Bodybuilders have to be especially attuned to everything they consume if they want to put their best physique forward on the competition stage. While protein is crucial for building muscle, carbohydrates are also important for providing energy to fuel workouts. One of the most popular carbohydrate sources for bodybuilders is steamed rice. If you're looking to take your body to the next level, consider the benefits of adding rice to your diet.
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Benefits for Bodybuilders
Rice is a cheap, easy-to-prepare, rich carbohydrate source for bodybuilders. Bodybuilders typically eat five to six small meals each day that include lean protein and whole-grain carbohydrate sources. Rice can easily be prepared in large quantities ahead of time, so bodybuilders don't have to cook it for each meal. For bodybuilders who are going through a bulking phase, rice can be a high-calorie food source to help put on mass.
How to Prepare
Preparation of rice is important for bodybuilders. Steamed or boiled rice is the cleanest way to cook rice, as it doesn't require any added fats or oils, as fried rice does. Season rice with your favorite spices, but avoid adding salt, as this can cause you to retain water. Be aware that many flavor varieties of boxed rices have added preservatives and sodium, making them less desirable. Opt for plain dried rice that you can boil or prepare in a steamer.
White vs. Brown
Bodybuilders usually gravitate toward brown rice over white for a couple of reasons. First, brown rice has more protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals because the outer bran casing, which gives brown rice its color, has not been removed. It is also slower to digest, making it a steady, long-lasting energy source for bodybuilders. White rice, on the other hand, has had the bran casing removed, converting it into an easily digested, fast-acting energy source. White rice can be a good post-workout carb source -- when eaten in conjunction with a protein source -- to spike insulin levels and help the body absorb nutrients needed to begin muscle repair.
When to Eat
Typically, it's better to eat the majority of your carbohydrates during the day, when you're most active and your body needs the energy. Consider eating brown rice with your first couple of meals of the day and then transitioning to just proteins and vegetables for your late afternoon and evening meals. Pre-workout, rice can help fuel your exercise, and post-workout, it can spike insulin and help transport protein and amino acids to the muscles.