Written by Team MD
29 November 2018


Five Bodybuilding Benefits of Rice



You may think information on the benefits of rice is not in line with your hardcore “Go heavy, or go home” credentials. But as we have stated before a healthy bodybuilder is a better functioning bodybuilding so heed these reasons for being nice to rice.

 1) Long-Term Intake Improves Blood Sugar Regulation

 America is in the midst of an obesity and diabetes epidemic, mainly caused by physical inactivity and poor diet. We need simple solutions to turn the tide. Korean researchers, in a study on mice, showed that rice consumption (50 percent of caloric intake) resulted in reduced bodyweight, blood sugar, insulin and leptin compared to animals consuming a high-fat diet. Rice improved blood sugar regulation by activating a high-energy metabolic pathway (AMPK) and a cellular sugar transporter (GLUT4). It is not known whether these results apply to humans. (Nutrition, published online January 10, 2014.)

 2) Major Health Benefits

 Wild rice is a popular food in East Asia and is gaining a foothold in the United States. It is high in vitamins, minerals, protein, starch, fiber and antioxidants. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recognizes it as a whole grain. A review of literature by scientists from the University of Manitoba in Canada concluded that wild rice, when consumed as part of a healthy diet, contributes to health by supplying antioxidants, reducing blood fats and supplying a good source of fiber. Wild rice has a greater antioxidant capacity than the same amount of white rice. In animal studies, long-term consumption of wild rice reduced the risk of cardiovascular disease. Wild rice is a heart-healthy food. (Nutrition Reviews, 72:227-236, 2014)

 3) It’s Not Linked To Heart Disease

 Japan has the lowest heart disease rate in the world, and rice is a staple of the Japanese diet. Rice, however, is a high glycemic index food that causes rapid increases in blood sugar. American studies have found a link between obesity, type 2 diabetes and the consumption of high glycemic index foods. A study from Osaka University in Japan found that rice consumption was not related to the incidence of heart attack, stroke or heart-related deaths. The results were consistent between males and females, and were not influenced by body mass index (BMI, a marker of the proportion of weight to height). These results may not apply to people living in the United States. (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 100: 199-207, 2014)

 4) It Prevents Insulin Resistance

 Consumption of high-fat diets promotes insulin resistance, which is a disturbance in blood sugar metabolism. A Korean study on mice found that rice intake improved insulin sensitivity and prevented insulin resistance in animals fed a high-fat diet. Rice increased the levels of glucose transporters in skeletal muscle. Rice is a high glycemic index food, which means that it increases blood sugar rapidly. This study shows the importance of considering many elements in the diet when assessing its effects on metabolism and health. (Nutrition, 30: 920-927, 2014)

 5) Whole Grains Prevent Protein Breakdown

At least half of all grains you eat should be whole grains— according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), which is responsible for dietary recommendations. The recommended grain intake varies with age, sex and physical activity. Examples of whole grains include whole-wheat flour, cracked wheat, oatmeal, whole cornmeal and brown rice. Refined grains include white flour, degermed cornmeal, white bread and white rice. Why are whole grains good for you? Diets rich in whole grains reduce the risk of disease and supply dietary fiber and a variety of micronutrients. Swiss researchers found that diets rich in whole grains reduced protein breakdown and promoted fat oxidation and gut microbe metabolism. Whole grains are good for bodybuilders. (Journal of Nutrition, 143: 766-773, 2013)