When it comes to muscle-building efforts, people often think you need to consume proteins, followed by more and more proteins. While we don’t deny its benefits, the notion that protein alone helps strengthen muscles is one of the biggest misconceptions circulating in the world of health and fitness. You read that right! Protein contains amino acids that repair and strengthen muscles, but you also need various other nutrients to optimize the process – carbohydrates being one of them. Let’s be clear – carbohydrates are not culprits; in fact, they are one of the three major macronutrients necessary for the body to function smoothly. Nutritionist Nidhi Nigam weighs in, saying, “Carbohydrates help us achieve optimal nutrition and attain a healthy body and mind.”
Also Read: Carbs – How Much Is Enough? Does Carb Intake Affect Lifespan?
How Carbs Help Strengthen Muscles
Our body requires carbohydrates daily, and you can easily obtain them from your everyday foods. These carbs are converted into energy that helps us stay active and keep going. According to a study published in the journal Nutrients, subjects who consumed carbohydrate-rich meals performed better than those who were on a no-carb diet. It concluded that carbohydrate intake is critical for strength-training performance and recovery, especially for people who engage in intense workouts.
Nutritionist Nidhi Nigam explained that carbohydrates have a protein-sparing effect, meaning they allow the protein to help build muscles in our body, assist with wear and tear, and repair tissues. This means your body needs carbohydrates to support the protein’s effects on the muscles.
Also Read: Working Out? Add These 5 Common Veg Foods To Your Diet For Muscle Gain
Here Are 5 Carbohydrate-Rich Foods To Strengthen Your Muscles:
Rice has long been under a negative spotlight due to its high carb and starch content. Many fitness enthusiasts eliminated it from their diet to avoid excess weight gain. But trust us, the effect is exactly the opposite, especially for people who work out regularly. A moderate amount of rice, consumed at the right time of day, helps you stay active and feel strong and nourished from within.
2. Whole Grains:
Whole grains like quinoa, buckwheat, oats, etc., make for a wholesome meal due to their rich nutrient content. These food ingredients contain enough protein, fibre, good carbs, antioxidants, and minerals to make a wholesome meal at any time of the day.
By now, much has been said about the benefits of consuming millet daily. They are enriched with carbohydrates, protein, dietary fibre, vitamins, etc., providing adequate energy to the body, ranging from 320-370 kcal per 100 grams, according to reports.
Bananas contain complex carbs, including resistant starch, which helps with digestion and promotes a healthy gut. This, in turn, helps the body absorb nutrients from food efficiently and nourish you from within.
5. Sweet Potato:
If you’ve noticed, health experts often recommend replacing regular potatoes with sweet potatoes. Wonder why? According to USDA data, a medium sweet potato contains around 140 calories and falls into the category of healthy carbs. It also has a low glycemic index that helps maintain your blood sugar levels in the body.
The best practice is to consult an expert and understand the right amount of nutrient intake for your overall nourishment.
Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.