Starchy carbohydrates are key for muscle growth. Use white rice and brown rice pre and post workout to provide fast acting carb for energy and glycogen repletion. Brown rice is the higher fiber version, a good staple of any muscle-building nutrition plan.
Cooked brown rice contains 5 grams of protein per cup, and compared with other similar plant protein sources, brown rice is the second highest in BCAAs after quinoa. Brown rice is missing the essential amino acid lysine. However, this is easily made up in other places in the diet and isn’t a limiting factor in the gym. Rice protein powder is a popular plant-based protein supplement. A recently published study from the University of Tampa found that a rice protein supplement yielded the same muscle-building benefits to whey when taken after weight training.
“Previously, studies have shown that animal-derived protein had a different effect on muscle growth than plant-based protein such as soy,” said Dr. Jaeger. “This has changed. We found that rice protein isolate administration post resistance exercise decreases fat-mass and increases lean body mass, muscle hypertrophy, power and strength comparable to whey protein isolate.”
Dr. Jaeger and his co-author, Dr. Jacob Wilson (University of Tampa, Department of Health Sciences and Human Performance), used 24 healthy, college-aged, resistance-trained participants who consumed 48g of rice or whey protein isolate immediately following training for 8 weeks. You can read more about the study and results: The effects of 8 weeks of whey or rice protein supplementation.
Another very good source of both carbohydrates and protein is beans. Beans are an excellent source of micronutrients and are higher in calories which makes them great for those who require more calories in order to build muscle effectively.
One cup of black beans contains about 225 calories, 0 fat, 40 grams of carbs, and 15 grams of protein. If you combine beans with some cooked rice you have a very good muscle building meal that will provide all the nutrients your muscles need to grow effectively.
Don’t get frustrated with trying to figure out the perfect macronutrient breakdown or counting how many grams of protein you have consumed each day. Stick to the simple things that ensure good health and longevity. If you are serious about getting lean check out The Starch Solution by John McDougall.