Bodybuilders are all about creating the biggest, most ripped physiques possible, but we also realize that staying healthy is the most important part of fitness and nutrition. To do that over the long haul requires that we eat lots of fruits and vegetables, which can be hard to do on a consistent basis. That’s why many fitness enthusiasts have turned to a form of supplements called “greens” or superfood powder benefits to cover their nutritional needs.
Great, so that means greens are a convenient replacement for vegetables, right?
While greens can help you cover gaps in your diet, they are no substitute for eating “real” vegetables. Here are a few reasons why.
Vitamins and Minerals
While greens are healthy for bodybuilders and other athletes, the fact is that the processes used to manufacture them are not standardized to any great degree. As a consequence, the level of vitamins and minerals contained in greens varies a good deal from brand to brand and maybe even from batch to batch.
If you’re looking for vitamins and minerals, fruits and vegetables should be your primary source, with a good multivitamin serving as backup.
Fiber and Bulk
One of the great benefits to eating lots of vegetables is that they fill you up without blowing your caloric budget. Just the act of chomping through a big salad will give your hunger sensors enough time to realize that you’re eating and start to make you feel full before you can pile on too much meat, starches, or desserts. Fruits, and to a lesser extent, veggies, also provide fiber to help keep you regular and your digestive system humming along. Some greens contain very little fiber.
Greens, for all their benefits, won’t make you full OR keep your bowels moving the way fruits and vegetables can.
You May Not Need Them at All!
If you’re following a healthy bodybuilding diet and are either maintaining or increasing your body weight, then there is a decent chance you’re already taking in all the vitamins and minerals you need from fruits and vegetables or from a daily multivitamin (or both). In that case, packing in more “green power” won’t do you much good but will add to your overall grocery and supplement bill.
Now, just because greens can’t completely replace vegetables in your diet does NOT mean that they’re not valuable supplements.
Most of us go through periods when eating enough veggies is just not possible or, maybe, palatable.
Traveling, for example, can be an especially stressful ordeal, and greens come in handy when you can’t lay your hands on fresh broccoli or carrots.
Another situation where you might want to consider greens is when you’re eating a ton of food trying to bulk (although that’s usually not such a great idea). When you need or want to take in extra calories, large amounts of vegetables can work against your goal since they fill you up so well and can make eating enough a chore.
Under those circumstances, greens can help you get the nutrients you need while still leaving room in your belly of higher-calorie fare.
Greens, then, won’t solve all of your bodybuilding problems, but they can be an effective addition to your regimen under the right conditions. They’re another great tool for your arsenal in building a better body over the long run.