by Mike Roussell
It's important not to be carbophobic during your mass-building phase. Yes, it's possible to build muscle without a lot of carbohydrates. But most people do better with carbs included in their mass building programs. Carbohydrates are important because they're the most potent stimulator of the hormone insulin.
Insulin is the anabolic hormone in the body. Stimulating insulin at key times during the day will boost your body's muscle building potential. Don't go carbohydrate crazy. Taking in starchy carbohydrates (rice, oatmeal, yams, dextrose, etc.) first thing in the morning and during and after your workout will provide the proper timing to insulin surges that will maximize muscle growth while minimizing fat gains.
Taking in the proper types of carbs during your workout will lead to better performance in the gym and more muscle built afterwards. During this time, you want to have a workout shake that contains fast acting sugars such as dextrose and maltodextrin. These sugars will get into your system fast, stimulate insulin, and fuel your workout.
You can further boost the power of this shake by adding fast acting proteins such as whey protein isolate or hydrolyzed whey and leucine or branched chain amino acids. These fast-acting proteins and important amino acids will further stimulate insulin and ensure that your body doesn't chew up any muscle during your hard training sessions.