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  • Writer's pictureShruti GOCHHWAL

Why You Can’t Increase Your Muscle Size Without Carbs?

Many fitness professionals receive a common question: ‘I’m eating a high protein diet and strength training four days a week, yet I’m not able to see any visible difference in my muscle size. What could be the reason behind it?

How many of you can relate to it? Many, we’re sure and why not. Everyone desires a lean, sculpted body with a well-defined upper and lower body. According to many health gurus, this can be possible only through a low carbohydrate diet. Protein is the only thing that you need to build muscle and lose weight.

What if we told you that it is one of the major myths and the worst advice circulating in the fitness world? Carbohydrates aid in the muscle building as much as protein, and there’s no need to cut it out of your diet. At the same time, they are also vital for you to consume if you want to lose weight and don’t want to fall victim to a host of health conditions. Many studies have pointed out the numerous benefits of carbs in muscle growth and fat loss. Studies carried out on numerous people have shown how they started eating carbs again and lost weight.

All this points to a single truth – protein cannot by itself enable you to gain muscle. You need to include carbohydrates too.

How Carbohydrates Help in Building Muscle


A bodybuilder, Credits: Pixabay

To build muscle, you need energy. And the best source of energy is none other than carb-rich food items. To increase muscle size, you need to lift heavy. You cannot lift heavy unless you have sufficient energy by consuming carbohydrates.

Every athlete consumes an energy bar or high carbohydrate foods like banana or mango before their practice. It is because such carb-rich foods provide them with the fuel to power through their training. Complex carbohydrates found in starchy foods like potatoes and whole grains provide slow-releasing energy. They enable you to continue with your training for a more extended period. The more you train, the more your muscle is likely to expand in size.

Protein needs carbohydrates to show its muscle-building effect. In the absence of carbohydrates, your body will start using protein to fulfill its energy requirements. It will result in the breakdown of your muscle proteins to replenish your energy resources after a workout.

Thus inspite of working hard, you won’t seed any sign of muscle growth.

What Happens When You Start Eating Carbs to Gain Muscle?

muscle workout

Women working out, Credits: Pixabay

Don’t worry, you won’t become bloated, nor will you start to pack on pounds. You will, on the other hand, be pleasantly surprised by the following changes in your body:

  1. Fatigue and muscle weakness will no longer bother you.

  2. You’ll be able to perform better at the Gym

  3. You will feel less sore after workouts.

1.   Fatigue and Muscle Weakness Will No Longer Bother You


A woman doing exercise, Credits: Pixabay

By loading up on carbohydrates before your workout, you will increase your muscle glycogen levels. It will prevent your muscles from feeling weak and tired after only a few reps. More repetitions will put greater strain on your muscles and consequently prompt it to grow.

2. You’ll Be Able to Perform Better at the Gym

started eating carbs again and lost weight

A man working out, Credits: Pixabay

Carbohydrates are broken down by your body quickly in order to release energy. This continuous supply of energy will help you to perform better at your Gym and for a longer period. It is easier for your body to use the calories of carbohydrates rather than protein for energy. You’ll brim with energy, and it will show in the quality of your training.

3. You Will Feel Less Sore after Workouts


A women feeling sore, Credits: Pixabay

Your intense training sessions will no longer make your muscles sore for days afterwards. By adding carbs in your diet, you’ll recover faster than before and be ready to hit your next workout milestone. Protein, along with glycogen, is used for muscle repair after exercise. By pairing your protein shake with a carbohydrate-rich fruit like banana, you will benefit from faster muscle repair and rebuilding process.

Eat carbohydrate-rich food 30 minutes before and after your workout to gain its maximum benefits. Don’t be afraid of carbohydrates; they are your secret weapon for fat loss and muscle gain!

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