When most people think of foods that are good for building muscle, they immediately turn to protein. That’s why so many lifters and even workout newcomers eat protein bars or shakes before or after exercising, Andrew Demetre, Charleston strength coach, writes.
While protein certainly is a great muscle food, most people are missing out on another very important one — carbohydrates. This would seem to be contrary to typical thinking about nutrition and how it relates to building muscle, but it’s true — as long as you’re consuming the right type of carbohydrate.
Below, Andrew Demetre will explain further which very important muscle food you’re missing out on.
Choose Functional Carbohydrates
If you’re looking to build muscle, functional carbohydrates are an important food group that you should be consuming. This type of carbohydrate has a much higher nutritional value than other types, especially as it relates to building muscle.
One of the most effective functional carbohydrates is isomaltulose. The molecules in this carbohydrate, which comes from beets, have been rearranged in an enzymatic way so that the resulting carbohydrate gets full absorbed and fully digested by your body.
The one big difference here is that the absorption and digestion process for this carbohydrate is significantly slower than its non-functional counterparts.
How It Works
Non-functional carbohydrates can give you the energy to get through a marathon, but if you’re not burning all energy off quickly, they convert to fat rather quickly and store in your body. This is why most people don’t think of carbs as an important muscle food.
Functional carbs like isomaltulose induce in the body a response to blood sugar. The body will release only small amounts of insulin, ultimately prompting it to burn its stored fat so it can be used to produce energy.
As a result, foods that have functional carbs promote the burning of fat while also improving your metabolism. Isomaltulose in particular helps you to oxidize fat much faster than non-functional carbohydrates, resulting in improving athletic performance and endurance.
Don’t Ignore Carbs
According to Andrew Demetre, Charleston strength coach, you shouldn’t focus just on consuming protein-rich foods if you’re looking to build muscle. Of course, doing so certainly would be a good idea, if you follow the proper diet and consume the right types of protein.
At the same time, though, you don’t have to ignore carbohydrates altogether, which might go against a traditional line of thinking. Yes, carbs can certainly turn into fat, leaving you feeling sluggish and working against your ability to build muscle rather than contributing toward it.
But, this will only happen if you consume the wrong type of carbohydrates, and if you aren’t properly burning them after you consume them. By focusing on consuming functional carbohydrates instead of non-functional ones — as often as possible — you’ll be doing your body a favor as you try to build muscle.
About Andrew Demetre
Andrew Demetre, Charleston-based health coach, physical trainer, and bodybuilder, first found his calling during the pandemic when he realized that many of his clients preferred working out from home. These days, Demetre uses his expertise to train clients from home, whether in the greater Charleston area or worldwide. Andrew firmly believes every client can achieve their ideal body through hard work and dedication — no gym membership needed.