Is Sushi Healthy For Bodybuilding? Let's Find Out

Is Sushi Healthy: Bodybuilding And Sushi

Is Sushi Healthy: Bodybuilding And Sushi

Updated on 2/20/2024
Mai DelacruzBy Mai Delacruz
Personal Fitness Trainer & Health Coach
Learn More about Mai Delacruz

Should You Eat Sushi If You Want to Build Muscle? (Pros & Cons)

Is Sushi Healthy For Bodybuilding? Sushi is the food that the vast majority of bodybuilders select when they go out to dine. So, in terms of bodybuilding, is sushi healthy or unhealthy?

If you are a bodybuilder, sushi is an excellent choice for you. It contains all of the essential macros, including carbohydrates (rice) to provide energy, protein (fish) to help repair and grow your muscle, and fats (avocado) to help provide anti-inflammatory properties and keep you feeling satiated. Sushi is an excellent choice for bodybuilders because it contains all these macros.

However, some sushi is better suited for bodybuilders to consume than others. If you are not cautious, the number of calories and the macros you consume could not be in the correct proportions.

In this post, I shall discuss the following topics:

  • The composition of nutrients included in a standard sushi roll
  • The benefits and drawbacks of eating sushi when trying to develop muscle
  • When should you eat sushi: before or after a workout?
  • What kind of sushi is most beneficial to muscular development?
  • Excellent recipes for sushi that will help you stick to your macros.
  • A General Overview of Sushi Consumption for Bodybuilding
  • Sushi for Bodybuilding
  • Sushi is high in calories.


There are several preparations of sushi to choose from. The typical amount of calories in a roll containing six pieces containing fish and vegetables is between 200 and 300.

The number of calories in anything will increase depending on how you prepare it and what you put in it. For instance, if you want to prepare it in the form of tempura, it might add anywhere from 100 to 200 kcal. If the tempura is the only thing added to the dish, the extra calories can be only 100. However, if the entire roll is deeply fried, the calorie count might increase by at least 200.

The calories in anything will increase if you add fats, such as cream cheese, avocado, or mayonnaise. The kind of sauce that is used will also be an essential factor. There will not be any increase in the total number of calories if you use regular soy sauce, but if you use a sweet-based sauce, there will be an increase.

Remember that it is essential to manage the calories as much as possible to achieve your objectives. The number of calories is crucial if you want the slimmest possible body composition.

When you are eating sushi, it is pretty simple to consume more calories than you had intended to drink in the first place. If you are not attentive, the serving sizes could not be very generous, and the meal might have a very high-calorie content due to adding other items.

We looked at 29 different kinds of fish and ranked them according to which ones are the most beneficial to bodybuilding. Check out some of our top picks: The Fish That Is Best For Bodybuilding.

The Macronutrient Content Of Sushi

The Macronutrient Content Of Sushi

The Macronutrient Content Of Sushi

Sushi provides a bodybuilder with all of the essential macronutrients.

The fact that sushi contains all of the macronutrients a bodybuilder needs to consume is one of the reasons why sushi is so beneficial.

The following is a breakdown of the macronutrients found in an average roll:

  1. Carbs: 30-40 g (a tempura roll might go up to 60 g)

A bodybuilder would benefit tremendously from the high carb content. It is mainly made up of simple carbohydrates, an energy source that works quickly in the body.

  1. Protein: 10-25 g

However, the amount of protein present is not very high. Protein consumption between 145 and 200 grams per day is recommended for a bodybuilder of average weight (90 kg). A relatively low amount of protein (10 grams) is consumed at each meal. Building muscle requires a steady supply of protein; those increases won't materialize if you don't drink enough protein.

  1. Fat: 5-10 g (a tempura roll might have up to 15 g)

The quantity of fat in sushi is relatively high. You can choose between having saturated or unsaturated fats in a dish depending on the items that go into it. Animal products, such as cream cheese and mayonnaise, are familiar sources of saturated fats, which, when ingested in excess, are linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Your body will benefit from consuming unsaturated fats, which may be found in foods like avocados, salmon, and sesame seeds.

Do you want to find out more information about avocados? Check out my previous article, where I discuss whether or not avocados are beneficial to bodybuilding.

Sushi Provides A Variety Of Micronutrients.



