Struggling to build muscles and burn fats?
Whether you want to gain muscles or lose weight, oats will be the best food choice for you.
And I will tell you why in this article.
But first I want to point out the difference between oats & oatmeal.
Oats VS Oatmeal
Oats are whole-grain oats. They are cylindrical in shape, unprocessed, and raw.
Oatmeal is basically a product of oats.
To make oatmeal, you need to roll the oats or crush them into flat flakes, then lightly toast them.
But there is one more thing to say,
There is a harsh outer layer on the whole-grain oats, called bran, removed to make the oatmeal.
This fiber-rich outer layer is then consumed separately in a different market as a cereal, or in loaves of bread.
Removing this firm layer from oats is one of the main reasons that oatmeal is way mushier and gut-friendly than oats.
In this juicy blogpost…
I will also be talking about:
- Everything related to oats and working out.
- The best type of oats for losing weight.
- Why oats are the best grains.
- Exactly when to eat oatmeal before and after a workout.
- The portions of oatmeal you will need for good results.
Here is the table of content so that you can move around swiftly through the blogpost.
Now, let’s dive in.
What are the nutrients you need to build muscles?
Here is one impressive thing about your body…
During your workout, every single cell in your body works hard to maintain homeostasis and healthy body functions.
To do that, there are key nutrients that help the body cells sustain this workload.
Without these key nutrients, all of us will either be immobile on a wheelchair or on our way to the graveyard.
These key nutrients are also the ones needed to build muscles.
The most important of these key nutrients are:
- Protein (The most essential nutrient for muscle growth and repair.)
- Calcium (Helps build strong bone mass, prevent osteoporosis, and is responsible for muscles contractions)
- Magnesium (Essential for Muscles relaxation and preventing cramps after a workout and in your everyday routine)
- Potassium (Essential for muscles contraction and carrying nutrients to the muscles)
- Carbohydrates (Carbs fuel your workouts and support muscle growth and repair effectively)
- Iron (Carries oxygen to the muscles. Exercising regulates iron levels in the body as excessive iron storage is toxic)
- Glutamine (Glutamine is a protein building block (amino acid) which means that it supports muscle growth and also relieves muscle soreness.)
So, to the million-dollar question…
Are oats good for working out?
To answer this question, I will need to first answer the question:
What is the nutritional content of oats?
Doing my comprehensive research for this blog post, I came across a lot of questions regarding the nutritional content of oats.
Including the question “Do oats contain protein?”
So, ready for some answers?
Oats are a freakishly great source of vital nutrients that are fundamental for our overall well-being.
Here are the Nutrition Facts for 100 grams (3.5 ounces) of raw Oats:
- Calories: 389
- Water: 8%
- Protein: 16.9 grams
- Carbohydrates: 66.3 grams
- Sugar: 0 grams
- Fiber: 10.6 grams
- Fat: 6.9 grams
And for the Vitamins and Minerals content of Oats:
- Manganese: Crucial for body growth, maturity, and development.
- Phosphorus: Crucial for bone health.
- Copper: Crucial for bone health, nerves, and blood vessels maintenance.
- Vitamin B1 (Known as Thiamine): Helps produce energy by converting carbohydrates into glucose, which is used to produce energy to move and exercise.
- Iron: Helps the body produce hemoglobin and myoglobin; proteins in red blood cells that carry oxygen from the lungs to all body parts and proteins that bring oxygen to the muscle cells, respectively.
- Magnesium: Regulates muscles, blood sugar levels, and the central nervous system.
Worth mentioning, oats are rich in some of the most powerful antioxidants that have various health benefits.
Three of these antioxidants are:
- Avenathramides: This family of powerful antioxidants can only be found in oats. They can regulate blood pressure and reduce inflammation in your arteries.
- Ferulic acid: This antioxidant’s job is to basically boost the activities of other antioxidants.
- Phytic acid: They are abundant the most in the bran. This antioxidant can impair the minerals absorption processes, such as iron and zinc.
So, are oats good for working out? | Before and after a workout |
Yes, because it contains:
- High portions of carbohydrates taking up to 66% of oats nutritional content. Carbs are the main source of energy for the body; they will fuel your exercise and your body muscles and get you ready for the workload.
- High protein content. Protein intake results in having great strength and more muscle mass when coupled with exercise.
- Magnesium, which regulates muscles and contributes to preventing injury by loosening tight muscles.
- Phosphorus, which is useful for bone health maintenance and development while exercising and gaining more muscles, thus more weight.
