What you will know
There are bodybuilders out there who don’t eat much fish, they might not like the taste or it could be the price. For those who don’t, you’re missing out big time.
The price of fish is usually around $5 a pound, for gourmet varieties the price is usually higher, whilst chicken or beef can usually be found for cheaper. Another key consideration is the preparation of the fish. Some gym heads would rather stick to their 5-6 meals a day, alternating between easy to make meals and protein shakes, than go through the process of preparing and broiling fish filet.
The Benefits of Fish
People, who leave fish out of their diet, are missing out, especially when it comes to the additional nutritional benefits fish offers. Eating fish will bring many benefits; a good source of easily edible amino acids, omega-3 which aids in a faster metabolism and minerals that help improve thyroid and testosterone functions. We’d highly recommend adding fish to your diet, to reap from fish’s natural benefits.
The most ideal time to eat slow digesting fish, is at the time you’re eating your last meals of the day, which would include the last one before bed. This will help keep a well maintained release of amino acids throughout the night. Many believe that slow digesting proteins should be used as part of your last meal, to help maintain an anabolic state through the night.
Types of Slow-Digesting Fish
Fish that usually produces a lot of oil whilst cooking is what you want to be looking for, this type of fish will produce more dietary fat, which will convert the digestion rate of the aminos from fast to slow. This is an ideal situation, as this will enable your body to stay in an anabolic state throughout the time until your next meal. Mackerel, Orange Roughy, Trout, ‘Sushi grade’ Tuna, Sardines and Salmon are all types of slow-digesting fish.
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There will be times during the day, especially right after tough, hardcore workouts, where you’re going to need access to a quick, easy and fast digesting protein source. Being a bodybuilder, having access to this type of protein, will at times, be very beneficial. Fast digesting protein based foods will help with an amino build up within the blood stream, which will combat any protein catabolism. Taking this type of food post-workout is an ideal time, as the aminos in your blood stream will help your body back into an anabolic state. Another great time for this type of food would be at breakfast.
If you have gone without food for a few hours consuming fast digestive foods, will help your body replenish the aminos in your body, which will save your muscle mass and help reduce any catabolic effects.
The Easy Meals
Most bodybuilders normally turn to egg whites and whey protein as their source of fast digesting protein. There are some great alternatives to be found within fish, especially easy to digest fish, which would include: crab, shrimp, scallop, snapper, cod, white tuna, haddock, snapper and halibut. It is always worth knowing many alternatives to your food sources, just to add variety to your diets, if or whenever you get bored of the eating the same foods day in and day out.
Most bodybuilders have been neglecting foods that contain dietary fats, believing that it will add towards their body fat. Luckily, we have since learnt that dietary fats have many benefits, most notably; omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids will help improve the metabolism and help with glutamine levels. A fall in glutamine levels will cause the muscles to use branched-chain amino acids, which can potentially put you in a catabolic state, a drop in glutamine levels can also cause reduced water content in your muscles, which can slow down muscle growth.
Omega-3’s help the body with carbohydrate storage within the muscles, which in turn helps with muscle growth.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega 3 fatty acids have many benefits; the two most notable are help with muscle growth and help with shredding fat. When trying to cut, you will have to reduce your calorie and carbohydrate intake, doing so can put your muscles at risk of shredding. There is a great fix for this problem, eating fish with a good amount of omega-3s, the omega-3’s will help keep insulin levels sensitive, which will help keep your body in an anabolic state.
This will result in a more efficient cut, reducing the risk of muscle loss whilst cutting fat. The following fish have a great concentrated source of omega-3 fatty acids: Tuna, Mackerel, Sardines and Salmon.
Beneficial Nutrients of Fish
Fish have a whole load of benefits, apart from their bodybuilding benefits fish contain a rich amount of minerals and vitamins. Below are some of the best nutrients that can be found in fish.
Selenium is an antioxidant which is great for maintaining a strong immune system, the stronger an immune system the easier it will be to recover from workouts, which makes selenium a great nutrient to help towards muscle growth. A weaker immune system will harm potential for muscle growth and recovery, regardless of your total caloric and protein intake. Luckily for us fish is one of the best sources for selenium.
Chromium is a small trace mineral which helps your body store carbs as muscle glycogen instead of body fat. The main benefits chromium provides to you as a bodybuilder is glycogen stores will help with muscle growth and keep muscles full.
Zinc is a great mineral that helps support testosterone and insulin growth factor levels, both these factors help to aid muscle growth. It’s recommended to try and consume 15mg of zinc a day, oysters are a great source for zinc.
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