Building muscle can take a lot of hard work. But what’s most frustrating throughout the muscle-building process is finding the right carb supplement to get you there.
This article is intended to give you an overview of the benefits behind carb supplements, and the different forms available – including the best ‘complete’ carb supplement for bulking in 2020.
We’ll run through why carbs are great for bulking, such as; they provide a quick burst of energy with sustained strength and performance, allowing for easier, progressive muscle growth.
Along with, how they can improve power out-put whilst speeding up recovery. Among other benefits which I’ll run through in this article.
Continue reading to learn more…
Carb Supplement Benefits for Bulking
Carbs are incredibly useful for bulking, whether that’s lean bulking or serious mass building. But why?
This is because carbohydrates are responsible for stimulating mechanisms which promote muscle and cellular growth. For example:
Increased Cellular Growth
When you consume carbohydrates, insulin is released which is sent from the pancreas.
Insulin is vital for growth, as it provides an anabolic hormone effect in the way that it promotes the synthesis of proteins and glycogen – acting as a growth hormone.
This anabolic hormone shuttles carbohydrates around your body, into your bloodstream, and into your muscles to enhance sports performance and muscle growth.
Therefore, to refuel your muscles by adding carbohydrates (which are converted to muscle and liver glycogen) insulin must be released.
Hence the importance of carbohydrates for muscle growth, repair, and performance.
Increased Muscle Protein Synthesis
Muscle protein synthesis (MPS) is the release of amino acids to fuel and repair muscles.
Carbohydrates can have a direct impact on how well the body stimulates the mechanisms of MPS. (I)
Therefore, if you don’t have enough carbs present surrounding your training program, your muscle-building pathways can’t work as efficiently – limiting your bulking potential.
In summary, carbohydrates enhance MPS by acting as a carrier of amino acids, whilst helping to ‘open up’ glucose membranes in which protein can enter and repair torn muscle fibres.
Prevents Muscle Protein Breakdown
Carb supplements prevent muscle protein breakdown – allowing you to hold on to your hard-earned muscle as you train.
This is because carbohydrates protect the muscles, allowing for more muscle protein to remain post-exercise, instead of being used as energy. Otherwise known as muscle protein wastage (or breakdown) when in a calorie deficit. (II)
Also, carbohydrates help to create a protein and muscle-sparing effect. This means, if you have a diet rich in carbs, your body will use less muscle protein for energy.
Therefore, if glycogen stores aren’t filled adequately (either before or after exercise) your potential to exercise at your personal best will be significantly reduced.
In a nutshell, reducing carbohydrate intake surrounding training limits your muscle building and bulking potential.
Speeds up Recovery
This will increase your muscle building and recovery potential significantly. Along with boosting energy metabolism to produce more adenosine triphosphate ATP.
This is because carbohydrates are stored in the muscles (and liver) as glycogen. Glycogen gives your body more energy to recover at a faster rate by assisting in nutrient delivery.
When limiting calories, especially from carbohydrates when bulking, your recovery will be significantly reduced as amino acid delivery will be limited.
Simply put, when your glycogen stores are filled, you’ll have more energy day-to-day, and your muscles will grow at a faster rate – allowing for cellular growth pathways to be stimulated.
Different Types of Carb Supplements
As mentioned, not all carbohydrate supplements are created equal. There are gels, powders, carb and protein combos, and even ready to drink sports-drinks.
Depending on which you choose will vary depending on your discipline.
However, it’s worth mentioning that when trying to build muscle, certain supplements will trump others due to their contents.
Easily mixed with water or milk (vegan or otherwise), and they can be transported with you when travelling.
You can also adjust the amount you decide to use depending on your goals. Making powdered carb supplements my personal favourite when bulking.
These are typically used by endurance athletes as they provide a quick supply of energy.
However, most often, they are filled with cheap synthetic ingredients and they also cause stomach upset.
Ready-made drinks are convenient as they contain simple sugars such as dextrose and fructose.
But these options are expensive if you’re using them on a regular basis. And not to mention, they are bad for the environment due to packaging production and waste.
Protein and Carb Combos:
You’ll mostly find these labelled as bulking supplements, with a mixture of varying carb sources (fructose, dextrose, glucose etc).
However, they also contain unhealthy fats from animal products, which can lead to fatty liver disease and excess visceral fat.
