Every­one knows that resis­tance train­ing pro­motes mus­cle growth. But what should you focus on in your food if you want to get in great shape?

Bodybuilding—working out to increase mus­cle mass—is par­tic­u­lar­ly reliant on glu­cose as a fuel source.

Fuel for growth

If you want to achieve max­i­mum per­for­mance and results in build­ing an ath­let­ic fig­ure, you need to eat enough car­bo­hy­drates.
Unfor­tu­nate­ly, typ­i­cal low-carb weight loss diets can be very detri­men­tal to achiev­ing your mus­cle build­ing goals.

Muscle size without carbohydrates

Can you grow with­out eat­ing a lot of car­bo­hy­drates? Cer­tain­ly. You can even build mus­cle on a keto diet. This might work, but it’s not opti­mal. Typ­i­cal­ly, you will begin to feel a decrease in ener­gy lev­els after a few weeks due to this mis­match between your train­ing needs and your low-carb diet.

Research has shown that fair­ly heavy weight train­ing does­n’t even come close to using up all of our work­ing mus­cle glyco­gen stores with­in a sin­gle strength ses­sion.
If this is true, why focus on carb intake?

Performance Impact

The fact is that even a small loss of glyco­gen can have a sig­nif­i­cant impact on per­for­mance. Fast-twitch white mus­cle fibers are par­tic­u­lar­ly depen­dent on glu­cose and are the first to run out of fuel.
If we want to main­tain the func­tion­al­i­ty of these fibers dur­ing train­ing, then it is nec­es­sary to main­tain suf­fi­cient glu­cose lev­els.
There’s no hard and fast rule about how many carbs you should eat, but a rough guide­line looks like this.

Amount of carbohydrates in grams

  • The low­er lim­it for mod­er­ate train­ing is 2–3 g per kg of total body weight. And even this means only 25–30% car­bo­hy­drates per day, which in any case makes fat or pro­tein the dom­i­nant macronu­tri­ents in the diet.
  • If your plans for build­ing mus­cle mass are seri­ous enough, then plan on 4 grams of car­bo­hy­drates per day per kilo­gram, and then you will be able to with­stand very seri­ous strength train­ing.