With bulking season on the horizon for you, you’re clearly wondering how to manage your diet and asking the all-important question: Is bread good for bodybuilding?
Bread lovers, never fear — the answer is yes! Bread is a great source of carbohydrates, a macronutrient you need for bulking and safely building muscle mass. But before you reach for a slice of white bread, know that the type of bread matters a lot.
So, for all you bulking bread lovers out there, this article is going to explore the nutritional benefits of bread and how it can help you gain muscle and weight. We’ll also give you tips on how to incorporate bread into your diet. We’ll look at:
- The nutritional benefits of bread for bodybuilding
- Negative aspects of consuming too much bread
- Nutrition values of different types of bread
- How to incorporate bread into a bulking diet
- My favorite types of bread for bodybuilding.
Let’s get into it!
Table of Contents
Are There Any Nutritional Benefits Of Bread?
The quick answer is yes!
Below, I’m going to explore some of bread’s nutritional benefits. Please don’t take this as a sign to go HAM on the nearest sourdough loa, however!
It’s important to educate yourself on why and how to add bread to your bulking diet and remember that one individual is different from the next. Consult a health professional for the best results.
Nutritional Benefits of Bread for Bodybuilding
Despite its plain appearance, bread has plenty of benefits for bulking and bodybuilding. We’ll go through a few major advantages below!
Carbohydrates: Provides Energy for Workouts
Bread is high in carbohydrates, and can have negative consequences when consumed in excess.
At the same time, carbohydrates are a go-to source of energy for your body. They help to keep your muscle energy (glycogen) levels high, providing energy for your workout.
Fiber: Aids Digestion and Promotes Satiety
All bread – white, brown, or sourdough – contains fiber, which is integral for digestion and satiety.
Fiber is a key part of any balanced diet and it’s recommended that you have about 30 grams of fiber a day.
Fiber helps you to feel fuller for longer, which helps to prevent you from snacking on anything detrimental to your bulk.
Protein: Contains Some Protein for Muscle Repair
Protein. Protein. Protein. If you’re bulking already, you probably think non-stop about your protein intake!
Protein is essential for promoting growth and repairing damaged cells and tissue, and there is lot of evidence that people engaging in intense training require more dietary protein than counterparts.
Bread is generally pretty low in protein; a whole wheat bread slice will contain about 2.7g.
However, as part of a balanced diet, the protein in bread can help your bulking!
Vitamins: Contains B Vitamins like Folate and Niacin
- Release of energy from carbohydrates and fat to break down amino acids
- Transporting of oxygen and energy-containing cells around the body.
Both niacin and folate are incredibly useful for bulking as they support muscle growth.
Minerals: Provides Essential Minerals Like Iron and Magnesium
Bread with wheat contains minerals like magnesium and sodium.
Magnesium accelerates muscle recovery and iron is essential for growth and development. Iron makes hemoglobin, which is a protein that carries oxygen to all parts of the body. It also makes myoglobin which provides oxygen to muscles.
Negative Aspects of Consuming Too Much Bread
Like anything else, including bread in your diet is a game of balance. Some important things you should take into consideration are:
- Excess carbs can lead to weight gain
- Bread can be high in sodium, which can lead to high blood pressure and disease
- Highly processed grains are lower in nutritional quality, so make sure to stick to more whole grains
- It’s estimated that 6% of the U.S. Population is sensitive to gluten. Additionally, with Coeliac disease affecting about 1% of the population, it’s important to notice any gluten sensitivity. If you switch to gluten-free bread, be aware that some gluten-free bread lacks some of the nutritional benefits of wheat-based bread.
Nutrition Values Of Different Types Of Bread (Per Slice)
How To Incorporate Bread Into A Bulking Diet?
Despite tips that littered all of the diet-crazed 2000s magazines, you don’t have to cut bread out of your life!
As mentioned above, it has many benefits to your health when consumed thoughtfully and in moderation. Below are some ways to healthily include it in your diet:
Choose whole grain or whole wheat bread
The most important part of including bread in your bulking is deciding on the type of bread.
Making the simple decision at the supermarket to invest in whole grain or whole wheat bread means you can enjoy bread as well as its numerous nutritional benefits.
