Is Quinoa A Carb? Explaining This Muscle Building Superfood

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Have you ever heard of quinoa? It’s a small, nutty-tasting grain that is becoming increasingly popular among gymgoers, fitness enthusiasts, and bodybuilders. But the question is: Is quinoa a carb? And if so, why should you be including it in your diet?

The answer might surprise you. Quinoa is actually a good source of carbohydrates, but it’s also packed with protein and other essential nutrients that can help support muscle building and recovery. In this article, we’ll discuss why quinoa is so great for building muscle and how to incorporate it into your meal plan. We’ll also give you some tips on switching up your meals to keep them interesting and nutritious.

What Is Quinoa and What Are Its Health Benefits

Quinoa is an incredibly nutritious food that’s been touted as a great muscle building superfood. Not only is it packed full of plant protein and fiber, but it’s also high in antioxidants. Furthermore, quinoa contains magnesium, potassium, iron, fiber, folate, manganese – all working together to give you plenty of energy during workouts.

Quinoa boasts an impressive protein content, boasting all nine essential amino acids. Furthermore, both soluble and insoluble dietary fibers work together to enhance digestion and provide gastro-intestinal benefits. With quinoa you’re not only getting quality carbohydrates but also micronutrients beneficial for your body like zinc, copper and magnesium – making it the ideal post-workout snack choice for those seeking to build lean muscle mass.

Is Quinoa a Carb: The Nutritional Components

So, is quinoa a carb? The answer is yes and no. One cup (185 grams) of cooked quinoa contains 222 calories, 3.6 grams of fat, 8.1 grams of protein, and 39 grams of carbohydrates including 5 grams of fiber. This means that although it’s high in carbs, it also has plenty of nutrition too—including a good source of plant-protein and including a lot of dietary fiber that helps your body digest food properly.

This combination makes quinoa an ideal food source for those looking to build muscle tone while ensuring they’re getting the macronutrients to support daily energy and overall health. As such, quinoa is regularly used as a substitute for other grains in recipes like salads, tacos, stews and even desserts. If you’re looking for an easy and tasty way to get a nutrient-dense meal into your diet, adding some quinoa will do the trick!

Quinoa Nutrition Facts

Quinoa Carbs Per 100g

100 grams of cooked quinoa contains about 21 grams of carbs. Compared to rice, a common source of carbs for those looking to maximize fitness goals, quinoa is 7 grams lower in carbs per 100g serving. 100 grams of cooked long grain rice contains 28 grams of carbs.

Here’s the nutrition breakdown on 100g quinoa:

  • Carbs: 21.3g
  • Fat: 1.9g
  • Protein: 4.4g
  • Fiber: 2.8
  • Calories: 120

As you can see, quinoa not only provides carbs but also protein and fiber in smaller amounts!

Creating Balanced Meals With Quinoa

What exactly is quinoa, anyway? While it technically counts as a carbohydrate, quinoa also contains nine essential amino acids and plenty of fiber along with essential vitamins and minerals like magnesium and zinc – making it an ideal choice for anyone looking to build muscle mass.

Quinoa has become a go-to choice among athletes around the world–it’s an ideal muscle building food! Plus, since it’s gluten-free and can be cooked quickly, quinoa makes for an excellent addition to any balanced meal plan.

Quinoa recipes are endless–from salads and casseroles, to burgers and soups–with both carbohydrates and protein included! With such a diverse nutritional profile, quinoa makes for an interesting way to ensure you are getting both macronutrients in one meal without skimping on flavor or nutrition. So get creative today by creating some new quinoa dishes to fuel your workouts!


Different Types of Quinoa Recipes

You don’t have to limit yourself to one type of quinoa dish. There are all kinds of quinoa recipes for you to choose from, giving you the ultimate in meal flexibility. From quinoa-infused oatmeal to a quinoa fried rice, you’ll be able to make all sorts of delicious dishes—no matter what the occasion!

