Are Carbs Necessary For Muscle Growth?
They are an amazingly good tool that one can use, but no, carbs are not necessary for muscle growth!
- Think of carbs like fuel for a car.
You give your car some fuel, and runs on it, right? Same thing with our bodies.
We give it some form or fuel and it turns it into energy.
When you put carbs in your body, your body is using them as energy.
It converts them into glycogen and through the process of glycogenesis.
The glycogen is stored in few storage facilities that your body has.
First and the most important one is your brain.
- Without any energy in your brain, you can not function.
So your body stores the glycogen there first, and only after the brain is satisfied you body stores a little bit of glycogen in your liver.
THE REST is stored in your muscles.
I am sure you notice sometimes that your muscles look worse than the day before.
- It usually happens in the morning, after a whole night of not eating.
Your body is not getting any new glycogen, and the storage facilities are getting empty, which makes your muscles look smaller and flatter.
You also know that the full name of carbs is carboHYDRATES – which means that they are hydrating your muscles.
- Every gram of glycogen consists of carbs and water, when mixed together they create glycogen and the muscles look bigger, fuller and denser.
But do they really build muscle? The answer is – NO!
What Is The Main Purpose Of Carbs?
Carbs are not your building blocks, all they are is an energy source.
BUT, they DO, directly affect your muscle building process!
How is that?
Well, your body, as it was said before, needs some form of energy.
Carbs are the fastest , the easiest and the least stressful energy source, but they are not the only one!
When your body needs energy, it doesn’t care where it gets it from.
Anything that has calories in it, it can use for energy, including all three macro nutrients :
They can all be utilized as energy.
Put yourself in your bodies situation. Imagine that you don’t have anything to use as fuel.
- You are used to getting carbs everyday and everything was alright.
But all of a sudden your brain decides to give you a round of torture by cutting those back.
So, what do you do? You have no idea.
You feel confused. Your brain doesn’t have enough energy and you lose the focus and feel weak and just bad overall.
- But you must fix this problem somehow and survive! What do you do?
You reach for everything that you can!
You are reaching for every little straw that can possibly help you survive.
So you get the idea. You body will use the protein that you have.
Therefore, your body will not use it as a building block for muscle, it will use it as energy!
When I say protein, I don’t mean only the protein that you put into your stomach for you lunch.
I mean the protein that you are created of. Your very muscles.
- Basically your body will eat itself unless you feed it with enough food.
This sad event is also known as infamous CATABOLISM.
Can You Build Muscle On KETO?
First thing that you need to understand is what keto actually is.
- It is simply a shift of your body’s main fuel source.
When you are not eating carbs your body will still need to find some alternative form of energy.
If all you do is cut the carbs out, you are going to get into trouble.
Your body will seek for everything in it’s reach and use it for energy. This means your muscle!
- BUT! If you give it A LOT of fats, your body will be confused for a few days.
Usually it takes about 72 hours for you body to figure out that it can date other people too.
If it’s biggest love – carbs, is not there, it will find comfort with a new mistress – fats.
The process of your body shifting the fuel source choosing fats to burn, is called Ketogenesis.
“Your body is not getting any carbs and it is using fats, transferring them into KETONS or keton bodies, and is using them as it’s main energy source.”
There is also another thing that should be taken into consideration. And it is gluconeogenesis!
This is the process of your body turning the protein into glycogen.
- If you want to stay in the state of ketosis you don’t want gluconeogenesis to occur.
Why don’t you want it?
Because it will put you out of ketosis. Remember!
Your bodies first and preferable fuel source is not fats, it’s CARBS.
And also, it takes 72 hours for your body to get into the ketosis.
As long as it may take it to get into it, that’s how quick it can get out of it. Your body finds this process to be pretty troublesome.
- Yes, thousands of years ago humans didn’t even eat carbs.
We were carnivores and predators and all we ate was other animals – so only protein and fats.
Our bodies were in ketogenisis all the time. But after many thousands of years of practicing different types of diets, our DNA changed.
Humans realized that it was much more convenient to plant some seeds of wheat, plant an apple tree or grow some potatoes, than it is to chase wild boars and deers.
And by living that kind of lifestyle we didn’t need a long acting type of energy source, like fats.
Before this shift, we use to hunt for hours and hours, only using fats for energy, which are much more caloric than proteins and carbs (more than double).
- Fat also gets digested at a much slower rate.
If you go for a 15 hour adventure, chasing and killing a mammoth, you would prefer to have a stable and long acting form of energy.
If you want to stay in ketosis, you must provide your body with a sufficient amount of fats.
Your body doesn’t need to dwell on whether it’s gonna EAT YOU or those fats that you gave it.
Can You Gain Muscle On Keto?
Is it the most efficient and easiest way to grow? –No.
But it is possible if you do things right.
Look at it this way. In the end of the day, all your body knows is did you give it enough energy or not.
- Whether are in a caloric deficit or a surplus.
Based on this your body will have to do one of 2 things.
If there is less energy than it is burning, it will have to use something else.
Unalterably it will be your muscles and your fat.
If you caloric deficit is rather mild, your body will use only your body fat, because that is what it actually is – stored energy.
- On the other hand, if it so happens you are in a severe caloric deficit, you body will not care much about what is uses.
It will grab onto whatever it can a grip on. Which means the food that you are giving and your precious muscle.
But, if your calories for the day are sufficient, your body will have no other choice but to keep them in, just in case you need them sometime in the future.
In order to be in an anabolic state, you should stimulate your muscles in the gym, and get some good rest.
That will grow the muscle and put you into the anabolic state that you need to be in!
Can I Cut Carbs And Gain Muscle?
This is not a very fun thing to do!
- Cutting carbs is one of the most horrible things that you can willingly put your body through.
Don’t expect it to be easy. It’s gonna be horrible and you will feel miserable.
This is something we do in order to trim the fat off easy and fast. Anybody can do it.
Even though it may not be ideal for long term goals, it is undoubtably the quickest way to a lean body with no fat.
But Can You Put Muscle On Your Body While Cutting Carbs?
In the early stages yes, you can.
After some time, and as you keep cutting your carbs more and more, it’s going to be harder and harder to burn fat and gain muscle.
But if you introduce your body to some new anabolic things, that it didn’t experience before, you can grow some new tissue.
This is just advice, do whatever the hell you want!