Missing Link in Bodybuilding Nutrition

The Missing Link in Your Bodybuilding Nutrition Program

When it comes to bodybuilding nutrition most people think in terms of the 3 big macro nutrients – protein, carbs, and fat.

Just look at any bodybuilding diet plan and you’ll see recommendations for the total daily caloric intake along with how much protein you should eat, how many carbs, and how much fat.

Of course the amounts will vary depending on your age, sex, bodyweight, and fitness goal (i.e. whether you are bulking or cutting).

On the surface this all seems really good, and it’s light years ahead of the average Joe who has no idea of what he puts in his mouth over the course of the day. The Standard American Diet consists of “See Food, Eat Food”. Many people think as long as food tastes good and they eat until they’re full, than that’s eating a “healthy diet”.

You would be shocked to know just how many people don’t understand the difference between protein, carbs, and fat. Unfortunately a lot of people base their dietary decisions on eating foods that are cheap and taste good. Nutritional value is often the least of importance. And if you don’t believe me, just look at what gets put in the average shopping cart the next time you are at the grocery store.

Now I’m going to assume that since you are taking the time to read this article that you probably also focus on your macro nutrient needs for building muscle and/or burning fat. And for that you deserve a pat on the back because you are on the right track. However, there is still a missing link in your bodybuilding nutrition program.

The Missing Link in Bodybuilding Nutrition…

You have heard about this “missing link” in nutrition since you were 5 years old, before you even knew what a protein was. But if you were anything like me you just screwed up your face in disgust when your mother said “Eat Your Vegetables” – Blah… 🙁

Your mother always said to Eat Your Vegetables

I think if we were to do a survey of the Number #1 most disliked food – Green Vegetables would be at or near the top of the list. The weird thing about vegetables is the less you eat them, the less you like them. However, the opposite is also true in that the more you eat them, the more you like them. It just takes some will power in order to get over that initial hump.

For many people their taste buds have been desensitized from years of eating processed foods and artificial sweeteners. So it’s often hard for the average person to appreciate taste, flavor, and natural sweetness of fresh vegetables. But if you stick with it your palette will change for the better and you’ll actually acquire a taste for natural healthy foods that nourish your body.

The nutritional benefits of vegetables is one area of bodybuilding nutrition that often gets swept under the rug. Making sure that you eat at least 10 servings of vegetables and fruit daily is critical for not only your overall health, but for building a lean muscular physique as well. In fact, veggies should be placed on the same pedestal as protein in terms of importance.

Vegetables infuse your body with easily absorbable vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and amino acids. They are rich in chlorophyll and phytonutrients that help support the body’s self defense mechanisms, while detoxifying and nourishing the body at the cellular level.

From a bodybuilding point of view this can help with reducing muscle soreness, speed up growth and recovery, ease joint pain and inflammation, alkalize the body, reduce toxicity, and create a natural anabolic environment within your muscle cells.

One of the biggest problems we are facing with a modern diet is that most processed foods have been stripped of their nutritional value. So what happens is that we end up eating “empty calories”. As crazy as it sounds, it’s very common these days for people to eat so much food that they become obese, yet at the same time they are malnourished at the cellular level because the foods they are eating have very little nutritional value.

Just think of all the “normal foods” that you see in the grocery store; bread, rice, pasta, noodles, French fries, breakfast cereals, crackers, chips, cookies, pastries, biscuits, etc. These foods are all proceed and stripped of their nutritional value (i.e. empty calories) and this makes up the foundation of the average diet.

Simply swapping out processed foods in exchange for natural vegetables and fruit is one of the best things you can do for your overall health and fitness. I personally strive to eat green vegetables with every single meal. And for those times when I can’t eat green vegetables, I’ll have a Greens Drink instead.

Green drinks contain the extracts of several “Super Foods” that are very nutrient dense such as: wheat grass, sprouted grains, berries, and green vegetables. A single serving of a high quality Greens Drink has the same nutritional value as eating 10 servings of vegetables and fruit!

Studies show that phytonutrients, chlorophyll, polyphenols, carotenoids and other antioxidants found in greens help to protect the body from free radical damage. Regularly consuming green drinks will help to alkalize your body by neutralizing the excess acids that a modern diet commonly includes. When you start taking Green Drinks you’ll notice an increase in energy, and they will also help reduce your food cravings and urges to snack between meals.

Green drinks can help ward off illness, reduce the amount of infections and dramatically reduce the amount of yeasts, and toxins in the body. There are numerous benefits to taking green drinks ranging from those mentioned above, to aiding with the treatment of cancers, cardiovascular diseases and mental illnesses.

In my opinion Green Drinks are one of the best supplements for your overall health and fitness. They are right up there in importance with protein powder. I consider them a “must have” supplement for your overall health and well being.

As for which brand of Greens Drink to get, you have a lot of options available. And in a lot of cases you do get what you pay for. Some of the bargain brand supplement companies out there want to piggy back on the popularity of Greens. So they will make low quality green products that does contain some Super Food Extracts, but not in the amounts needed to provide you with the benefits that are listed above. So you’ll need to watch out for that.


In my opinion the gold standard of Green Drinks is Athletic Greens Powder. This is the most nutritionally dense and best tasting greens product that I’ve ever used. And I have tried a lot of different greens drink supplements.

When you go shopping around for Greens, I’d suggest that you refer to the label of the Athletic Greens Powder and use that as your benchmark for quality and compare product labels accordingly.


There is a lot more to bodybuilding nutrition than just making sure you get your macro-nutrients of protein, carbs, and fat. Your mother’s words of wisdom to “Eat Your Vegetables” is so true. The phytonutrients, chlorophyll, polyphenols, carotenoids, easily absorbable vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that are found in vegetables are just as (if not more) important to building a lean muscular physique as eating high quality protein.

So I encourage you to make an effort to consume more fresh vegetables in your daily diet. The more you eat them, the more you’ll grow to like them. But it will take some will power initially to get the ball rolling. And to make the process easier, you can also drink your veggies in the form of a greens drink. Just like you supplement with protein powder to make sure you meet your protein needs, you can supplement with Athletic Greens Powder to ensure you meet your vegetable needs.

all the best,
Lee Hayward
(Your Muscle Building Coach) 🙂

About The Author


Lee Hayward is a former competitive bodybuilder and muscle building coach who has been online coaching people since 1997. His work has been featured in several international magazines such as: FLEX, Muscle Insider, Muscle Mag International, Testosterone, Ironmag, and Forbes. Lee's main focus right now is with helping men over 40 - who don't want to be fat anymore - lose the gut, build muscle, and get back in shape. If you're ready to "Start Again" for the last time and finally build a lean healthy body that you can be proud of, just e-mail Lee to discuss a realistic action plan that's right for you... lee@leehayward.com


  • Hey Lee!

    My name is Luis, love this article, very fundamental stuff! I’ve been a reader and follower of your work for about 5 years, I’d love to share your expertise with my audience on the podcast (Lean Ripped and Healthy Radio on Itunes and stitcher)

    If your open to a 30 to 40 minute interview It would be an honor to share you with my listeners!

    Kind Regards,


  • As I started reading I wondered what the “missing link” would be. I was surprised and pleased to read that you are urging everyone to eat more veggies. The more I study nutrition the more convinced I am that what we eat is fundamental to our health and fitness.

  • Jason

    Very good point… Eat Your Vegetables!