Nutrition & Health

Benefits of Carbohydrates for Bodybuilding

Carbohydrates are one of the main nutrients and the most important source of energy for the body.

As carbohydrates provide calories by producing heat in the body and converting carbohydrates into glucose (blood sugar).

This sugar used for energy in cells, tissues and organs, and additional sugar store in the liver and muscles for a time.

The need, as carbohydrates considered for bodybuilding as the main nutrients for an increase in body mass.

As carbohydrates replenish the energy stores in the muscles to help proteins build muscle again.

Benefits of carbohydrates

The proper growth of the human body achieved by a balanced diet.

So it is important to have carbohydrates in this diet because of the health benefits it contains.

The most important benefits and positive effects of carbohydrates on human health and building a healthy body are:

A source of energy:

Carbohydrates are the body’s primary fuel source.

When you eat food, the body breaks down sugars and starches and absorbs them into the bloodstream.

They become glucose or blood sugar.

The body needs glucose for the energy to do everything from breathing to training.

Weight control:

They often blame carbohydrates for weight gain, but they are essential for healthy weight control.

Since the only sources of fiber are in carbohydrates, it is nearly impossible to get enough dietary fiber on a low-carb diet.

Adding foods rich in fiber leads to a feeling of satiety faster and satisfies the appetite for a longer period, which helps to lose weight.

Heart health:

Dietary fiber prevents cholesterol from accumulating in the arteries.

Which leads to dangerous blockages that can lead to a heart attack or stroke.

Thus, eating whole-grain foods, such as fresh fruits and vegetables, whole wheat, oats, bran, and quinoa, gives the body valuable fibers that can protect the heart and keep it in good shape.

To Read: Abdominal Muscles: Training and Appropriate Diet for it 

Improve digestion:

Getting enough fiber-rich carbohydrates can help prevent digestive problems, such as constipation and indigestion.

Insoluble fiber – the type of fiber that does not break down during the digestive process – pushes food along the digestive system and speeds up the digestive process.

Types of carbohydrates

We classify carbohydrates into two types: simple carbohydrates and complex carbohydrates.

Depending on the chemical composition of food and the speed of digestion and absorption of sugar.

Simple sugars include the group of monosaccharides and disaccharides.

And complex sugars include the group of polysaccharides, and the following explains these three types:


This group is the smallest of sugar units, and includes glucose, which is the major source of energy in the cell.

Fructose found in vegetables and fruits, and galactose found in milk and dairy products.


Disaccharides comprise the binding of two monosaccharides, including maltose.

And lactose in milk, which results from the association of the glucose molecule with the molecule of galactose.

The sucrose in table sugar that results from the association of the glucose molecule with the fructose molecule.

Which often results from the interaction of sunlight absorbed by chlorophyll with other compounds in plants, in the process of photosynthesis.


We define polysaccharides as a chain comprising two or more monosaccharides.

As they can comprise hundreds or thousands of monosaccharides, and it branches this chain.

As its shape appears as a tree with branches and branches, or not branching in the form of a straight line, and there are several types of sugars, including:

  • Glycogen: it stores this in the liver and muscles of humans and animals.
  • Starches: They are a long chain of glucose polymers, made of amylose and amylopectin, which are insoluble in water. And digested by amylase enzymes in humans and animals, and their sources are: potatoes, rice, and wheat.
  • Cellulose: It is one of the major components of the plant skeleton, as most wood, paper, and cotton made of cellulose.

Ways and how to use carbohydrates for bodybuilders

We use complex carbohydrates for sustainable and timed energy.

Starch, grains or vegetables are excellent sources of complex carbohydrates and are your ideal source.

Complex carbohydrates make you feel satisfied or full after a meal.

You should maintain the dimension and limit refined sugar (simple carbohydrates).

Why should you calculate the amount of carbohydrates your body needs

It reduces the body’s ability to burn Fats because it interferes with the metabolism of fats and contributes significantly to fat gain.

It reduces the level of body energy required for intense activity for long periods.

Blood pressure increased, which contributes to high blood pressure, because of rapid changes in blood glucose levels.

The importance of carbohydrates is that they work to provide the body with the calories and make up for what is missing from them.

To Read: Supplement for bodybuilding

Sources of carbohydrates for bodybuilding

Because the body breaks carbohydrates into sugar, we must choose high-fiber carbohydrates.

It’s take longer to break down and provide more sustainable energy.

And carbohydrates for bodybuilding have nutritious sources and are available in the primary food groups to support a healthy lifestyle, including:

Whole grains:

Whole grains:

Are foods rich in carbohydrates that are healthier and more nutrient-dense than processed grains.

Besides providing the body with the energy needed for physical activity.

Whole grains are rich sources of vitamins, minerals, boosters, and dietary fiber, and include: healthy whole grains oatmeal and bread Whole wheat, quinoa and brown rice.



They are ideal for athletes because they are rich in nutrients such as calcium, dietary protein and B vitamins, which take part in normal muscle function.

Dairy products also contain large amounts of carbohydrates in the form of Lactose, and consuming chocolate milk drink after exercise may speed up the recovery process and thus Promotes muscle growth.



We consider it one of the important elements that contain carbohydrates, including beans, which are very rich in carbohydrates necessary for the body and muscles



They are a double source of vitamins, and carbohydrates needed for athletes.

We should eat fruits as part of snacks and sweets to increase the amount of fruit consumed daily.

Healthy fruits include blueberries, berries, oranges, apples and peaches.

Fruits are especially useful to eat before training as we digest them more quickly than Vegetables and whole grains provide your muscles with the energy they need to perform better.

Starchy vegetables:

Starchy vegetables:

Starchy vegetables such as potatoes, eggplant, and zucchini are rich in complex carbohydrates.

