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How Many Carbs To Build Muscle

Calories For Muscle Gain

How many carbs do you need to build muscle?

So whats different if youre trying to gain muscle? Basically, you can be less strict.

Youre eating more calories so youre less likely to be low on any of the macronutrients its not hard to reach those aforementioned minimums that you need to be mindful of when youre hypocaloric.

To gain as much muscle and minimize as much fat as possible, Id suggest an extra 100 to 200 calories per day, says Rizzo. Thats about half a pound of weight gain per week.

Dr. Trexler, meanwhile, goes by bodyweight.

If Ive got someone whos bulking, usually well shoot for a target weight gain of 0.25 to 0.5 percent of bodyweight per week.

If Ive got someone whos bulking, usually well shoot for a target weight gain of 0.25 to 0.5 percent of bodyweight per week, he says. You want to be so careful because you can only gain so much muscle in so much time. If you have a really rapid weight gain, we can be confident that a lot of that weight is weight you probably didnt want to gain.

Now, again, this depends a little on your training experience. I youre really thin and youve never worked out before, you can probably gain muscle more quickly than that. If youre very experienced, have a lot of muscle, and have been training for several years, muscle gain might be a bit slower. But these are good guidelines for the average athlete.

So How Many Grams To Build Muscle

Like the rest of the macros, the exact amount you need is not an exact science. It all boils down to your workout methods. Since you are trying to build muscle, it makes sense that you want an adequate amount.

Remember, carbs not used immediately are stored in your muscles and liver for use later. That use occurs when youre throwing weighted barbells around in the gym. If you are carb-deficient, the struggle youll be in for will be just filthy! Dont get to that point.

You should consume between 225 and 325 grams of carbs a day based on a 2,000-calorie diet. But heres the rub. This is for the average person walking down the street. You might be a hardgainer and not able to gain weight even while consuming 325 grams a day.

How Many Carbs Should I Eat To Build Muscle And Lose Fat

The amount of complex carbohydrates you consume is determined by your body composition objectives. A very low carbohydrate intake is typically utilized for weight reduction, whereas a sufficient carbohydrate intake is typically used for muscle building. Athletes may eat a lot of carbohydrates since they are obliged to workout on a consistent basis.

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The Connection Between Calories And Muscle Gain

Fat does not burn as many calories as muscles because the latter is more metabolically active than the former. This means strengthening your muscles can help you lose weight.

This has to do with the number of calories you burn per pound of your muscle gain. The metabolic rate of muscle tissue is estimated to be around 4.5 to 7.0 calories for each pound of body weight a day.

That means your muscle tissues burn about 20% of calories daily per day while fat tissues burn only about 5%. Heres what this means for you? You can burn significantly more calories in a day through strength training.

In addition, you get the benefits of improved sleep, mood, and cognitive function. Working to increase your muscle gains can also reduce overall stress and anxiety, allowing you to enjoy better mental and emotional health.

How To Gain Muscle Mass

Carbs are major source for muscle building. It helps in satiety, muscle ...

Here is how you can calculate your carbs, protein and fats intake for a day, if you want to gain muscle mass:

  • 2 grams of carbs per pound of body weight. If you weigh 180 pounds, you should have about 360 grams of carbs in your daily food intake.
  • Between 1 and 1.5 grams of protein per pound of body weight. If you weigh 200 pounds, you should have about 180 270 grams of protein in your daily food intake.
  • 0.4 grams of fat per pound of body weight. If you weigh 180 pounds, you should have about 72 grams of fat in your daily food intake.

So if you note your body weight with W, here is the math behind gaining muscle mass :

  • CALORIES = W x 15 grams
  • FAT = W x 0.4 grams
  • PROTEIN = W x 1.5 grams
  • CARBOHYDRATES = W x 2 grams

Now that you know how many calories you should eat in a day to gain muscle mass, all you have to do is to find a perfect workout for you and add some physical activity in your daily schedule. This will increase your daily calorie intake with 100-500 calories, depending on the intensity of the workout youre performing.

Also Check: Calories To Eat To Maintain Weight

The Atkins Diet Aka No Carbs Ever

This diet form gained immense popularity with the premise that you can eat anything you want as long as it is carb free. This more or less rules out all starches, milk, dairy, fruit and non-leafy vegetables since you are only allowed 30 grams of carbs per day.

The laws of the universe still do apply. In order to lose weight you must go into a calorie deficit but it is just much harder to eat chicken breast as opposed to gummy bears so most dieters have an easier time achieving a caloric deficit while on Atkins.

The other reason it works so well is that carbs bind water. Each gram of carbs holds about 4 grams of water, we do store about 2 lbs of glycogen in our muscles and liver which in return bind about 8 lbs of water.