In addition to supplying us with the macronutrients necessary for our bodies to operate correctly, it also provides us with an adequate amount of the micronutrients that our bodies require. The micronutrients will vary according to the components that you use, but some of the possibilities are as follows:

Fish. High levels of vitamin D are critical for maintaining bone health and aiding in the healing of building muscles.

Nori. It is a particular kind of seaweed that is utilized. Magnesium, iron, thiamine, calcium, vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin E are all high concentrations.

Pickled ginger. Copper, manganese, potassium, and magnesium are all necessary electrolytes found in ginger in healthy amounts, and ginger is a beautiful source of all of these electrolytes.

Avocado. Vitamin K, potassium, folate, magnesium, and vitamin E are all reasonably found in this food.

The micronutrients it contains may either increase or decrease depending on the added components. Keep in mind that not everything can be reduced to macros. To properly metabolize the macronutrients, you require micronutrients.

Are you consuming the nutrients that will help you achieve your bodybuilding goals?

There Are Three Advantages To Consuming Sushi When Building Muscle



The benefits of eating sushi for one's physique.

The following is a rundown of the many benefits of using sushi in your bodybuilding diet.

  1. Sushi Constitutes An Entirely Finished Meal

Whether we are eating out or at home, there are instances when we do not have sufficient time to plan or cook a meal that has all of the appropriate macronutrients.

A "full dinner" will consist of sushi since it contains all the necessary macronutrients.

Rice is the primary source of carbohydrates, which means eating it will supply you with the energy you need to have the most excellent performance throughout your workout.

You consume fish, the primary source of protein that contributes to the repair and growth of your muscles.

Lastly, avocados and sesame seeds both include beneficial fats that can offer additional calories to grow muscle and maintain hormonal equilibrium.

  1. You Can Tailor Your Sushi To Fit Your Macronutrient Requirements


Sushi is a meal constructed of different components, one of the most significant benefits of eating sushi. You can constantly adjust, choose, or omit particular elements to achieve your desired macronutrient balance.

The lack of protein often found in sushi is one of its most notable drawbacks. This issue, however, may be remedied by either increasing the amount of protein present or increasing its size. You may consume fewer rolls and more sushi prepared in the sashimi form (the raw pieces of fish with no rice).

Because it helps repair damaged muscle tissue and stimulates the creation of new muscle, protein is the most critical macronutrient for a bodybuilder to monitor and regulate.

Additionally, if you are bulking, you may increase your consumption of carbohydrates and fats, and if you are reducing, you can reduce your consumption of both of these macronutrients.

The versatility of sushi is one of the things that makes it so appealing.

  1. High Omega-3 Fatty Acids May Be Found In Sushi.

Both avocados and salmon, standard components of traditional sushi, are high-quality sources of omega-3 fatty acids.

Omega 3 is a potent anti-inflammatory that also helps enhance mental health and the circumstances of the heart (lowers triglycerides and blood pressure).



Concerning physical activity, omega-3 has been investigated on the impact that it has on athletes. It may help reduce the amount of muscle lost, lessen the pain experienced by strained muscles, and contribute to the reduction of fat. All these things are significant for a bodybuilder whose primary goal is to put on power while increasing their fat percentage.

There Are Three Drawbacks To Consuming Sushi If You Are A Bodybuilder.

The disadvantages of eating sushi if your goal is to gain muscle are outlined in this section.

  1. It Is Simple To Calculate Total Daily Calories

If you are not attentive, increasing the number of components or changing the method of preparation might make it simple to consume more calories than you intended. Even if we require a calorie increase to grow muscle mass, this may result in fat accumulation if we are not attentive.

If you are not cautious, a standard roll can have anywhere from 200 to 300 calories, but it can have as many as 600 to 800 calories (this is the case with rolls that include a lot of sauces and rolls that are deep-fried). If you are in the bulking phase of your training and have problems keeping track of the calories you consume, this might be helpful to you. On the other hand, if you are currently in the cutting phase, this might put your ambitions in jeopardy.

  1. An Excessive Amount Of Sodium


The daily consumption of salt that is suggested is around 2300 milligrams. Consuming more food than you need regularly may, in the long term, cause hypertension (3).

Regarding bodybuilders, having a high salt intake might cause them to retain more water than usual.

