You see just about every bodybuilder in the world eating rice. In fact, I wrote a whole post explaining why bodybuilders eat rice and chicken just because of this! But, is rice good for bulking?
Yes. Rice is good for bulking. It’s one of the healthiest options for foods you can have for bulking, tastes great, helps digestion, provides healthy carbs, and goes well with any food. The only downside is that it’s a little hard to get calories from, but you can easily add soy sauce, shrimp, or something else to help out.
Let’s talk about this a little more in-depth!
Why Exactly Is Rice Good For Bulking?
To understand why exactly rice is good for bulking, we need to first look at the nutrition of rice.
Now, there are lots of different types of kinds of rice you can get. Generally, however, you’re going to have white rice, jasmine rice, or whole-grain rice.
Uhh, I’ll be honest. I’m a simple guy, and I’ve tried to find out if there are serious differences between these different kinds of rice, and there’s not really any.
I guess the whole grain and jasmine stuff is slightly healthier? But, I’ll respectfully say that to be honest, it’s not a big deal.
Most of us are just going to be using the rice that’s lying around our house anyways, or whatever is available at the store. (If you’re like me, you’re just going to be buying the cheapest stuff anyway lol)
The bottom line? Most types of rice are the same overall. So, this will be a fairly general nutrition guide. Check the nutrition guide on the side of your favorite type of rice.
Long Grain Rice Nutrition
So, I went to the local grocery store. And put myself in the shoes of someone just trying to buy some rice.
I know many bodybuilders reading this live with their parents/aren’t millionaires. So we’re just going with some cheap rice that works.
Here’s what the nutrition label said:
- Serving Size: 1/4th cup
- Calories: 160
- Carbohydrates: 36g
- Fats: 0g
- Proteins: 3g
What Does Rice Having Lots of Carbs Mean For Us?
So, as a bodybuilder, we don’t have brains. We only have muscle. If we had brains, we would never be in this sport anyways, so I paid a scientist a ton of money to break this down for me. (just kidding)
Basically, rice is a food with a ton of carbs. The main focus of rice is: carbohydrates. It does have a tiny amount of protein, not any amount that’s really significant, but it’s better than most foods.
But what do the carbs do?
Eat Rice Before Your Workout? You’ll Have More Energy
So let’s assume you’re somebody that eats rice before their workout. This is generally rarer, but it happens.
I like rice a lot, personally, so I’ve done this before. Many people actually do eat rice and chicken as lunch at work before their workout, so let’s explain what happens then.
Rice has a ton of carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are notorious for giving your body energy. Carbohydrates are your body’s main source of fast-acting energy.
This means when you’re ready for your workout, you’ll have a ton of energy to crush it. You won’t feel incredibly tired.
Plus, if you have one of those fancy ‘whole-grain’ or ‘long-grain’ rices, the carbohydrates will be complex, so they digest slower, giving you more long-term energy.
This is actually really good for bulking. When you’re bulking, you’re usually hitting the gym really hard trying to gain muscle. There’s no point in trying to bench a new max without having any energy in you. (That’s why I recommend C4 Sport Pre Workout!)
The thing is, working 8 hours is going to make you tired. Eating rice will give you that much needed energy boost to get after it and get it done.
Eat Rice After Your Workout? Replenish Your Muscle Stores And Boost Muscle Growth
Something really interesting happens when you do a hard workout in the gym. And I mean, like a tough workout. We’re talking you just got done with Arnold’s Blueprint to Mass and you can barely move your body.
When you do this, your muscle’s glycogen stores get depleted from the intense workout. This means in order for your body to start repairing muscle, it needs those glycogen stores repaired.
So, you have two days of doing this. You can eat carbs or eat protein. If you eat just protein, your body will use some of that protein to replenish the glycogen stores. This hinders your gains a tiny bit. Like, you’ll see a small reduction over a long time if you do this.
If you eat carbs right after the workout, those carbs will replenish all of the glycogen stores you just lost. Then all of the protein you’re eating after will go straight towards rebuilding the muscle.
This is why every bodybuilding video you’ve ever watched is always talking about eating a protein shake or eating right after your workout. It’s not because your muscles grow 10x faster or something, but because it’s necessary to ensure your body doesn’t break down other muscles in your body.
Rice Helps Digestion Problems
Okay, this is going to sound a little gross, so bare with me.
Bodybuilders, well, eat more food than the average american- that’s for sure. And not all of the food we eat always, well, sits well in our gut.
I mean, think of all the meat, dairy, different protein snacks, etcetera that bodybuilders eat. All of this while putting their digestive tract under immense stress every day.
Or, let’s just be simple and say you got food poisoning or something.
When you have diarrhea, you’re supposed to be on the ‘BRAT’ diet. Which stands for: bananas, rice, applesauce, toast. These foods are low-fiber and bind to your stool in the digestive tract to make it bulkier.
This helps reduce diarrhea or indigestion. Which, honestly, is far too common in the bodybuilding community. (Don’t get me started on what happens if some of you get a caffeine addiction….)
But, this is something nobody in bodybuilding really talks about. I’m trying to break the mold here kind of. Even when I’m bulking or cutting I always make it a point to try and have rice in my diet somewhere to make sure everything is going well in my digestion.
The fact is, having digestion problems will: ruin your workout, ruin your mood, make you anxious, make you not want to eat (slowing your gains), and just an endless plethora of things.
And for some people with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (like me), rice is a pretty tolerable food that won’t upset the stomach.
Lastly, if you do have food poisoning or something. Rice is pretty easily eaten and generally won’t make you sick. (But if it’s that bad, see a doctor!)
Rice is Cheap
Gosh, I hate it when I see my friends trying to bulk and wasting tons of money on useless supplements/protein bars. Even I used to fall for the trap.
It took a little bit of time for me to realize those $3 protein bars were nothing compared to a $1 McChicken that still beat them in protein.
Something nice about rice is: it’s SUPER cheap. I never grew up in a rich family, and I’m not a rich guy.
Sometimes, ends were hard to meet. I’m notorious for recommending the 4-6 slices of peanut butter toast and 3 cups of milk meal to all bodybuilders because it’s so cheap. It gives you like 4 meals of 1400 calories each for like $3 at the store.
Rice is also one of those foods that’s super cheap. You can buy a ton of it for literally like pennies on the dollar. I mean sheesh, I buy my groceries at a normal grocery store in a rich part of town, but 5 cups of rice barely runs me $1.50.
I would suspect you’re not eating 5 cups of rice a day, but if you are, good job, you’re bulking GOOD.
Rice Has A Good Amount of Calories
I’ll be honest, straight up here: rice isn’t the easiest food to bulk on.
Rice unfortunately takes up a lot of space in your stomach and takes longer to eat.
But, regardless, it still has a good amount of calories. NOTE: Good, not great.
If you’re able to truck through it and eat a ton of Rice, it’s actually not the worst thing.
If you try to eat a ton of broccoli to bulk, it’s just going to be really difficult.
While again, rice isn’t necessarily the easiest food to bulk on, it’s far from the worst. And if you’re eating it because of the complex carbs, taste, or digestive help- you’ll know that you’ll be getting a pretty alright amount of calories in as well.
If you end up needing some extra calories, I recommend adding some soy sauce or other things like scrambled eggs, shrimp, etc.
The Final Verdict – Is Rice Good For Bulking?
Here’s the final verdict:
Yes! Rice is good for bulking! From complex carbs that digest slowly, low price, digestive help, good taste, and good calories, rice is really good for bulking. While it’s not the best food if you like it or are regularly eating it, rest assured, it will help your gains.
So, get back to the gym, and lets LIFT HEAVY.