This explains the classic ” I ate only bacon and eggs and lost 10 lbs ” success stories of Atkins dieters. Basically, you lost 10 lbs of water which will then return as soon as the carbs are re-introduced.

However, the Atkins diet has its benefits. For once, people almost automatically reduce their calories when not eating carbs, since protein works as a hunger retardant.

After 72 hours of not eating any carbs, the body will switch into ketosis and use fats to produce glucose. This is when the cravings and headaches will stop.

Secondly, people enjoy the simplicity of not having to worry about one macro nutrient and lastly, it is easy to follow the diet plan even when eating out.

So what are the downsides of Atkins?

How Important Are Carbohydrates

Theres no doubt that eating plenty of carbohydrates will help you build more muscle. Still, you dont need to be that precise about it. A wide range of carb intakes can be good for building muscle. Even if youre following the research to the letter, you can still get anywhere from 4065% of your calories from carbs.

Also, keep in mind that you dont need to fully optimize your diet. You can eat in a way that you enjoy. If that means eating a bit more fat or protein, thats fine. It wont have a big impact on your results. Its not a major factor.

The most important factors are:

Carbs are important, too. Dont get me wrong. But before you start worrying about using calorie trackers to optimize your carb intake, worry about getting the basics down. You can build plenty of muscle even if you arent eating tons of carbs. Plenty of people do. But carbs do help.

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How Many Carbs Should I Be Eating

This method of setting up your carb intake is super easy and works very well for most people out there.

Heres how we figure this out.

Start by determining your calorie surplus.

The easiest way is to find your maintenance calories and add your bodyweight in calories.

You do this by multiplying your body weight by 15 as a rough estimate.

For that 200 lb man example earlier, wed multiple 200×15 and get 3000 calories for maintenance.

Then, you simply add 200 calories on and get a calorie surplus of 3200 calories.

Then, you determine your protein and fat intake.

Our 200 lb male would set protein to 200 grams.

And then he would take 20% of his bodyweight for his fat intake.

This is the low end for fat intake, but you could increase it if you feel lousy from the lower-fat diet.

20% of 200 is 40 grams of fat.

Then you simply take 200 grams of protein, multiply it by 4, and 40 grams of fat, multiply by 9.

We do this because there are 4 calories per gram of protein and 9 calories per gram of fat. Pretty simple.

200×4=800 calories from protein

40×9=360 calories from fat

Next, you add these together and subtract them from your total calories.


Finally, you divide the total calories remaining by 4 to calculate your carb intake.

2040/4=510 carbs

Your total calories and macronutrient profile starting out would look like this.

This might seem like a lot of carbs, but its going to give the greatest return on your investment, I promise.

What Is The Main Purpose Of Carbs

How Many Carbs Per Day To Build Muscle? (As Fast As Possible)

Carbohydrates are the most important source of energy for your body. Different carbohydrates have different jobs, but as a food group, they fuel your organs, nervous system, and brain.

Most of the carbs that you consume are broken down by your body into a sugar called glucose. This goes to your bodys cells as their main source of fuel, and any unused glucose is stored in your liver and muscles as glycogen.

As Ive stated, not all carbs have the same effects on the body. For example, dietary fiber is hard to digest. But this means that fibrous foods keep you fuller for longer and also aid the digestion of other foods. This contributes to good bowel health.

Whereas simple carbs, like white bread, rice, and refined sugars are broken down quickly to be used as energy straight away. This makes them good to consume before or even during exercise for a fast boost in energy levels that wont leave you feeling stuffed.

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Do Bodybuilders Eat Carbs When Cutting

Carbohydrates are essential for maintaining muscle mass while following a reducing diet. Because your body prefers to use carbohydrates for energy rather than protein, consuming a proper amount of carbohydrates may help to prevent muscle loss . Carbohydrates can also aid in the fueling of your performance during exercises .

Can You Build Muscle On Caloric Deficit

Building muscle mass on a calorie deficit will depend on the specifics of your fitness situation. It may not be an ideal approach, though.

If you are a bodybuilder, a better approach would be to switch between bulk and shred cycles. However, it is a lot easier to build muscle and maintain lean muscle mass while on a calorie deficit if your goal is general weight loss.

In other words, combining the right workout with the proper nutrition will help you gain some muscle on a calorie deficit. Nevertheless, it is important to prioritize preserving the lean muscle mass you already have.

Also Check: Low Carb High Protein Smoothies

Heres An Example Of How To Set Your Carbohydrate Intake

Lets use a guy named Markus.

He needs around 170 grams of protein per day, or 680 calories.

Initially, Markus sets his fat intake at 40% of his total calories, which is 133 grams or 1200 calories. .

At this point he has 1,120 calories left, which gives him room for 280 grams of carbohydrate.

Based on his training, Markus estimates that he needs around 300-350 grams of carbs per day. Since he knows how important protein is, he lowers his fat intake to 30% of his total calories, or 100 grams per day. Then he adds about 70 more grams of carbs.