Soy sauce is an essential component of sushi; nevertheless, only one tablespoon of soy sauce contains roughly 900 mg of salt—almost 40 percent of the maximum amount of sodium that is advised for daily consumption. You may reduce the amount of sodium you consume by choosing a lower sodium level. You can be more careful of your other meals during the day and ensure they have a lower sodium content.

Ramen is another meal that has a lot of salt. Read this post to find out whether instant noodles are beneficial or detrimental to your bodybuilding efforts.

  1. Low-protein Content

Protein is an essential macronutrient to consume if you want to put on muscle. A bodybuilder should consume between 1.6 and 2.2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight each day (4).

The intake might be relatively modest depending on your choice of sushi roll (10 g per roll). This quantity is insufficient for a bodybuilder to either put on muscle or keep the muscular mass they already have.

If you ever find yourself craving sushi again, do not forget to ask for sashimi, a more significant portion of the protein, or even just additional protein overall when you place your order. In addition, you may often add some grilled chicken or beef to your order at most places that specialize in sushi.

Is Eating Sushi Before A Workout A Good Idea?

Is Eating Sushi Before A Workout A Good Idea?

Is Eating Sushi Before A Workout A Good Idea?

You can eat sushi before you go to the gym. It is a superb source of quick-acting energy since it is a simple carbohydrate. If you eat your meal 30 to 60 minutes before your workout, keep the number of fats and protein you consume between 10 and 15 percent of your total daily consumption. Eat it at least two to three hours before you exercise if it contains more than 15% of each macronutrient since it may cause bloating.

Sushi In Place Of Exercise

A meal before exercise should focus on providing the body with the fuel it needs to achieve optimal performance. Simple carbohydrates are included in a pre-exercise snack since they are simpler to digest than complex carbs. Should limit Proteins and fats before a workout because they take longer to digest and can induce bloating.

Sushi consumption can supply the body with simple carbohydrates like rice. You may add a modest piece of healthy fats (such as avocado or salmon) to your diet to have a more consistent release of energy if you do so (protein).

I suggest that a male bodybuilder have one cup of sushi rice, which will supply around 45–60 grams of carbohydrates. It is more than sufficient to provide the essential energy for one to have a session that is full of vigor. To avoid it being very heavy, don't use more than 1–2 ounces of salmon or any other type of fish, and don't use more than two tablespoons of avocado. If we are speaking about a roll, then it would be one of the standard sizes.

I suggest consuming half a cup of sushi rice, between 20 and 30 grams of carbohydrates for female bodybuilding. Include a single ounce of salmon and two tablespoons of avocado in the recipe. It would be roughly equivalent to half of a standard roll if we discussed this quantity.

When You're Done Working Out, Is It Okay To Eat Sushi?

When You're Done Working Out, Is It Okay To Eat Sushi?

When You're Done Working Out, Is It Okay To Eat Sushi?

After a challenging exercise, eating sushi is a wise decision since it provides all of the macronutrients necessary for your muscles to recover and strengthen. On the other hand, if you are not attentive, the amount of protein you consume cannot be sufficient to aid in the growth of your muscles. When you eat sushi, you should accompany it with at least 4-5 ounces of any protein.

A snack after an exercise should restore the energy used during the session and promote muscular tissue growth. Sushi rice is an excellent source of carbohydrates necessary to restore the glycogen used during exercise. Consuming protein will assist in the maintenance and development of your muscles, and any fish you can get your hands on is a good option. Last but not least, lipids can help reduce inflammation in the body, and the omega-3 content of avocado contributes to the achievement of this advantage.

After training, a male bodybuilder can have two rolls while in the bulking phase, whereas a female bodybuilder can only have one registration during this time. For a male bodybuilder in the cutting phase of their training, I would suggest pairing one roll with an appetizer that is strong in protein. The advice given to male bodybuilders also applies to female competitors.

What Kind Of Sushi Is Ideal For Bodybuilders To Consume?

What Kind Of Sushi Is Ideal For Bodybuilders To Consume?

What Kind Of Sushi Is Ideal For Bodybuilders To Consume?

A kind of sushi that is more advantageous for muscular development

Depending on whose sushi you order, you can go one step closer to achieving your objective or one step further away.

Always be sure that the sushi you pick has more protein than rice, and it will guarantee that you consume adequate protein throughout the day.

