You may have heard that many bodybuilders avoid carbohydrates quite consciously. This is a curious assumption that your bodybuilding efforts may go astray if you take carbohydrates. In fact, your body prefers carbohydrates to be its energy source. Where will you get the energy of lifting weight if you cut this energy source off? In this article you’ll see how carbohydrates help your muscle growth. Then you’ll find some healthy carbs to choose from. Finally you’ll know how to calculate your carbs needs.
Why you need carbohydrates to fuel your muscle building workouts?
During your weightlifting workouts you need instant energy to lift the weights without getting injured. This is when you need carbs to supply you with direct energy. You can also get lot of vitamin B from many healthy carbs. Unless you do the workouts well, you cannot have a bodybuilder’s muscles. So you cannot do without carbs.
Where to find healthy carbohydrate?
You can get healthy carbohydrates from fruits and vegetables while you also get fiber, lots of vitamins and minerals. These foods do not have refined sugar and so they can offer you better energy level. The collection of nutrients in fruits and vegetables has made them a great source of energy producing processes. Here are some example sources you can try.
Apples offer 25g of carbohydrates per medium apple while bananas offer 27g of carbohydrates per medium banana. You can get 21g of carbohydrates per cup of blueberries. Mushrooms offer you 2g of carbohydrates per cup while you get 41g of carbohydrates per cup of sweet potatoes.
How much carbohydrate you need to have optimal muscle growth?
Carbohydrate is not as vital as protein in muscle building purpose but you can’t ignore it also. By now you have known where to look for the carbohydrates and how much you can get from them. However, you now need to know how to calculate how much you need.
The BMR calculator: You need to calculate your BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate) using a calculator. Your body needs an approximate amount of calories to sustain it and this is your BMR.
Your needed carbohydrate calories: When you’ve known your BMR, you understand how many calories you’ll need for the muscle building program. Now you’ve to decide how many calories you should get from carbohydrate. The usual recommendation is to take 20% to 30% calories from carbohydrate. The general estimate is that you get 4 calories per gram of carbohydrate. Now you can calculate your daily intake of carbohydrate. For example, your BMR may be 2100 calories and so you may need to have 420 to 630 calories from carbohydrate. So you may need to eat 105 to 155 grams of carbohydrate daily.
Fine-tune your carbohydrate calories: As the calculated BMR is not the ultimate investigation, your body may have varying needs. You need to monitor and adjust the carbohydrate calories accordingly. If it happens that after two weeks of muscle building program, you don’t see any result, you may need to raise your daily calories intake by 200 calories. This means you have to raise your carbohydrate intake by about 40 to 60 calories equaling to 10 to 15 grams of carbohydrate. When you find your muscles are growing the way you wanted but you’re having more than necessary fat, you can decrease daily calories intake by about 200 calories. You’ll have to decrease carbohydrate intake accordingly.
Many people in the bodybuilding circle believe that carbs should be avoided and you may be one of them. However, now you know what to do. You can incorporate a moderate amount of carbohydrate every day to boost your energy level. This is how you’ll be able to perform at the best during your muscle building workouts.
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