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The Importance of Fibers for Bodybuilding

Nowadays, bodybuilding is taking a big place all around the world. Bodybuilders are always considering making a good physique. Their diets are one of the most important things which they should make. They probably think about cutting calories, fat, and carbohydrates and eating substandard tasting foods. But, bodybuilders need to take the advantage of incorporating fiber in their diets. Here you can find out how fiber can help you to make a good physique.

You should know that fiber is a nonessential complex carbohydrate, which is indigested by humans. Fiber is nonessential, but it is still recognized as an important component of your diet. You should be sure to include appropriate sources of fiber in your diet. This is very important for fitness enthusiasts, as well as the general population. The best way of adding fiber is to eat foods in their most natural form because often foods lose much of their fiber when they are processed.

You should try to include a wide variety of fruits and vegetables in your diet, for not only the benefits of fiber that it provides, but also for the many different vitamins and antioxidants which come along with them. Also, you should try to replace some of your typical meat sources with beans and legumes, because they are often terrific sources of fiber as well.

Utilize Fiber in Bodybuilding Diet

Dietary fibers

 Dietary fiber has many advantages, such as reduce the glycemic response to certain foods, reduce time in the colon, lower cholesterol, delay gastric emptying, and induce a feeling of satiety. The inability of our enzymes to break down certain carbohydrates, even though they may consist primarily of glucose (like most carbohydrates) is what makes fiber indigestible to humans. The chemical structure of enzymes is the reason why they cannot break down fiber and this is determined by the confirmation of the bonds between glucose units.

The packing of the molecule can restrict access of enzymes to the bonds they normally break down. Bananas and potatoes are almost completely resistant to digestive enzymes and they reach the colon relatively intact. There are seven major categories of fiber and they include lignin, algal polysaccharides, mucilage, gums, pectic substances, hemicellulose, and cellulose. Cellulose is the most common of these fibers and it can be found in the plant cell wall.

Hemicelluloses are fibers that have 5 and 6 carbon sugars. Pectic substances are water-soluble fibers and are rich in galacturonic acid. Gums are substances that are secreted by plants in response to injury. Also, mucilage is a water-soluble fiber and it is used by plants to protect seeds. Algal polysaccharides are extracted from algae. The lignin is found in woody plants.

Soluble and insoluble fibers

Physiologically, fiber can be categorized into categories – soluble fiber and insoluble fiber. When you are buying some product, you will often see amounts of soluble and insoluble fiber in the carbohydrate section. If you have ever eaten a large portion of vegetables or beans, you have probably noticed that you feel really full and your stomach seems like it sticks out further than normal. The fiber is resistant to digestion in the stomach, so the bulk that fiber adds to a meal produces a feeling of fullness that can last for a long period of time.

So, if you want to reduce your caloric intake and still feel hungry after you eat, then you should incorporate some soluble fiber with your meals. The soluble fiber is a type of fiber that feeds intestinal bacteria and then, it converts it to short-chain fatty acids. Then, this has a positive effect on the body, such as inhibiting the growth of yeast and disease-causing bacteria and it can help to reduce the risk of cancer of the large intestine.

The soluble fiber can help to lower blood cholesterol levels by reducing the amount of cholesterol that is produced by the liver. This type of fiber dissolves in water and it forms a gel-like substance and it can help to regulate blood sugar levels. The insoluble fiber does not dissolve in water, but instead, acts on intestinal toxins and it plays an important role in the prevention of colon and breast cancer.

Below are given tables in which are shown common foods and their total, soluble and insoluble fiber counts.

FoodServing sizeTotal fiber
Soluble fiber
Insoluble fiber


Apple, with skin1 medium2.71.01.7
Banana1 medium2.30.71.6
Grapes1 cup0.60.10.5
Orange1 medium2.51.60.9
Pear, Bartlett1 medium40.83.2
Prunes, dried4 each3.11.31.8
Strawberries1 cup1.60.61.0


