Is Quinoa Better Than Rice For Bodybuilding?

March 15, 2023 0 Comments

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In this article I will be answering the question “is quinoa better than rice for bodybuilding?”. Both quinoa and rice are great sources of starchy carbohydrates. 

Rice is already a staple in pretty much every bodybuilder’s diet. This is because it is so versatile and is easy to digest. Can quinoa be a good replacement and can it even be better? 

By the end of this article you will have all the information you need to make up your own mind on this topic. 

Is Quinoa Better Than Rice For Bodybuilding?

It should be stated that both rice and quinoa can work perfectly well as part of a bodybuilding diet. Rice is great because it can digest fast and allows bodybuilders to have quick access to energy for their workouts.

Quinoa takes more time to digest but has double the protein of white rice. Quinoa also cooks faster than rice which makes it even more convenient. In addition, it provides more satiation which means that it can be great for cutting diets.

Even a small portion of quinoa can keep you full. Quinoa has a lower glycaemic index and has more fibre and minerals than white rice. It is often labelled as a superfood and for good reason.

Overall, you can eat both rice and quinoa for bodybuilding. Which is better depends on your own personal preferences, tastes and requirements. There are some people that just don’t like the taste of quinoa. 

Quinoa Has More Protein

A big benefit of quinoa over rice is that it contains twice the amount of protein. A half cup of quinoa contains 4g protein. Quinoa can serve an important role in getting slightly more protein into your diet.

If you consume quinoa instead of rice then you would benefit a lot from the extra protein. Protein is important for bodybuilders as it is necessary for muscle building and recovery.

In addition, quinoa has a complete amino acid profile – it contains all nine essential amino acids. 

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Quinoa Cooks Faster

If you are rushed for time then quinoa can be incredibly convenient. It does cook fast and you can also use a rice cooker to cook quinoa, just like you would for rice.

For meal prep, you can cook many servings in advance without wasting too much time. Bodybuilders often don’t want to spend too long on meal prep and cooking. 

Quinoa serves as a quick meal option that you can make to accompany meat and vegetables. 

Quinoa Is Rich In Fibre

Quinoa is a rich source of fibre, a cup of cooked quinoa contains around 5g of fibre. In addition quinoa also contains a plethora of important nutrients and minerals.

It is a good source of magnesium, zinc, manganese and iron as well as a host of other nutrients. This is why quinoa is often marketed as the super health food.

A cup of white rice in comparison contains less than 1g of fibre. Brown rice has slightly more fibre at 3.5g per cup. 

Fibre is important for helping digestion as well as being associated with a lower risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Good digestion is critical for ensuring that your body is utilising the nutrients that it consumes effectively.

Quinoa Provides More Satiation

In terms of satiation, a cup of quinoa will fill you up and keep you full longer than a cup of rice. This is also because rice digests faster than quinoa, quinoa is more slow releasing energy.

This means that for cutting, you can consume moderate amounts of quinoa and still feel full. In terms of weight loss and getting leaner, quinoa can be fantastic. It can also be good as an evening meal.

You will not feel as hungry late at night when it comes time to go to bed. On the other side of the coin, some bodybuilders will prefer the fast releasing energy that rice provides them. 

Simple Quinoa Meal Example

For a simple meal idea you can try chicken breast with some quinoa and veggies to accompany it. 

There is a good video from Lee Hayward which you can see below. In the video below Lee explains how you can cook in bulk many chicken breasts in one go and also a big pot of quinoa.

This saves time in the long run when it comes to meal preparation. Lee shows how he cooks the chicken breast from below for some time and then switches to broil to ensure the chicken breast is cooked thoroughly.

For the quinoa he uses double the quantity of water to quinoa. The meal is incredibly simple to make, you can substitute the chicken breast for any other meat that you would like. 

It is a good idea to season the meat well and it is up to you which seasonings you use. Garlic and herbs work well to season chicken breast and provide some good flavour.

Final Thoughts

Is quinoa better than rice for bodybuilding? Ultimately this depends on your own personal preferences. Some people just hate the taste of quinoa. For those people, rice would be far better!

Quinoa overall serves an important purpose in that it is a great source of carbohydrates. In addition, it contains more protein and fibre than rice. It can keep you satiated for longer and releases energy more slowly.

It also cooks slightly faster making it very convenient as well. There are a multitude of benefits that quinoa can offer you. In my case, I would like to consume a mix of rice and quinoa in my diet for better balance. 

I still enjoy rice a lot and so wouldn’t be in favour of switching out rice completely for quinoa. 

Please let me know your opinions on this topic by leaving a comment below. As always, stay safe and enjoy your training!

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