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  • Writer's pictureNatasha Gradov

Here's Why Cutting Carbs For Protein Might Not Help You Build Muscle



The linked article below discusses the role of nutrition in bodybuilding, particularly the debate over high-protein, low-carb diets versus a diet higher in carbohydrates. Here’s a summary:


Mark Taylor’s Bodybuilding Nutrition Strategy:

  • Mark Taylor, a 52-year-old bodybuilder and “Mr Universe” titleholder, attributes his success to a diet rich in carbohydrates, contrary to the traditional high-protein, low-carb approach.

  • After years of following a low-carb diet and feeling constantly tired, Taylor switched to prioritizing carbs and increased calorie intake, which led to his dream physique.

Science Behind Muscle Building:

  • Muscle growth requires progressive overload training and is influenced by muscle protein synthesis and muscle protein breakdown.

  • Nutrition plays a crucial role, with proteins providing amino acids like leucine, essential for muscle building.

  • Daily protein intake and sufficient calories are vital for muscle gains, while other nutrients also contribute to the process.

  • Consuming 20-40 grams of fast-releasing proteins post-training can boost muscle protein synthesis, and slow-releasing proteins before sleep may help with recovery.

Carbohydrates in Muscle Building:

  • Studies are mixed on whether combining carbs with protein post-exercise increases muscle protein synthesis more than protein alone.

  • Carbs can reduce muscle protein breakdown by triggering insulin production, which has a protective effect.

  • Taylor’s success might be explained by the common bodybuilding practice of alternating between ‘bulking’ (increasing calorie intake) and ‘cutting’ (reducing body fat) phases.

  • Low-carb diets can lead to less energy, weakened immunity, fatigue, reduced performance, and hormonal disruptions.


In essence, while high-protein, low-carb diets are popular among bodybuilders, Mark Taylor’s experience suggests that a balanced approach with adequate carbohydrates can also be effective for muscle building and overall well-being.



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