The following roles are considered to be the best for bodybuilding:

  1. Salmon Avocado Roll

The following is the nutritional content of one roll that is comprised of six pieces:

  1. Calories: 358
  2. Protein: 12 g
  3. Carbs: 60.4 g
  4. Fats: 9.1 g

An excellent choice is to have one to two hours before beginning exercise. Because it has a more significant number of calories, consuming it is beneficial when you are in the "bulking" phase of your training.

  1. Tuna Roll

The following is the nutritional content of one roll that is comprised of six pieces:

  1. Calories: 210
  2. Protein: 9 g
  3. Carbs: 20 g
  4. Fats: 9 g

Because of its more awesome fat content, it is an excellent choice after a strenuous workout. Perfect for bodybuilders who are currently in the gaining phase of their training.

2. Tuna Roll

2. Tuna Roll

  1. A Roll Of The Californian

The following is the nutritional content of one roll that is comprised of six pieces:

  1. Calories: 168
  2. Protein: 5.4 g
  3. Carbs: 33 g
  4. Fats: 1.2 g

Because it is low in protein and fat, it is an excellent choice before working out. If you are trying to decrease calories, this is a good option; however, you should increase the amount of protein you consume.

  1. A Rainbow Contingent

The following is the nutritional content of one roll that is comprised of six pieces:

  1. Calories: 180
  2. Protein: 9 g
  3. Carbs: 21 g
  4. Fats: 7 g

You may have it either before or after your workout if you choose. Because it has fewer calories and a little greater protein concentration, this is an excellent option for dieters trying to trim their waistlines

  1. Sashimi

The following nutritional information pertains to 6 pieces:

  1. Calories: 210
  2. Protein: 31.8 g
  3. Carbs: 1.5 g
  4. Fats: 7.2 g

If you're searching for rolls that are low in fat and rich in protein, here are some excellent choices.

Additional Pointers To Keep In Mind When Placing Your Bodybuilding Sushi Order

Additional Pointers To Keep In Mind

Additional Pointers To Keep In Mind

The following is a selection of additional advice that I provide to my customers so that they may make the most out of their next sushi experience:

  • Instead of sushi rice, opt for quinoa if you're looking to up the protein content in your meal. Not all sushi places may provide this choice, but it's still worth inquiring about.
  • Select the sushi roll that contains a tremendous amount of protein. With any luck, at least two different sources of protein. Take, for instance, the combination of salmon and tuna in a single roll.
  • Still, having trouble getting enough protein in your diet? Ask for a skewer of chicken or beef that has been grilled. This choice is available at the vast majority of sushi restaurants that I've visited.
  • Choose between avocado, sesame seeds, or cream cheese as your sole source of fat.
  • Steer clear of the deep-fried tempura rolls.

Is Sushi Good For The Growth Of Muscles?

Because it contains the calories essential for assisting in the growth and repair of muscles, eating sushi can assist in achieving your goal of increased muscle mass. It is crucial to remember that a calorie surplus is required to gain muscle mass, which can be accomplished by eating sushi as part of a balanced bulking diet.

Consuming sushi contributes to the process of achieving muscle growth by supplying the necessary calories for assisting in the development and repair of muscles.

However, getting the proper quantity of protein is also very important for achieving the best possible results when it comes to muscle building. You may adjust the recipe for the sushi so that it provides at least 20-30 grams of protein after an exercise. A male or female bodybuilder should consume the recommended amount of protein daily

Is Sushi Good For The Growth Of Muscles?

Is Sushi Good For The Growth Of Muscles?

After exercise, consuming a supply of carbohydrates has been shown to also contribute to increased protein synthesis via elevating glycogen levels in the muscle (the primary energy forces used). Low muscle glycogen levels have been demonstrated to decrease performance and increased tiredness. If you cannot work harder, there will be no muscle rupture, so your muscle mass will not increase. Therefore, the carb source of sushi rice is essential for the growth of muscles.

Questions and Answers About the Use of Sushi in Bodybuilding, Bulking, and Cutting

Which Type(s) Of Sushi Have The Highest Protein Content?

The Tuna, Alaska, and Caterpillar Roll are our top picks for exceptionally high protein rolls. When searching for high protein-society sushi, all these options are excellent choices. Imagine that the protein content of your sushi is on the lower end of the scale. In such a scenario, you can place an order for sashimi, which will enhance the quantity of protein without adding additional carbohydrates or fats.

Is Eating Sushi A Good Idea When Trying To Lose Weight?

