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Today you will learn how many carbs an athlete needs to gain muscle mass, and we will also tell you how to calculate your recommended daily carbs intake.
The most important nutritional factor that affects muscle growth is calorie intake. In particular, daily intake of carbs. Muscle building requires a tough training program. And for this you need a huge amount of energy, which is best supplied with carbohydrates. A diet with increased carbs content allows you to achieve maximum recovery of daily muscle glycogen reserves. The process of continuously replenishing these reserves helps the muscles to work intensively for many days in a row. Studies show that diets with a high carb content provide greater training efficiency for strength athletes. That is, the more intensively you exercise, the more muscle grow.
High-carb diets are traditionally considered the standard for athletes who train hard. However, as in the case of proteins, the amount of carbohydrates consumed must be selected taking into account the individual characteristics of the athlete.
How many carbs is needed to gain muscle mass
To gain 0.5 kg of muscle, add 250 calories weekly. This means adding extra calories to your diet. Ideally, women should increase their calorie intake by 30 per day, men – by 40. As the study showed, these are optimal numbers for muscle growth.
You should increase your calorie intake gradually, so as not to gain too much fat. Personally, I suggest power athletes to start by adding 30-35 calories per day. Then, after a week or two, you can add another 30-40 calories per day. If you do not have body fat, start adding 30-40 extra calories weekly. By the way, to burn fat, you can reduce the amount of calories in the same amount: 30 – for women, and 40 – for men.
Most of these extra calories should come from carbohydrates with regular food and in the form of liquid carbohydrate supplements. So, you can get 300-400 carbohydrate calories by eating, for example, 70 grams of pasta, half a bagel and one banana. To increase the daily intake of carbs, you do not have to eat a lot.
A high calorie diet allows you to work harder during training and build more muscle mass.
When I work with clients, I need to make sure that they consumed the required amount of protein and fats. And only after that I pay attention to carbohydrate intake. Thus, by increasing or decreasing the proportion of carb calories, I can balance their volume. For weight gain, their number should increase, and to reduce the proportion of fat — decrease.
Do not forget that carbs should always be consumed in combination with the right amount of protein and fat, with the only exception of shakes, when you simply cannot eat solid foods. However, such drinks should be drunk during training, and not just during the day.
How to calculate daily carb intake
You can determine your daily carb intake based on your weight. A power athlete who wants to build muscle should consume about 7 grams of carbohydrates per kilogram of body weight per day. An athlete who combines various types of training with strength and endurance exercises and wants to build muscle should eat about 8-9 g of carbohydrates per kilogram of body weight per day.
Inadequate carbohydrate intake can negatively impact strength, while eating enough carbs before exercise can prevent an excessive decrease in muscle glycogen levels, and thus improve athletic performance.
As soon as the athlete reaches the necessary proportion of adipose tissue in the overall structure of the body, the right approach would be to increase the proportion of carbs in the daily diet. For example, if the bodybuilder does not have visible subcutaneous fat, while he reduces weight by 0.5 kg per week (which corresponds to an energy deficit of approximately 500 Kcal), the level of carbohydrate intake can be increased by 25-50 g per day, which will reduce energy deficiency by 100-200 Kcal and will help to avoid unnecessary loss of dry weight.
Despite the fact that low-carb, high-protein diets are very effective in terms of weight loss, in practice there is a certain threshold, after which a further reduction in the proportion of carbs in the diet can adversely affect athletic performance and lead to a reduction in dry weight pukie the clown.
Research and experimentation
Taking liquid carbohydrate supplements, including smoothies is a great way to increase your calorie intake, making your diet balanced. In addition, you can resort to the supplements when you have no appetite (in particular, after an intense workout with weights). In addition to this, it is worth saying that nutrients in liquid form are absorbed faster. Liquid supplements also contribute to muscle growth.
In one notable experiment, weight lifters participating in competitions took a high-calorie liquid supplement for 15 weeks. The purpose of this study was to find out how it affects the process of weight gain, body chemistry and strength performance. The weight lifters participating in the experiment were divided into three groups: those who took the supplement and did not use anabolic steroids, those who took the supplement along with anabolic steroids, and the control group, which did not take any supplements or steroids, but participated in training with other groups. The supplement contained 540 calories, 70.5 grams of carbs and other nutrients.
All participants followed their usual diets. The control group and those who took steroids received most of the calories with fat rather than carbs (45% fat, 37% carbohydrates). The supplement-only group ate more carbs and less fat (34% fat and 47% carbs). Moreover, this group consumed about 830 calories more per day than the control, and 1300 more than steroid group.
