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.

Note!
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.

Carb content

The table shows the amount of Carbohydrates, Proteins, and Fats in various foods (per 100 g):

The product's name Proteins Fats Carbs Kcal
Apricots 0.9 - 10.5 45
Dried apricots 5,0 - 65.3 275
Quince 0.6 - 8.9 38
Cherry plum 0.2 - 7.4 30
Pineapple 0.4 - 11.8 47
Canned pineapple 0.3 0.1 15.4 64
Dried Pineapple 1.3 0.4 65.0 268
Orange 0.9 - 8.4 37
Peanut 26.3 45,2 9.7 550
Chocolate Peanuts 8.7 14.1 71.8 430
Watermelon 0.7 - 8.8 38
Eggplant 0.6 0.1 5.5 24
Canned eggplant 2.0 9.0 7.0 117
Bananas 1,5 - 22.4 91
Mutton 16.3 15.3 - 203
Bagels 7.0 1.3 68.7 314
Porcini 3.2 0.7 1,6 25
Dried porcini mushroom 27.6 6.8 10.0 209
Beans 6.0 0.1 8.3 58
Bran bread 7.8 1.8 43.9 220
Chocolate waffles 4.2 26.0 67.0 518
Ham 22.6 20.9 - 275
Grape 0.4 - 17.5 69
Cherry 0.8 - 11.3 48
Dried Cherries 1,5 - 73.0 298
Beef 18.9 12,4 - 187
Pink salmon 21.0 7.0 - 147
Pink salmon stew 19.1 7.7 1.7 152
Dry peas 23.0 1,2 53.3 311
Peas 4.2 0.3 9.9 59
Garnet 0.9 - 11.8 49
Grapefruit 0.9 - 7.3 31
Walnut 13.8 61.3 10,2 647
Buckwheat 12.6 2.6 61.0 310
Boiled buckwheat groats 4.4 1,2 20,0 100
Pear 0.4 - 9.6 38
Dried pear 2,3 - 62.1 257
Jam 1,0 - 49.0 200
Melon 0.6 - 9.6 39
Jelly - - 14.0 56
Strawberries 1.8 - 8.1 39
Marshmallows 0.8 - 78.3 316
Chocolate Marshmallows 2.2 13.1 71.0 410
Raisins 2,3 - 71.2 294
Squash Cavier 1,0 7.0 6.8 94
Chum salmon roe 31.6 13.8 - 250
Bream caviar 24.7 4.8 - 142
Pollock roe 28,4 1.9 - 130
Sturgeon caviar 28.9 9.7 - 202
Figs 0.7 - 13.9 56
Yogurt 2,8 1,6 12.8 76
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
Zucchini 0.6 0.3 5.7 27
Cocoa powder 36.3 11.2 28.3 359
Squid 18.0 0.3 - 74
Flounder 16.1 2.6 - 87
Flounder in tomato 13.7 6.3 4.8 130
White cabbage 1.8 - 6.1 31
Cabbage broccoli 4,5 0.5 3.2 35
Sauerkraut 0.8 - 4.0 19
Red cabbage 1.8 - 6.1 31
Stewed cabbage 0.8 3.0 5.3 51
Braised Cabbage with Beans 3,5 2.9 10.5 80
Braised cabbage with egg 3,5 4.0 4.3 67
Cauliflower 2,5 - 4.9 29
Crucian 17.7 1.8 - 87
Potatoes 2.0 0.1 19.7 83
Pine nuts 23.0 60.0 12.5 674
Chum 22.0 5,6 - 138
Cashew 25.7 54.1 13,2 643
Sprats in tomato 14.0 12.0 4,5 182
Cranberry 0.5 - 4.8 28
Smoked sausage 22.0 44.0 - 480
Jelly candies 2.0 5,0 69.0 329
Smelt 15,5 3.2 - 91
Coffee 3 in 1 (12.5 g) 1.9 11.6 77.7 422
Crab 16,0 0.5 - 69
Crab sticks 10.1 0.6 12.3 95