- Iron, which helps carry oxygen to the muscles during the workout sessions.
- B1 vitamin, which converts carbohydrates into energy for the muscles to get the best off every exercise.
What are the health benefits of oats?
Experts in the medical field have all attributed oats to a wide range of health benefits, including:
Let’s talk more about these health benefits in detail, starting with that oat can…
Lower the Cholesterol levels
Heart diseases are attributed to high cholesterol levels.
This is because with higher blood cholesterol levels you may develop fatty deposits in your arteries nurturing your heart with blood, causing heart problems.
So, how can oats lower your cholesterol levels?
Oats lock in a soluble fiber called beta-glucan.
This fiber lowers your low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels, also known as the “bad” cholesterol.
This is by increasing the viscosity of the ingested foods, which will slow the absorption of cholesterol and fats.
Once the fiber is in your intestine, it binds to cholesterol-rich bile acids, which are produced by the liver to aid digestion.
Then the beta-glucan carries the bile acids out of the body through the digestive tract.
And just like that…
Your cholesterol levels are reduced.
How much oatmeal do you need to eat to lower your cholesterol levels?
About a cup (80 grams) and one-half cups of cooked oatmeal per day can decrease your bad LDL cholesterol levels by 5% to 8%.
One more thing to say,
5 to 10 grams of beta-glucan daily can decrease your LDL cholesterol levels.
Oatmeal for breakfast can provide approximately 3 to 4 grams of beta-glucans.
You can eat your oatmeal with a sliced apple, strawberries, raspberries, or pear.
Doing that can top your beta-glucan intake and increase the rate at which you get rid of your bad cholesterol.
Can prevent type 2 diabetes
The prevalence of type 2 diabetes has been increasing for the last couple of years.
Type 2 diabetes is characterized by the abnormality in the way the body regulates and uses sugar as fuel.
This is mostly because of the decreased sensitivity and responsiveness to the hormone insulin which regulates the sugar levels in the blood.
As I have mentioned before, beta-glucans can lower cholesterol levels in the blood.
But also, it has demonstrated benefits for blood sugar-regulating.
It was found that little amounts of beta-glucans from the oats can regulate glucose and insulin responses after carb-rich meals.
A study has shown that a 4-week dietary program with oatmeal for people with type 2 diabetes and severe insulin resistance has successfully resulted in a 40% reduction in the doses of insulin needed for blood sugar regulation.
Meaning that their body now is regulating blood sugar levels way better than before.
But here is the thing, it doesn’t always work for diabetic people.
More studies were conducted to make sure that oats are the best natural cure for people with type 2 diabetes.
These studies have proven the inconsistencies of beta-glucans delaying or preventing, the outset of type 2 diabetes.
As it was found that the beta-glucans in the oats don’t always improve insulin sensitivity.
Gluten-free food is the only solution for someone who suffers from celiac disease or someone with gluten sensitivity.
And to those who don’t know, celiac disease is a condition in which your immune system starts to attack your own tissues every time you eat food with gluten.
The thing about gluten is that it is a protein that offers no essential nutrients.
But oats don’t contain gluten, they contain a similar protein known as avenin, which offers more essential nutrients than gluten.
Clinical studies have shown that most people suffering from celiac disease can tolerate moderate to large amounts of pure oats in a diet.
Mainly in gluten-free diets, oats intake has shown an increase in the nutritional values the patients take. As foods included in gluten-free diets are barely providing any essential nutrients for people with celiac disease.
There is something you need to be aware of…
Wheat includes gluten in its nutritional content, and it is often processed in the same facilities as oats.
So, you need to make sure that the oats you are eating have been certified as gluten-free.
Here are some…
More Health benefits
Oats have way more health benefits than what I have mentioned.
For infants under six months of age, oats intake is significantly associated with the decreased risk of childhood asthma. This is according to this study.
Moreover, studies have also proven that oats can boost your immune system.
Enabling your body to fight bacteria, viruses, parasites, and other pathogenic micro-organisms in a more effective way.
What type of oat is best for muscle building?
I have seen this question A LOT while doing my research for this article.
And the thing is, all types of oats offer the same carbs and protein values…
Which are the main two nutrients you need while bulking.
All types of oats offer the same carbs value, the unique composition of protein, along with a high content of protein with a range of 11—15% of the nutritional content of the oats.
So, the differences that you will find between the types of oats are mainly in:
- Time taken to cook the oats.
- The texture of the oats.
You will need to choose the one that works best for you.
This article displays the differences between the types of oats clearly and concisely.
