Are Bagels Good for Bulking? (7 interesting facts)

Bagels are known as one of the best comfort foods across the globe. People usually eat bagels for breakfast, but you’ll also see them on dinner and lunch menus as well.

They have a good nutritional profile and if you’re wondering whether or not you can use them for bulking, then you’ve come to the right place. Let’s discuss this in detail.

Bagels and Bulking

Are Bagels Good for Bulking? Bagels are high in carbs and you can also add them to your meals easily to achieve your bodybuilding goals. This food is especially good for bodybuilders who are bulking.

Different Varieties of Bagels

It’s important to note that not all bagels are created equal. You should carefully choose a type that will support your bulking goals instead of eating any type of bagels you can get your hands on. The following are the two best types of bagels along with their nutritional profile that you can use for bulking.

Whole Wheat and Plain Bagels

Both whole wheat and plain bagels are good options if you want to improve your muscle mass. Whole wheat bagels offer more fiber, minerals, and vitamins than plain ones because they’re less processed. Using whole-grain bagels will not only provide you with the energy you need during a workout but they’ll also offer vital nutrients.

The protein and sodium content in both types is pretty much the same but whole-grain bagels offer fewer calories. Better yet, whole grain bagels also offer more essential electrolytes and minerals including magnesium and potassium.

On the other hand, plain bagels provide your body with energy faster than whole grain ones. So, in simple words, whole grain bagels are better to create a post-workout meal because of their better nutritional value. And plan bagels make for a better option for pre-workout meals as they’re digested quickly and provide your body with the energy required for weight lifting faster.

Whole Wheat and Plain Bagel: Nutritional Profiles

105 grams of whole grain and plain bagels come with the following nutritional value.

NutrientWhole Wheat BagelsPlain Bagels
Calories262277
Carbs51.3 grams55 grams
Protein10.7 grams11.1 grams
Fat1.6 grams1.4 grams
Fiber4.3 grams1.7 grams

Eating Bagels Before Workouts

As mentioned earlier, plain bagels are a better option to create a pre-workout meal. You can eat them 30 to 60 minutes before your workout. However, if you want to eat your pre-workout meal three to four hours before performing the exercise, you can go with whole-grain bagels as they have a steadier energy release. Grits are another great meal before a workout.

It’s important for bodybuilders, who are bulking, to eat food high in carbs before a workout. Ideally, you should consume about 1 to 4 grams of carbs per pound of your body weight for bulking, depending upon the intensity of your exercise.

It means you can safely eat 100 grams of bagels before you start your workout session. Make sure that you weigh for at least 30 minutes so that the plain bagels can be digested to generate the energy your body needs. If you are planning to use whole-grain bagels, consider waiting for at least three hours.

Related: Eating Noodles for Bulking

Eating Bagels After Workouts

Eating a meal that contains whole grain bagels after a workout can be very beneficial for your body. That’s because it’s a high-carb food and it’ll allow your body to replenish its energy. The carbs will be converted into glycogen that helps in recovering from a workout.

Bear in mind that your body also needs protein after a workout. While bagels offer protein in a decent amount, it’s advisable to add some more using a food source that offers lean protein. It’ll allow your body to activate the muscle protein synthesis to rebuild your muscles effectively.

 You can pair bagels with any type of protein source. Some people use nuts and you can follow the same. However, you’ll need to manage your other meals to keep your overall daily fat intake from exceeding the limit suitable for bulking.

You can consume 0.5 grams of carbs per pound of your body weight after a workout. It also means that adding 100 grams of bagels to your post-workout meal is completely safe.

Benefits of Eating Bagels for Bulking

There are many benefits of incorporating bagels into your diet plan if you’re bulking including the following.

High-Carb Food

Bagels are loaded with carbohydrates, which is the most significant benefit of this food for bodybuilders who’re bulking. Only one bagel provides your body with approximately 50 grams of carbohydrates that come in handy before and after workouts. Another great option for carbs is oatmeal.

Easy Way to Increase Calorie Intake

If you’re facing trouble increasing your daily calorie count, consider adding bagels to your diet. It’s a high-energy dense food that allows you to consume more calories without eating food in a large amount. A typical medium-sized bagel weighs around 100 grams and provides you with more than 250 calories.

Affordable

Other than being high in calories and carbs, bagels also make for easy-to-eat and affordable food. You can also extend the shelf life of this food easily by storing it in your refrigerator or freezer. There are also some other cheap carb sources such as eggs and potatoes, but you need to cook them before eating. However, that’s not the case with bagels as you can buy and eat them on the go.

Portable

Bagels are also portable and you can carry them around using any container. You can also place them in your gym bag for your post-workout meal if you’re not planning to head back home after the exercise. Not only will it save you time but it’ll also save you from the hassle of preparing your workout meals.

Easy to Digest

It’s yet another great advantage of bagels for bulking. They’re extremely easy to digest which means you’ll be ready within 30-60 minutes for your workout session after eating them. Your body will digest the carbs bagels offer quickly and convert them to the energy you need to perform the exercise, without feeling too stuffed.  

Different Varieties

Both savory and sweet bagels are available in the market and you can choose the one that suits your taste better. You can consume this food at any time of the day, whether it’s dinner, lunch, or breakfast. You can pair them with some jam or eggs to make your pre-workout snack and using a lean protein source with bagels will allow you to enjoy a healthy and delicious post-workout meal.

High in Protein

It’s not easy to find a food source that offers carbs, which are an excellent source of protein as well. A single bagel offers about 10 grams of protein per serving, which is even more than what an egg offers. Bagels also come in handy for those people who mainly focus on plant-based food sources and want to minimize their meat consumption.

Downsides of Eating Bagels for Bulking

Bagels also have some downsides that you need to keep in mind before adding them to your diet plan, especially if you’re bulking.

High in Calories

While being high in calories is a benefit, it can be a downside at the same time. Bagels are high in calories and eating just a single donut means that you’ll consume more than 250 calories. So, if you don’t carefully manage your other meals of the day, your calorie intake will likely increase more than what your body uses.

In such a case, you’ll start gaining fat, which is no less than a nightmare for bodybuilders. If you’re focusing on a more controlled-calorie diet, consider eating thin bagels. The high amount of carbs present in bagels can also be a con if you’re trying to control your daily carb intake.

Processed Food Item

Most dietitians and experts suggest that you should follow an 80-20 diet. It means that 80 percent of all your daily meals should consist of natural and whole foods and 20 percent on processed sources.

High processed foods usually come with additives and filler content and they also lack essential nutrients such as minerals, vitamins, and fiber. Bagels are highly processed food and they must be included in the 20 percent category. This is also true of Tamales.

So, you’ll need to make sure that the rest of the meals that you eat in the entire day consist of natural and whole food sources such as quinoa, chickpeas, lentils, legumes, beans, potatoes, and rice.

High in Sodium

Bagels are also high in sodium. On average, one bagel offers about 450 milligrams of sodium. Eating food high in sodium can lead to many health problems including heart diseases and high blood pressure. It can also reduce the amount of calcium in your body which can weaken your teeth and bones. That’s why it’s important to restrict your daily sodium intake.

Final Words

Bagels are usually made with sugar and refined wheat flour. They’re high in carbs and calories and can actually help you with bulking. You can use them to create both pre-and post-workout meals to get energy and support the muscle rebuilding process. Make sure that you eat them in moderation and monitor your daily intake of macro and micro-nutrients to enjoy the benefits they bring to the table.