Use as a side with lean protein sources
Include bread in your diet not as a core part of your meal but as something to add to your lean protein sources! This way, you get to enjoy bread and its nutritional benefits in moderation.
Make sandwiches with lean meats and veggies
Including bread in your diet in a balanced manner is a great way to enjoy bread and its nutritional value.
Sandwiches are a lunchbox favorite and can be a healthy addition to your bulking diet. Check out some recipes for inspiration!
Top with nut butter or avocado for added calories
Include in post-workout meals for quick energy
Eating carbs post-workout is going to help support your muscles after exercise! Experts recommend eating after your workout in order to build up glycogen levels in your muscles, among other benefits.
My Favorite Breads For Bodybuilding
Whenever I’m starting my bulking phase, diet becomes my top consideration. When it comes to bread, here are my five most trusted options that I always default to!
|Bread Name||Why Choose It?||Nutritional Value per Slice|
|Pepperidge Farm 100% Whole Wheat Bread||With its high fiber content per slice and decent amount of protein (not to mention the wholly satisfying flavor of wheat bread), it’s hard not to love this product from Pepperidge Farm!||130 calories, 23 g carbohydrates, 4 g fiber, 5 g protein, 180 mg sodium|
|Nature’s Own 100% Whole Wheat Bread||Great on its own and a sufficiently light serving to keep you coming back for more, Nature’s Own 100% Wheat Bread is the perfect option for those who are just starting out on their bulking journey.||60 calories, 11 g carbohydrates, 2 g fiber, 4 g protein, 110 mg sodium|
|Little Northern Bakehouse Seeds and Grains Bread||Just because you’re on a gluten-free diet doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy your fair share of bread! Little Northern Bakehouse has the perfect blend of nuts and grains that’ll take your taste buds on a rollercoaster ride. It’s crunchy and moist, which will leaving you craving for more.||85 calories, 15.5 g carbohydrates, 2 g fiber, 1 g protein, 110 mg sodium|
|O’Dough Thins – Multigrain Sandwich Bread||If you’re more interested in vegan-friendly bread, O’Dough has you covered with its multigrain sandwich bread. It’s a hard-to-beat option as a post-workout meal thanks to its high calories and carb content!||170 calories, 37 g carbohydrates, 4 g fiber, 4 g protein, 500 mg sodium|
|Carbonaut High Fiber Bread||When it comes to bulking, fiber is an unsung hero. This nifty nutrient will help you to stick to your meal plan and minimize the likelihood of cheat days that can derail your overall progress. This offering from Carbonaut is also gluten-free, so it’s one to seriously consider if you have any sensitivities.||80 calories, 8 g carbohydrates, 6 g fiber, 6 g protein, 140 mg sodium|
Can bodybuilders eat bread?
Bodybuilders can eat bread. Enjoyed as part of a balanced diet, bread contains protein, vitamins, minerals, and fiber (among other things) that can be beneficial to your muscle-building journey.
Which is better for bulking, rice or bread?
Rice is a classic bodybuilding food as it fills you up and facilitates muscle recovery. It depends on what you are trying to achieve with your bodybuilding as to whether you focus on rice or bread. Having more variety in your diet is always desirable!
Is wheat bread better for bulking?
Yes. Wheat bread is full of B vitamins like niacin and folate which are essential in muscle growth.
Does bread ruin gains?
Absolutely not. Included in a balanced diet, consuming bread while you are bulking is healthy (and even encouraged).
How many slices of bread a day is healthy?
This is not a clear-cut answer because every individual and their dietary requirements are different, I recommend discussing your diet with a health professional.
Diet and nutrition is a complex and growing field. Every day, scientists are finding new information and our perspective on the human body shifts slightly.
I always recommend exercising variety and moderation in your diet. Bread isn’t going to either make or break your bulking diet, but it can still be there and does provide applicable nutritional value.
This nutritional value includes carbohydrates which are essential for energy, fiber which aids digestion and promotes satiety, protein which aids in muscle repair, vitamins like folate and niacin which support muscle growth, and minerals like iron and magnesium which accelerate muscle recovery and are used for growth and development.
There are healthy ways to include bread in your diet, but there are negative ways too. These can contribute to weight gain and lead to high blood pressure, amongst other detrimental aspects.
Everything in moderation is key to a happy and healthy you!