More fat or more carbs to increase muscle mass?
If you are in excess calories, does it matter where most of the calories come from? Fats or carbohydrates? Get out of here!
What are the pros and cons for a high-fat or high-carbohydrate diet, when the goal is hypertrophy (increased muscle mass), assuming that in both scenarios the number of calories is the same and the amount of protein is equal (remember, 1 , 8 - 2.5 grams of protein / kilogram body is required for optimal growth)
We must first keep in mind that carbohydrates are a much better source of fuel for workouts, especially for intense workouts, than fats. The body can burn glucose at a much faster rate than it can in the case of fats . You will not be able to oxidize fat fast enough to produce ATP compared to burning glucose, whether it is glucose stored in muscle as glycogen, or glucose from the blood or released from the liver.
Therefore, carbohydrates support high-intensity exercise much more effectively than fats.
Excess storage potential
The second thing to keep in mind is that when you are in excess calories, meaning you eat more than your body burns, excess carbohydrates have the potential to be stored first as glycogen in muscles and / or liver. Only after glycogen stores are full do they have the potential to be stored as fat.
On the other hand, fats consumed in excess of the caloric maintenance level can only be stored as fat, not as glycogen . So, an excess of carbohydrates leaves a small buffer zone when you are in excess calories. This is especially true when you follow intense workouts, which drain your glycogen stores, which then need to be refilled. This refill helps to recover better after the effort and ensures that performance remains high in successive workouts.
High amounts of carbohydrates mean even more insulin released by the body, this being an extremely anabolic hormone. Insulin has great potential to stimulate the mTOR anabolic pathway and to act on other mechanisms that increase muscle protein synthesis, which is the mechanism by which the body produces new muscle tissue.
Fats have no impact on insulin. No matter how much fat you eat, there is no anabolic effect due to insulin.
Supporting protein synthesis
As already mentioned, protein synthesis in muscles is essential for their growth. Triggering it is a complex process with many factors. It is more complicated than stimulating the mTOR pathway. Maybe some of you know the recommendation to take leucine after workouts, 4-6 grams, which triggers mTOR. But it is not the only factor. It's just the trigger. In order to produce protein synthesis, you must also have sufficient reserves of amino acids and reserves full of glycogen, being an extremely important factor for signaling the initiation of protein synthesis.
The closer the glycogen reserves are to the maximum, the stronger the protein synthesis will be. Here, too, it gains carbohydrates, restoring its glycogen stores the most efficiently.
I must emphasize again that all these are strongly related to the workouts you follow, the more glycolytic they are, the greater the need for carbohydrates . A pure strength cycle, with few repetitions, average number of sets and very long breaks between sets, will not require so many carbohydrates, and the body can function better with fat. But in general, hypertrophy workouts work better on more carbs than more fat.