Fiber is found in the cell walls of plants which enable it to be extracted from food sources such as fruits, vegetables, oat bran, beans, grains and psyllium.
Because of its chemical structure, fiber is indigestible to humans and stays completely intact as it travels throughout the body. It is actually a carbohydrate, but acts differently mainly because it cannot be divided into its basic glucose building blocks.
If fiber can’t even be digested, what could possibly make it critical to bodybuilders? Well, even though fiber is recognized as a “nonessential” nutrient, it still plays an important role in building muscle, gaining strength and maintaining your general health.
Fiber is most well known for its ability to induce regular bowels.
How can this be important to bodybuilders?
Well, since you are trying to build as much muscle as is possible, you will likely be consuming at least one gram of protein per pound of bodyweight each day. One of many sources of this protein will come from animal meat for instance chicken and beef.
The problem using this is that if meat stays in the digestive system for too long it can produce toxins that pose long-term negative health consequences. Enough fiber each day will assure that foods are moving along smoothly through your digestive system.
Fiber is also beneficial in its effect on slowing down the pace 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 lessen the pace of this process. The small intestine is where most nutrients are absorbed and pumped in to the bloodstream.
By reducing the transfer of food to the small intestine your system is able to extract the nutrients a lot more efficiently. This “timed-release” effect will likely keep your body in an anabolic state for longer and decrease the probability of muscle catabolism establishing.
Along with its digestive benefits, fiber has been known to regulate blood sugar levels. This may create a more gradual release of sugars into the bloodstream and will slow up the chances of unnecessary insulin spikes and unwanted fat storage.
This can also allow your body to increase its natural production of this powerful anabolic hormone without having to enhance the usage of simple carbohydrates.
As you can see, fiber is a pretty important carbohydrate form to include to your diet. We would strongly suggest that you consentrate on consuming around 25-35 grams of fiber each day for maximum benefits.