If you go on the internet and search how to build muscle or the best diet to put on muscle; you will find almost 99% of the blogs/videos will recommend you a protein-rich diet which suggests you eat at least 2-2.2g per kg body weight of protein (or simply eating a large amount of protein) for healthy muscle growth. But is it real? Do you really need that much amount of protein? Can’t you build muscle in a lesser protein intake? To answer this question I will explain to you in this blog if it is even possible to build muscle on a low protein high carb diet and what type of body one can expect from this type of eating.
What is a low protein high carb diet?
A high carb low protein diet is one type of diet that advises eating a large number of carbohydrates with a lesser amount of protein intake. A high-carb diet is usually preferred by those who can not consume the required amount of protein for themselves because of the type of lifestyle or have some health issue like kidney or liver problems. On a low protein diet, most of the time people do not get enough amount of micronutrients they require and for that, they often have to rely on supplements.
Know if a supplement is worth buying or not by clicking here.
Health benefits of a high carbohydrate diet
Scientists at the University of Sydney’s Charles Perkins Centre organized the biggest ever study of nutrient interactions by examining the health of mice on 33 different diets containing various combinations of protein to carbs, and different sources of carbohydrates.
They found that a low-protein (10% of dietary energy), high-carbohydrate (70%) diet produced either the healthiest or unhealthiest metabolic outcomes of all 33 diets, depending on the kind of carbs.
Source – University of Sydney
Here are a few health benefits that were found from the study on the high carb and low protein diet.
- A high-carb diet can help in stabilizing one’s blood sugar level.
- High carb diets can help lower cholesterol.
- A high-carb diet can increase glycogen stores in the body which leads to increased energy.
- Decreasing protein can decrease the workload on the liver and kidneys.
- Because of decreasing the workload on the kidney and liver, the diet prevents a buildup of urea in the bloodstream.
Is it possible to build muscle on a low protein diet?
To be honest, to maximize muscle growth a high protein diet is required but that does not mean you can not build a good physique on a low protein diet. It is possible to build a decent-looking physique on a low protein diet but you can not expect a physique like a bodybuilder on that diet.
Protein is the building block for our muscles but when the body does not get the required amount of protein it uses carbs to heal the body that got damaged by intense training. When it comes to fitness there are two principal pieces of advice that are most common.
- Increase protein for muscle growth.
- Decrease carb intake for weight loss.
Though these informations are not totally wrong; we do need a certain amount of protein in building muscle as it helps muscle cells to repair, carbohydrates also play almost the same role in building muscle.
So if you are on a low protein and high carb diet and trying to build muscle eat in a calorie surplus, hit at least 1-1.2g of protein per kg bodyweight as there is a minimum amount of protein required for everybody. Also, as you are consuming less amount of protein try eating the best quality of protein; like red meat, eggs, or in form of whey, etc. Do the same for carbohydrates too.
Besides the diet, train hard. As you are getting so many carbohydrates your body will store so much glycogen which means more energy to use in training. Also as for supplements, I will suggest taking 5mg creatine daily for better results (it totally personal choice).
How this diet will look like
Here is what a high-carb diet can look like. I will not say what to eat or not there are plenty of examples of high-carb food sources available on the internet. I will just share what type of foods to have and when to have them.
- Pre-workout – Vegetables/ fruits or any form of starchy carb with a small amount of protein.
- Post-workout – Any protein source to help in muscle repair after a workout.
- Lunch – Mix of complex and starchy carbs.
- Snacks – Fruits.
- Dinner – Light meal of slow-digesting protein.
Do not limit your body to some research and experiments. Everybody is built differently and for that reason just because someone failed, does not mean you will also fail. There are so many people you can find on the internet (like farmers, and street workers) who do not even know about what is diet or protein, or carbs but still, they built a great physique. For instance, one of my relatives (I am attaching his picture) who is a bike mechanic and does not have any knowledge about diet built a good physique by just working out from home.
Reference – Ref 3
Disclaimer – All the information provided is based on my research and personal experience. The way someone’s body will respond totally varies from person to person. So if anyone does not get the wanted result the author is not responsible for that.
Know about your Author.
Supplements I use/used and always recommend others.