Seafood offers many benefits, including easy-to-digest amino acids and minerals that support testosterone and thyroid functioning. That’s a good reason for bodybuilders to consider incorporating fish more often into their diets.

June 4, 2008

Written by FLEX Staff

Some fish digest quickly and easily, pumping up amino-acid reserves in the bloodstream, which can offset catabolism during training. Scallops, shrimp, crab, haddock, cod, Pollack, snapper, halibut and white tuna are examples of fast-digesting fish. Nutritionist Chris Aceto recommends a serving of broiled whitefish before or after you train.

Your last whole-food meal of the day is ideal for slower-digesting protein, because it will provide a sustained release of amino acids to help maintain an anabolic condition, especially beneficial while you are sleeping. Good examples of fish in this category are salmon, sardines, orange roughy, trout, sushi-grade tuna and other fish that tend to produce oil during cooking. These fish have a lot more fat, which slows the digestion and release rate of the amino acids.

Most bodybuilders stay away from dietary fat, but there are reasons for consuming healthy fats. A lack of omega-3 amino acids may contribute to lowered glutamine levels, which can end up with the muscles burning branched-chain aminos. Omega-3 fatty acids also help the body store carbs in muscles and will influence their growth. Salmon, mackerel and sardines have a high omega-3 content. Omega-3s can also help you lose bodyfat while dieting through insulin sensitivity leading to anabolism. You can reduce your carbs and bodyfat without risking too much muscle loss. When dieting to lose bodyfat, Aceto suggests consuming at least one six-ounce daily serving of fish rich in omega-3.

In addition to these benefits, fish contains a significant amount of vitamins and minerals. Zinc supports testosterone and insulinlike growth-factor levels. Oysters are the best choice for zinc, but you may want to consider a zinc supplement to get in at least 15 milligrams a day. Chromium encourages a body to store carbs as muscle glycogen rather than as bodyfat, and it is present in almost all fish. The antioxidant selenium will help you maintain a strong immune system, aiding recovery from training. Fish is one of the top sources for selenium.

As you can see, fishing for protein by eating seafood can lead you to catch some sizable gains.FLEX.

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