T Nation

Why All of the Grains?


Alright i so i have a friend whos always begging me to read this section from a book hes been reading about carbs. Mainly grains. I've read the massive eating articles and notice most of his carbs come from fruits and vege's. He ensures me grains are completely pointless to building muscle. While i know carbs dont feed muscle i do know they replenish glycogen stores. Yet he's one of those persistent guys always tryin to convince me. I want to know why grains that i see in most bodybuilders bulk diets are used.. whats the point? If protein builds muscle why do they eat so much oatmeal?

He assures me you dont need to consume carbs because carbs are converted to glucose once ingested, and that your body can do the same with protein if it needs to. This is becoming more of a personal debate between us haha so i want some help here. Cause im getting owned.



Thread was moved, so I retract my worthless wise ass post.


Oh i forgot internet is for elitist clowns. "Do your own reasearch." "Why should we answer your question we are better than you."

There are two types of people on the internet that act like that. People in weightlifting forums, and people that play World of Tardcraft. One flexes e-muscles the other flexes real muscles. Brains and brawns.

Most of the research that I've done would lead me to believe that carbs are for recovery. But from what I've read carbs are converted to glucose once digested. The body can make glucose from protein if it has to. It can also burn fat as fuel. So please, enlighten me with your wizard book of nutrition knowledge. Oh and by the way if you hadn't picked up, I'm talking carbs from a grains stand point.

So , troll away or give a classy response that can help me out. Either way i've done my reading, but as you well know there are always two sides chasing the ball. There's also a lot of bullshit clouding the fitness industry.


what in the fuck are you even talking about.


What is your actual question? If you are burning protein for fuel you're doing it wrong.


Two reasons. Raised insulin secretion levels are required for maximum growth of muscles. In short: insulin helps channel blood proteins and glucose into muscle cells. Carbs like oatmeal raise insulin secretion at the time of digestion.

Second reason is that carbs more quickly replenish glycogen stores. The process is shorter, so you recover faster.


Thank you sir. I appreciate the straight simple answer. His argument still remains that the body will use protein for this if it actually needs it.

So from his argument will the body convert protein to glucose to spike insulin, or is this process strictly used in a survival standpoint?


Replenishing glycogen stores = feeding muscle.

If you're building muscle, you don't want your liver to have to synthesize glucose to restore glycogen levels. It's an inefficient use of proteins. Instead, you want the easiest method of refueling, which is carbohydrate intake. That way, you can make make better use of the protein you eat.


"Dependent on ATP levels, and hence blood glucose levels, the ATP-controlled potassium channels (K+) close and the cell membrane depolarizes
On depolarization, voltage controlled calcium channels (Ca2+) open and calcium flows into the cells.
Significantly increased amounts of calcium in the cells causes release of previously synthesized insulin."
- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Insulin

"The glucose-alanine cycle is the main pathway by which amino groups from muscle amino acids are transported to the liver for conversion to glucose...
Plasma amino-acid levels are affected by dietary carbohydrate through the action of insulin, which lowers plasma amino-acid levels (particularly the branched-chain amino acids) by promoting their entry into the muscle.
- http://www.faqs.org/nutrition/Met-Obe/Metabolism.html#ixzz15KBxcASC"

Your friend is right about protein EVENTUALLY raising insulin levels, but digesting protein will not 'spike' insulin, it will instead create 'small waves' of insulin. All lifters, bodybuilders and powerlifters alike, want to 'spike' insulin at certain times of the day, such as in the morning and after a workout to maximize 'channelling' of nutrients into the muscles.
Remember, the rate of nutrients channelled over time is directly correlated to insulin concentration levels, so the higher the insulin the better the effect. This is why we want to spike insulin, and not just eat protein all the time.

Also remember there are some times when you do not want spiked insulin, so too many carbs can be bad thing. I always say carbs should be used like a tool, not a primary source of nourishment.


So first off, grains are not just carbs, they have a decent amount of protein, high in fibre and they have vitamins.

Although fat is the body's preferred fuel source at rest, itâ??s not a good fuel source for moderate to high intensity exercise. You need to eat carbs before because during your workouts your muscles are using carbs, and like you said after your workout you need to replenish your store of carbs (glycogen). Eating protein and fat will not be sufficient to fill glycogen stores.

Breaking down protein for energy is not something you want to encourage, the body only does this in starvation or when you are eating protein far in excess of what you need. It is an inefficient process and leaves by products which your body has to remove.

As others mentioned, carbs are the biggest regulator of insulin which is the main anabolic hormone.

Bodybuilders eat grains like rice and oats because they are good food high in calories fibre and nutrients and they eat them at particular times (morning, pre/post exercise) to maximise their recovery and growth. It would be very difficult to eat the large amounts of calories these big guys need while bulking without any grains or carb source.


And we have a winner!


Haha, thanks guys i really appreciate the info. Now he's insisting that its dangerous to spike insulin. He's saying that over time it will wear your body down and you'll start to notice diminishing returns. He's also insisting that the CASEIN HYDROSOLATE is also dangerous, good for the short term but just destroys your body. I honestly dont think there's a possible way to convince him other wise. He keeps pulling shit from his utility belt, but it is good to know for my own reasons that way i can avoid him trying to convince me that im killing myself eating oatmeal, rice, and my newest favorite quinoa.

Thanks again.


Your friend is a retard. Stop listening to him.