Asparagus is one of the most popular vegetables among dieting bodybuilders. That’s possibly because it looks like a mini green spear, but more likely because it improves your physique’s appearance by encouraging your body to drop water. Asparagus is also high in micronutrients such as folic acid and vitamins A, C, E, and K, and it contains the amino acid asparagine— a natural diuretic.
While bodybuilders should consume asparagus throughout their competitive seasons—and even year-round now that it has become more readily available—one of the best ways to get the greatest water-dropping benefits from this veggie is to eliminate it from your meal plan two weeks before you start to drop water. Then use it as your primary vegetable, especially when cutting sodium.
THE SUPER SIX
These six foods are among the best sources of vitamin C.
Vitamin C is one of the most beneficial nutrients for bodybuilders. Of primary note is the fact that this nutrient is an antioxidant, helping destroy free radicals generated by stressors such as exercise. Free radicals destroy the integrity of cell walls and, over time, lead to disease.
Taking vitamin C not only reduces this damage, but research demonstrates that it also supports bodybuilding gains in other ways: Vitamin C helps burn body fat by synthesizing carnitine, and it boosts nitric oxide to improve blood flow and muscle pumps during weight training.