Low Carb Diet Tips For Bodybuilders

March 20, 2017 by  
Filed under Diet Tips

For many years carbohydrates are in center of attention among fitness and bodybuilding community. Everyone who has ever wanted to find out more on “zero fat” perfect body has stumbled across this dilemma. There are virtually no diets out there that would not base on different rules for quantity and type of carbohydrates one can eat. So we frequently find different guides, telling us which carbohydrates, when and how should be used in advanced fitness or bodybuilding programs.

There are different recommendations on which and how should they be taken on training an on training free days. Thousands of articles have been posted on different forums and blogs dealing with the subject of low carb/high protein diets for bodybuilders. Nowadays it is hard to ignore all those ads on TV and in other media and the flood of products based on low carb nutrition. Both food and drinks for professional fitness are influenced by low carb/high protein nutrition suppliers. The market has developed from low fat to high protein in just couple of years. Not just advertising but also actual diets that top athletes were using advanced from diets for minimizing fat to diets limiting carbohydrates. There are pro and contra arguments on both sides. It has become a struggle to find out which diet suits better bodybuilding community.

Who is right?

Which diet will make us achieve best results?

Speaking from a standpoint of bodybuilding and fitness, low carb nutrition beats low fat nutrition. Every professional bodybuilder who wants perfectly carved out muscles would follow extremely restrictive carbohydrate diets.

What exactly is going on with our body when following low carb diets?

Decreasing the level of carbohydrates in body leads to glucose deficit in blood (carbohydrates are transformed into glucose – final product). This leads to decrease in insulin production and stimulates production of growth hormone. In order to sustain necessary energy levels, body is forced to burn fat as an additional energy source. And this is alright. But there is a thin line that should not be crossed. When level of carbohydrates drops under a certain point, body starts to drain proteins stored in muscles. In order to avoid that happening carbohydrates should be cut step by step. Even more important is to know which carbohydrates we need to cut and when to cut them.

Recommended and highly effective diets on the long run are diets that contain app. 200 g of carbohydrates per training day and 100-150 g on a training free day. Some individuals would do once per week so called “carb loading”. They would take in 300-400 g of carbohydrates that specific day.

Common mistake made by many is exaggeration in decreasing carbohydrates. A drastic cut in carbs leads to a completely exhausted body. Diets with daily carb intake under app. 50 g are extremely dangerous on a long run. Sustaining 30-50 g daily carb intake on a long run makes your body burn proteins. That causes a decrease in muscle mass and it drains the power out of your body. Additionally to that, such diet will kill the will to exercise.

There is another issue attached to extreme low carb diets in bodybuilding. After ending such diet, a normal carbohydrate intake leads to excessive growth of fat tissue.

Concerning the selection of nutrition and carbohydrates, following points should be considered:

-eat right carbs at a right time

-focus on carbs with low GI (leads to a steady increase of glucose in blood)

-in first half of the day (before training) take in app 40 % portion of the whole daily carbohydrates (low GI carbs)

-right after the training you have 30 min to take in 30 % of high GI carbs (glucose, maltodextrin)

-within next 1 hour you should take in the rest 30% of carbs with low GI (basmati rice, pasta made of whole-wheat flour)

-eat high fiber food (vegetables, whole-wheat cereals).

Finally there has to be pointed out that there is no such thing as “universal” diet, suitable for each and everyone. The choice of right menu and diet is to be left to individual needs. The only hard proof advice one can give is to listen to your own body and observe carefully effects different diets will have on you. This will take time before one finds out which diet fits best a specific fitness or bodybuilding training. But once we have tested them and picked out the right one, achieving those perfectly carved out muscles should not be a problem anymore.

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