Is Mackerel Good for Bodybuilding?

Mackerel is a great fish to eat for those looking to bulk or put on muscle

Mackerel is an oily fish with high protein and fat content. It is useful food for those looking to put on mass quickly without regard to any possible weight gain. This fish will help you gain muscle but isn’t as clean as other fish like cod which is a white fish with fewer oils.

Bodybuilders are always looking for new proteins to try in their diets. Protein is the core nutrient responsible for muscle gain. To remain on track towards your goals, it is important to have a wide variety of foods that you enjoy at your disposal. Mackeral has a unique taste that may expand your palette. Bodybuilders most commonly bake or fry it.

Because mackerel is an oily fish, it has more fat than white fish. Oily fish tends to taste better but comes at the cost of higher calories. Foods with high calories from clean food sources are useful for those looking to bulk/put on muscle. Those who want to cut weight may need to turn to white fish, such as cod or tilapia, fish with almost no fat.

Macronutrients in Mackerel

Macronutrients are carbs, protein, and fat. Protein is the most important nutrient that bodybuilders use to put on muscle by repairing microtears from working out. Protein has a thermogenic effect which means that it will burn calories as your body breaks down amino acids found in protein. Mackerel also contains fat which is 9 calories per gram, making it the most calorie-dense macronutrient. It also helps you feel full so there is certainly a trade-off. In a 3oz serving of raw Atlantic mackerel, there are the following macronutrients:

Calories Protein Carbs Fat
174 16 0 12
USDA

Micronutrients in Mackerel

Micronutrients are nutrients that are not essential for your body to operate but most certainly improve your health. You only need them in small doses as your body does not burn these like it does protein, carbs, and fats. Micronutrients include both vitamins and minerals.

Micronutrient % of Daily Value
Vitamin B12 123
Vitamin D 76
Selenium 54
Vitamin B3 (Niacin) 39
Phosphorus 18
Vitamin B6 17
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) 16
Vitamin B1 (Thiamin) 10
Iron 8
Potassium 8
USDA

Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 is an essential nutrient that the body needs for many different functions. It helps keep energy levels stable, produces healthy red blood cells, and supports immune system functioning. It also helps to maintain nerve function, metabolism, and cell division.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is essential for bone health, immune function, and neuromuscular functioning. It also plays a role in the regulation of moods and helps to form healthy teeth and gums.

It is important to note that food isn’t the only source of vitamin D. Supplements are available as well as vitamins added to certain foods, such as dairy products. Vitamin D can also be created by the skin when it’s exposed to sunlight.

Selenium

Selenium is an essential nutrient that the body needs for many different functions. It helps to keep energy levels stable, produces healthy red blood cells, and supports immune system functions. It also helps to maintain nerve function, metabolism, and cell division.

Vitamin B3 (Niacin)

Niacin is used by the body in the production of energy, protein and glucose metabolism, and DNA synthesis. Niacin also helps to maintain a healthy circulatory system. It is easily found in all sorts of other meats, beans, and nuts.

Phosphorus

Phosphorus is essential to the body because it helps it build strong bones, teeth, and cell membranes. It aids in healing wounds and also helps transfer energy from one molecule to another. Phosphorus is also an important part of DNA, helping to create healthy cells.

Vitamin B6

Vitamin B6 is an essential nutrient that the body needs for many different functions. It helps to keep energy levels stable, produces healthy red blood cells, and supports immune system functioning. It also helps to maintain nerve function, metabolism, and cell division.

Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)

This vitamin helps regulate healthy mental functioning and aids in cellular growth and energy production. Riboflavin also helps to produce red blood cells, which carry oxygen around the blood. Riboflavin deficiency can lead to a number of problems such as inflammation, anemia, DNA damage, or an elevated risk of cancer.

Vitamin B1 (Thiamin)

Vitamin B1 (also known as Thiamin) is an essential nutrient that the body needs for many different functions. Thiamin helps to regulate healthy mental functioning and aids in cellular growth and energy production. It also helps to maintain a healthy circulatory system. Thiamin deficiency can lead to a number of problems such as inflammation, anemia, DNA damage, or an elevated risk of cancer.

Iron

Iron is necessary for the formation of blood cells. Iron allows the body to carry oxygen around the blood. This helps to regulate energy levels and also helps in cell function. Iron also plays a role in DNA synthesis. If you are not getting enough iron through your diet, you may have symptoms such as exhaustion, loss of appetite, or light-headedness.

Potassium

Potassium is an important nutrient that maximizes your body’s endurance and energy levels. Potassium may also decrease the risk of kidney stones. It may also increase bone mineral density and even decrease the chances of developing dementia and other age-related diseases. This nutrient is most associated with bananas but can also be found in avocados, watermelon, and potatoes.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Mackerel is high in Omega-3s, a group of fats that the body is unable to produce and must be obtained through diet or supplementation. Omega-3s are good for your skin, hormones, and respiratory function since they promote optimal health. Omega-3s have also been found to lower inflammation throughout the body, which helps prevent discomfort after exercise or training sessions. Because our bodies do not naturally produce omega-3 fatty acids, it may not be a bad idea to supplement this nutrient if you are unable to eat any fatty fish.

Dangers of Mackerel

Mackerel are considered to have some of the highest levels of mercury in all the fish that are available for consumption, so it is very important that you avoid eating this type of fish if you are pregnant. Eating more than two servings a week is also not encouraged, as this can have a variety of negative effects on your body’s ability to produce red blood cells and maintain a healthy cardiovascular system.


Mackerel is a great food for those who are trying to build muscle. It contains high amounts of protein, omega-3 that the body can not produce on its own, as well as other key nutrients such as Vitamin B6 and Selenium. The consumption of mackerel can help you to perform better in physical activities by increasing your energy levels and supplying the body with these much-needed nutrients. Be sure to give mackerel a fair shot next time you change up your entree but be careful not to eat too much!

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