Feel free to check it out.
Now, here are some…
FAQs regarding oatmeal and working out
1-Should I eat oatmeal before or after a workout?
You can do both!
Any type of oats, whether steel-cut or whole-groat oats can be your go-to pre-workout meal.
As oats provide tons of energy for your workouts.
From the nutrition facts I have mentioned up there, it is obvious that oats offer the right amount of protein for your workouts, and the right amount of carbs necessary for fueling and repairing your muscles.
Which means that if you eat oats before working out, it will provide you with the protein you need for bulking and gaining muscles, and fuel you and your muscles with the energy you need to withstand the workload.
On the other hand, it is also beneficial to eat oats as a post-workout meal.
- Contains a considerable amount of proteins, which will your body the amino acids it needs to repair the microscopic tears in your muscles after your workout, and build it thereafter.
- Contains carbs that help with replenishing your muscles, aiding in recovery, and getting you ready for the next workout session.
- Very easy to cook; the last thing you need after a hard workout is to expend your energy in preparing a complicated recovery meal.
To sum it up,
Post-workout meals are as important as pre-workout ones.
Having nutritional post-workout meals can maximize your gains from your just-completed workout session and get you ready for the next one.
So, it is a huge responsibility, and this is where oats shine and deliver the best results.
2-What is a post-workout oatmeal recipe?
The secret to oatmeal meals is to add adequate fats and proteins so that it’s satisfying and energizing for the rest of your day and promoting muscle recovery.
Here is the recipe of one of my favorite post-workout oatmeal recipes.
- 1/2 cup rolled oats
- 1 cup water
- Dash salt
- 1 tbsp chia seeds
- ½ cup blackberries (or other berries)
- 1-2 tbsp coconut shreds
- 1-2 tbsp walnuts
- (optional) honey for sweetening
- Bring a small pot.
- Add oats, water, and salt. And boil.
- Add chia seeds and mix into the oats and water mixture once the water boils.
- Cook for 5-7 minutes, and occasionally stir till the oatmeal becomes with the desired texture.
- Put the oatmeal into a bowl and garnish with toppings.
- Add optional sweeteners if desired, apple, banana, or strawberries slices.
There are much more recipes that can be sensational to your taste buds and beneficial to your exercising routine.
This video contains a beautiful, tasty oatmeal recipe for people who like to get buffed.
Moreover, this article introduces a lot of more tasty oatmeal recipes.
Make sure to check out the article and the video if you want to know more oatmeal recipes and how you can home-cook them yourself.
3-What is a pre-workout oatmeal smoothie?
There are a lot of oatmeal smoothie recipes.
The one that stood out for me the most is Vegan Oatmeal Smoothie.
This is because it offers great carbs, protein, and healthy fats content, which will fuel your muscles and your body for a healthy day ahead.
- Oatmeal. Since the oatmeal will be in the blender with the other ingredients, you can use any type of oats, whether rolled oats or quick oats.
- Frozen Banana.
- Peanut Butter. Bodybuilders recommend including peanut butter into your pre-workout diet due to its high protein content and hefty doses of carbs. Peanut butter provides the smoothie with a taste of richness needed to feel satisfying and delicious in your mouth.
- Maple Syrup. Research has proven that the nutrients and phytonutrients in maple syrup can fight inflammation and step your workout sessions’ level. You can add half a spoon, or whatever the amount that is to your liking.
- Almond Milk. Bodybuilders tend to drink almond milk while they are cutting, as the unsweetened contains only 30 calories per cup.
- Cinnamon + Pure Vanilla Extract.
This smoothie provides you with a fair amount of protein, but if you want to increase the protein content, replace soy milk or pea milk with almond milk.
- Add the oats to the blender.
- Pulse until finely ground.
- Add the remaining smoothie ingredients, and blend again.
Here are some more smoothie oatmeal recipes:
- Greek Yogurt Smoothie
- Strawberry Spinach Smoothie.
- Strawberry Blueberry Smoothie.
- Strawberry Smoothie.
- Blueberry Banana Smoothie
- Strawberry Kiwi Smoothie
- Blueberry Cream Oatmeal Smoothie
Now, we have already discussed how oatmeal can come in handy when it comes to building muscles and working out, now let’s talk about how it can help you lose weight.
To do that, I will first need to talk about the…
Nutrients you need to lose weight
And they are:
- Protein. This nutrient has the most important role in weight loss. This is because a high protein intake of protein can reduce your appetite, promote metabolism, and alter several weight-regulating hormones.