Shrimp 18.0 0.8 - 83
Rabbit 20.7 12.9 - 199
Gooseberry 0.7 - 9.9 44
Corn grits 8.3 1,2 70.0 324
Dried apricots 5.2 - 65.9 284
Chicken liver 5.2 9.1 1,6 109
Chicken 20.8 8.8 0.6 165
Chicken breast 19.5 4.1 - 115
Braised Chicken Breast 15.0 0.6 1.8 73
Chicken leg 18.5 13.9 - 200
Bream 17.1 4.1 - 105
Smoked bream 32.8 4,5 - 172
Lemon 0.9 - 5,0 24
Green onion 1.3 - 4.3 22
Leek 3.0 - 7.3 40
Bulb onions 1.7 - 9.5 43
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
Pasta 10,4 1,1 71.5 334
Raspberry 0.8 - 9.0 39
Mandarin 0.8 - 8.6 38
Semolina 11.3 0.7 71.0 336
Vegetable oil - 99.9 - 899
Butter 0.6 82.5 0.9 748
Honey 0.8 - 72.0 291
Almond 18.6 57.7 16.6 660
Chocolate prune almonds 9.2 28.8 46.9 480
Lamprey 14.7 11.9 - 166
Pollock 15.9 0.7 - 75
Capelin 13,4 11.5 - 157
Milk 2.5 2.7 2,5 4.7 52
Milk 3.2 2.6 3.2 4.7 58
Condensed milk 7.2 8.5 56.0 329
Milk powder 25.6 25.0 39,4 485
Baked milk 4.0 2,5 6.7 65
Carrot 1.3 0.1 6.5 33
Low-fat ice cream 2.2 2,5 27.9 142
Wheat flour 10.6 1.3 73,2 347
Rye flour 6.9 1,1 76.9 345
Glazed Granola 4.9 8.5 78.5 359
Krill meat with mussels 16.8 8.7 2,8 157
Burbot 18.8 0.6 - 81
Sea buckthorn 0.9 - 5.5 thirty
Oat groats 11.9 5.8 65,4 361
Sweet oatmeal 11.0 5.5 64.0 349
Ground cucumbers 0.8 - 3.0 fifteen
Greenhouse Cucumbers 0.7 - 1.8 10
Pickles - - 4.0 12
Sea bass 17.6 5.2 - 117
Fritters 9.3 12.7 36,4 296
Sturgeon 16,4 10.9 - 163
Bran 15.0 3,5 10.0 120
Crispy bran 15.0 3,5 35.0 211
Halibut 18.9 3.0 - 103
Sweet green pepper 1.3 - 4.7 23
Sweet red pepper 1.3 - 5.7 27
Pearl barley 9.3 1,1 73.7 330
Peach 0.9 - 10,4 44
Parsley 3,7 - 8.1 45
Lamb liver 18.7 2.9 - 101
Beef liver 17.4 3,1 - 97
Braised beef liver 14.0 3.0 4.0 99
Pork liver 18.8 3.6 - 107
Cookies 8.0 17.9 64.9 453
Chocolate Chip Cookies 8.0 24.5 55.5 474
Beer 0.6 - 4.0 18
Shortcake with fruit 5,0 11.8 54,2 334
Puff pastry with cabbage 5,0 15.0 45.0 335
Sponge cake 4.4 22.0 64.0 471
Sponge cake with fruit 4.7 10.0 84.4 446
Custard cake 5.9 10,2 55,2 336
Cream puff pastry 5,4 38.6 46,4 554
Pizza 8.0 12.0 45.0 320
Boletus 2,3 0.9 3,7 31
Gingerbread cookies 4.8 2,8 77.7 340
Gingerbread cookies with poppy seeds 4.0 9.0 70.0 370
Millet groats 12.0 2.9 69.3 334
Radish 1,5 - 4.0 22
Turnip 1.9 - 7.0 28
Boiled rice with vegetables 3,1 0.7 18.2 90
Boiled rice 3.0 0.3 21.5 100
Rice cereal 7.4 1.8 72.9 337
Chokeberry 1,5 - 12.0 54
Bean Salad 7.7 6.9 15.8 150
Lettuce leaves 1,5 - 5.9 16
