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

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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Key points:

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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  • I do 1500 calories 50-100g carbs, ~100g prot and the rest fat . I do feel a little low on energy sometimes but I push it to complete my workouts. I have increased strength and muscle at a very modest rate but I don't feel I have cut down fat fast enough. Am I eating too much fat? I thought dietary fat didn't directly affect fat gain

  • Mario check out the youtube channel nutritionfacts.org you will like it alot… right down your alley

  • Loving your channel. I'm going through the backlog and there's so much great content. You're on a tremendous trajectory sir! All the best.

  • One question for you Mario, hope you will reply: If we hit our caloric surplus goal every day, does it matter much if we dont hit our protein goal? So are calories more important than big protein intake while bulking? Thanks for your videos. Svaka čast, samo naprijed! 🙂

  • I'm thinking that my muscle gain was not that much cause I'm not taking enough calories, I was eating about 1g/pound of carbs and 1g/pound of fat. Now I'm going to add some carbs and see what happens. Thanks for help Mario!

  • Yo Mario! Do you know any exercises for Chest or Shoulder you can do with one arm? (Cant put weight on the left wrist) Cause I know none. Dope Video.

  • Bas sam neki dan razmisljao kako nisi jos stavio vid ove tematike.. Svaka cast legendo 🙂

  • Mario .. i'm 130lb 12%ish body fat
    i'm eating around 2200 cals without gaining weight for 2 weeks !
    i'm eating around 330g carb .. but i look little bit softer with the same weight
    however my waist still the same .. but my preformance in the gym is Sky high man
    what your opinion on this ? btw i'm trying to eat at maintance Cuz i just want to look like Vegeta from DBZ lol

  • really needed this video, my bulk starts in 1 week and now I know how I'm gonna devide my macro's 👌👍

  • Hey Mario !

    To lose fat, I watch your video and I do a Warrior Diet with :
    1900 calories in day ON (170g P, 40g L and 200~215g G) and around
    1700 in day OFF (180g P, 90g L and 50g G) for 180cm and 79kg.
    But I think it's too low, because I lose weight and waist very slowly.

    Thanks for your great videos !

  • I been waiting for this video! Thanks!

  • I'm 202lb. Goal weight 180lb ish. I do HIT training with strength training 2x per week. Additional heavy lifting day on 3rd day of week. Currently 1900cal. 215g C. 150g P. 80g F. Running out of energy during HIT training. suggestions?

  • Does going higher on carbs if you are on a cut help because you will have fuller glycogen stores to support your workouts as opposed to going higher on fats while maintaining the same caloric deficit?

  • why does mario look sicker and sicker in every new video? sure hes cut good but he looks cancerish, like look at is eyes, it doesnt look healthy at all.

  • Hey mario i am a teen male with hourglass figure how can i fix my body?

  • Thanks for answering my question…Your passion for what you do is inspiring!

  • Do you have any favourite audio books that you recommend?

  • Hi Mario Keep going ur Videos every day 4 day are so good for all of us thx buddy

  • you should tell people to look out for overtraining, symptoms include loss of appetite and insomnia because your body is trying to recover so hard from the damage

  • I'm 5'11ft, 175 pounds. Fat: 80-130g / Carbs: 250-400g / Protein: 140-170g (:

  • Hi Mario just a little of topic everything working great for me getting results threw your videos only thing my wife complain about farting alot and its really bad..LOL I checked my fiber intake and MFP tells me im on point if I cut out cetain macros and replace like taking out some brocolli eggs legumes to spot the problem but still nothing any advice.

  • Hi Mario.. Great channel, awesome scientific proved information.. Just a question.. is it possible to grow muscle while losing fat? I mean, at the same time.. I have seen some YouTubers saying that is impossible, which made me start to worrying whether I should cut or bulk.. Stephan

  • İ like the description. Thanks

  • Cutting 3000cal 160p 240f 50c

  • Bot! Mario, you look amazing-just wanted you to know. You taught me that alot of adjustments are all part of the process, whatever, for loss, for muscle gains or for getting shredded. All I need is passion, dedication, hard work coupled with flexibility and the understanding that whatever is worth your while will take some time and to learn to be cool with that. I am doing what I need to do and already feeling and seeing some progress. Thank you. Helen

  • #askmario, bro is there any difference in carb intake on workout days and rest days because i guess on rest days we have to take leSs carbs because we r not working out ??

  • is it ok to eat ricecakes while workout?

  • Bulking. Right now I weigh 170ish. 160-170ishP , 80-90F and around 300-350 carbs. Does that sound ok for someone who is bulking? first time bulking too. also around 2600 -2700cals

  • did you get 1.5k subs 1 day?? wtf

  • thank you for this video 🙂 Bless you man. 👍

  • my friend is 6'3 and 160 pounds. and wants to gain muscle. super fast metabolism. what now

  • how to you get 3000 calories per day eating clean. and not have your carbs through the roof. my carbs yesterday was like 700 grams! (Brown rice)

  • Bruh i eat less than 300g of carbs a day and im felling like i dont really NEED carbs, should i still eat more carbs?