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Since I’m a “clean eater” (except 1 cheat meal per week) I was recently asked by a local guy what was the BEST carb for building muscle (while staying lean all year).
Over the last year or so there is 1 carb source that I’ve been eating more than any other…and for good reason. In fact, 7 good reasons.
It’ll help you build muscle. Stay lean. And keep you feeling full. It’s the food so nice they named it twice…
And here’s 7 great reasons you should start adding it in as one of your carb sources for building muscle.
Couscous is one of the high selenium containing foods on the planet. Why is that a good thing?
Selenium is a powerful antioxidant and plays a role in protein synthesis (building muscle). In fact, a deficiency in this can cause muscle weakness and degradation.
Strictly speaking, couscous is a carb source. But it’s also 4% protein. As a clean carb source, that’s a nice little added benefit for lifters.
I tend to take about 250g (about 9oz) cooked couscous on my plate. That’s about 10g protein. I often take couscous both before and after my THT training (download THT free here) sessions. The perfect workout and the perfect carb = gains!
Couscous is just too damn easy to make…just add boiling water and leave it. That’s it. I make a big batch in an air-tight container and keep it in the fridge. Again, I weigh out about 250g couscous for every meal I make with it.
I uploaded this video to the MuscleHack facebook. It shows me making couscous to prove how easy it is!
Any of you who have my Buff Baking anabolic cookbook know that I just don’t do complicated recipes with a list of 15 different weird ingredients. In fact, my Buff protein Bars are made with only 3 ingredients and I boldly make the claim that they’re the best protein bars you’ll ever taste! And many of you have already got back to me to say you agree!
(4) IT REALLY FILLS YOU UP
Looking for a low calorie food to fill you up when cutting? Couscous is for you! Even when you are undertaking a shredding diet to get abs, couscous is simply one of the best choices you can make as a carb source.
As an alternative to other carbs like rice or pasta, you simply get more bang for your buck! You get more food on your plate for the same amount of calories than you do with other carbs. It’s basically 1 Calorie per gram. 200g cooked couscous is a good size serving and comes in at only 200 Calories. This is why I make couscous a staple even when cutting.
I buy these 500g bags from Tesco. I looked on Amazon for my US readers, and this is pretty much the same product – a great choice.
Manganese is one of those trace elements that our bodies require small amounts of each day – but our modern diets don’t make that easy. Couscous is rich in manganese, which is important for regulating your metabolism, blood sugar levels, hormones, brain and nerve function. More on the benefits of manganese here.
I’m convinced most people simply aren’t getting their recommended daily fiber intake. My 250g serving of cooked couscous will give me 3.5-4g fiber. That’s about 1.5 cups worth of couscous. In the US, the average person is only getting 15g fiber out of the recommended 25-30g per day.
(7) B VITAMINS
Couscous is rich in B vitamins. It will deliver B6, niacin, thiami, riboflavin, folate and pantothenic acid.
B vitamins will help metabolize energy, and keep your blood, brain, nervous system, heart and immune system functioning optimally.
Guys, I also have a big list of the 59 best carbs to eat to build muscle. It includes breads, cereals, grains, rice, veggies, nuts, pastas, spreads, fruits and more.
Grab the full list below. No spam. Just input your details below and the info will appear immediately. Enjoy 🙂
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If you missed it, please read this post in conjunction with the article I just posted 48hrs ago – The 5 Unbreakable Rules of Fat Loss. Point 3 took a lot of people by surprise!
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I highly recommend MyProtein for all your supplement needs.
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- I also recommend to US readers this Optimum Nutrition whey (and here's a low-carb whey)
- And this quality, inexpensive creatine ~ Mark McManus
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You left out 1 thing Mark – it’s cheap! I love it 🙂
Mark- what are your opinion on a keto diet (protein & fats only)? The idea being that carbs are not necessary, thus converting your body to burning body fat and fat your consume for energy. Thoughts?
@Jeff. For ordinary people to lose weight, it’s not a bad way to go. To build muscle, you need at least a CKD – cyclical ketogenic diet. You need period carbs to replenish muscle glycogen levels. Without it, workouts will suffer. I have a free CKD diet here: https://musclehack.com/best-bodybuilding-diet-plan-revealed/
@Ryan. Great point!
Then what do you do with it? Eat it cold, warm it up? Add butter?
I got no idea. I got both you’re Buff cooking books, are there any instructions in the books?
@Hobbs. Yes. Heat it up with your protein source, veggies or whatever you normally have with a meal. Couscous replaces whatever carb source is usually on your plate.
I like to add salt, butter. In Buff Baking there are cooking instructions for every recipe.
I’ve been following you and your write ups for some time now. I’m really impressed ! Thanks for your time and your knowledge on your workout routines and nutrition plans. In accordance with the article above, would you still choose Couscous over Quinoa? Considering Quinoas a complete protein and has more nutritional value?. Obviously I know your in favor of Couscous, but what does it have that surpasses Quinoa?. I truly wanna continue my gains and stay ripped. Any additional help is much appreciated!
Again, Thanks for your time and expertise!
I have to disagree on this one. Sweet potatoes are a far better more nutrient dense choice.
I have to agree with @James on this one, sweet potatoes are are much better option and far more nutritious.
Also has a lower gi, and more fibre per 100g.
Couscous is essentially a type of pasta, made from wheat and therefore also contains gluten.
So in my opinion not a great choice.
@Steve. You’ll get more food on your plate for the same Calories. Also, the ease of cooking it is a big thing to me. Quinoa you gotta boil in a pot like rice. But couscous, just pour hot water a let it soak in a bowl for a few minutes and it’s ready to eat 🙂
Great stuff. Me and my ex used to eat it daily.