Not one to be known as a gym aficionado, I sought to ask those around me who work out and eat sushi several days a week why they credit the Japanese cuisine for helping them in their exercise routines. While I am a chef, I am not a certified nutritionist and do not fully comprehend the significance seafood has on one’s health. I am also uncertain about a potential genuine connection between this seafood favorite and sweating to the oldies (okay, more like today’s pop). Convinced I need to explore this topic further, I began my journey. I was off seeking the answer to whether or not there could be such a thing as sushi bodybuilding.
First up, my eldest daughter who has been involved in weightlifting and bodybuilding for over six years. She loves it so much she managed a gym for three of them. Discussing why she eats sushi four times a week, I began to recognize that there could be a relationship between my daughter’s sushi eating habits and how good she looks and reportedly feels.
As I continued my quest gathering information on sushi bodybuilding, I came across articles that examined the nutritional needs of people who train at the gym regularly. Each explained the daily intake of nutrients for creating a fit and lean physique.
Protein, a macronutrient, was at the top of every list I encountered. Why? It is essential to building muscle mass. My ah-ha moment. As I made my way through the numerous articles, I began to understand that there are three macronutrients: protein, fats, and carbohydrates. These superpower nutrients are not exclusive to bodybuilding as they are the building blocks of life. Protein is found in many foods including seafood.
Alongside protein came the carbs and fats. Carbohydrates provide the energy your body needs, especially one who exercises often. Eating nutrient-dense sources will help sustain glycogen stores necessary for endurance. When it comes to fats I am not talking about saturated or trans-fats, no I am talking about healthy fats, which are responsible for boosting metabolism and maintaining hormonal function. Omega-3 fatty acids are the pinnacle of healthy fats as they support good cardiovascular health, blood sugar levels, reduce inflammation and increase fat metabolism. One of the best food sources for this macronutrient is also seafood.
Taking all this information in I looked to the workout component of my question about the sushi bodybuilding relationship. Being physically active causes many changes in the body including reduced blood pressure, weight loss, muscle mass increases among others. These changes are not possible without proper nutrition, which brings me back to whether or not there can be a sushi bodybuilding link.
What does sushi bring to the table? Sushi is packed with macronutrients. The seafood is high in both protein and omega-3 fatty acids, and nori, the wrapper that holds the goodness together is also an excellent source of protein and iron, which is responsible for transporting oxygen in the blood and muscles. Other sushi elements are ideal for athletes including wasabi, rich in beta-carotene and pickled ginger and its levels of potassium, magnesium, copper, and manganese.
Bottom line? After much research, I am satisfied there is a sushi bodybuilding relationship. I have a new appreciation for the favorite Japanese cuisine. Off to grab my sushi roll and hit the treadmill (still not a gym buff).