Grains for Gains | Do You NEED Carbs?

Sep 20, 2018

Introduction to Grains and Carbohydrates

Welcome to Trammells Martial Arts Academy! As a martial artist, you constantly push your body to perform at its best. It's important to fuel it with the right nutrition. In this article, we will explore the role of grains and carbohydrates in supporting muscle gain and overall athletic performance.

What Are Grains?

Grains are a staple in numerous world cuisines. They include wheat, rice, oats, corn, barley, quinoa, and many others. These tiny powerhouses are packed with essential nutrients like fiber, vitamins, minerals, and provide a major source of carbohydrates in our diets.

The Importance of Carbohydrates for Martial Artists

Carbohydrates are the body's preferred source of energy. They fuel your muscles during high-intensity activities like martial arts training. Consuming the right amount and type of carbohydrates is crucial for optimal performance and recovery.

The Role of Carbohydrates in Muscle Development

Carbohydrates play a vital role in muscle development. When you consume carbohydrates, they are broken down into glucose, which is utilized by your muscles for energy. This energy allows you to train harder and longer, leading to increased muscle mass over time.

Types of Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates can be categorized into two main types: simple and complex.

Simple Carbohydrates

Simple carbohydrates are found in foods like fruits, honey, and processed sugars. They are digested quickly, causing a rapid spike in blood sugar levels. While they can provide a quick burst of energy, they are not ideal for sustained energy during intense martial arts workouts.

Complex Carbohydrates

Complex carbohydrates, on the other hand, are digested slowly, resulting in a steady release of glucose into the bloodstream. These include foods like whole grains, legumes, and starchy vegetables. Complex carbohydrates are excellent for sustained energy, making them an essential component of a martial artist's diet.

The Best Grains for Martial Artists

Now that we understand the importance of carbohydrates and their different types, let's dive into some of the best grains for martial artists:

1. Brown Rice

Brown rice is a nutrient-dense grain that provides both carbohydrates and essential minerals like magnesium and phosphorus. It is an excellent source of sustained energy and can help support muscle growth and repair.

2. Quinoa

Quinoa is a complete protein grain, meaning it contains all nine essential amino acids. It is also rich in fiber, iron, and magnesium. Incorporating quinoa into your diet can aid in muscle recovery and repair, making it a great choice for martial artists.

3. Oats

Oats are high in fiber and contain a type of soluble fiber called beta-glucan, which has been found to improve cardiovascular health and regulate blood sugar levels. They provide a slow and steady release of energy, making them a perfect pre-workout meal for martial artists.

4. Whole Wheat

Whole wheat products, such as bread, pasta, and wraps, are packed with complex carbohydrates and essential nutrients like B-vitamins and minerals. This grain is a great option for martial artists looking to fuel their bodies and improve performance.

Incorporating Grains into Your Diet

Now that you know about some of the best grains for martial artists, it's important to incorporate them wisely into your diet:

1. Balance

Aim for a balanced approach by including a variety of grains, proteins, healthy fats, and vegetables in your meals. This ensures you get a wide range of nutrients necessary for optimal performance and recovery.

2. Portion Control

While grains are an essential part of a martial artist's diet, it's crucial to consume them in appropriate portions. Be mindful of your portion sizes to prevent overconsumption of carbohydrates.

3. Timing

Timing is key! It's best to consume carbohydrates before and after intense martial arts training sessions. This helps replenish glycogen stores and supports muscle recovery and growth.


In conclusion, grains, particularly complex carbohydrates, play a critical role in fueling your workouts, supporting muscle development, and enhancing athletic performance. Incorporating nutrient-rich grains like brown rice, quinoa, oats, and whole wheat into your diet can provide sustained energy and aid in muscle growth and repair. Remember to maintain a balanced approach and mindful portion control while timing your carbohydrate intake for optimal results. Keep pushing your limits at Trammells Martial Arts Academy with the power of grains for gains!