FoodServing sizeTotal fiber
Soluble fiber
Insoluble fiber


Beans, green, cooked½ cup2.00.81.2
Broccoli, raw½ cup1.50.11.4
Brussels Sprouts, cooked½ cup3.67.71.9
Carrot, raw1 medium2.61.11.5
Cauliflower, raw½ cup10.40.6
Celery, raw½ cup0.90.20.7
Corn, cooked½ cup4.70.24.4
Lettuce, Butterhead1 cup1.30.60.7
Lettuce, Iceberg1 cup10.3.07
Lettuce, Romaine1 cup0.70.30.4
Peas, cooked½ cup4.41.23.2
Pepper, green, raw½ cup0.90.30.6
Potato, with skin1 medium2.40.61.8
Sweet potato, peeled1 medium3.41.71.7
Tomato1 medium1.30.31.0


FoodServing sizeTotal fiber
Soluble fiber
Insoluble fiber


Dried beans and peas (cooked)
Black-eyed peas½ cup4.10.53.6
Garbonzo beans½ cup4.01.22.8
Kidney beans½ cup8.23.64.6
Lentils½ cup4.50.73.8
Pinto beans½ cup10.33.96.4
Split peas½ cup3.41.12.4


FoodServing sizeTotal fiber
Soluble fiber
Insoluble fiber


Pumpernickel bread1 slice2.311.3
Rye bread1 slice1.60.70.9
Sourdough bread1 slice0.70.20.5
White bread1 slice0.60.30.3
Whole wheat bread1 slice2.20.51.7
Brown rice½ cup1.80.21.6
White rice½ cup0.60.20.4
Wild rice½ cup1.30.21.1
Spiral pasta, cooked1 cup1.30.21.1
Spiral pasta, whole wheat, cooked1 cup3.70.73.0


FoodServing sizeTotal fiber
Soluble fiber
Insoluble fiber


Nuts and seeds¼ cup3.90.43.5
Almonds¼ cup1.10.60.5
Cashews¼ cup2.50.71.8
Peanuts, dry roasted¼ cup1.40.50.9
Walnuts¼ cup1.40.50.9
Sesame seeds¼ cup3.30.72.6
Sunflower seeds¼ cup2.20.71.5


FoodServing sizeTotal fiber
Soluble fiber
Insoluble fiber


Breakfast Cereal
All-Bran with Extra fiber½ cup15114
Bran Buds1/3 cup10.72.87.9
Cheerios1 cup1.61.00.6
Corn Flakes1 cup0.70.40.3
Fibre One½ cup13112
Oatmeal, cooked1 cup4241.6
Shredded Wheat, small biscuits1 cup4.20.73.5
Total Raisin Bran1 cup60.95.1


Some tips to help you get more fiber in your diet:

  • You can start your day off with a cereal high in fiber, such as all-bran or oatmeal.
  • You should be sure that the bread in your sandwich is whole wheat or grain. You should check the label before you buy bread, because brown bread may not have any more fiber than plain white bread.
  • You need to introduce fiber in your diet slowly because it can prevent excess bloating and gas.
  • You should use whole wheat flour in any baking, or half wheat and half white.
  • You should keep cut-up raw vegetables in the fridge to snack on. You should replace other common snack food with air-popped popcorn, but you should not add oils or flavorings to it.
  • You need to include a wide variety of beans and legumes in your diet.
  • You should replace any juice with real fruit.
  • You need to eat the skins off all fruits and vegetables because this is where the most fiber is located.
  • You should add frozen vegetables to soups or other dinner meals, so you will increase your fiber intake.

How much fiber you should have:

Nowadays, there is no recommended dietary allowance for fiber. But, it is suggested that bodybuilders should take 10 – 13 grams of fiber for every 1000 calories. The concentration of fiber in your diet should be increased with your age because energy requirements decline in older people. Some of the best food sources of fiber that you can add to your diet include raspberries, prunes, oranges, apples, leafy vegetables, legumes, and whole-grain products. As you have seen in this article, including fiber in your diet has very positive consequences for people who want to lose weight, preparing for a physique contest, or for people who want to improve their health status.

Neem Mayur
Neem Mayur
Mayur Neem, a certified dietician having more than 5 years of experience in the field of diet practice. He is working as a diet expert and offering services to body builders, sports persons, celebrities, etc. He is lover of natural remedies and loves to spend most of his free time in his organic farm and offers expert advice on organic farming to local farmers. He is available through [email protected]


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