Of course, protein is the main building block of our body’s tissues. It is a be-all solution to our muscle-building needs. But, one of the main types of nutrients and sources of energy for our bodies is carbohydrates. When it comes to the performance of both prolonged aerobic exercise and intermittent high-intensity workouts, the availability of carbohydrates is essential for the central nervous system and muscles.
If you want to build your muscle mass and enhance muscle recovery, there are great diets high in carbohydrates that serve great for bodybuilders and other types of hard gainers. These foods rich in carbs are good for bulking, but not for those trying to rip up or pre-contest bodybuilders.
Carbohydrates choices to build the Muscles
1. Mashed potatoes
Mashed potatoes are great for a post-workout meal because it is then when fast-acting carbs are most needed, especially when you are trying to grow. They are great for the fast restoration of glycogen levels and generating a larger insulin surge. The main benefit of mashed potatoes is that the meal contains strong insulinogenic carbs. You can consume 2-3 cups of mashed potatoes (at 42g of carbs per cup) without feeling bloated or overly stuffed.
Pasta has always been among the best choices for bumping up carb intake because it is actually a condensed source of carbohydrates. There are 90g of carbs in four ounces of pasta. A quantity that will not fill you up and that is easy to eat, and within 3 hours you will be ready to eat again. Do not leave it all to pasta, but add vegetables and meat, and have a complete meal rich in protein, carbs, and calories.
3. Bran muffins
When buying bran muffins, make sure to read the label to determine the best brand. Yet, making your own bran muffins may be your best bet. Buy some cereal high in fiber that has a muffin recipe on the box, add 2-3 scoops of whey protein, and some honey instead of sugar to the mix. This is a protein-rich snack high in carbohydrates, ideal for those who want to stay lean while bulking up because the fiber in the cereal makes the end product “slow-burning” or low glycemic. Bran muffins are an exceptional mass builder with dense amounts of dietary fiber.
A medium-sized bagel contains about 40-50g of carbs, meaning that they have a high concentration of the necessary nutrient. The benefits of bagels are versatile because there are varieties of them, such as those with whole grains (rye and pumpernickel). Off-season mass nutrition is super easy with bagels because no special food preparation or cooking is necessary.
5. Breakfast cereal
Breakfast cereal is a good energy source suitable at any time because fiber slows the process of digestion. Cereals that have at least 2g of fiber per part can be a good off-season bodybuilding food. When you mix in one scoop of whey protein in a doubled serving size and bring the protein content to about 30g and carbohydrates to 60g, you will maximize the results. According to research conducted at the University of Texas, for initiating post-exercise muscle recovery, breakfast cereal is as good as commercially available sports drinks.
6. White rice with raisin
There are 115g of carbs in a mix of a handful of raisins and two cups of white rice. White rice with raisins can be consumed as a side dish with different meals, just like mashed potatoes. It is an ideal post-workout combination to help muscle glycogen to re-synthesize. The mix contains non-filling high-glycemic carbohydrates and, for a delicious meal perfect for muscle building, you can add the mix to a meat-nut-vegetable stir-fry.
7. Cream of rice cereal
One of the major benefits of cream of rice cereal is easy digestion, which makes it a great off-season food. Cook 2/3 of a cup and you will get 65g of easy-to-digest carbohydrates. After you finish cooking it, add some cinnamon, a cup of cottage cheese and a banana. This is a meal with 90g of carbs and 30g of protein.
When gaining muscle mass, you should not fear carbs, but have a planned carb intake before, during, and after training. High-carb meals and proper gym supplements before your exercise routine will provide you with more energy for a top-notch workout.