It is vital for bodybuilders, fitness models and basically all fit people to obtain quality nutrition. Protein, one of the most important macronutrients, has to be provided timely, and in sufficient amounts. Fish and sea-food provide one of the best sources of quality animal protein thanks to their abundance of Omega 3-fatty acids, Vitamin D and important minerals, such as selenium and magnesium.
The Mercury Scare
It recently came to light that mercury poisoning can occur if fish and sea-food is taken in abundance over a long time. The FDA released a mercury warning about two decades ago, warming against intake of large, long-living fish that sit on top of their respective food chains. Once a week was the recommended intake with pregnant or nursing women being advised to avoid them completely. Is this mercury-poisoning scare real?
Mercury or specifically methylmercury is naturally occurring in ocean environments. It is absorbed by algae, which are then consumed by fish. Predatory fish that consume them accumulate the compound. As the food chain goes higher, the levels of methylmercury increase. This is the logic FDA applied when it released the aforementioned warning.
Small fish such as light tuna, salmon and albacore have the least levels of mercury. In fact, the levels are so little that no consequence is suffered if they are eaten. Suffice it to say they are safe to eat.
While they may have traces of the metal, the benefits of eating these fish far outweigh the risks. Those high fat fish species such as herring sardine and salmon are rich in essential fatty acids. They boost neurological and cardiovascular health. For a bodybuilder this means better motor response and sensory coordination and a more capable heart. It is practically a gateway to mass building.
The bottom line is it matters the kind of fish you eat, and how often you do so. As a bodybuilder, you can get away with eating canned light tuna 3 or more times a week. There is zero mercury-poisoning risk in doing so. Cleaning or cooking the fish does not remove whatever traces of the metal that might be present, which, again, you shouldn’t worry about.
Eating large amounts of large, long-living fish over a long duration of time can lead to prolonged mercury exposure that can be consequential. A bodybuilder needn’t go through such trouble. Canned light tuna provides all the protein and fatty-acid goodness you will ever need to achieve your fitness goals.
Checking the mercury content of the fish you are eating is still recommended.
Or you can try these risk-free Fish Oil for your Omega 3 sources.
Your fitness pal