Kidney Beans & Bodybuilding

Although intense workouts are required for bodybuilding success, your nutritional intake is also of primary importance. To improve your body composition, you need to choose nutrient-rich foods that can fuel your training sessions and help you recover from them. Kidney beans can be a good choice for bodybuilding due to the combination of protein and carbohydrates.

A large bowl of kidney beans.
Credit: nattul/iStock/Getty Images

Calories

Kidney beans are calorie-dense, which makes them beneficial for bodybuilding. Each 1/2 cup serving of kidney beans provides 110 calories, which is more than other vegetables, such as broccoli, which provides only 16 calories per 1/2 cup serving. To gain weight, you need to consume a calorie surplus.

Carbohydrates

Kidney beans are rich in carbohydrates, as each 1/2 cup serving contains 16 g of carbohydrates. Carbohydrates provide your body with energy, so kidney beans can provide fuel for your training sessions. Research from the December 2010 edition of "International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism" suggests that carbohydrates are vital for post-workout muscle recovery.

Protein

Kidney beans are rich protein, as each 1/2 cup contains 8 g, which is the same amount in an 8 oz. serving of milk. Protein is a vital nutrient for bodybuilding, as it provides the amino acids your body uses to build and repair muscles. While carbohydrates can aid in recovery after workouts, research from the May 2011 edition of the "Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research" indicates that adding protein to your post-workout meal is more effective than carbohydrates alone.

Fat

Kidney beans do not have any fat, which is a drawback for bodybuilding. Dietary fat is high in calories, so fatty foods can aid in weight gain. Additionally, certain types of fat may promote muscle gain. A study from the February 2011 edition of "The American Journal Clinical of Nutrition" found that supplementation of omega-3 fatty acids promoted muscle protein synthesis, which drives muscle growth.

Fiber Content

Kidney beans are rich in fiber, as each 1/2 cup contains 5 g of this nutrient. Dietary fiber aids in digestion and can help suppress your appetite, which can help you consume fewer calories and lose weight if you are dieting for a contest.

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