At this point, heres what his macros look like:

+ = 1,580

3,000 1,580 = 1,420

1,420 / 4 = 355 grams of carbs*

Calories: 3,000

* Every gram of carbohydrate has four calories.

A Final Note On Carbs

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While it’s wise to choose whole grains, legumes, fruits and veggies most of the time as these foods are full of essential nutrients , you don’t need to completely cut out other carbs like white bread or sugary cereals, Salomone says.

As long as you eat them in moderation, they can be a yummy part of a balanced diet during your muscle-building journey. Plus, in a crunch, these kinds of carbs can deliver a quick energy burst right before a workout, Salomone adds.

All this to say, opt for complex carbs more often, but when your goal is to gain lean muscle, what’s most important is focusing on sustainable strategies such as smart timing of your meal or snack and eating what you enjoy, Salomone says.

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How Much Protein And Carbs Do I Need To Eat To Gain Muscle

Luckily, there have been many studies out there regarding the proper amounts of these two macronutrients you need to support muscle growth.

Protein is pretty easy to set it and forget it for the most part.

In general, if youre in a calorie surplus, you only need 0.8-1 gram of protein per lb of bodyweight.

Thats it.

Any more than that, and youre wasting calories, you could be using for your carbohydrate intake instead.

For a 200 lb man, this comes out to around 160-200 grams of protein per day.

As long as youre in that range, youll build muscle mass just as somebody eating 320-400 grams per day.

Or maybe youd even build more as youll be able to consume more carbs and ultimately have more energy and better recovery.

Now moving on to carbs, there are a bunch of ways to set this up.

A high-carb diet for muscle gain is, without a doubt, the best way to go about things.

Consuming more carbs will always give you a net gain when it comes to energy, and your recovery will increase dramatically as well.

The more you keep your glycogen stores full, the better for building muscle mass.

This is why people that hope on the keto bandwagon basically die and feel like crap until theyre fat adapted.

Carbs are just that crucial for proper energy levels.

The two ways you can set this up are as follows:

Ill go over the simple method here, but if you want to learn the advanced method, you can check out Renaissance Periodization and their RP Diet App.

Can You Bulk Without Carbs

It is possible to build muscle with a low-carb diet and a good workout regimen. A good strength regimen followed by a diet that is low in saturated fat has been shown to make you buffer. The ketogenic diet is a great way to lose fat and build lean muscle. It is also a very low calorie diet, which means you can eat as much as you want and still be in ketosis.

This means that you dont have to worry about eating too much or too little. You can also eat a lot of protein and fat without feeling hungry or having a hard time getting enough calories. The only downside is that it takes a little bit of time to get used to the diet. But once you get the hang of it, you will be amazed at how much better you look and feel.

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What Is Therecommended Carb Intake For Building Mass

There is no specific number of carbs that a person mustconsume as there are different factors to consider. Carbs needs are differentfrom person to person. It can be frustrating for many people since counting andcalculating the number of carbs can be a huge turnoff. All of these issues puttogether can make it difficult for a person to know how much they should betaking.

Although counting carbs and weighing food all the time maynot sound like fun, you will get used to it with time. As long as your focus ison your fitness goals, you will build a routine that works just fine for you.But if you are looking for a less tasking method, one of the best approaches tomake it easier to know your carb intake is by portion sizes. Typically, thedaily needs for an active adult male are around 6-8 handfuls of carbohydrates.An active adult female needs about 4 to 6 handfuls of carbs daily. You can add1 to 2 cups to get better results. Although measuring carbs this way seems veryeasy, it is not an accurate measurement. And it may make tracking yourconsumption difficult.

A study recommends eating carbs immediately after a workoutto replenish glycogen stores. This also provides your muscles with energy torecover and repair. The study further recommended consuming around 1.2 to 1.5grams of carbs per kilogram of body weight hourly for longer workouts.

Also different mobile apps can help you calculate your carbintake and make the entire process less tasking.

How Many Calories Should I Eat To Gain Muscle And Stay Lean

How Many Carbohydrates to Maximize Muscle Gain w/ Dr. Brad Schoenfeld

Almost everyone who presses the ink on the dotted line of a gym contract is chasing the same goal: pack on muscle while culling body fat. But, the question remains the same How many calories should I eat to gain muscle and stay lean?

Divvied up correctly, these ambitions really constitute two goals, and most experts suggest you should choose one or the other. However, you can set out to gain the maximum amount of muscle with the minimum amount of fat gain, and were going to show you how but get your calculator out.

However, you can set out to gain the maximum amount of muscle with the minimum amount of fat gain, and were going to show you how but get your calculator out.

Heres your playbook for making sure youre maximizing the nutrients and value you get from every gym outing:

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