Weight gain in both groups taking the supplement was significantly greater than in the control group. Those who took only the supplement gained an average of 3 kg. Those who took both the supplement and steroids gained about 4.5 kg, and the control group — only 1.5 kg. The proportion of dry lean mass in the first two groups, compared with the control, more than doubled. In the group that took only the supplement, athletes lost an average of 0.91% subcutaneous fat. At the same time in steroid group they gained an average of 0.5% of fat. At the same time, athletes had the same power performance.
The results are amazing. They prove that an increased amount of calories and the presence of carbs in the daily diet is a prerequisite for the effective strength training and muscle building programs. What is more striking, is the fact that you can get the same results with a diet alone, without any supplements. This is great news for all power athletes who don't use them.
In a study conducted by Mettler and colleagues (Mettler S, Mitchell N, Tipton KD) in 2010, it was proved that reducing the calorie content of the diet due to the proportion of fats while maintaining an adequate intake of carbohydrates and proteins helps almost completely to avoid loss of dry weight, as well as deterioration in athletic performance.
The table shows the amount of Carbohydrates, Proteins, and Fats in various foods (per 100 g):
|The product's name||Proteins||Fats||Carbs||Kcal|
|Dried porcini mushroom||27.6||6.8||10.0||209|
|Pink salmon stew||19.1||7.7||1.7||152|
|Boiled buckwheat groats||4.4||1,2||20,0||100|
|Chum salmon roe||31.6||13.8||-||250|
|Sweet yogurt - 1.2%||2.1||1,2||13,4||73|
|Sweet yogurt - 1.5%||2,8||1,5||14.5||82|
|Sweet yogurt - 2.2%||3,1||2.2||14.5||90|
|Sweet yogurt - 2.2% (drinkable)||2,8||2.2||13,2||84|
|Sweet yogurt - 2.8%||3,7||2,8||15.9||103|
|Sweet yogurt - 2.9%||3.8||2.9||14.5||99|
|Sweet yogurt - 3.7%||6.7||3,7||11.9||107|
|Sweet yogurt - 4.2%||5.1||4.2||17.4||127|
|Sweet yogurt - 4.7%||5,4||4.7||17.5||134|
|Sweet yogurt - 7.3%||5,4||7.3||17.3||155|
|Flounder in tomato||13.7||6.3||4.8||130|
|Braised Cabbage with Beans||3,5||2.9||10.5||80|
|Braised cabbage with egg||3,5||4.0||4.3||67|
|Sprats in tomato||14.0||12.0||4,5||182|
|Coffee 3 in 1 (12.5 g)||1.9||11.6||77.7||422|
|Braised Chicken Breast||15.0||0.6||1.8||73|
|Mayonnaise Fat - 25||4.0||25.0||4.0||257|
|Mayonnaise Fat - 35||1,0||35.0||2.6||329|
|Mayonnaise Fat - 55||3.0||55.0||2.6||517|
|Mayonnaise Fat - 67||3,1||67.0||2.6||627|
|Chocolate prune almonds||9.2||28.8||46.9||480|
|Low-fat ice cream||2.2||2,5||27.9||142|
|Krill meat with mussels||16.8||8.7||2,8||157|
|Sweet green pepper||1.3||-||4.7||23|
|Sweet red pepper||1.3||-||5.7||27|
|Braised beef liver||14.0||3.0||4.0||99|
|Chocolate Chip Cookies||8.0||24.5||55.5||474|
|Shortcake with fruit||5,0||11.8||54,2||334|
|Puff pastry with cabbage||5,0||15.0||45.0||335|
|Sponge cake with fruit||4.7||10.0||84.4||446|
|Cream puff pastry||5,4||38.6||46,4||554|
|Gingerbread cookies with poppy seeds||4.0||9.0||70.0||370|
|Boiled rice with vegetables||3,1||0.7||18.2||90|
|Sardines in oil (canned)||17.9||19.7||-||249|
|Smoked pork loin||10.5||47.2||-||467|
|Stewed pork with pumpkin||4.4||8.3||4.1||110|
|Beef heart with mushrooms||11,4||3.6||1.7||84|
|Mackerel in oil (canned food)||19.5||15.8||-||220|
|Mushroom noodle soup||1.7||0.3||4.2||25|
|Veal in wine with mushrooms||12.6||1,0||1,5||65|
|Baked pumpkin with dried fruits||1.4||-||16,4||69|
|Beans in Tomato Sauce||11.0||1,0||31,0||181|
|Milk chocolate with nuts||8.2||34.1||53.0||545|
|Sprats in oil||17.4||32,4||0.4||363|