- Fiber. Fiber, just like proteins, reduces your appetite. Moreover, it aids in your gut’s health maintenance. Fiber works like a charm in losing weight when coupled with exercise.
- Carbohydrates. Going on a low carb or zero carb diet can be beneficial to your weight loss goals. But, it can increase your cravings and make you prone to mood swings, which can be harmful in your professional and personal life. Your best choice is to include fiber-rich carbs in your diet. These carbs are in fruits, vegetables, legumes, and pulses, and will keep you satisfied and full, which will come in handy to your long-term weight loss goals.
- Fats. I know this seems controversial but stick with me 😊. Not all fats are bad for health, some can contribute to sustaining a healthy lifestyle for years to come.
These fats are present in:
- Olive oil
- Coconut oil
- Nut butters
All these nutrients’ main role in your weight loss journey is to make sure you are full and satisfied.
So, to the two-million-dollar question…
Are oats good for weight loss?
Put it in another form?
Should I eat oats if I am trying to lose weight?
Yes, it is a great choice if you are willing to lose weight.
This superb combination between proteins and fibers makes oatmeal a great choice for weight loss.
Oatmeal contains high content of protein, carbohydrates, fibers, and is the highest amongst other grains in its healthy fat content.
As you can see, the nutrients you need to lose weight are all in oatmeal.
The fats, fiber, protein, and carbs can make you feel full, and the fiber can also aid your digestive system and also lower your bad cholesterol levels.
So, is oatmeal economic-friendly?
Oatmeal is an amazing low-cost option for weight loss, you won’t have to sign up for expensive weight loss systems that require you to eat expensive special meals.
Not to mention those other healthy nutrients in the oatmeal that can make you healthier and more active.
Another reason why oatmeal can be a great choice for losing weight is because of its probiotics content.
Which is a micro-organism that has beneficial qualities to your body.
These probiotics in the oatmeal can be activated when hot water is added. Only then these probiotics can help in:
- Weight regulation.
- Help in absorbing dietary healthy fats.
- Mental health boosting.
This article by Healthline will tell you exactly how it can do that for your body.
Which type of oats is best for weight loss?
Contrary to the same question for muscles building, I have a specific answer for you.
According to a study published in 2015 by the British journal of nutrition, the process through which instant and rolled oats are made easier to cook in boiling water also can result in an increase in their glycemic index while ingested.
Glycemic index, briefly, is an assessment system for foods that contain carbohydrates.
It shows how quickly food can affect your blood sugar levels when eaten on its own.
This means that instant oats and rolled oats can negatively affect your sugar levels, contrary to steel-cut oats.
Just to make things clear…
All the types of oats offer the same nutritional content, but with very narrow variations.
Instant oats and rolled oats can help with your weight loss goals, as much as the steel cut oats.
The only difference is the fact that instant and rolled oats’ higher glycemic index can be slightly bad to your overall health further down the line.
How much oats should I eat a day to lose weight?
The recommended amount is ½ cup, for two meals of the day. Making an overall serving amount of 1 cup daily, which is approximately 80 grams.
You can add other items to your oatmeal meals to add some tasty flavors like:
- Skim milk and some fruit slices (Banana, apple, or strawberry slices)
- Low-fat yogurt.
Check this amazing comprehensive article on oatmeal diets for weight loss, and more flavors to add to your oatmeal meals.
For the last question today…
What is the best time to eat your oatmeal?
To get the best results out of each and every workout session, you will need to…
“Eat the right food, at the right time & in the right quantity.”
We have already discussed the right food (Oatmeal) and the right quantity, what about the right time?
If you will be eating your oatmeal as a pre-workout meal, then the best time to eat is 40 min to 1 hour before your workout session.
If you don’t have that much time before your workout, you will have to eat it after.
This is because oats take time to digest and release the energy within in a relatively long time.
If you will be eating your oatmeal as a post-workout meal, as soon as you go back home, start cooking your oatmeal.
Oatmeal can replenish your muscles and get you ready for the rest of your day, or even help you with sleeping if you hit the gym last thing in your day.
Oats are the best whole grains when it comes to building muscles and losing weight.
Its healthy complex nutritional content has a great positive impact on your overall health and wellbeing.
Normally, when something is beneficial, it is either bitter or just iffy.
But oats are tasty and yummy.
Now, I would like to hear from you.
What information from today’s post was the most remarkable to you?
Or maybe you have something to ask or give feedback for the post.
Either way, let me know by leaving a comment below right now.