Oily Fish vs. White Fish for Bodybuilding

Fish is a fantastic protein source to eat for bodybuilding. It has a lot of healthy fats, proteins, and vitamins, and minerals that are needed for the human body to function correctly. Fish also contains omega-3 fatty acids which can help lower your blood pressure. Some prefer it to chicken as it is quicker to cook and stays much moister after a few days in the fridge. You don’t have to eat it every day but try incorporating some into your diet about twice a week so you get all these amazing benefits.

Oily fish vs. white fish
Oily Fish vs. White Fish for Bodybuilding 1

Bulking

There are many fish you can choose from but oily fish in the below table carry an extra amount of fat and oils that may help you put on mass. Consider eating more of these fish during your winter bulk cycle:

Fish Protein Fats Calories
Trout 18 6 126
Salmon 17 5 121
Sardines (canned in oil) 25 11 208
Mackerel 16 12 174
Herring 15 8 134
Tuna (White) 20 3 109
Nutrition Facts based on 3oz raw serving from the USDA rounded to the nearest whole number

According to the NHS, Oily fish are high in Omega 3 fatty acids and vitamin D. Omega 3 helps with inflammation in the muscles, especially after working out. It also may improve bone and joint health by increasing the amount of calcium saturation in your bones according to Healthline.

Vitamin D is beneficial in helping your body absorb calcium which will help with your bone density and muscle recovery. Your body cannot naturally produce vitamin D. You can get it from foods like Salmon, sunlight, or a Vitamin D supplement. If you live in a low sunlight area and your diet is low in vitamin D, it may be a good idea to supplement this nutrient. Low vitamin D can lead to serious immune system issues.

The NHS recommends 250g-300g of oily fish a week for men to absorb these benefits. 

If you are bulking, these oily fish may be the answer to your weight gain struggles as your diet will be flush with extra calories to develop muscles.

Cutting

White fish contain much less oil which results in less calories. This makes these types of fish a great option for those looking to reduce calories while keeping their protein intake high. Consider eating more of these fish during your summer shred:

Fish Protein Fats Calories
Cod 15 0 70
Haddock 14 0 63
Halibut 16 1 77
Flounder 11 2 60
Mullet 17 3 99
Tilapia 17 2 82
Nutrition Facts based on 3oz serving from the USDA rounded to the nearest whole number

To be bluntly honest, white fish are not packed with essential micronutrients like oily fish are. They are rich in B12 like most other meats which help make DNA and red blood cells. Alongside this there are various studies showing that it may reduce high blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart disease but we believe this is true with any healthy diet. Overall, white fish is a great low-fat food to help you hit your protein macros, especially while you are cutting body fat.


Before choosing the right fish to eat, it is paramount to determine your goals. If you are looking to put on as much muscle as possible without regard to any possible body fat gains, then opt for the oily fish. Those looking to put on muscle cleanly, go for white fish alongside an ample amount of other proteins. Let us know how many times you eat fish down below.

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