Are Mushrooms Beneficial for Bodybuilding?

In bodybuilding, lifting really heavy weights and doing cardio alone might work for a while; however, the results may cease or slow down at some point as you hit a natural plateau. Therefore, aside from doing physical exercises alone, you should focus on how best to optimize the whole foods you eat and your meal planning to continue to make progress in the gym.

It’s common knowledge that protein is necessary for muscle growth ala protein synthesis. You should strive to meet your daily protein intake quota to maximize your strength training. To do this, consider adding more sources of protein to your diet. Along with protein-rich food sources, such as chicken, eggs, and beef, and even some pastas now, you may also want to consider adding more mushrooms to your diet.

benefits of mushrooms for bodybuilders
Locally sourced, organic mushrooms are the best option when in comes to maximizing healthy impact

Did you know that an average half cup of mushrooms has over a gram of protein? Yes, plants contain protein too! Making sure to eat your veggies can help you meet your daily protein requirement while adding fiber, vitamins and minerals to your meals.

Furthermore, mushrooms can also help improve your lifting performance due to increased blood flow, and it helps with muscle recovery after your workout. This makes adding mushrooms to your diet crucial. You can add them whole to your dishes, eat mushroom soup, or if you’re short on time or simply don’t like the natural flavor can take mushroom gummies from upcoming shroom brands like Mushroom Revival and other reputable USDA-organic sellers.

If you want to know other ways eating mushrooms can help you in bodybuilding, read on!

How Mushrooms Help In Bodybuilding

Mushrooms contain numerous nutrients beneficial for bodybuilders. These nutrients include riboflavin, copper, and niacin, which may help boost their performance. With these, many bodybuilders incorporate mushrooms into their diet. 

Aside from this, here are four more ways adding mushrooms to your diet help in bodybuilding:

Assists in Healthy Metabolism for More Efficient Bulk/Cut Cycles

Bodybuilders undergo bulking and cutting phases to increase muscle and strength. Fortunately, you can include mushrooms in your diet regardless of your phase.  

  • Cutting Phase: During your cutting phase, you’re likely trying to reduce your calorie and fat intake as you aim to shed excess body fat while maintaining muscle mass. With this, substituting high-energy-density food like beef with low-energy-density ones like mushrooms in your diet can be an effective strategy.

Mushrooms are low-calorie fillers that allow you to pack in many flavors without adding much fat—making it a great option for bodybuilders trying to limit their caloric intake during the cutting phase. 

  • Bulking Phase: In the bulking phase, bodybuilders aim to increase muscle mass and strength. Although low-calorie diets are of little help in this phase, mushrooms shouldn’t be eliminated from your diet. This is because they contain other nutrients and antioxidants helpful in aiding your body as you’re bulking up. Moreover, adding fats, such as olive oil or butter, during cooking can boost the caloric content of mushrooms, making them a suitable diet for bulking.

Whether you’re working out to get big or slender, mushrooms can be of big help to you. So, consider adding them to your meal plan now.

Can Help Stimulate Increased Vasodilation

When lifting weights, your muscle contracts to give you the ability to lift them. For your strength to effectively cater to your exercise, you’ll naturally undergo Vasodilation. Vasodilation is when your blood vessels widen, letting more blood rush to your overworked muscles more quickly. This increases your fatigue threshold, improves your performance, and just makes you more swole looking!  

It has been suggested that a type of mushroom, Cordyceps, has the ability to increase and stimulate Vasodilation, improving one’s performance during weight training. Moreover, there are sports supplements containing cordyceps, which were found to be beneficial in lowering fatigue, increasing energy output, and eliciting marginally improved respiratory and cardiovascular responses.  

Contains Antioxidants For Healthy Muscle Recovery

To get bigger and stronger, you must endure intense weight lifting or other strenuous activities to damage and break your muscle fibers. It may seem counterintuitive, but as you continuously repeat this cycle, your body adapts and rebuilds your broken muscle fibers into more muscular, capable fibers, giving you a bigger physique.

To hasten the process, you can utilize meal plans that include food with antioxidants to aid muscle recovery during and after your workout. A great example of this would be lifting heavy for a new personal record or trying to push yourself to finish a superset. If you were to lift without sufficient nutrients, you might not be able to finish that set, leaving you with less work done and unable to break as much muscle as possible.

It can also be in the form of needing to skip a workout day due to the need for more rest and muscle recovery, which you could have accelerated if you were consuming enough antioxidants.

Luckily, a recent study found that mushrooms contain a considerable amount of antioxidants. Enoki mushrooms, particularly, are a great source of antioxidants. Therefore, consider incorporating mushrooms into your diet to reduce inflammation and improve recovery after a workout.

Provides You With More Energy

There are many B vitamins in mushrooms, including riboflavin, folate, thiamine, pantothenic acid, and niacin. These aid in producing red blood cells, which transport oxygen throughout the body. This allows us to do more with less fatigue. Less fatigue equates to more sets, while more sets result in more sore muscles that rebuild and recover into stronger muscles.

Having more energy can also aid you in other facets of your life. Some bodybuilders are so exhausted after a workout that they cannot do anything else after. If you were to have additional energy, you could still operate at a high level after a tough session in the gym. So, start searching for creative ways to incorporate mushrooms into your diet to get more energy.

health benefits of mushrooms for athletes
Mushrooms can add important nutrients to standard chicken and broccoli meal prep!

Essential Considerations Before Adding Mushrooms To Your Diet

While the article does highlight some potential benefits, it’s important to remember that taking it at the wrong time or in excess could have adverse effects. Remember that in all things, moderation and planning are essential. That said, here are important considerations to take before incorporating mushrooms into your diet:

  1. Mushrooms May Cause Stomach Problems

Those with weak fiber tolerance or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) may experience discomfort from consuming a substantial amount of fiber. This is because mushrooms contain one-third of fiber, which may induce stomach issues, such as cramps, bloating, or gas, which might hinder performance, especially if you eat them before working out. 

  1. Not All Mushrooms Are Edible

Before adding mushrooms to your meal plan, you must take into consideration that not all mushrooms are edible. Therefore, ensure you only get mushrooms from trusted sources. If you want to purchase raw mushrooms, consider buying them from reputable supermarkets and groceries, as these varieties are safe. Avoid picking wild mushrooms unless you’re an expert because there are numerous types of mushrooms, and some are deadly and poisonous.

  1. Most Raw Mushrooms Contain Toxins

Even the typical button mushroom has toxins that may be harmful to humans. However, these toxins are heat-sensitive, and cooking them eliminates them. Therefore, consider cooking your mushrooms before consuming them.  

Additional Takeaways

Mushrooms are a great addition to any bodybuilder’s diet for several reasons. Avid weightlifters would love to have more stamina, heal faster after training, and have the ability to push themselves further. If you’re one of them, consider adding mushrooms to your meal plan. To make the best possible use of mushrooms, consider consulting your dietitian.  

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