In this video you’ll learn the answer to how many carbs per day to build muscle as fast as possible.
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Okay, so you got the basics down.
You figured out your calorie needs for gaining muscle based on your experience and how fast you can build muscle (
Then you figured out your protein needs. (
Now, what about fats and carbs.
There’s 2 things to keep in mind with carbohydrate intake
1 – Without enough carbohydrate to fuel your training, your training will suffer and you won’t be able to build as much muscle.
2 – If you go too high on carbohydrates you might have to overly restrict calories for fats and proteins which can also compromise results and make the diet unsustainable.
Why carbohydrates for performance?
Carbs are the main fuel source for high intensity activity such as strength training and bodybuilding.
If we don’t provide our body with enough carbohydrate typically the training session will suffer due to fatigue and in general lack of energy.
Maybe you’ve encountered this energy crash on a low carb diet while at the same time trying to push heavy weights and doing intense workouts.
Of course this doesn’t mean that you can’t perform without carbohydrates. Those following a ketogenic diets do so successfully, but if we’re looking at what’s most optimal there’s a lot more data out there pointing to benefits of carbohydrates if we’re talking about strength training and bodybuilding.
And of course you can build muscle without carbohydrate as well but if your training suffers (the main driver of adaptations) you’re then missing out on potential gains.
So what are my recommendations for carbohydrate intake:
Anywhere between 1 – 3 grams per pound is a good place to start.
If you’re less active in other parts of your life you’d aim close to 1 gram per pound is fine. This applies if you’re generally sedentary with about 2-3 weight training sessions per week. In this situation you can easily go with 1 gram per lbs of carbohydrate if you prefer to eat more fatty foods.
Then if you’re more active and tend to be enjoy carbs more, aiming to be in that 2-3 grams per pound range. This is if you’re serious about making a lot of progress, you’re generally moving around a lot outside of gym + you’re doing 4-5 intense and higher volume weight training sessions per week.
On top of that if you’re doing a lot of endurance training and combining that with weight training you’ll probably benefit from going higher to around 3-4 grams per pound.
As you can see carbohydrate needs depend on how much training you’re doing.
Here’s how to figure out your amount:
1 – Set your calories
2 – Set your protein based on your lean body mass.
3 – Set your fats between 20-30% of calories.
4 – Put rest of the calories into carbohydrates.
Example – 170 lbs Male doing 4 weight training sessions per week and lightly active outside of gym and he wants to start gaining muscle.
We estimate that his maintenance calorie intake is 2600 kcal / day.
And to start a slow controlled bulk he goes to 2800 kcal / day.
Problem will be based on lean body mass which will be anywhere between 140 – 170 grams per day based on preference.
Fat is fine anywhere between 20-30% based on how the person feels about fattier foods. Let’s say we go with 25% which is around 80 grams of fat per day.
And the rest will go to carbohydrate which is going to be about 350 grams per day which is about 2 x bodyweight in pounds.
As the diet goes on you can add more calories to carbohydrates or fat based on whatever you prefer. Once the needs for enough calories to build muscle are met there’s no special reason to go for fat or carbs so just go with what you prefer.
Talk soon, Mario
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