Rice vs Bread for Bodybuilding – The Truth

Carbohydrates are an important part of the bodybuilding diet. They provide energy to fuel muscles, they can help you recover after working out, and they help you put on muscle or lose weight. Carbohydrates come in many forms but today we will specifically focus on rice vs bread. It is important that you choose the right one in your diet to help you reach your goals.

There are reasons to choose one over the other but it depends on your goal. Those looking to put on as much muscle as possible without regard to fat/weight gain will choose bread. Those looking to cut or maintain weight should choose rice.

Macronutrient Profile

When choosing foods for bodybuilding, the macronutrient profile is the most important as this is what will give the body energy/calories. Most commonly, you will find 2 options for both rice and bread:

Food Calories Carbs Protein Fat
Brown Rice 111 23 2.6 0.9
White Rice 130 28.2 2.7 0.3
Wheat Bread 361 72.5 12 1.7
White Bread 293 54.4 9 4
100g servings sourced from the USDA

Bodybuilders use food to either cut weight or put on muscle. Those looking to cut or maintain weight will gravitate to lower calorie foods such as rice whereas those looking to bulk will go for the bread. A single slice of bread has 80 calories. If you ate 4 slices you would be up to 320 calories and if you ate around six slices, you would be up to 480 calories. A cup of cooked rice, on the other hand, is around 200 calories. If you ate 7 cups of cooked rice, you would be up to 1,400 calories. So it seems pretty clear cut why one would choose bread over rice when looking to put on muscle.

What to Look for When Buying Rice

We will spare you some time and let you know upfront that between white rice and brown rice it doesn’t matter all that much. Brown rice has slightly more nutritional value and that’s about it. You are welcome to read more about rice in our article linked here.

Choosing between rice vs bread? Rice will help you gain weight
Rice vs Bread for Bodybuilding - The Truth 1

What to Look for When Buying Bread

When buying bread, look at the ingredients first. Bread that is made with 100% whole wheat flour will be higher in fiber and protein than those that use bleached flour. This is because the whole grain has not been stripped of its germ and bran layers which contain a large amount of dietary fiber and several key nutrients including iron, vitamin E, B vitamins, and minerals such as chromium and magnesium.

Look at the nutritional information on any bread before you buy it so that you can compare similar types of bread to each other. This will allow you to choose which is best for your bodybuilding needs.

If you are cognizant of crazy ingredients pumped in all the food at the supermarket, remember that bread only requires 4 ingredients: flour, water, yeast, and salt.

To take your bread to the next level, find some locally sourced sourdough bread. Sourdough bread is fermented and can provide you with extra benefits. Make sure not to source from the grocery store as it is likely FAKE and not fermented.

Rice vs Bread for Bodybuilding - The Truth 2

When choosing between rice or bread it is best to begin by looking at what your goals are. If you want to cut fat or maintain current weight, look towards rice. If you want to put on muscle and gain a little fat along the way, go for the bread. If you are looking for a carb that will help you cut even more weight, read our article on potatoes vs. white rice.

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