Fruit salad 0.9 - 7.9 35
Pork sausages 10.1 31.6 1.9 332
Sardines in oil (canned) 17.9 19.7 - 249
Sugar 0.3 - 99.5 399
Beet 1.7 - 6.1 32
Pork brisket 13.0 60.5 - 596
Pork loin 10.5 30,0 - 312
Smoked pork loin 10.5 47.2 - 467
Stewed pork with pumpkin 4.4 8.3 4.1 110
Butter baking 7.6 4,5 60.0 310
Herring 17.7 19.5 - 242
Salmon 19.1 15.1 - 219
Sunflower seed 20.7 52.9 5,0 578
Pumpkin seed 29.0 46.7 13.1 596
Beef heart 15.0 3.0 - 87
Beef heart with mushrooms 11,4 3.6 1.7 84
Pork heart 15.1 3.2 - 89
Mackerel 18.0 9.0 - 153
Mackerel in oil (canned food) 19.5 15.8 - 220
Garden plum 0.8 - 9.9 43
Cream 10 3.0 10.0 4.0 118
Cream 11 2,8 11.0 4.0 126
Cream 20 2,8 20,0 3.6 205
Whipped cream 2,4 20,0 8.0 221
Black currant 1,0 - 8.0 36
Fruit juice - - 12.0 48
Vegetable juice 0.5 - 5.8 26
Tomato juice 0.5 - 4.3 19
Catfish 16.8 8.5 - 144
Pork sausages 11.8 30.8 - 334
Soybean 34.9 17.3 26.5 395
Dumpling Soup 2.0 1,0 4.7 35
Mushroom noodle soup 1.7 0.3 4.2 25
Cream cheese 13.0 25.3 - 279
Sulguni cheese 19.5 16,0 - 220
Swiss cheese 24.9 31.8 - 385
Curd 0% 18.0 0.6 1,5 83
Curd 18 14.0 18.0 1.3 223
Curd 4 14.0 4.0 2.0 100
Curd 5 15.0 5,0 1,2 107
Curd 9 15.0 9.0 1,1 144
Veal 19.7 1,2 - 90
Veal in wine with mushrooms 12.6 1,0 1,5 65
Tomato paste - - 11.8 65
Tomatoes 0.6 - 4.8 22
Cod 17.5 0.6 - 75
Smoked cod 26.0 1,2 - 115
Tuna 22.7 0.7 - 96
Beef stew 16.8 18.3 - 232
Pumpkin 1,0 - 6.5 29th
Baked pumpkin with dried fruits 1.4 - 16,4 69
Beans in Tomato Sauce 11.0 1,0 31,0 181
Boiled beans 8.4 0.6 20.6 117
Green beans 4.0 - 2.9 27
Pistachios 21,2 38.8 14.3 491
Hazelnut 16.1 65.0 9.9 689
Cereal bread 7.0 3.6 33,4 194
Wheat bread 7.7 2,4 53,4 254
Rye bread 4.7 0.7 49.8 214
Bread rolls 13.0 2.0 55.0 300
Horseradish 2,4 - 16.3 71
Persimmon 0.5 - 15.9 62
Ramson 2,5 - 4.3 27
Cherries 1,1 - 12.3 52
Blueberries 1,1 - 8.6 40
Prunes 2,3 - 65.6 264
Chocolate Prune 4,5 14.3 62.0 394
Garlic 6.5 - 6.5 52
Lentils 24.8 1,1 50,0 309
Champignon 4.2 1,0 0.1 26
Milk chocolate 6.6 28.6 58.4 517
Milk chocolate with nuts 8.2 34.1 53.0 545
Dark chocolate 5,6 28.7 59.8 511
Spinach 2.9 - 21,2 96
Sprats in oil 17.4 32,4 0.4 363
Sorrel 1,5 - 2.2 14
Pike 18.8 0.7 - 82
Apples 0.4 - 9.0 34
Dried apples 3.2 - 68.0 283
Egg powder 45.0 37.3 7.1 542
Egg 12.7 11.5 0.7 157
Egg protein 30,0 0.8 3,1 139
Egg yolk 2.0 32,0 - 296
Barley grits 10,4 1.3 71.7 326

 

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