Why Do Bodybuilders Eat Broccoli? (important or bad?)

January 8, 2024 |

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Bodybuilders are known to follow some of the strictest and most precise diets. This includes clean and lean protein, whole grain carbs, healthy fats, and green veggies. Chief amongst which, Broccoli?

Why do bodybuilders eat so much Broccoli?

Many bodybuilders and other athletes eat broccoli for its nutritional value. Broccoli is a good source of protein, fiber, vitamins C and K, and minerals such as iron and calcium. It’s also low in calories and fat.

Eating broccoli may help bodybuilders meet their daily nutritional needs and promote muscle growth.

Broccoli is a nutrient-dense food, meaning it provides a lot of nutrients for its calorie content. This makes it an ideal food for athletes who are trying to maintain or improve their performance while keeping their calorie intake in check.

But the question remains, what about Broccoli makes it so unique that bodybuilders would suffer through the rather lackluster taste?

There are crazy reasons why bodybuilders and fitness people costume broccoli in large quantities.

Let’s dive into that and the rest of the funny quirks bodybuilders follow.

Why Do Bodybuilders Eat So Much Broccoli?

a bowl of sliced broccoli

Broccoli is a cruciferous vegetable that is often linked to health and prosperity. Like most green vegetables, it has various health benefits specifically for bodybuilders such as Broccoli has been shown to help lower cholesterol levels. This is good for bodybuilders, seeing as lifestyle and steroid use dramatically raise blood lipid levels [1].

Some studies show that the sulforaphane found in Broccoli could help fight cancer. Both the growth hormone and IGF-1 used by bodybuilders have been linked to an increased risk of cancer [2].

Broccoli contains a compound called indole-3-carbinol (I3C), which has been shown to help balance estrogen in the body. This is highly beneficial to bodybuilders as the testosterone will convert into estrogen via the aromatase enzyme in fat cells.

Brocolli is also an incredibly calorie low food, meaning that you can get in a lot of food volume without actually racking up the calories. This makes it a delicious food to consume when calories are pretty low.

And then lastly, it’s a green vegetable! All green veggies are packed with vitamins and minerals, meaning they have significant benefits to anyone eating them.

Besides these benefits, there are certainly fewer “sexy” reasons why bodybuilders consume so much Broccoli. It’s both cheap and easy to find; it is filled with fiber which is excellent for digestive health and can make losing weight a lot easier as it is almost an “empty calorie.”

Why Do Bodybuilders Eat Chicken and Broccoli?

Bodybuilders live some of the most repetitive lives you will ever find. This includes following the same routine and eating the same foods daily. This has various benefits to someone looking to make their daily life a lot simpler.

Bodybuilders will eat a lot of chicken and Broccoli because it’s simple and effective.

As a bodybuilder, you aren’t worried about the taste of foods, but more so about the macros and results, the food will bring you. This means bodybuilders will often forgo nice foods and opt for something simple yet effective.

A great bonus of following the chicken, rice, and broccoli diet is exceptionally cheap.

Does Broccoli Build Muscle?

Building muscle is the most significant endeavor for the average bodybuilder, as they aim to be the most muscular and symmetric person on stage.

To build muscle, you will need protein, training, and a good amount of rest to grant the muscles time to recover from the onslaught of training. While the protein in Broccoli would theoretically build muscle in the correct situation, there are better places to find the protein needed to build muscle.

Broccoli is not the densest protein source you can find on the market today, and because of the amount of fiber within, eating tremendous amounts can lead to indigestion.

Why Do Bodybuilders not Eat Vegetables?

Youtube will reflect that most bodybuilders do not consume as many vegetables as you may think. You’ll mostly find this with the Open Category bodybuilders, the biggest men, and women on the planet.

Some bodybuilders will omit vegetables from their diet because there is no space for them in the diet. This will mostly happen in the bulking phase when the goal is to accrue as much muscle mass as possible.

In the bulking phase, calories will typically be at an all-time high. This means the bodybuilder in question will be eating every three hours and complete. Trying to throw vegetables into that mix would be difficult; thus, popping a multivitamin is much easier.

