Fat is essential for everyone as it facilitates digestion and other metabolic activities in your body. But for bodybuilders, dietary fat is an essential part of nutrition along with carbohydrates and protein. Fat is rich in calorie than carbohydrates or protein and thus acts as good source energy. If you are a bodybuilder trying to gain mass, you need to be in caloric surplus, which you can get from fat. Dietary fat offers so many calories in a small volume of food and thus supplements for calorie needs that are hard to get at the end of the day from regular meals.
1. Energy Production
Despite the fact that the main source of energy for our bodies is carbohydrates, fat is used as a backup when carbohydrates are unavailable or in low supply. Being a concentrated source of energy, you should note that each gram of fat contains nine calories (double the calories from carbohydrates or protein). It is thus not recommendable to consume more than 20-30% of your daily calories from fat. Excess fat is stored in the body which can lead to weight gain instead of mass building.
2. Cell Membranes
While fat is required in the body for a number of reasons, it is necessary for building cell membranes that regulate what enters or leaves a cell. Cells happen to be the building block of the human body and if the cell membranes don’t regulate the substances that enter into a cell, there can be some problems. Toxic substances are shielded off from entering into the cells by fat. To help prevent the entry of harmful compounds into the cells, a bodybuilder must ensure that they get a good supply of dietary fat in their diet.
3. Energy Store
If you consume more calories than your body can use on a particular day, the rest is converted to fat and stored in specific areas such as under your skin. It is common for bodybuilders to fall short of energy at one time in the course of their regular workouts. It is at this point that the stored fat in the body is broken down to produce energy.
4. Insulates Organs
For optimum metabolic processes to take place, the body temperature has to be regulated. Fat acts as a great insulator that maintains healthy body temperature and keeps you warm in cold weather. In addition, fat cushions vital organs protecting from injuries or physical harm especially when you are working out. In the event that you may experience a sudden impact or trauma during exercises, the fat layer surrounding these organs absorbs much of the shock preventing further damages.
5. Promote Vitamins Absorption
Certain vitamins, commonly referred to as “fat-soluble” require fat so that they can get absorbed and stored in your body. Examples include vitamins A, D, E and K, all of which are an essential part of everyone’s diet let alone body builders. In particular, vitamin D helps in the absorption of calcium that is necessary for stronger and healthier bones. On the other hand, vitamin E helps in the elimination of free radicals, protecting the cells from damage. If you are a bodybuilder falling short of these vitamins in your body, it is a clear indication that you are not getting adequate fat from your diet.
6. Improves Neural Communications
If you are a bodybuilder, your mental health needs to be at the optimal performance to help you in working out. Fat forms the basis of your brain, as it helps, builds the structural components of the various cell membranes in your brain. Additionally, it forms the structural components for the fatty insulating sheath known as myelin. Myelin sheath surrounds different nerve fibers to facilitate fast and effective communication that is necessary during workouts. Plus, fat forms part of the hormonal system as it controls body’s production of sex hormones. It is the reason as to why underweight teenage girls reach puberty at a later age compared to their peers
7. Sources of Healthy Fat
If you are a bodybuilder looking for healthy sources of fat, chose from monounsaturated and polyunsaturated sources as they help lower the risk of cardiovascular diseases while stabilizing cholesterol levels. You can get them from cold-water fish such as salmon, nuts, avocados and vegetable oils.
8. Sources to Avoid
Avoid Trans and saturated sources of fat commonly found in dairy products, seafood, processed foods and meat. Studies have linked them to high blood pressure and hardened arteries which make people prone to stroke and heart attack.
Must Watch – Saturated Fat Is Good For You
Whereas fat should be a part of the daily diet for bodybuilders, it is important to know the different from good sources and the bad ones. Healthy fat is beneficial to your body in the maintenance of core temperature; provide energy and helps in the absorption of minerals and vitamins. On the other hand, unhealthy fat puts you at higher risks of heart disease and stroke.