Most starchy vegetables are low on the glycemic index, so consuming these foods provides the body with a sustainable energy source that can consume for long training sessions.

Carbohydrate supplementation during a workout:

Carbohydrate supplementation during a workout:

By adding carbohydrates during a long or strenuous training session, the body’s focus shifted to using energy rather than preserving it.

It also does not matter if the goal is to build muscle or lose body fat, in either case, we can enhance performance. Exercise through refueling.

Benefits of carbohydrates for bodybuilding

Regarding the sport of bodybuilding, the correct nutrition is the basis.

And one of the most important nutritional components on which a bodybuilder’s diet based is carbohydrates.

Among the most important benefits are:

Increased performance:

Consuming carbohydrates helps provide a source of fuel, which maintains adequate energy for the next set of exercises.

Instead of pausing for a rest or needing to reduce weights.

We can continue hard work as having readily available energy helps you do better.

Which is beneficial for both muscle gains and strength because quality of performance drives growth.

Reducing mental fatigue:

Carbohydrates are not only the preferred fuel source for the muscles, but they also nourish the brain.

Mental preparation, focus, and awareness are essential to any exercise.

And low energy can lead to a foggy focus and decreased ability to complete lifting safely, which is a prescription for failure or injury.

The reversal of the catabolism process:

Carbohydrates intake during exercise for long periods can also reduce the concentration of cortisol during exercise and for several hours afterward. And by reducing catabolism, muscle damage will reduced, recover more quickly, and increased performance.

Enhance body composition:

Carbohydrates used for bodybuilding for both energy and recovery when consumed during training, leaving little chance to convert it into body fat.

But we should emphasize the importance of distributing carbohydrate consumption throughout the day.

To Read: Mediterranean Diet: All You Need to Know About it

The best diet for bodybuilding

The amount of carbohydrate intake in one day for bodybuilding depends on several variables including body size, activity level, fitness goals and genetics.

And technically, carbohydrates are not an essential nutrient, so they need not to consume it for survival.

However, reducing the amount Carbohydrates are ineffective in reaching health and fitness goals.

The best way to reach the desired amount of carbohydrates for bodybuilders is to determine the number of grams of protein and fat to eat first, then the supplement is the amount of carbohydrates.

For example, if the goal is to reduce fat without Muscle loss, one can eat 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight, 0.5 grams of fat per pound, and the balance will be carbohydrates.

As a general rule, about 40-50% of carbohydrates, 25-30% of protein. And 20-30% of fats is a constant criterion for reducing the percentage of body fat.

With the possibility of increasing or decreasing the level of carbohydrates/fats to see what is most appropriate.

Studies on the benefits of carbohydrates of all kinds

A study published in The Lancet in 2019 showed that consuming about 25 to 29 grams of dietary fiber per day can reduce the risk of developing some chronic diseases. Such as type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, breast cancer, and colon cancer: (Study).

Study published in Nutrition in 2008 showed that drinking carbohydrate-rich fluids before surgery reduces energy loss in the body after surgery, while maintaining the stomach’s acidity and blood glucose level, despite fasting overnight (Study).

A study published in the International Journal of Sports Medicine showed that consuming one gram of carbohydrate supplement for every gram of body weight after exercise helps to boost glycogen stores in the body for 6 hours after exercise, and the duration can increased by adding protein to the carbohydrate supplement.

Over 2 days, linked to a 10% reduction in energy consumption and a loss of approximately 1.9 kg of body weight within the equivalent of 4 months.

Harmful carbohydrates for bodybuilding

Bodybuilding is one sport that require tremendous physical strength, exert the utmost effort and increase the stamina of the player which mainly depends on carbohydrates and sugars, and therefore completely abstaining from eating or excessively abundant, may expose the individual to serious health risks, including:

  • Lowering testosterone levels: Intense exercise can boost significant long-term fitness benefits. But only if the nutrients needed to restore activity provided. Then reducing carbohydrate consumption with intense exercise can lead to lower testosterone levels.
  • Reducing calorie burning: Carbohydrates provide the body with energy. But this can be harmful sometimes, as it may cause less stored energy to burned.
  • Decreased secretion of growth hormone: The body produces hormones in response to a variety of stimuli, including exercise and food. If you want to increase the secretion of growth hormone to the maximum extent, it can be harmful as it works to reduce the secretion of growth hormone.

Types of Carbohydrates advised to stay away from

We advise it to avoid some of the most common sources of simple carbohydrates and to look for alternatives to satisfy your cravings healthily.

Here are some types we advise you to stay away from them:

  • Soda: You can choose water flavored with lemon instead.
  • Baked sweets: Fruits can be a healthy and nutritious alternative to sweets.
  • Biscuits: we recommend it to make homemade baked goods and use healthier alternatives such as sweeteners, or look for other recipes that contain more complex ones.
  • Concentrated fruit juice: A simple way to find out what fruit concentrate is is to look closely at nutrition labels and choose 100 percent fruit juice.
  • Breakfast cereals: it loads Breakfast cereals with simple carbohydrates, and it is advisable to choose better-quality, nutrient-dense breakfast cereals.

Carbohydrate counting method for a bodybuilder

The amount of calories must calculated first before calculating the amount of carbohydrate need.

As this facilitates the determination of the macronutrient ratio, which is the ratio between protein, carbohydrates, and fats.

And despite the difference in the caloric requirement between the bulking and drying stage of bodybuilders.

The proportions between Macronutrients do not change and represented by:

  • 55% to 60% of calories from carbohydrates.
  • 30% to 35% of calories from protein.
  • 15% to 20% of calories from fat.

To Read: Tabata exercises: Method and Benefits

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