Why You Should Think Twice Before 'Dirty Bulking'

Many people who are passionate about fitness may know the term 'bulking,' and what it entails, but 'dirty bulking' might not be as familiar to the average fitness enthusiast. Bulking involves increasing calories from foods like complex carbs and proteins, and more weight training during gym sessions, to grow muscle mass (via Medical News Today). Weightlifters, body builders, athletes, and show competitors typically bulk and shred (that is, lose fat) in cycles, to add strength and change the composition of their bodies.

Dirty bulking, a practice that has gained traction within some sports groups and body-building communities, a well as gym-goers who want to pack on pounds, is more of a no-holds-barred eating agenda (via Healthline). Those who 'dirty bulk' are not concerned with what type of foods they eat, but rather, just getting additional calories to support muscle gains. According to Healthline, weight gain supplements and protein shakes are also used during dirty bulking periods. 

The downside to 'dirty bulking'

As enjoyable as it may be to eat your favorite foods without worrying about weight gain, dirty bulking can produce risky results. Bulking does yield weight increases, but dirty bulking can lead to increased fat storage and higher blood sugar, both of which can put you at risk for diabetes and heart disease, per BodyBuilding.com. In addition, when ignoring your nutrient intake, you could see changes in your blood pressure, especially if consuming too much sodium, as well as your cholesterol levels, due to the addition of saturated fats and processed foods you eat. According to BodyBuilding.com, dirty bulking may also make you more susceptible to storing fat, and more resistant to gaining muscle, which is usually not the ultimate goal of a bulk.

If weight and muscle gain is something you strive for, a surplus of healthier foods and a focus on nutrient intake will serve you best in the long term. According to Healthline, a cleaner bulk with more proteins, complex carbs, and healthy fats is best. If you decide to go dirty, make sure it's only for a short duration.