T Nation

Gaining Muscle On Less Carbs?


#1

I know a lot of people bulk on very high carbs 300g 400g etc but how about meeting my macros on a lower 150g/day ?

I have never really gone over 250g carbs/day on purpose because it tends to leave me bloated and retaining water plus my family has a history of type 2 diabetes so I have always been weary of a high carb approach.

My macros today were:

140g carbs
101 fat
219 protein

Just under 2700 calories

I have no problem with energy/strength gains in the gym and my pumps are great.

Do carbs have a diminshing level of returns after a certain level ?

I am sure if I ate 50g carbs and 120g fat my performance would drop but, 120-160g seems to be the sweet spot.


#2

[quote]TC15 wrote:
I know a lot of people bulk on very high carbs 300g 400g etc but how about meeting my macros on a lower 150g/day ?

I have never really gone over 250g carbs/day on purpose because it tends to leave me bloated and retaining water plus my family has a history of type 2 diabetes so I have always been weary of a high carb approach.

My macros today were:

140g carbs
101 fat
219 protein

Just under 2700 calories

I have no problem with energy/strength gains in the gym and my pumps are great.

Do carbs have a diminshing level of returns after a certain level ?

I am sure if I ate 50g carbs and 120g fat my performance would drop but, 120-160g seems to be the sweet spot.
[/quote]

Many people feel fine with 100 to 150 gram, so long as total calories are set properly.


#3

I’m right there with you. I’ve slowly put on size while staying relatively lean all around the 150g mark. At this point, I know my optimal intensity, frequency, volume, etc. week to week and know that that’s as much as I need. I also know that with lower fats I fall apart. Aching joints, loss of energy, issues sleeping, etc.

That being said, don’t be afraid to experiment, and don’t be afraid of a little water retention. 150 is the sweet spot I found after experimenting with much higher carb approaches. Who knows, you might feel awesome at 300 and stay lean while performance jumps.

One last thing, going relatively low like that I find every couple weeks or so I can get away with a “free” day where I eat what I want within reason. Typically pretty heavy day for sweets and I probably land in the 400-600g range. It provides a nice little boost to training for a couple days after too. Just experiment and be honest with what you see in the mirror and how you feel the next couple mornings.


#4

I see 0 change in my body composition if I stay under 500g of carbs a day

600 might begin to make me gain. Still experimenting. We are all SO different when it comes to carbs, there is no point asking