Beans Bodybuilding NotesConsider beans as a food for bodybuilding. It uses medical research to establish how best to use beans.
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Beans are cheap. And they provide protein for big muscles. But beans are plant protein: this means they lack certain amino acids. So diets heavy in beans are more effective with BCAA supplementation.

Tip Beans are less effective than whey. Scientific research shows whey protein leads to more muscle growth than plant protein.

Tip 2 BCAA supplements help. They improve the bioavailability of protein from beans.

Testosterone. There is concern that soy protein lowers testosterone. This would be bad for bodybuilders. Lower testosterone often leads to smaller muscles and more body fat. But recent medical research has found that soy does not lower T.

And This study indicates that bodybuilders should not avoid soy protein in fear it will reduce their testosterone.

Instead Soy protein (and beans in general) can be part of a muscle-building diet, one that preserves anabolic hormones.

Quote No significant effects of soy protein or isoflavone intake on [testosterone], [sex hormone-binding globulin], free [testosterone], or [free androgen index] were detected regardless of statistical model.

Clinical studies: effects of soy protein

Vegetarian diet. A vegetarian diet has drawbacks for people in general, and perhaps more so for bodybuilders. Young people have higher nutrient demands. Their bodies are still growing. Adequate nutrient intake is essential.

Also Like young people, bodybuilders have high demands for nutrients. They are adding muscle and gaining weight.

Note A study done in Taiwan found that vegetarian diets often do not supply enough iron for people undergoing growth.

Quote We conclude that a vegetarian diet that is rich in soybean products and restricted in animal foods is limited in bioavailable iron and is not adequate for maintaining iron balance in men and women.

A vegetarian diet rich in soybean products

For the bodybuilder, using protein and iron sources other than beans is important. Beans and soybeans can be part of their diet. But restricting to a vegetarian diet may lead to nutritional deficiencies.

And This may be even more likely with bodybuilders because of the great physical stress they are placing on their bodies.

Whey. We often hear that whey protein is ideal for bodybuilders. And bean protein is less effective. Now we have evidence. A study found that whey protein supports muscle mass development better than soybean protein.

Quote New data suggest that whey protein is better able to support [muscle protein synthesis] than is soy protein, a finding that may explain the greater ability of whey protein to support greater net muscle mass gains with resistance exercise.

The role of milk and soy-based protein

This means that whey is superior to beans for gaining muscle mass. If you focus your diet on whey protein—which includes drinking whole milk—you may have better gains than if you focus on plant protein.

Whey Protein

Milk Protein

BCAA. Plant protein is often incomplete. It does not contain all the branched-chain amino acids for muscle growth. We can take a BCAA supplement with the beans. We review one study done on the muscles of people who have pulmonary disease.

Quote It is often suggested that chronic wasting diseases [chronic obstructive pulmonary disease] may benefit from branched-chain amino acid (BCAA) administration via improved protein metabolism.

Supplementation of soy protein with BCAA

Taking BCAA supplements improved the soy protein's efficiency. This made the peripheral muscles of the patients with advanced lung disease stronger. For bodybuilders, this would lead to increased skeletal muscle protein synthesis.

In other words, BCAA supplements lead to bigger pectoral muscles and quadriceps. They enhance whole-body protein synthesis. The effect is not isolated to one part of the body. The bodybuilder becomes larger and stronger.

Quote BCAA supplementation to soy protein enhances [whole body protein synthesis] in patients with COPD and alters interorgan protein metabolism in favor of the peripheral (muscle) compartment in healthy elderly and even more in COPD patients (Supplementation of soy protein with BCAA).

Flatulence. One problem associated with bean consumption is flatulence (farting). I have found that this problem can be reduced if you consume the beans with a high-fat food. This includes butter. One of my favorite meals is beans with butter.

Tip This is inexpensive and does not make the room stink. More information about farting is available.

Bodybuilding. Beans are some of the cheapest bodybuilding foods you can buy. You can purchase a bad of dried beans—full of protein—for only a dollar or so. This contains many servings of beans.

So Let's consider some Great Northern Beans, which are one of my favorite kinds of beans.

Nutrition facts for Great Northern Beans
Serving size: 1/4 cup Servings per container: 13 Calories: 90 Calories from fat: 0 Total Fat: 0 Cholesterol: 0 Sodium: 0 Total Carbohydrate: 22g Dietary Fiber: 7g Sugars: 1g Protein: 8g

Nutrition. Dried Great Northern Beans contain no fat. They contain a fair amount of dietary fiber. They do not contain many sugars, which makes them ideal for a low-carbohydrate diet. And they contain a good amount of protein.

Tip We learned that bean protein is more effective in whole-body muscle synthesis when it is combined with BCAA supplements.

And You can use BCAA pills from a supplement store, or simply drink milk or take whey protein. These contain branched-chain amino acids.

Bulking. I have one tip for bodybuilders wishing to gain muscle weight. Try to avoid excess fiber. It will fill you up and make you not want to eat more. You will need to stop eating until your stomach empties.

Therefore This means that beans essentially will prevent weight gain. This is good for those wishing to lose weight.

But For lifters hoping to bulk up, beans are counterproductive if too many are eaten.

Canned beans? I tend to prefer the taste and texture of canned beans over dried beans. But canned beans are often loaded with salt and preservatives. They are also much more expensive.

For these reasons, cooking your own dried beans is preferable for many bodybuilders. As a special treat, a bodybuilder can eat canned beans. But the excess sodium will cause fluid retention.

And Bodybuilders, because of their creatine monohydrate use, tend to already retain fluid.

Creatine Monohydrate Use

Story. Beans have been part of my diet throughout my bodybuilding endeavors. But they have never been the sole reason why I have gained muscle. Instead, beans are just another food—but one that is particularly useful for muscle growth.

And Through the years, I have eaten canned beans and, later, dried beans. And my digestive system has adapted.

The extra fiber also makes my bowel movements more reliable and easier to deal with. I less frequently have diarrhea and constipation. Beans have been a pleasant and important aspect of my muscular development.

Summary. Beans are an important food for muscular growth. But they must be used with care. We found soybeans do not decrease testosterone. Plant-based vegetarian diets can lead to nutritional imbalances.

Tip BCAA supplementation helps. This is done with pills or even milk. It makes beans more effective.

Thus I love beans. They help with the digestive system. They are cheap protein.

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