Can Carbs Fuel Muscle Growth?

It’s a fairly well-established fact that supplementing with protein after resistance training triggers an increase in protein synthesis over and above what’s accomplished through weight training alone. What if you add carbohydrates to the mix? This question is examined in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition.

Researchers found that, although the Branched Chain Amino Acid leucine needs insulin to modulate protein synthesis, there’s generally a sufficient amount in your bloodstream even without consuming carbohydrates, which promotes insulin secretion. In fact, just supplementing with leucine can boost your levels of circulating insulin.

True Strength Moment: While carbohydrates are important for replenishing levels of muscle glycogen depleted through resistance or endurance exercise, this study suggests stacking your post-workout whey protein shake with carbs won’t further augment muscle building potential. Of course, the goals of most athletes extend well beyond developing muscle size.