Can You Build Muscle on a Low Carb Diet

Can You Build Muscle on a Low Carb Diet?

If you were to walk into just about any gym and ask people what their goals were, you would mostly hear the same answer that people want to get leaner and build more muscle, tone up, or gain strength and lose fat.

Low carb diets are great for burning fat, but is it possible to build muscle at the same time you’re losing weight if carbs are limited? Carbohydrates are the body’s primary source of energy and they also play a major role in the process of muscle recovery, so it isn’t at all shocking that building muscle on a low carb diet can be a concern for some.

Fortunately, there is a method of lowering carb intake to promote fat burning, while still maintaining enough carbs to build muscle and not feel as deprived. Very low carb diets consist of 50 grams of carbs or less, which will promote quick weight loss, but isn’t as efficient at muscle recovery for increased strength.

Instead, try increasing carbohydrates to fifty to a hundred grams of carbs per day, which will still put you at a carb deficit for weight loss, but still be enough carbs to increase muscle.

Keeping your total carb intake to 100 grams per day will be much less stressful, and easier to switch off the diet once your ideal goal body fat percentage has been achieved.

Now that you know how many carbs to consume for optimal muscle growth with fat loss, it’s time to plan when to eat those carbs. Eating good quality carbohydrates such as whole wheat, and brown rice before a workout at lunch or breakfast would be the best time to eat them.

Loading up your plate full of those carbs before your workout and early in the day will allow your body to perform and recover properly for a workout, while keeping sugar cravings at bay at bedtime.

Before you start doubting your choice of going low carb wondering if you’ll lose your muscle, consider being more mindful when blueprinting your diet. Thinking about your goals of losing fat and gaining muscle means that you’ll have to eat enough carbs like an athlete to perform like an athlete to get that lean and toned up figure just like they have.

Aside from performing better, you’ll also feel better and transition out of your diet better to make weight maintenance more efficient. Low carb diets help people burn fat, but they don’t keep you from building muscle if you have a strategy in place ahead of time.

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2 thoughts to “Can You Build Muscle on a Low Carb Diet?”

    1. Hi Jeff! For most people, it’s less than 50g/day or better below 20g. To lose fat and build muscle, then you need to do a body recomposition / lean bulk or eat at maintenance. Here is a calculator you can use when on a low carb diet.
      It will give you the macros (calories, carbs, protein, fat) you need.

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