As most know, for the body to create new tissue, the body must be in a caloric excess. When a person eats more than the body can utilize, the excess is stored as fat or wasted through generating heat.
What I have been reading recently is that what you eat has an effect on what happens with excess calories that are consumed.
"This was different from the response
in our carbohydrate overfeeding study
(1), in which all subjects had an increase in
basal metabolic rate (mean 12%). One possible
explanation for this difference is that carbohydrate
overfeeding increased serum T3 levels
in all subjects (mean 32%), whereas in this
study mixed overfeeding did not always increase
serum T3 levels. It seems unlikely that
a small increase in serum T3 levels alone could
increase total energy expenditure very much,
since pharmacologically doubling T3 levels
(without overfeeding) increases basal metabolic
rate only 6% and does not affect the
thermic effect of meals or exercise (23). We
cannot rule out the possibility that increased
conversion of T4 to T3 in tissues contributes
to the increase in metabolic rate during overfeeding,
and increased responsiveness to T3
during overfeeding cannot be excluded as a
factor in the increased metabolic rate."
In this study the increased carbohydrate content increased T3 serum concentrations which in turn raised the metabolic rate. This is exactly what you want as a suppressed metabolism means suppressed hormones. It should be mentioned that the added calories in the diet were from extra desserts taken at meals (sucrose). Therefore they found that insulin levels were higher after the overfeeding, but I feel this would be different had the carbohydrates been glucose or starch based. It should be noted that in other studies:
"It has been observed that diets rich in
carbohydrate improve glucose tolerance (12,
Therefore I feel that overfeeding on a unrefined high starch diet will allow the greatest amounts of muscle to be gained while also limiting fat gains to zero or extremely low.
Diet composition plays an integral part in the hormones of the body. To gain the greatest amounts of muscle you must stimulate the muscle, feed the muscle, and have proper hormonal balance.
Many bodybuilding diets focus on consuming large amounts a protein. Extra protein that is not necessary and is a burden on the systems of the body. Protein is not a normal energy source and is extremely inefficient if it is called on to become one. While doing much studying, I have found yet another reason to avoid too much protein:
"The significant negative correlation between protein and resting T concentrations is consistent with the findings of Anderson et al. (2), who demonstrated that a low-protein diet (10% of total energy) was associated with higher levels of T compared with a diet higher in protein (44% of total energy)"
"Testosterone concentrations in seven normal men were consistently higher after ten days on a high carbohydrate diet (468 +/- 34 ng/dl, mean +/- S.E.) than during a high protein diet (371 +/- 23 ng/dl, p less than 0.05)"
"In contrast, cortisol concentrations were consistently lower during the high carbohydrate diet than during the high protein diet (7.74 +/- 0.71 micrograms/dl vs. 10.6 +/- 0.4 micrograms/dl respectively, p less than 0.05)"
Increased Testosterone and decreased Cortisol!! That is the perfect combination. It appears that a high carbohydrate is extremely anabolic and anti-catabolic.
By this chart, that correlates the effects of macro-nutrients on testosterone concentrations, you can easily see that the optimal diet is one that contains High Carbohydrates, Moderate Protein, and a High ratio of Saturated to unsaturated fats. This diet seems to be consistent with what Matt Stone's RRARF and my own recommendations. So as you you look to build muscle keep these variables in mind.
My next post I will discuss proper exercise regimens and how the utilize them.