The fluctuation of which nutrient can have the most rapid and dramatic impact on muscle volume and strength? What about leverage and lean mass in the form of water? Is it protein? Could it actually be something else? In the year 2015, nobody needs to be reminded about how protein benefits athletes. High protein with low to moderate carbohydrate has become the default choice and endures unquestioned. If the world of nutrition can come to an agreement on just one topic, perhaps it can agree that weightlifters will be sadly disappointed with there training results if protein intake falls short.

So what about carbohydrate and how can it benefit those of us seeking muscle mass accumulation? Chris Aceto, when discussing 7 ways to enhance muscle glycogen without increasing fat stores, hit a very important point when introducing some background information in his article.  Protein is not the only key player in muscle building, carbohydrate has specific roles too! The amount of carbohydrate stored as glycogen in muscle can have implications for the degree to which anabolism is possible. Extra protein will not drive extra protein synthesis if muscle glycogen levels are too low. Lastly, full glycogen stores may speed recovery and heighten growth. It begs the question about what is happening on a cellular level that gives glucose such a vital role in the muscle building process?

If our thinking about carbohydrates is dominated by fear of fat gain, perhaps we could be missing out on important muscle boosting benefits that come with higher sugar storage.   Check out the full article below and see Chris Aceto’s tips on minimizing fat gain while maximizing muscle glycogen. He goes into detail on his four main steps:

1. Eat six meals per day.

2. Honor your training.

3. Determine your insulin sensitivity.

4. Alter your carb intake.

"Carbohydrate plays an active role in glycogen replenishment. In fact, the amount of carbohydrates stored inside muscles — called muscle glycogen — can determine whether or not muscles remain in an anabolic, or muscle-building, state. How vital are well-stocked glycogen stores? Protein intake above and beyond what reputable nutritionists say is “enough” won’t boost muscle mass if glycogen stores are too low. On the other hand, if glycogen stores are full, chances of faster recovery and improved growth markedly increase."

Article Source: Flex Online