Pick out any bodybuilder at your local gym with a half-decent physique and ask them why protein is important to building muscle.
Chances are you will get a lengthy, detailed response.
However, ask that same guy about the importance of carbohydrates and watch as a look of confusion comes over their faces.
The fact is when it comes to building mass, carbs often get passed-over as not being essential.
In fact, many people associate carb consumption with fat gain which is why you have seen an explosion in the popularity of the ketogenic diet.
While we aren’t about to bash keto as it is definitely effective for some people, we feel that too many people jump on the keto bandwagon because they don’t understand the role of carbs.
The fact is that the type of carbs you consume, as well as the amount and the timing can have a huge impact on your muscle growth.
If you are committed to improving your diet through the proper use of carbs, check out our article below.
Don’t worry – it’s not loaded with weird scientific crap that we might be making up. It’s actually very simple to follow!
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1 – Focus Carb Consumption Around Training.
Are you eating most of your carbs first thing in the morning or at night before you go to sleep?
Well, we’ve got some bad news – those are times when your body doesn’t actually need them!
However, after a tough training session your body will deplete blood sugar levels and will be in need of an insulin spike – this is where carbs can help you.
By consuming carbs right after working out, your insulin levels will spike and your body will shift into an anabolic state.
Basically, that means it will be looking to build muscle mass.
However, if your body does not get those vital nutrients after training it could do the opposite – go catabolic.
This is the dreaded state where your body actually breaks down muscle tissue! Therefore, make sure you time your carbs accordingly.
2 – Stick to Complex Carbs.
Do most of your carbs come from processed, sugary sources?
If so, you aren’t doing your body any favors.
Stick to complex carbs from sources such as oatmeal, brown rice and potatoes.
These foods will supply you with long-lasting energy that your body needs to get through the day and particularly that tough resistance training session.
Complex carbohydrates are harder for your body to break down which means the energy they provide will be over a longer period of time.
Additionally because of this slow breakdown your blood sugar levels will remain stable which means less fat gain.
3 – Stick to Carbs that are High in Fiber.
Chances are if you are following point # 2 you will also be good for this one.
Complex carbs are generally higher in fiber compared to their simple carb counterparts.
Fiber is important because it helps muscle tissue absorb nutrients faster and it also makes you feel full for longer.
4 – Cut down on the Fruits.
Yes we know that you have been brought up your entire life thinking that fruits are good for you.
And while they are low in calories and high in nutrients and vitamins they are also unfortunately high in fructose.
This is essentially a sugar that is often converted by the body into fat tissue.
5 – Consume Carbs with Protein.
Rather than consuming all-protein or all-carb meals, try mixing the two.
Remember that protein is much harder for your body to break down and as a result it boosts your metabolism.
This boost will help reduce the likelihood of the carb portion of your meal being stored as fat.
Additionally, the carbs in your meal will help move the valuable nutrients from your protein source to the muscle tissue where it can help them grow!
6 – Increase your Testosterone Levels.
Your hormone levels play a huge role in determining how much muscle or fat your body puts on.
Two guys on an identical training program and diet could end up with very different physiques depending on how high their testosterone levels are.
For example, guys with low t-levels tend to put on more fat than muscle and have a harder time losing that stubborn body fat.
There are a number of ways you can increase your testosterone levels (don’t worry, they don’t involve taking steroids).
These include lifting weights, taking a testosterone booster, getting plenty of sleep, reducing stress levels and eating a clean diet.
If you stick to these rules you will see a huge difference in your body composition.
Check out our guide on the best testosterone boosters to supercharge your testosterone levels.
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