By Matthew Kadey, MS, RD
For good reasons bodybuilders have long sung the praises of sprouted bread. Sprouting grains like wheat bolster vitamin and mineral levels and lower the glycemic index of each slice for a more gradual rise in blood sugar and less chance of midriff fat storage. What’s more, the sprouting process converts some of the proteins into amino acids, allowing for easier digestion and assimilation.
You see white so you think a slice or two will send your blood sugar soaring and encourage fat gain. Not so. A recent Canadian study found this ancient way of making bread produces less of a spike in blood sugar than regular white bread and even the whole-wheat stuff. The researchers credit the fermentation produced by the sourdough bacterial culture for slowing down the digestion of the bread’s carbs.
If you’re looking for bread with some staying power, turn to hearty rye. A slice of low-glycemic rye bread can have up to 5 grams of dietary fiber. With a focus on protein many bodybuilders struggle to consume enough fiber to fight fat and quell hunger pangs. Scientists in Iceland found higher intake of nutrient-dense rye is associated with a lower risk for prostate cancer. Be sure the first ingredient listed on the package is whole-rye flour and not nutritionally lackluster wheat flour.
Whole-Wheat English Muffins
Giant, doughy bagels often pack in more starchy calories than any other item in the bread aisle, making them a poor choice for musclemen. Instead try 100 percent whole-wheat English muffins which contain about half the carb calories. To kickstart your day of making muscle, place a couple of fried eggs, a shot of hot sauce and baby spinach between two halves of a toasted muffin.
Corn tortillas made with whole corn flour are higher in fiber and lower in carbohydrate calories than many wheat-based versions, making them a better option for your lunch wraps and tacos. Studies also suggest ground-up maize is a surprisingly good source of muscle-mending, disease-fighting antioxidants.
P28 High-Protein Bread
Bread isn’t usually thought of as a way to load up on muscle-building protein, which is what makes this product such a standout. By including whey protein isolate along with the whole grains, two slices bring a whopping 28 grams of protein to your lunch sandwich. Recover better from your workouts by slapping some smoked salmon, lettuce and Dijon mustard between two slices after tossing around the iron. Also try their flatbreads.