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Chicken, rice and broccoli. Extra lean steak, sweet potato and green beans. Egg white, spinach and oats – the staple, high protein, high carb bodybuilding meals.
Eating one of these every now and then might be okay, but if these are all you eat, you’re going to get very bored of your diet, very soon.
While there’s nothing wrong with chicken, steak and eggs as protein sources, you really need to get a little more adventurous. When it comes to fish, the most risqué bodybuilders usually get is the odd can of tuna. Again, this is fine, but do you really want to be forcing down forkful upon forkful of boring, try, and relatively tasteless tuna, all in pursuit of the perfect physique?
You already know about the protein aspect. In order for your muscles to grow, you need a stimulus. This is your weight training. You work your muscles to the point of failure and they break down, ready to regrow bigger and stronger. The catalyst for this growth to occur is protein. Without protein you can’t build muscle – no ifs or buts. You must have protein in your diet to get bigger and stronger. Therefore, high protein foods like fish are essential for any Aspiring bodybuilder.
Fish differ in their protein contents, but there’s no such thing as a low protein fish. Some might be higher in protein than others, but you can rest assured that no matter what fish you choose, you’ll be getting a good bang for your protein buck.
The second big, yet often overlooked advantage to adding fish to your diet is the healthy fats that fish contains.
Not all fish contain healthy fats – only the oily ones contain essential fatty acids (EFAs) but provided you’re eating these on a regular basis, even if you eat non-oily fish too, you’ll still get a massive boost to your general health and wellbeing.
The type of healthy fat found in fish is omega 3, also known as the heart-healthy fat. It has a positive effect in preventing and managing almost every disease known to man, according to trainer Charles Poliquin. It also reduces inflammation and improves cell health (both of which are critical for recovering from workouts and boosting muscle gain) plus omega 3s help with fat loss. You can get omega 3 as a supplement too, and many nutritionists advise adding this to your regime, either in pill or liquid form, but by eating it from food, you’ll get all the other vitamins, minerals and protein too. As an aside, if for any reason you don’t eat fish, definitely add a fish oil supplement in on a daily basis.