybuilders, especially those following a vegan or vegetarian diet, as they are packed with protein, on average delivering 9.2 grams in 100 grams!
Among the various types of lentils, all of which are great for fitness enthusiasts, black lentils are the most beneficial, as they deliver a higher protein content of 26 grams in just 100 grams!
This makes lentils an excellent source of protein to help bodybuilders meet their daily protein requirements. Lentils also contain essential micronutrients like vitamin B, iron, magnesium, and zinc, which are vital for overall health and performance.
When it comes to bulking, lentils can be a valuable addition to the diet, providing a healthy balance of protein and carbohydrates in each serving.
However, if calorie needs are higher, it’s important to consider adjusting fat intake accordingly.
Lentils are a simple yet powerful dietary choice for bodybuilders looking to build muscle and improve overall well-being.
Consider the following benefits of having lentils in your bodybuilding diet:
Lentils Are A Complete Source Of Protein
Lentils are unique among plant-based proteins as they can easily become a complete protein, similar to meat, fish, and dairy.
Unlike other plant-based proteins, lentils contain a good amount of eight out of the nine essential amino acids our bodies need for muscle repair and growth.
To make lentils a complete protein, we can pair them with nuts, grains, or seeds in a meal or snack, or simply ensure we eat enough of them throughout the day.
Among the various types of lentils available, black lentils deliver the highest amount of protein, which is 26 grams approximately per 100 grams of serving. It can be a wonderful addition to the diet of fitness enthusiasts, especially the ones looking for muscle growth.
Alternatively, one can easily make lentils a complete protein without pairing them with other sources by sprouting them overnight in cold water. Sprouting increases the amino acid levels in lentils, making them a complete protein on their own.
Lentils Are High In Micronutrients
Including lentils in our regular diet can be incredibly beneficial for our health as they provide essential micronutrients that our bodies need for various processes.
Lentils, being a staple food, can help us achieve both our macronutrient and micronutrient goals, supporting our overall health and fitness aspirations.
Incorporating lentils into our diet is a simple yet effective way to nourish our bodies and work towards our desired physique and fitness goals.
Lentils Are High In Fiber
Lentils are rich in fiber, with 7.9 grams per 100 grams of serving, which can support better digestion and reduce digestive issues.
Black lentils deliver 31.4 grams of dietary fiber, per 100 grams of serving, which is great!
The fiber in lentils adds bulk to our stool, promoting regularity and reducing problems like indigestion, bloating, and gas.
By improving our digestion, we can feel and look better, with reduced discomfort and improved overall health. Lentils are a natural and effective way to support our digestive well-being and enhance our overall fitness.
Wondering what might be the disadvantage of incorporating such nutritious food in your diet? Read below:
Lentils Have A Higher Carb Content
When following a low-carb diet for weight loss or cutting, lentils may not be the ideal protein source.
Lentils contain a relatively high amount of carbohydrates, which can make it challenging to meet our protein intake goals without exceeding our carbohydrate limits, especially for vegans and vegetarians who rely on lentils as a protein source.
For every 18 grams of protein in lentils, we also get 40 grams of carbs, which can quickly add up and potentially hinder our efforts to stay within our carb limits.
42 grams of black lentils provide 13 grams of protein, 30 grams of carbohydrates.
This means that one must cut off carb intake from other sources, if he includes lentils in his fitness diet.
Also, monitoring the carb intake throughout the day, depending on our specific carb targets is needed.
Excessive Consumption Of Lentils Can Cause Gas And Cramps
Lentils contain complex carbohydrates called oligosaccharides that the human body cannot fully digest on its own.
These oligosaccharides travel to the large intestine where they are fermented by bacteria, resulting in the production of gas. Excessive gas can cause discomfort, bloating, and cramping.
Lentils also contain a good amount of fiber, and a sudden increase in its intake can overwhelm the digestive system, causing abdominal discomfort.
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Is It Okay To Consume Lentils Before A Workout?
Lentils make an excellent pre-workout meal choice as they offer a balanced combination of carbohydrates and protein while being low in fat.
This provides us with the energy needed for our workout and promotes easy digestion, allowing us to fuel our workouts effectively.
Lentils can be a good pre-workout food, but it’s important to note that they are high in fiber, which may not be well tolerated by everyone.
If you have trouble digesting high fiber foods, it may be better to consume lentils after your workout.
Is It Okay To Consume Lentils After A Workout?
Lentils are an ideal choice for post-workout nutrition due to their balanced combination of carbohydrates and protein.
They can help replenish our energy levels and support muscle recovery after a workout, making them suitable for all types of bodybuilding goals, whether it’s bulking, cutting, or maintaining.
With their optimal macronutrient ratio, lentils can be a beneficial addition to our diet.
What Is The Best Time To Eat Lentils For Muscle Gain?
Lentils are a great option for both pre and post-workout meals due to their protein and carbohydrate content.
They provide energy for workouts and support muscle repair and growth, making them a beneficial addition to your diet.
When you consume lentils before hitting the gym, the carbohydrates in lentils are broken down into energy, providing you with the necessary fuel to sustain longer workouts without the risk of them being stored as fat since they are burned off during the workout.
After a workout, lentils can also be beneficial due to their high protein content. Protein is essential for tissue repair and recovery after the wear and tear of exercise. It helps kickstart the muscle repair process and aids in building muscle and burning fat.
Therefore, having lentils right before or after gymming is a win-win situation.
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The Bottom Line
Lentils are a fantastic addition to any bodybuilder’s diet, especially for those who follow a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle.
They provide a rich source of protein and carbs, making them ideal for pre and post-workout meals.
While all types of lentils are great, black lentils stand out due to their higher nutritional value.
So, make sure to include lentils in your meal planning to fuel your body and support your bodybuilding goals!