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Is Pasta Good For Bulking?

Building muscles has always revolved around eating more and more protein such that your diet is always focused on chicken, beef, fish and eggs. While protein is vital for gaining and sustaining muscle mass, carbs should not be neglected too. One type of carb which is not often talked about is pasta. Most people focus on oatmeal and brown rice but what about pasta? There are several types of pasta like spaghetti, capellini, macaroni, penne and the healthiest ones include whole-wheat and 100% durum wheat semolina. Pasta are considered great foods for bulking for the following reasons:

You can't really bulk on protein alone

Eating only protein to bulk up will not be very effective as you'll also need carbohydrates to reach your goals. Bulking up requires an overall surplus of calories so that you can gain weight. Protein for sure builds muscles but eating only that will not be enough to increase your calories and also going overboard with protein doesn't mean you'll gain more muscle mass. In fact, you can be jeopardizing your health as excess protein cause undue stress on your liver and kidneys as these filter the excess amino acids and excrete them into your urine.

This is why consuming carbs along with protein yields much better results. Carbs will not only boost your caloric intake but they also give your muscles a fuller and denser look as compared to a flatter look with just protein. Physically active people should consume 2.5 grams of carbs per pound of body weight, so if you weigh 180 pounds, you should eat 450 grams of carbs daily. Here are some nutritional information for pasta.

In 140 grams of whole-wheat spaghetti cooked, you get 174 calories, 37.2 grams of carbs, 6.3 grams dietary fiber and 7.5 grams of protein.

In 140 grams of 100% durum wheat semolina spaghetti(dry), you get 498 calories, 101 grams of carbs, 4.07 grams dietary fiber and 16.5 grams of protein.

As you can see, you can increase your calorie intake considerably if you eat pasta regularly in your meals.

Pasta is not only carbohydrates

One great thing about eating pasta is it's not only carbs, it has a decent amount of protein as well although the amino acid profile is not complete. This isn't a problem as you can simply toss a few pieces of chicken, beef or fish and a drizzle of olive oil and you get a solid carb/protein/healthy fats meal.

While pasta is a great bulking food, it's also very effective in providing sustained levels of energy for your workouts, so it's basically a good pre-workout meal. You can also eat a pasta meal one and a half hour after your post-workout protein shake. The good thing about eating high-quality pastas is you'll limit fat storage as these pastas are low glycemic index(GI) foods, meaning they release energy gradually and don't trigger an insulin spike, so they maintain stable blood sugar levels. Even on a bulking phase, you can still limit fat storage with pasta due to the slow-digesting carbs and fiber content.

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