When bulking, carbohydrates are essential for gaining size. These can be consumed through several different foods such as potatoes, pasta, and rice.
One of the most commonly consumed foods that I didn’t mention above is bread.
When it comes to weight loss or building muscle, bread is always a food that is widely debated about it’s benefits and drawbacks. So, is bread good for bulking or is it something you should avoid in favor of the other carb sources mentioned above?.
Read on to see if bread is good for bulking and how you could incorporate it into you diet and continue to make gains.
What Is Bread?
Bread is an extremely old food type that has been around since around 8000 BC and has stood the test of time due to its accessible ingredients. Its main 4 ingredients are flour, yeast, water, and salt and when baked, the yeast allows it to rise and create the bread we know.
Bread comes in many different shapes, sizes, colors, and flavors. This varies based on culture or what part of the world you are in. They all have different nutritional values as some will be healthier than others based on the ingredients they’re prepared and their method of cooking.
It can also be eaten in many different ways alongside a variety of food. For example, regular sliced bread works great with eggs however, naan bread is a perfect match for rice and chicken.
This does make it difficult to recommend or analyze bread when it comes to a bulking diet though.
Not only will different types of bread have different nutritional values in terms of the macros, but they’ll also be digested differently and impact blood sugar levels in different ways.
This could be the difference between bread being used as a carb source to fuel workouts or it could instead be stored as body fat.
To begin with, let’s look at the nutritional values of more common types of bread.
How Many Calories are in Bread?
Bread can be used as a great way to get a few more calories in to help you work towards your daily calorie targets.
Here are the exact macros for 1 slice of average white sliced bread.
|Typical Values||Per 100g||Per Slice|
As you can see a slice of bread contains around 90 calories, which isn’t a huge amount in comparison to some other foods you may consider calorie-dense bulking foods.
However, the great thing about bread is that when you eat it, you normally have a filling or spread followed by another slice on top. This is great as it allows you to get almost 200 calories from the bread alone and then on top of that, the calories and protein from your filling of choice.
Related – Is peanut butter good for bulking
On top of this, bread contains more nutritional benefits that are worth taking note of. One of the other primary benefits of bread is its carbohydrate content. Bread is a very starchy food and as a result, makes it a great source of carbs.
This can help you reach your daily macro goals and is another reason why bread should be considered for your bulking diet
Is Bread Good for Bulking?
To put it simply, yes, bread is good for bulking. However, like most foods, it needs to be consumed in moderation.
Some bread, especially white bread, is highly refined and contains a lot of added sugar.
This can become an issue if you have a low metabolism and gain weight easily. You may gain some unwanted extra fat which will only become more of a pain when you get to your cutting stage, as it will add additional and unwanted work.
With this taken into consideration, if you are someone who is struggling to reach their daily calorie target, or has a high metabolism, then bread can be a great way to help you push yourself over the line.
It is very versatile as it can be combined with clean protein-based foods such as chicken, tuna, or ground beef.
You can then add things such as mayonnaise or cheese if you are struggling with your bulking surplus due to appetite or metabolism and need to up the calories further.
One of the biggest positives about bread is that it can be prepared very quickly and eaten on the go.
This allows you to fit in a few more calories during times when you wouldn’t be able to prepare or eat a meal. On the other hand, you can take your time preparing it, especially if you’re eating it in the form of french toast or a toastie.
Another major advantage that bread has is its low price.
If you go into most supermarkets you will be able to purchase a loaf of bread for under $1. Some even go as low as $0.60. This is brilliant as it makes bread an affordable and accessible bulking food for a variety of different people, like students for example.
Related – Best bulking foods on a budget
To summarize, bread is a good food choice for bulking. It’s cheap to buy, high in calories and carbohydrates which are needed to fuel training sessions and replenish muscle glycogen, and it can be paired with other high fat or high protein foods like meat, tuna, or peanut butter for a complete bulking meal.
