You Can Build Muscles Without Going Carb-free
If you are committed to exercise, then resistance or weight training should be a component of your workout regimen. Working out with free weights or using weight machines helps to build lean muscle mass. Having more muscle mass translates to a higher metabolic rate and an overall sleeker physique. You may be shunning all forms of grain carbohydrates because you think it will help you to lose weight and build muscle more effectively. Some trainers even suggest that shunning grains can help to reveal muscles more quickly. Actually, carbohydrates are an important part of a muscle-building formula.
Carbohydrates provide fuel so you have the energy necessary to effectively work out with weights. The foods you choose to eat also help your muscles to repair after a hard weight workout, and specific foods help your body to recover after a vigorous workout. Don’t completely drop grains if you are trying to build muscle. All carbohydrates (grains, fruits, vegetables) help to replenish glycogen stores. Glycogen is the readily available chemical form of carbohydrates that your body initially accesses during physical activity. These energy stores are totally depleted by the time you wrap up your workout. After a workout you should have a small meal or snack that includes grain carbs (a serving of protein and grain is perfect) which will help to boost your blood sugar levels and replenish glycogen stores.
Another misconception is the recommendation to completely cut grain carbs out of your daily diet when you are trying to lose weight. If you are exercising – and you should be – you need a certain number of calories and a certain ratio of carbohydrates, fats and proteins, in order to have optimal performance during exercise and in order to avoid fatigue.
The solution is to strike a balance between weight loss goals and optimal performance goals.
Of course, choose your grain carbohydrates wisely. This is not an invitation to eat junk foods or highly processed grain-based foods. Certain grains like quinoa and spelt are good choices because they also contain significant levels of protein. Nowadays you can even find pasta made with these ancient grains.
You do need to measure portions when eating carbohydrates, and as mentioned, focus on choosing the superstars (high fiber and those with a protein component) from this food group. Some best bites include:
• Breads, pastas, cereals made from 100% whole wheat
• Whole oats and unprocessed oatmeal
• Black rice
• Ancient grains like bulgur, amaranth, quinoa, freekeh and spelt
• Whole rye, whole-grain barley, buckwheat, corn, whole grain cous cous
• Corn, peas and potatoes are considered “starchy vegetables”
Remember that the key to eating carbohydrates is to choose wisely, time them when you exercise, combine them with protein, and measure out portions l!!
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