Most people understand that fiber plays an important role in the overall health and wellness of the body, but this form of carbohydrate is actually quite beneficial to bodybuilders as well.
Fiber is found in the cell walls of plants and can be obtained from food sources such as fruits, vegetables, oat bran, beans, grains and psyllium.
Because of its chemical structure, fiber is indigestible to humans and remains completely intact as it travels through the body. It is actually a carbohydrate, but acts differently since it cannot be broken down into its basic glucose building blocks.
If fiber can't even be digested, what could possibly make it so important to bodybuilders? Well, even though fiber is considered a "nonessential" nutrient, it still plays an important role in building muscle, gaining strength and maintaining your overall health.
Fiber is most well known for its ability to induce regular bowel movements.
Why is this so important to bodybuilders?
Well, since you are trying to build as much muscle as possible, you will probably be consuming at least one gram of protein per pound of bodyweight each day. One of the main sources of this protein will come from animal meat such as chicken and beef.
The problem with this is that if meat stays in the digestive tract for too long it can produce toxins that pose long-term negative health consequences. An adequate amount of fiber each day will ensure that foods are moving along smoothly through your digestive system.
Fiber is also beneficial in its effect on slowing down the rate of gastric emptying. Gastric emptying is the process where foods are moved from the stomach to the small intestine.
When you consume foods containing fiber, they become "gelled" in your stomach and slow down this process. The small intestine is where most nutrients are absorbed and pumped into the bloodstream.
By slowing down the transfer of food to the small intestine your body will be able to extract the nutrients much more efficiently. This "timed-release" effect will also keep your body in an anabolic state for longer and decrease the chances of muscle catabolism setting in.
Along with its digestive benefits, fiber has also been known to regulate blood sugar levels. This will result in a more gradual release of sugars into the bloodstream and will decrease the chances of unnecessary insulin spikes and unwanted fat storage.
This will also allow your body to increase its natural production of this powerful anabolic hormone without having to increase the consumption of simple carbohydrates.
As you can see, fiber is a fairly important carbohydrate form to incorporate into your diet. I would highly recommend that you focus on consuming around 25-35 grams of fiber each day for maximum benefits.
To learn the complete inside scoop on proper muscle-building nutrition, go ahead and You'll learn everything you need to know to structure the most effective nutrition plan possible in order to maximize your muscle and strength gains. You can also download my "Empowered Nutrition Mass-Building Meal Plans" to take all of the guesswork out of your diet.