Which Bread Is Best for Bulking
As mentioned, there are many different types of bread and all will have a different macro ratio and combination. Below we’ve listed the best bread for bulking with a breakdown of calories and macros for comparison:
|Item||Calories (kcal)||Carbohydrate (gram)||Protein (gram)||Fat (gram)|
(25g, 1 slice)
|Whole-Wheat Bread (28g, 1 slice)||69||12||3.6||0.9|
(34g, 1 slice)
(25g, 1 slice)
Looking at the data above, Ezekiel bread comes out as the clear winner when bulking.
It has more calories than other types of bread, a comparable number of carbs but with less fat and more protein per slice. Therefore, when it comes to bulking and building muscles Ezekiel bread is a clear winner.
When considering price, availability, and versatility though, we still think that standard white bread is more suited for bulking diets. Its fast-absorbing carbs are better utilized during a surplus and the other types of bread would be better for cutting due.
How to Eat Bread on a Bulk
We’ve established that bread is a great way to fit more calories in a day, however, what’s the best way to eat it?
One of the most common ways of consuming bread is simply as a sandwich or a few slices paired with a spread. To appeal of bread is that it can hold other high-calorie foods and can quickly make a high-calorie meal.
It can be consumed for breakfast with eggs or a spread, can be consumed for lunch with a meat or fish filling, or can accompany dinner as a tortilla wrap or naan bread. The variety for which bread can be utilized means that it is easy to consume when bulking.
Regardless of your choice, both are great as they are very easy to prepare, are edible while on the move, and can be paired with other calorically dense foods such as peanut butter or Nutella. This makes it a great calorific snack.
A slightly less boring way of consuming it is alongside a curry, normally in the form of naan bread.
This is great as it allows you to incorporate rice and chicken and fish into one flavorsome meal, helping you towards your protein and carb goals for the day. Naan bread is also very high in calories so makes a great addition to the dish.
Bread Alternatives for Bulking
For some people, bread is not something that can be used in their meal plan and this can be for a variety of reasons.
Some people are allergic to specific ingredients whereas others simply don’t like the taste. Here we will be discussing potential substitutes that you can test out to see if they fit your liking.
If you are looking for a slightly healthier alternative then there are a variety of different foods on offer. For example, you could try rice cakes, whole-wheat crackers, or even flatbread.
These can be consumed in similar forms as regular bread, for example, they can be paired with a protein such as tuna or another meat/fish.
Something that not a lot of people are willing to try but is proven to be a far healthier option, is using lettuce leaves as a burger bun/ sandwich bread.
This is good as it replaces every unhealthy component of bread with a clean nutritious vegetable. Some would argue that this is not the best tasting option and contains very few calories which will not really help with bulking but you can combine it with other high calorie foods like beef or chicken.
To conclude, bread can be a great way to get in the extra calories needed to gain weight. You can fit these in on the way to work, school, or after dinner. It is very easily prepared and even easier to digest.
This fact alone alongside the very low cost, making it accessible to many people, shows that bread is a great bulking food and should be incorporated into your meal plan one way or another.
However, if you are someone with a low metabolism that gains weight very easily, then there are maybe some types of bread that you should stay away from.
You may want to substitute white bread for whole-wheat bread due to its higher nutritional values and fiber.
You may also want to stay away from things like bagels and tortilla wraps due to their high-calorie density as this may only result in more unwanted fat, making your cutting process longer than it needs to be.
If you are looking to make changes to your physique by either losing body fat, building muscle or looking to maintain a lean physique then sign up to my weekly newsletter below. Each week I send out actionable tips to help you lose that extra 1lb of fat or build that extra 0.5lb of muscle mass on a weekly basis.
If you sign up now you’ll also receive my 28 day body recomp program completely Free. This ebook will be sent straight to your inbox and will provide an intense 28 day program aimed at helping you lose up to 8lbs of body fat whilst also building 2lb-4lb of lean muscle mass in just 4 weeks.
Don’t worry if you’re not ready for an intense program just yet, my weekly newsletter will give smaller tips that when implemented daily, will stack up over time and see you transform your body with seemingly minimal effort!