832-661-6324 travis@fitfor18.com

As a fitness and nutrition consultant, I get a lot of clients who want to build lean muscle. During the first phase of putting together a personalized meal plan for them, I’m typically asked, “Is that enough protein?” or “ That isn’t too many carbs is it?” Unfortunately, the answer to that question is a two way street. According to magazines and occasional old school ways, it’s all about the protein.

With nutrition on the rise, the trends of today states that protein is important when it comes to muscle building, but protein can’t do it alone. When I first started as a consultant, I leaned more towards carbs. I believed that carbs were more important than protein when it came to muscle building.

As the years followed, I began to discover that carbs and protein work hard together to help build muscle. Shortly after, I began teaching clients that carbs are very important to incorporate while working at gaining muscle. This is because when it comes to working out, carbs play a huge role.

You Need Both Protein And Carbs 

Just saying the word “carbs” strikes fear into everyone! People tend to associate carbohydrates with weight gain, and/or becoming unhealthy. Carbs have had a bad reputation for a long time, which is why it’s not surprising that they don’t get the respect they should get when it comes to the muscle building process.

When it comes to building muscle mass, both protein and carbs are essential. In addition, both protein and carbs have the much-needed macronutrients that can be helpful towards your body’s health.

To make it short and sweet, just remember protein will help you with building muscle and carbs essentially enhance the process of muscle building.

Carbohydrates Help Build Muscle 

Surprisingly, the positive effect that carbs have is during the bulking process. For example, if you consume carbs during exercise, you will increase insulin production and reduce cortisol’s response. This will help reduce muscle breakdown.

In addition, Insulin also increases your metabolism which will burn more overall calories. This is why it is important not to neglect carbs when trying to gain muscle.

How Protein Helps Build Muscle 

Like I said earlier, protein definitely plays a role in muscle building. This is because protein is a source of fuel to muscles, which can help build and repair tissue and muscle.

Protein also allows for sustained energy and will help muscle recover quicker. The issue with protein is that it doesn’t serve as a primary muscle energy source. Carbs provide glycogen which our bodies need for resistance training while working to build muscle. Both protein and carbs are imperative for muscle growth. Even though they are both important, they play different roles. This is why it’s very important to have the right amount of carbs and protein in your diet so that you can have the most efficient gains.

To recap, when it comes to working out, carbs are important for the following 3 reasons:

  1. Carbs prevent muscle weakness
  2. Carbs prevent muscle breakdown
  3. Carbs help muscles recover from exercise

We Need Carbs to Build Muscle

Overall, carbs help replace glycogen and enhance the role of insulin which is important as it helps with transporting nutrients into your muscles.

Occasionally some people like doing low carb diets, but this is when muscle loss is a high possibility. If you want your protein used efficiently, low carb is not the way to go. Your body will go somewhere for energy and you don’t want it to be your muscles; especially if you have a goal of wanting to gain muscle.

After a workout, glycogen stores run out and then the body has to go to other sources for energy which could be your muscles. Once you are finished working out, remember that in order to help preserve your muscle, you need to consume a healthy amount of carbs.

Carbs Are a Great Source of Fuel

Since carbs act as the body’s source of fuel, they help prevent muscle weakness and breakdown. If you have a goal of wanting to gain muscle, carbs need to be incorporated daily in your diet. The right amount of carbs with the right amount of protein are essential when it comes to you reaching your goal of gaining muscle! Get fit and stay fit!

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