Here are some more great recipes to try with your muscle-building superfood:

  • Cold quinoa salad: With a handful of your favorite veggies and a tangy dressing, this is sure to become a lunchtime staple.
  • Warm vegetable quinoa: With your choice of green veg, like asparagus and green beans, this recipe is easy and filling enough for dinner.
  • Quinoa breakfast bowls: Start your day right with a bowl made up of whole grains like oats and nuts for added protein.
  • Quinoa burgers: Take your fast-food classics up a notch with this healthier burger alternative.
  • Quinoa chili: Spice up dinner with this classic dish, made with black beans and bell peppers for added nutrition and flavor.

No matter what type of meal you’re in the mood for, there’s sure to be an easy quinoa dish that fits the bill!

Prepping Quinoa for Quick and Healthy Meals

One of the cool things about quinoa is that you don’t have to slave away in the kitchen for hours at a time to make it. It’s super easy to prepare and can turn into an awesome meal in no time.

The best part? You can use quinoa for 28 different meal prep ideas, from delicious breakfast bowls to savory dinner dishes. Quinoa can even be used as a substitute for rice or couscous, so you get lots of extra nutrition with your regular dinners.

If you want some quick and easy recipes, there are plenty of yummy quinoa salad recipes online that are fast and tasty! Here’s how you can prepare your quinoa:

  1. Rinse it – the key is making sure all of the bitter saponin coating is removed
  2. Cook it – use two parts liquid to one part quinoa, cook over medium heat until all the liquid is absorbed
  3. Fluff it – give it a stir after cooking and let it cool down
  4. Enjoy!

Quinoa also can be cooked in a small saucepan with a tight-fitting lid quickly, making it an ideal food for when you’re short on time but still want to eat something healthy and delicious.

Adding Quinoa to Your Diet for Maximum Muscle Gains

You’re likely now asking yourself, “If quinoa is a carb, should I be adding it to my diet?” The answer is yes! Quinoa is particularly great for muscle building due to its high protein content. In fact one cup of quinoa contains 24g of protein – twice the protein of white rice. Not only that, but quinoa also contains all nine essential amino acids for building muscle – something that’s near impossible to find in a single food in any other form than animal-based proteins.

Adding quinoa to your diet means you’ll get an abundance of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants like manganese, magnesium and copper. Plus, it’s considered a complex carb so it takes longer for your body to digest and use the energy from it compared to simple carbs.

So if you’re looking to build muscle but also give your body a healthy dose of carbs, quinoa should be at the top of your grocery list!

Bonus: Quinoa and Cottage Cheese – A Bodybuilding Recipe

This is going to sound strange but I urge you to try it before you count it out.

I personally love low-fat cottage cheese. I put it on meat all the time to add some extra protein. It’s makes dry chicken much easier to eat.

If you want a high protein, moderate carb, low fat meal, you have to check out quinoa and cottage cheese. Simply cook your quinoa according the directions in the above video and buy some low-fat (2%) cottage cheese.

Weight out 100 grams of cooked quinoa and heat it up. Then top with 200 grams of low-fat cottage cheese. Salt pepper and spice to taste.

You will end up with a filling meal consisting of:

  • Protein: 32g
  • Fat: 6g
  • Carbs: 29g
  • Fiber: 2.8g
  • Calories: 300 even! 

If you want some extra protein (I like around 50 grams of protein per meal) then add 75 grams of chicken breast to the mix. This will add 20g protein, 3g fat and 107 calories to your meal.


Quinoa is an ideal food for muscle building. It contains both carbohydrates and protein, making it suitable for weightlifters and athletes. Plus, with its high fiber content and abundance in essential nutrients, quinoa makes a nutritious addition to any diet. Furthermore, plant-based proteins found in quinoa help you increase muscle mass and strength without breaking your budget.

Here you have it! Quinoa is not only a carb, but it has many more benefits that meet the eye. With its impressive nutritional profile and affordability, quinoa makes for an excellent addition to any diet, particularly one focused on muscle building. Start adding quinoa into your meals now to reap its health benefits and build lean muscle mass quickly!

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Hey, I'm Brian, the creator of I've been weightlifting / bodybuilding for 20 years and now I'm ready to share some knowledge. Check out my About Me page to hear my story.

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