More and more diets are focusing on proteins and ignoring carbohydrates. A healthy diet needs a good balance between the two. Here are seven tips on how to benefit the most from the carbohydrates in your diet when building or maintaining muscle mass.
Many carbs + lots protein = more muscle
If you want to accumulate muscles you need large amounts of carbohydrates and proteins. Without carbohydrates, the role of protein will be limited to the energy source. Your body needs carbs to increase skeletal muscles protein synthesis. To feel the anabolic effect of the proteins you will need to consume at least 4g/kg carbs daily. As for protein consumption, the values should be around 1-2.2 g/kg. Macronutrient consumption ratio varies greatly and depends on external factors such as lifestyle, age, gender, etc.
Carbohydrates + sodium after training = growth
To restore glycogen stores after exercise, take a combination of carbohydrates and sodium (salt) after a workout. Sodium will hold water in the muscles, optimising recovery and growth. It is enough to add 500mg sodium (salt 1/4 teaspoon) to your post-workout serving.
Take advantage of the six-hour window carbohydrate
The reason to consume a lot of carbs after training is that the increased insulin levels prevent the breakdown of muscles and stimulate the accumulation of carbohydrates in them. In fact, muscles need carbs for six hours after the workout, not just the first hour and a half. So after the first portion of carbohydrates, eat and a second somewhere between the second and the sixth hour after exercise. You can include more simple carbs on those meals like white rice, bread and jam.
Do not ignore the potatoes
Many people avoid potatoes because they contain a lot of starch and quickly turn into sugar in the body, leading to uncontrolled hunger. This is not good when you’re trying to follow a diet. Not all potatoes, however, are identical. Head to the red or sweet potatoes, which are digested slowly and do not let you get hungry quickly.
Mix variety of carbohydrates
The carbohydrates are consumed to raise insulin levels and thereby to support muscle growth. The best way to enhance the concentration of insulin is by mixing simple/fast and complex/slow digestive carbohydrates during the six-hour post-workout window. The oatmeal and sweet potatoes are complex and raisins, fruits and sweets are composed of simple sugars.
Suitable fats lead to better results
When your goal is to gain mass than 20% of your calories should come from fats as flaxseed or fish oil. These unsaturated fats help the body to store carbohydrates as glycogen, and extra calories are used for fuel. The more glycogen you have in your muscles, the better you will perform training. Also, you will quickly recover and build new muscles.
Carbohydrate depletion and loading
This tip is for athletes who want to look better for short period of time. I do not recommend the following approach for everyday use.
If you want your muscles to look bigger and bulging you must spend carbohydrates within three days and then reload them for two. In other words for every 1 gram carbohydrates which you burn during the first three days, you should add 1.5 grams in the next two.
Here’s an example: you weigh 90 kg and eat 500g carbohydrates per day (2.5 per pound/450 grams), hence the three scarce days will eat 100 grams carbs (reduce normal consumption of 2.5 g-1gram = 1.5g per 450g of body weight per day, making 100g of a 90kg male. The following descriptions rule that for every gram less in the phase of spending is added in 1.5 g. during the charging phase, these 400 grams are multiplied by 1.5 equals 600g which you include to your usual consumption over the next two days. Carbohydrates consumption during the charging phase becomes 500+ 600 = 1100 g. So your body will concentrate enough glycogen to make it look tight and shaped.