ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How To Gain Muscle By Eating Well Part 1 - Carbs

Updated on June 25, 2013

Carbohydrates

So - you want to know how to build muscle mass and lose fat, sculpt your body and generally look and feel good? You've started working out, but it's not going to plan. You're actually losing weight, when what you're trying to do is bulk up. What's going wrong?

You're not eating enough. Working out with weights is only part of the process. You also have to eat more, better food, and get adequate rest, to give your muscles ample recovery time and the means to rebuild and grow. And one of the best foods for muscle building is carbohydrate, especially post workout.

Carbohydrates are the body’s main source of glucose. Glucose is a simple carb that is stored in your muscles and liver as glycogen, the principal source of energy for your muscles. If you don't eat enough carbohydrates, your body will start breaking down muscle tissue for glucose. You don't want that.

Healthy foods high in carbohydrate include fruits, vegetables, bread, pasta, beans, rice, and cereals. Carbohydrates play an important role for bodybuilders in that they give the body energy to deal with the rigours of training and recovery. Carbohydrates also promote the production of insulin in the body, the hormone that enables cells to get the glucose they need and also carries amino acids into cells and promotes protein synthesis. If you don't eat carbohydrates, you can't build muscle mass.

Carbohydrates should make up most of what you eat when you start a body building program. Eat unprocessed complex carbs like vegetables, whole grain breads, oatmeal, and brown rice, and avoid simple carbs like sugar and white flour.

The natural complex carbs are made of long chains of sugar and are digested very slowly. These slow burning carbs promote consistent blood sugar levels, which help to offset fatigue, while promoting the release of insulin, the body’s principal anabolic, or muscle-building, hormone. High-glycemic carbohydrates, on the other hand, cause a sharp insulin response, which places the body in a state where it is likely to store additional food energy as fat.

Lean and Toned.

Want To Know How To Build Muscle?

Exercise is one third of the story. Eating well is another third, and just as important. When you start weight training, the food you eat makes a huge difference as to how effective it is.

Just in case you were wondering, the other third is rest. Miss out on any one of the three and you'll have a hard time building muscle.

There are three main food groups: carbohydrates, protein, and fat. These, along with water, are all you need in the way of nutrition. Get them all from a normal, balanced diet of fresh fruit and vegetables, meat and fish, dairy products, and seeds and grains. Stay away from processed foods as much as you can.

Rule of thumb: if it comes from the ground and still has dirt on it, or you picked it from a tree, or it's a recognizable part of an animal or fish, eat it. Maybe cook it first. The closer your food is to natural sources, the better it is for you.

Divide Your Carb Meals Into Six Servings...

If you divide your carb meals into six servings and eat them at three hour intervals throughout the day, this stimulates a steady release of insulin to create an anabolic, or muscle building, state - which is exactly what you want.

If you eat too many carbs in one sitting, fat-storing enzymes kick in and you lose the lean and hard look you’re aiming for.

However, bodybuilders frequently do ingest some quickly digesting sugars after a full body workout, the thinking behind this being that it helps to replenish glycogen stores within the muscle, and to stimulate muscle protein synthesis. The old training advice, therefore, would be that you eat a lot of simple carbs after a workout, like sugar and white bread, because they're digested quickly and easily. DON’T DO THIS.

Watch and Learn

Avoid Sugar.

Current thinking is that avoiding refined sugar for two hours after training maximizes the benefits of exercise-induced growth hormone. Why?

First, we know that refined sugar in the diet makes the body produce extra insulin to deal with the additional sugar in the blood.

This increase in insulin causes an increase of another hormone called somatostatin. And somatostatin shuts down growth hormone.

In other words, if you do a high-intensity workout and increase your level of exercise-induced growth hormone, but then stuff your face with a chocolate bar, you’ll lose the benefit of that high-intensity training.

What Kind Of Carbs Should I Buy?

Oatmeal is really healthy, as is bread made from wholemeal flour. Vegetables - sweet potato, carrots, parsnips, swedes, any root vegetable. Fresh fruit, but maybe keep it to one or two pieces a day on account of the high sugar content. Berries are particularly good for you, crammed with antioxidants and delicious on cereal or in yogurt. Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and cabbage have other health benefits too, including cancer-beating phytochemicals called isothiocyanates, which stimulate your body to break down potential carcinogens, and a reputed ability to beat oxidative stress caused by free radicals in the body.

Stay away from simple carbs. No white flour, no white sugar. This alone will improve your blood sugar levels and eradicate mood swings. Carbohydrates that break down quickly during digestion and release glucose rapidly into the bloodstream have a high Glycaemic Index. Carbohydrates that break down slowly, releasing glucose more gradually into the bloodstream, have a low Glycaemic Index, and these are the ones you want in your diet. Google GI ratings and see what comes up for low GI rated carbs.

Best advice?

Best advice? Eat complex carbs in small meals throughout the day, and especially shortly after your workout, but stay away from simple carbs. And remember to eat more generally throughout the day. If you want to get big, and build muscle mass through weight training, you have to eat more. Most hard gainers don't have a training problem - they just don't eat
enough.

In a weird way, this can be the hardest part of bulking up. Even if you enjoy your food, eating to grow rather than eating because you're hungry can get to be a chore. Use various tactics to get around this, like replacing meals with protein shakes.

Anything To Say? Say It Here.

Submit a Comment

No comments yet.

working

This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

Show Details
Necessary
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Features
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Marketing
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Statistics
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)