Carbs have always been associated with weight gain. So, it is understandable why people opt for a low carb diet. Nonetheless, relying on a low carb diet will not give you the results you are looking for when building muscle.
Carbs and lean muscle
The cells in your body rely on glucose for energy production. Glucose is stored in your body as glycogen. And if your body is unable to access enough glycogen, it may be tough to get through a strength training exercise. Carbohydrates help replenish the glucose stored in your body, which is needed to support intense workout sessions.
Most people will struggle with pushing their muscles to the limit because their glycogen store is low. People who engage in regular exercise too may experience difficulty in keeping up as well.
Having enough glycogen stores is crucial for muscle recovery. This becomes an issue for bodybuilders looking to increase their lean muscle. Protein is essential; But if they are looking for the best result in the shortest time, increasing carbohydrate intake is their best bet. Recent studies have shown that carbs are essential for protein synthesis. So, eating a low carb diet can reduce your body’s efficiency at using the protein you consume.
What are the best carbs for muscle growth?
For proper muscle growth, you should consume more complex carbohydrates. Here are foods that fall into this category:
Vegetables, Fruits, Nuts, Seeds, Oats, Sweet potatoes, Whole bread, Wheat pasta
If your goal is to reduce body fat, you must stay off or limit your consumption of simple carbs. Simple carbohydrates are foods such as sweets, sugary drinks, cookies, and regular snacks.
What is the recommended carb intake for building mass?
There is no specific number of carbs that a person must consume as there are different factors to consider. Carbs needs are different from person to person. It can be frustrating for many people since counting and calculating the number of carbs can be a huge turnoff. All of these issues put together can make it difficult for a person to know how much they should be taking.
Although counting carbs and weighing food all the time may not sound like fun, you will get used to it with time. As long as your focus is on your fitness goals, you will build a routine that works just fine for you. But if you are looking for a less tasking method, one of the best approaches to make it easier to know your carb intake is by portion sizes. Typically, the daily needs for an active adult male are around 6-8 handfuls of carbohydrates. An active adult female needs about 4 to 6 handfuls of carbs daily. You can add 1 to 2 cups to get better results. Although measuring carbs this way seems very easy, it is not an accurate measurement. And it may make tracking your consumption difficult.
A study recommends eating carbs immediately after a workout to replenish glycogen stores. This also provides your muscles with energy to recover and repair. The study further recommended consuming around 1.2 to 1.5 grams of carbs per kilogram of body weight hourly for longer workouts.
Also different mobile apps can help you calculate your carb intake and make the entire process less tasking.