For skinny guys trying to bulk up or underweight individuals focused on gaining, getting enough carbohydrates in your diet is crucial. Carbs provide the glycogen your muscles need to grow along with fuel for an active lifestyle conducive to building mass.
Choosing healthy, nutritious sources of carbohydrates can ensure you gain lean weight in the form of muscle versus fat. Let’s look at some of the top high-carb foods to incorporate for clean weight gain.
Why Carbs Are Key For Weight Gain?
Carbohydrates are the preferred source of fuel for your brain and muscles.
Here’s why loading up on carbs aids weight gain:
- Carbs get stored in muscles as glycogen which pulls water into the cells, increasing size.
- Carbs provide glucose to fuel intense workouts needed for muscle growth.
- Higher carb intake elevates anabolic hormones like insulin which assist muscle building.
- Carbs increase levels of serotonin in the brain improving mood and appetite.
- A high-carb diet supports higher calorie intake essential for gaining weight.
Consuming enough nutritious carbs makes the weight gain process easier and more efficient.
12 High-Carb Foods To Gain Weight
Here are some of the top high-carbohydrate foods to add to your diet:
Great source of slow-burning complex carbs and fiber. Make oatmeal or add to smoothies.
Nutrient-dense whole grain full of protein, carbs, amino acids, iron, and magnesium.
Starchy fruit provides filling carbs, potassium, magnesium, and vitamin B6.
4. Sweet Potatoes
Packed with fiber, vitamins A and C, antioxidants, iron, and quality carbs.
5. Brown Rice
Nutritious high-carb staple to pair with beans, meat, veggies, or healthy fats.
These underground tubers offer carbs, fiber, potassium, vitamin C and B6.
7. Whole Grain Bread
Look for 100% whole wheat for muscle-fueling carbs and fiber.
Filling protein and fiber sources full of plant-based carbs and iron.
Packs easily digested carbs combined with healthy fats and protein.
10. Dried Fruit
Provides concentrated carbohydrate and calorie boost from natural fructose sugars.
11. Nut Butter
Carb and protein combo full of essential fats that support weight gain.
12. Dark Chocolate
Indulge in the carbs from cacao along with mood-boosting fat and antioxidants.
Meal Ideas To Pack In More Carbs
Try incorporating these higher-carb dishes into your meal plan:
The Takeaway: Eat More Healthy Carbs
Adding more wholesome, fiber-rich carbohydrate foods supports clean weight gain goals. Focus on unrefined comples carbs over sugars. Pair with protein and exercise for best results. Eating adequate nutritious carbs provides energy for an active lifestyle, helps build more muscle, and makes following a higher calorie diet easier. Just be mindful of portions and balance with other healthy foods.
Shoot for 300-500 grams of carbohydrates daily depending on your goals, activity level and current intake.
Yes, focus on complex carbohydrates like oats, rice and potatoes over simple sugars for clean weight gain.
Try trail mix, granola bars, crackers with nut butter, smoothies, dried fruit and chocolate milk.
They can, so be mindful of portions. Balance carbs with lean proteins, healthy fats and exercise.
Yes, if you stick to nutritious whole food sources and stay active. Limit processed carbs and sugars.