Many have you might have read through fitFLEX that eating carbs late at night should be avoided by athletes and bodybuilders, however for those that are hardgainers
there are conflicting reports as well. Is the key really, when one is a hardgainer to eat as much as possible all the time? Yes and no, it really depends on what
type of weight you want to gain and how much. Typically, hardgainers have trouble gaining lean mass because they don't eat enough calories and protein to support
That doesn't mean indiscriminate eating at all hours of the day is the solution. If you're a hardgainer, you should put more effort in general into eating as much as you need for growth; you needn't be as conscientious about your calorie sources as those who have a propensity to pack on bodyfat from a modest increase in carbs. For hardgainers, how much you eat is probably more important than when you eat it, but here are some guidelines.
Eat enough protein daily to support muscle growth. If you consume at least one gram of protein per pound of bodyweight each day, you can rest assured that you've fed your muscles what they need. Let's say you weigh 150 pounds - a typical weight for a hardgainer. You need only 150 grams of protein for muscle building, which is about 600 calories. That's not many calories. If that's all you ate, you'd shrivel away to nothing in no time.
In other words, you also need to take total calories into account. If you want to gain weight, you must eat more calories than you burn. The number of calories needed every day for bodyweight maintenance can vary significantly from person to person, but suffice it to say that if you're a hardgainer, you probably should be consuming more calories than you currently do. It can be a challenge to accomplish this while on a strict bodybuilding diet that's limited to little more than whole foods, such as meat and vegetables.
Increasing complex carbs, such as oatmeal, yams and brown rice, is an excellent way to add calories to your daily diet. Other good carb sources include white rice, potatoes, whole-grain breads and pasta. These are better choices for hardgainers than for those who tend to put on bodyfat. Even carb sources that are typically avoided by bodybuilders can be good choices for hardgainers, including foods such as pizza and hamburgers, which are high in calories but still decent sources of protein.
Now, let's return to the general question about late-night eating. Your status as a hardgainer is less dependent on what you consume at the end of the day than on what you eat throughout the day. Carbohydrates taken in late at night have a greater tendency to turn to bodyfat than those consumed earlier in the day. When you eat carbohydrates early, they are used for fuel instead of being stored as bodyfat. If you aren't eating enough overall calories to put on weight, though, you probably aren't going to store many late-night carbs as bodyfat.
To sum it up, focus more on increasing the amount of calories you eat throughout the day, every day. Eat all the protein you require and then rely on complex carbohydrates and healthy fats for the bulk of your daily calories. Cheat foods (such as pizza and hamburgers) can also help hardgainers get much-needed additional calories. Late-night carb consumption becomes a factor only if you notice that you're putting on more bodyfat than you want. At that point, scale back on your late-night carbs and choose foods that contain little or no carbs, such as natural peanut butter or protein shakes.