Last updated on November 2nd, 2022 at 11:10 am
It’s something that most of us would love an affirmative answer to, “Can I Eat White Bread While Bulking?”
Even though you’re bulking and trying to put on weight you still want to eat as clean as possible.
Okay, there’s nothing wrong with the occasional “cheat”, but in the main you’d like to get your calories from whole foods.
White bread has definitely gained a pretty awful reputation in nutrition circles over the years.
So, is this something that you should avoid no matter what, even when you’re bulking?
Allow me to reveal all.
Can I Eat White Bread While Bulking?
You certainly can eat white bread while bulking. White bread can provide more calories per gram when compared to many other foods. It is also a source of carbohydrates, which means it will be broken down into the simplest form of the glucose. This is then used to fuel your muscles and brain. Plus, you’ll typically consume white bread with other ingredients. So, rapid digestion and absorption, which can cause a spike in blood sugar levels, may not be an issue.
1. Get Your Calories with White Bread
It’s going to sound like I’m a massive fan of white bread.
In truth, I do eat it occasionally, and I never have any issues when I do.
However, white bread is typically thought of as the devil incarnate in nutritional terms.
But, you CAN eat white bread regardless of your nutrition goals.
Therefore, you definitely can eat white bread when you’re bulking.
Plus, I see nothing wrong with eating white bread even when you’re cutting or trying to maintain your weight.
With that being said, I would still aim to get around 80% of my daily carb intake from minimally processed whole foods (more on this in a moment).
Nevertheless, it’s perfectly fine to eat white bread while you’re bulking.
Whatever your aim is with nutrition it’s all about sticking to your daily calories and macronutrient profile.
You could almost say that it doesn’t matter what you eat, as long as you can stick to these standards.
So, realistically you could eat junk food all day long, as long as you are eating the right amount of calories, protein, carbs, and fats.
Granted, you’ll be missing out on a great deal of nutrients, but you’ll still be able to put on weight, lose weight, or maintain weight.
Furthermore, I wouldn’t suggest following a total junk food diet, as the lack of nutrients will eventually impact on your energy and motivation levels.
This will of course affect your ability to train, so the only bulking you’ll probably end up doing is getting fat.
But, back to the point, white bread is fine when you’re bulking.
In fact, white bread provides a quick hit of calories that you may find difficult to get from other sources.
As an example, 2 thick slices of white bread will provide you with 196 calories, and you probably won’t even notice these.
So, if you’re looking to pile up the calories, white bread is ideal.
But, as I say, just make sure it fits in with your daily nutritional values.
2. A Carb is a Carb
Something to keep in mind with nutrition is that each food source has a specific macronutrient profile.
This is true whether it is a protein, carb, fat, or a mixture of each.
In other words, a carbohydrate is a carbohydrate irrespective of where it comes from.
Therefore, if you consume a carbohydrate it will be broken down into the simplest form of glucose.
This glucose will then provide your muscles and your brain with energy.
So, regardless of the source, this is what happens when you consume a carbohydrate.
This is true if the carb source is a pumpkin, an apple, a strawberry milkshake, chocolate ice cream, a bowl of rice, a slice of cake, and of course, white bread.
Okay, I’ll admit that some sources of carbohydrates lack certain nutrients.
So, in that respect an apple will always be healthier for you than a strawberry milkshake.
But, going back to what I said a moment ago, as long as you stick to your daily calories and macros, it won’t have a massive impact on your body composition.
With that being said, it can certainly make a difference to your energy levels and cognitive abilities.
Plus, let’s not forget what it’s probably doing to your insides and your vital organs.
This is why I would always aim to eat around 80% of my daily carb intake from whole foods that have been minimally processed.
A White Bread Example
So, let’s say as an example you are looking to eat 300g of carbs a day while bulking.
Therefore, you’d want to consume 80% of these from whole and natural food sources.
This means that you can eat 20% or 60g in “not so good sources”.
This equates to around 3.5 slices of thick white bread.
However, you will still be getting those essential vitamins and minerals from your “clean” carb sources.
Basically, don’t fear white bread no matter what your body composition goals.
What Do Carbohydrates Do in the Body?
3. Is the Blood Sugar Spike Really That Bad?
Something else you’ll often hear about white bread is that it has an extremely high glycemic index.
This is the index which assigns a value to foods based on how quickly (or slowly) they cause an increase in blood sugar levels.
Basically, if food has a high glycemic index it is said to cause a huge spike in blood sugar levels.
The body will then break down these sugars.
The pancreas releases insulin in order to transport these sugars to the various cells in the body.
However, the higher the spike in blood sugar (high glycemic index foods), the more insulin that needs to be produced.
Unfortunately, this entire process can lead to insulin resistance if your blood sugar levels are constantly going through the roof.
So, in effect, it’s very bad for your overall health.
And this is why white bread gets such a bad rap because it ranked extremely high on the glycemic index.
In essence, white bread is possibly one of the worst foods.
This means that it is rapidly digested and absorbed into the body.
This is also why eating foods with a high glycemic index can leave you feeling hungry again soon after.
Therefore, foods lower down on the glycemic index are typically digested and absorbed at a much slower rate.
So, you feel fuller for longer.
However, one thing that most people fail to understand is that the glycemic index is based on that particular food being eaten on its own.
So, even though white bread may pose a threat to blood sugar levels if it is consumed with other foods it won’t be so much of a problem.
In fact, a good mix of protein and fats (peanut butter and jelly or meat and cheese) will actually slow down digestion and absorption.
Plus, there’s not many of us who consume white bread on its own.
4. Is White Bread Better Than White Rice?
It’s funny how white bread is viewed so badly and yet white rice is seen as a bodybuilding staple.
To be precise, the “ideal” bodybuilding diet appears to be chicken, broccoli, and rice.
Admittedly, you’ll always be told to “go brown” when it comes to bread or rice.
This is simply due to the higher fibre, vitamin and mineral content.
This goes back to some carbs containing more nutrients, while taking longer to digest and absorb into the body.
However, as it turns out, if you’re bulking (or cutting or maintaining) then white bread may not be so bad after all.
In fact, is it possible that white bread would be a better choice than white rice?
I’ll actually allow Greg Doucette to provide the answer in the video below.
Greg compares and rates various carb sources, and I think you’ll be surprised at the results.
It’s absolutely fine to eat white bread while bulking.
In fact, there’s nothing specifically wrong with eating white bread at any time, as long as it fits in with your daily calories and macros.
It’s important to remember that all carb sources will be broken down into glucose and then used to fuel both the muscles and the brain.
If you aim to eat 80% of your daily carbs from whole foods you’ll get all the nutrients you need, while still being able to enjoy a few slices of bread.
Plus, as you typically eat white bread with other ingredients it probably won’t have such an impact on your blood sugar levels as you’d expect.
Next, you’ll want to check out what I have to say about eating pizza while bulking.
Hi, I’m Partha, owner and founder of My Bodyweight Exercises. I am a Level 3 Personal Trainer and Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist through the Register of Exercise Professionals, United Kingdom. I have been a regular gym-goer since 2000 and coaching clients since 2012. My aim is to help you achieve your body composition goals.