Different Types of Carb Ingredients
- Fructose, in its basic form, comes from fruits where it’s the preferred fuel source for the mind.
- When you’re looking to feed the mind, consuming fructose fruits helps to keep energy levels and focus high.
- Glucose is the body’s most preferred fuel source for physical activity.
- Your body easily uses glucose at a fast rate, where it’s converted into glycogen, being stored in your muscles and liver for when it’s needed if it’s not immediately used.
- Galactose is very similar to glucose. However, it’s most associated with dairy and some legumes.
- It binds to glucose to make glycoproteins – which are cell proteins.
- Dextrose is a simple sugar which is made from corn. It’s chemically identical to glucose and blood sugar.
- Therefore, dextrose is best used when muscle and liver glycogen have been used up.
- This is because the body can only use circulating blood sugar during exercise as the conversion of other carbohydrates takes too long to digest, convert, and assimilate.
- Sucrose is made from glucose and fructose.
- It’s found naturally in plants such as sugar canes. This is typically what’s used to produce simple table sugar.
- This form of sugar provides a quick burst in energy, but it can also cause a crash soon after.
- Maltodextrin is a supplement known as a dextrin, where it’s also referred to as a polysaccharide. This refers to multiple sugar molecules to create one single product.
- It’s a starchy carb filler that you may find it in some products, such as a high carb bulking formulas.
Best Carb Supplement for Bulking 2020
After everything is said and done, what’s the best carbohydrate supplement you can spend your money on for bulking?
The best carbohydrate supplement is Performance Lab Carb.
Performance Lab Carb
- Performance Lab Carb SPORT is a state of the art vegan-friendly carbohydrate supplement.
- It’s been designed to supply you immediate energy – faster than sugar.
- It’s also able to sustain energy for 2+ hours without the crash! Believe me, it delivers this, and much more.
The first time I used Performance Lab Carb I was in the gym for 1.5 hours training to maximum intensity throughout.
I didn’t want to leave the gym I felt so good, but I thought enough was enough for one day.
Long story short, it’s the best carbohydrate supplement I’ve ever used!
And not just that, there’s a science to back up these claims.
How Does Performance Lab Carb work?
- High energy supply, faster than sugar: Gets to work faster than sugar and dextrose – making it the most readily available carb supplement currently available.
- Sustained energy, without the crash: It’s able to sustain energy levels without the crash. This is thank’s to the ingenious ingredient KarboLyn®.
What’s Inside Performance Lab Carb?
Inside Performance Lab Carb, you’ll find a variety of ingredients designed to enhance muscle growth, performance, recovery and stamina:
The main ingredient inside Performance Lab Carb is KarboLyn®. This is a homopolysaccharide (complex carb) which means it stabilises blood sugar, preventing a spike or a crash.
This is a ‘state of the art’ ingredient made of corn, potato, and rice starch. It provides high energy 18% faster than sugar, with 2+ hours of sustained energy release.
This supplement pulls nutrients from your intestines and shuttles them into your bloodstream. This then feeds your muscles directly with high energy nutrition.
These ingredients provide more energy to your body by assisting your mitochondria – while also boosting the delivery of additional carbohydrates and nutrients into your muscles.
Other Benefits To Performance Lab Carb
- Quick absorption
- Mixes instantly
- Pharmaceutical grade
- Neutral tasting
- Spikes energy levels fast, sustains muscle energy levels longer
Where To Buy?
You can buy Performance Lab Carb direct on their website www.PerformanceLab.com/Products/Carb
(I) Børsheim E; Cree MG; Tipton KD; Elliott TA; Aarsland A;Wolfe RR; “Effect of Carbohydrate Intake on Net Muscle Protein Synthesis During Recovery From Resistance Exercise.” Journal of Applied Physiology (Bethesda, Md. : 1985), U.S. National Library of Medicine. (source)
(II) Bisschop, et al. “Dietary Carbohydrate Deprivation Increases 24-Hour Nitrogen Excretion without Affecting Postabsorptive Hepatic or Whole Body Protein Metabolism in Healthy Men.” OUP Academic, Oxford University Press, 1 Aug. 2003. (source)
(III) Martin, Neil R W, et al. “Leucine Elicits Myotube Hypertrophy and Enhances Maximal Contractile Force in Tissue-Engineered Skeletal Muscle in Vitro.” Journal of Cellular Physiology, John Wiley and Sons Inc., Oct. 2017. (source)