Thursday, 28 March 2013

Guest Post: Is It Possible To Gain Muscle On A Low Carb Diet

Many bodybuilders are always wondering rather or not it's possible to gain muscle on a carbohydrate restrictive diet.

Low carbohydrate diets are great for anybody who's trying to
lose fat, since it helps to control hunger levels and many people report overall better fat loss results with the diet.

But what about when it comes to building lean mass? Is a low carbohydrate diet the best approach at doing so? Let's go ahead and take a closer look.


An important thing to keep in mind is that when you reduce your carbohydrate consumption low enough, your body will enter a state of ketosis, in which it burns fat for energy instead of carbohydrates.

Several studies indicate that being in ketosis for long periods of time has been associated with an increase in catabolism (muscle breakdown), which is detrimental if your goal is to gain muscle.

If you're consuming an adequate amount of carbohydrates, however, and are not in ketosis, your body is able to stay in an anabolic state, assuming you are consuming a calorie surplus each day. 

So if your goal is to stay out of ketosis, you need to make sure you're consuming more than 100 grams of carbohydrates per day (this is the minimum amount needed to fuel your body and stay out of ketosis). This will ensure that your body burns carbohydrates for energy instead of fat and will help keep you in an anabolic state. 

Energy and Intense Exercise 

Another thing to keep in mind with the low carbohydrate diet is how it will affect your energy levels. Many individuals report that they feel fine on a carbohydrate restrictive diet, but many others do not. So if you're the latter and not the former, a low carbohydrate diet would not be recommended for you, since your energy levels will be lacking in the gym. And if you don't even have enough energy to pick up a barbell and dead lift, how can you expect to build any additional muscle mass? You can't. 

The body also requires carbohydrates to function properly, since fat is not meant to be used for weightlifting movements. So if you choose to go the low carbohydrate route, you'll either need to consume carbs during the pre or post workout window of opportunity or on the weekends during your weekly carb ups. 

Decreased Rate Of Fat Gain

A huge plus to the low carbohydrate diet is the ability to maintain body fat levels to a reasonable level, even when bulking up.

Since carbohydrates spike insulin levels and insulin is a fat storing hormone, you'll probably find that your body is much more effective at burning fat. 

Also keep in mind that rather or not you gain muscle or lose fat all boils down to this concept of calories. You simply can't consume thousands upon thousands of additional calories and expect to gain additional muscle – they will simply get stored as fat. In addition, you can't expect to eat like a girl, or your body won't have the calories it needs to grow each day and you will start to lose weight. We need to take a realistic approach to this.

So to sum up, there is a place in the bodybuilding world for a “low carb” approach, so-to speak, as long as we follow a few basic guidelines:

1. You are consuming at least 100 grams of carbohydrates each day.  

2. You consume carbs during the pre or post workout period of opportunity – or on the weekends during your carb up.

3. You react well to the low carb diet and you don't feel completely drained while on it – you still have the energy to hit the gym. 

As long as you're keeping these factors in mind, it is possible to gain muscle on a carbohydrate restrictive diet. 

About Author

This was an article written by Drew Stegman. For more fitness information check out website:

pHion is the category leader when it pertains to pH balancing of the body.


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