Carbohydrates get a bad rap and sure, there are reasons why people should be more conscious about them. Over used they can eventually lead to insulin resistance but that doesn’t mean you, someone who has some muscle mass, not loads of body fat and wants to gain size should look to grow on 50g a day! Note I did outline the audience for this article in that statement, somebody who is naturally going to have slightly better glucose tolerance due to their muscle mass and training volume.
Here are a handful of ways I would recommend you look to utilise carbohydrates to add size to that frame of yours!
1 – Workout Fuel
The first area I look to add carbohydrates to somebody’s plan when the goal is muscle mass is around their workouts, typically in their pre and post workout meal. The logic is simple, the demand for fuel is greater here and in the post-workout window glucose tolerance is improved. To further add weight to the argument there is a bigger need for a more aggressive insulin spike to help kick start anabolism. It’s that simple.
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2 – Refuelling
With your post-workout shake and post-workout enriched with carbohydrates and down the hatch the next area I like to add in more carbohydrates is in the next 2-3 meals. As we know glucose tolerance is improved after you lift and more than that you are simply refuelling for the next day. Add to that most people lift in the evening therefore having carbs later in the day will help with better sleep due to the impact carbs have on serotonin secretion and it’s a win-win.
3 – Carbs Aren’t Equal!
My final thoughts on this topic are this, carbohydrates are not all equal. Whilst the more informed among you will probably be saying ‘’obviously’’ there are a lot of people out there which will have you believe eating a 50g of carbs from a cherry bake well or sweet potato will yield the same response within the body. The GI scale isn’t bullet proof because once we introduce fibre within a mixed meal it becomes less relevant. However, I would still recommend you eat 90% of your carbohydrates from single ingredient sources. People also have issues with metabolising grain based carbohydrates so monitor your response to these foods and if it leaves you feeling bloated, sack them! When you want to treat yourself to ‘sugary’ based carb foods then look to utilise them post-workout!!
Don’t be carb shy, be carb-conscious!