Is Broccoli High in Protein?

The mechanisms behind building muscle are pretty easy to understand. You train with resistance to provide a novel stimulus to the muscle, provide adequate rest, and consume a good amount of protein.

Compared to other vegetables, Broccoli is high in protein, making up almost 30% of its dry weight.

Compared to other high-protein foods like chicken, fish, seitan, or protein powders, Broccoli is woefully low in protein.

Protein is an important nutrient that helps keep you feeling full and satisfied after eating, and it’s essential for building and repairing muscle tissue. Plus, protein is important for maintaining healthy blood sugar levels and providing energy throughout the day.

What Vegetables Build Muscle?

Vegetables are often painted as the pinnacle of modern health, but what if your goal is simply being the juiciest of all your friends? To make shirts and tights stretch to cover your muscly body?

Vegetables can help you build muscle. The vegetables with the most amount of protein are as follows below:


Protein (grams) per 100 grams

Soybean Sprouts 13.1g
Lima Beans 6.8g
Green Peas 5.4g
Spinach 3g

As you can see, Vegetables aren’t the most efficient way of getting in protein – at least not for a bodybuilder. If you are not an athlete engaged in resistance training, vegetables can get you to your protein needs.

Is Broccoli Good after a Workout?

After you have completed your training, your body will have depleted its glycogen stores. These are carbohydrate stores the body holds within the muscle and the liver.

To replenish these as soon as possible, you will need to consume carbohydrate-rich food and protein-rich food, as the latter can help with anabolism. For this reason, Broccoli is not good after a workout, as it is neither high in carbohydrates nor protein.

What Should I Not Eat to Gain Muscle?

Gaining muscle is the holy grail not only for thousands of young people but also for aging people.

There is no denying the benefits of packing a few extra pounds of contractile tissue, like having less risk of injury.

To avoid not gaining muscle, you should only avoid three types of food:

  • Alcohol:

Alcohol not only decreases recovery capabilities but also lowers cognitive function as well as muscle protein synthesis rates. [3]

  • Deli Meats:

While these contain protein, they are also jam-packed with salt and nitrates, which have negative health effects. [4]

  • Anything that does not digest:

As you need the macronutrients within the food to build muscle, eating anything that gives you indigestion or does not digest is not a bright idea.

What are the Top 10 Protein Foods?

Protein comes in all shapes and sizes, and choosing the right one for you is pretty simple. Choose the options that digest well, fit your budget, and make sure you find ways to make those options taste good.

Here are the top 10 protein foods:

  • Lean White Meat (Chicken, Turkey)
  • Protein Powders (Whey, Vegan)
  • Red Meat (Beef, Lean Pork)
  • Eggs
  • Seitan
  • Fat-Free Yogurt
  • Fat-Free Cottage Cheese
  • Fish and other Seafood
  • Organ Meat
  • Tofu

There might be a few other foods you can sink your teeth into, but these are the best options you will be able to get.

Cheap Protein Options

We live in a world where the cost of living is rising and rising, and inflation isn’t far behind. How do you get some cheap protein options with the looming burden of actual life on your mind?

  • Chicken: Still a staple; when bought in bulk, you can get quite a lot of chicken at a reasonable price.
  • White Fish: Low in fat and very high in protein, these fish will make any fat loss phase easier. Depending on your source, these might be super cheap or very expensive.
  • Pork: You might not expect this, but specific cuts of pork are pretty lean. This means you can get a good amount of high-quality protein for cheap, without getting a lot of fat.
  • Vegan Proteins: Due to the nature of these products, they might be a bit cheaper. I’m not talking about fake meats; I’m talking about vegan protein powder and seitan. Both of these have great value and are pretty affordable.

Final Thoughts

Broccoli is high in antioxidants and phytonutrients, which can help improve overall health and reduce the risk of disease. -Broccoli is also a good source of fiber, vitamin C, and vitamin K. Bodybuilders may eat broccoli because it is a nutrient-rich food that can help them meet their nutritional needs.

If you’re looking for a healthy vegetable to add to your diet as a bodybuilder, consider adding broccoli to your grocery list.

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