Why Don’t We See Bodybuilders Eating Vegetables?


What are the most common items you find on a bodybuilder’s plate? The first thing that comes to mind is some Steak, Chicken breast, Basmati rice, Sweet potato, and a little amount of green veggies. 

While the fitness industry can be seen promoting vegetable and their benefits to health, we don’t really see many bodybuilders consuming an appropriate amount of vegetables in their daily diet. 

Thousands of meal prep videos are available on youtube, not many bodybuilders can be found including a variety of veggies in their daily meals, especially when they are training to gain muscles. 

As a young fitness enthusiast, it’s discouraging to see the favourit bodybuilder eating a very little amount of green veggies. 

As a fitness coach, we have been asked this many times, why do we need to include soo many veggies in our diet when the top bodybuilders are not following the same eating pattern. 

Fact is, you can not follow the diet routine of professional bodybuilders, they are playing their game on a totally different level. 

Through this article, we are going to debunk every reason behind ‘why don’t we see bodybuilders eating veggies’

Top Reasons Bodybuilders Ditch Veggies

Although contradictions are everywhere and bodybuilders largely rely on veggies while cutting phase, veggies are low in calories and keep you full for a longer period of time 

1- Not Enough Calories

Vegetables are a good source of dietary fibers that not only help in keeping you full for a longer period of time but also improve gut health. 

While in the bulking phase, bodybuilders consume huge amounts of calories that are divided into multiple meals throughout the day. 

Veggies are low in calories which restricts bodybuilders from fulfilling their daily caloric requirements. 

Additionally, bodybuilders consume 6-8 meals a day in their gaining phase, they need a clean but easy source of carbohydrates that do not sit in the stomach for a very long period. 

That’s the reason most bodybuilders can be spotted eating rice, sweet potato, and lean source of protein throughout the day.

2- Would Make The Bulking More Difficult

Jay Cutler, a four-time Mr. Olympia winner, revealed that he used to consume about 4700-5000 calories per day while in the gaining phase. 

Ronnie Colemans used to consume about 5500 calories per day which consisted of at least 500gms of protein per day. 

Let’s have a look at the number of calories common vegetables provide: 

  • 100 g of broccoli contains 2.8 g of protein and 34 Calories
  • 100 g of Asparagus provides 20 Calories
  • 100 g of Cucumber contain 45 Calories
  • 100 g of Red bell peppers contain 31 Calories.
  • 100 g of Kale contain 49 Calories
  • 100 g raw Spinach contains 23 Calories. 

Does it look obvious now? Veggies are an incredible source of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals but they surely make the bulking more difficult. 

3- Better Alternatives Available

The health supplement market has shown tremendous growth in the recent decade. 

When you see a bodybuilder skipping vegetables in his diet, he is not restraining his body from vital minerals and vitamins that can be found in vegetables instead he is consuming highly potent multi-vitamins. 

4- Some Veggies Might Give Bloating

Veggies are good, they contain vital nutrients but some vegetables may give you bloating. 

Kale, broccoli, and cabbage are cruciferous vegetables, which contain raffinose — a sugar that remains undigested until bacteria in your gut ferment it, which produces gas and, in turn, makes you bloat. Brussels sprouts, asparagus, and cauliflower are also infamous for causing excess gas. 

As a bodybuilder, they need to be stage-ready, especially when preparing for competitions. Bodybuilders usually avoid food items that can cause bloating, inflammation, or water retention. 

people with Irritable Bowel Syndrome or IBS can benefit from a low-fiber diet to help avoid the bloating, stomach aches, cramps, and diarrhea that can come with the disease. “We don’t know too much about the causes of IBS,” Rumsey explains. “It’s important to learn what you can tolerate in your diet. Trying to avoid high-fiber foods can be a good test to see if it helps your symptoms.”

Should you be eating vegetables?

Every person should be eating vegetables! I personally recommend having two bowls of veggies every day. 

Bodybuilders have their own issues which might be restricting them from putting a decent amount of veggies on the plate but it should not be stopping you from enjoying nutrient-dense greens.

Any individual who wants to stay in shape should be consuming a bowl of salad and veggies with every meal, it will help you stay fuller for a longer period of time.

Veggies are also a rich source of prebiotics that keeps the digestive tract healthy.

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