Fiber Facts: Why You Need It

When you’re thinking about your bodybuilding diet, don’t forget to include a lot of fiber. Most bodybuilders eat more calories than average people, so it’s important to increase your fiber intake to match that. Fiber does a lot to keep you healthy in general, and when you’re lifting weights, you have even more to gain from a fiber-rich diet.

Fiber is a dietary ingredient that includes things like pectin, lignin, and cellulose. These are not substances that can be digested like other nutrients and ingredients, so your body must use them in other ways. It’s best known for moving food through the body until it’s time to release them through waste. Fiber can contribute to heart health and protect you against certain cancers, digestive issues, and even diabetes. When you eat enough fiber, you have less of a chance of gaining weight. That can be especially helpful to your cutting cycle.

Why Fiber Matters to Bodybuilders

Increasing your muscle actually produces a lot of waste in your body. That’s where fiber comes in; it helps your body eliminate that waste. Considering the alternative would be to store the waste as fat, you have to accept and enjoy fiber. If waste is allowed to build up in your body, you’ll feel pretty bad. You’ll also gain weight, and not the good kind of weight. Instead of gaining muscle mass, that waste will turn into fat and other unsavory deposits. Let the fiber do its job and remove what your body doesn’t need.

Since your body cannot digest the fiber you eat, it passes through your gastrointestinal system and flushes extra nutrients and waste out of your body. When you’re building muscle and trying to get stronger and more powerful, you need to stay lean. You don’t need any of that extra waste hanging around. Releasing that waste will keep your hormonal process in check, and your body and your muscle tissues will have less stress to fight off.

Fiber Intake for Bodybuilders

The U.S. Institute of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health maintain healthy fiber levels which will depend on your age, gender, and the number of calories you consume in a day. As a bodybuilder, you’re eating more calories than you would if you weren’t trying to gain muscles. Be aware of this, and make sure you’re getting enough fiber into your diet. Most people don’t get enough fiber.

Since fiber doesn’t move through your digestive and gastrointestinal tract quickly, you shouldn’t fill up on fiber right before your workout. You also shouldn’t eat it right after a workout, when your body needs to focus on muscle repair and recovery. Eat your high fiber meals outside of your regular workout times.

High Fiber Foods for Bodybuilders

You can take supplements and vitamins to increase the amount of fiber you get, however it can be healthier (and more enjoyable) to eat high fiber foods. These can be incorporated into a lot of meals and snacks, and some of them are high in calories, which is helpful when you’re trying to increase your muscle mass.

Whole grains and whole grain products are an excellent source of fiber. This means brown rice, whole grain bread, and crackers made with plenty of seeds and real grains. Nuts, beans, and legumes are also excellent sources of fiber. Make sure you can include these in soups, salads, and even things like tacos and burgers.

Fruits and vegetables are great sources of fiber, and a great way to increase your fiber content without adding a lot of fat and calories. Eat leafy green vegetables and fruit that’s in season.

When you increase your fiber intake, you’re helping your bodybuilding diet. While fiber doesn’t directly impact your muscles, it does protect your body against things like weight gain and digestive problems. Keeping everything balanced in your body is essential to maximizing your workouts and maintaining a great diet.