How to Build More Muscle
I bet if you’re reading this you want to:
- Build more muscle
- Lose more fat
- Gain more strength
- Enhance your overall athletic ability
But the real question is how do you achieve that?
What else can you refine in your regime when you feel like there’s nothing else that you could possibly do?
One word for you: hormones.
Now your mind might automatically jump to testosterone, the powerhouse hormone responsible for building muscle.
So how can you naturally harness the power of this hormone without ingesting external sources of it?
The key actually lies in your gut. Yup you read that right.
The gut is home to a host of bacteria—some good and some bad.
Probiotics are the beneficial bacteria that help regulate mood, optimize blood sugar, support the immune system, and boost metabolism. Interestingly, probiotics also influence hormones.
Nourishing those friendly flora in the gut microbiome with a varied diet rich in vegetables helps hormones stay in check and work for you, rather than against you.
How do things get off balance?
As a high performing athlete, whether that’s a bodybuilder, bikini competitor, cross fitter, pro athlete, and/or physique competitor, you’re demanding a lot from your body. And if you’re not properly fueling it you can mess up your gut microbiome which affects your hormones which ultimately affects your performance.
And I get it. I’ve been directly impacted by doing a physique competition the wrong way and fucking up my entire body & then subsequently healing myself using Functional Medicine principles.
So if you:
- Feel so tired all day that it makes it difficult to “push” through your workouts
- Have zero libido that’s ruining your confidence (and relationship)
- Feel so bloated that you’re losing your abs
- Are gaining weight rapidly despite doing nothing different
- Have plateaued and are having difficulty gaining more muscle
Let’s dive deeper to see if you’re feeding the “bad guys” in your gut and letting it affect your hormones and ultimately your performance.
Feeding the bad guys
If you’re not feeding your microbiome a varied, nourishing diet, it can allow the “bad bacteria” to grow and this can increase oxidative stress, inflammation, and damage organs (AKA you’re sleeping shitty, have zero libido, and you’re not recovering as well as you should be after a intense workout).
And I’m sorry to burst your bubble, but your “healthy diet” of eating chicken and rice six times a day is not nourishing your microbiome despite it hitting your “macros” for the day.
This is a shitty way of approaching performance-enhancing nutrition.
Have you noticed that after repeatedly eating that meal (or really any other meal that you eat over & over & over & over again) you start to feel uncomfortably bloated after eating?
Why does this happen?
Eating the same thing over & over again can create food intolerances because your immune system is inundated by the same stimuli.
For a healthy microbiome (& ultimately your hormonal & immune system) you need to be make sure you are rotating through the types of food you consume to prevent bloating, fatigue, constipation, and other digestive troubles.
In addition to a repetitive diet, did you know your protein powder could be to blame?
Protein powders that contain lots of artificial sweeteners, sugar alcohols, and whey (yup, you read that right — whey) can cause your microbiome in your digestive track to become imbalanced and let the “bad guys” grow (and make you have foul gas).
3 steps to boost your performance now
Step 1: Start incorporating foods that nourish healthy gut bacteria (such as sweet potatoes, beans, and veggies), you’ll start to rebalance your microbiome AND start to optimize your hormones NOW.
Step 2: Toss your whey protein powder and replace it with a “cleaner” option. I personally love hydrolyzed beef based protein powders. Although all the research points to whey as being an optimal source for recovery, the newer beef protein powders contain the same if not better amino acid profiles.
Step 3: Find out what’s really going on in your body with specialized lab testing to get the full picture of what’s going on rather than simply “guessing” #testdontguess.
By testing you’ll see where exactly your gut & hormones are off and specific things you can do to start rebuilding your body so that you can start optimizing your performance. (I do this for all my clients and create specialized healing and optimization protocols for them based off their lab results)
Want to know if your gut and/or hormones could be potentially holding you back from achieving your athletic goals?
Schedule an introductory 15 min call with me so we can cut through the bullshit and get to the root of your problem. (I work through virtual consultations & can work with you from anywhere!)
Rich Jacobs is a Board Certified Integrative and Functional Nutrition Practitioner who specializes in resolving gut, insomnia, low libido, fatigue and fat issues. He uses a holistic approach and functional lab work to identify root causes such as hormone imbalances or gut pathogens that could be impacting your health.