Is Eating Sushi A Good Idea When Trying To Lose Weight?

Is Eating Sushi A Good Idea When Trying To Lose Weight?

If you stick to the basics, sushi might help you shed unwanted pounds. Calories will rise if you want to prepare the dish in a tempura manner or add other toppings (such as mayonnaise, avocado, or sweet sauces). Remember that you need a lower caloric intake than you burn to experience weight loss (eat fewer calories than your body needs).

White rice can be ordered as a side dish or as the main course at most sushi restaurants. Rice made from white flour, and other refined carbs like white bread, white spaghetti, and sugary meals might make it more challenging to lose weight. They are carbohydrates that generate spikes in blood sugar and insulin and stimulate appetites for other forms of carbohydrates, all of which make it more difficult to control one's weight. Because white rice lacks the fiber found in brown rice, eating it does not leave one feeling as full as eating brown rice, which might affect one's efforts to lose weight and maintain a healthy weight.

Which Is Better for Weight Loss: Cooked Fish or Fresh Fish? Fresh Fish or Cooked Fish?

No question that eating fish is beneficial to your health. It is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are beneficial to your cardiovascular health, and it is a lean protein that is low in calories and saturated fat. However, if you are trying to lose weight, eating raw rather than cooked fish is likely to be more beneficial to your efforts.



One of the reasons for this is that boiling fish can sometimes have a higher calorie content. When you prepare fish, you often add calories to it in the form of oil or breading, and these two processes both add calories. Even though the fish is low in calories, it might be more challenging to lose weight if you eat it.

One such reason is that fried fish often undergo more processing than fresh fish, and fish may lose part of its nutritional value, especially the omega-3 fatty acids if processed. It suggests that eating fresh fish may be healthier for your health, which can also assist with weight loss efforts.

If you are attempting to reduce weight, you should probably put more emphasis on eating fresh fish rather than fish that has been fried. This does not imply that you are required to consume fish in its raw state; sushi is an excellent choice if you seek a method to enjoy fresh fish without cooking it.

Losing weight just via the consumption of sushi is not a distinct possibility. It is possible that eating sushi rolls that are heavy in rice and other fillers would cause you to consume more calories than you would from eating a meal of cooked fish.

Things That You Should Think About Before Purchasing Sushi



To Get Started, Choose The Appropriate Protein

Even the fish with the highest fat content, which is believed to be leaner, nonetheless provide the body with the necessary omega-3 fatty acids. Because they may help lessen the risk of heart disease, omega-3 fatty acids are helpful for your heart and should be consumed regularly. Sushi prepared from salmon, tuna, or trout is the best option. However, it would be best to exercise caution when consuming colossal fish such as tuna because it may have high mercury contamination levels.

Is it possible to lose weight by eating sushi?

Change Up Your Options

People tend to order sushi made with the same variety of fish repeatedly. Alternating the foods you eat can help you get the most out of the nutrients you take. Minerals, vitamins, and fatty acids found in fish and vegetables vary widely depending on the kind of fish and vegetable. If your sushi has a wide variety of fish and other components, this increases the likelihood that it will provide you with a comprehensive range of nutritional benefits.

Keep An Eye On The Extras.

Ginger and wasabi are two condiments that may significantly improve the nutritional value of sushi, and it is due to their anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting properties of those substances. It would be best to steer clear of dangerous components like cigarettes and tempura (in addition to other fried foods) since they are your adversaries. They include many additional calories you do not require in any way, shape, or form.

Be Aware Of How Much You Eat

Be Aware Of How Much You Eat

Be Aware Of How Much You Eat

This sushi roll may not be the healthiest option on the menu, given that it contains ingredients like rice vinegar and sugar, which increase the calorie content. If you regularly consume an excessive amount of sushi, the presence of those unhealthful elements will eventually take their toll on you. You are trying to reduce the calories you consume, so you should limit yourself to just one sushi roll; instead, you may choose sashimi, which consists of thinly sliced fish served without rice.

Instead, Opt for Brown Rice

It's possible that you're not willing to do without the rice in your sushi. What is it that you ought to do? You may improve the nutritional value of your sushi by adding a little brown rice to the usual sushi rice. Because brown rice includes fiber, which helps you feel full for a more extended period. Additionally, it contains various minerals and vitamins, including zinc, vitamin E, manganese, magnesium, and selenium. Sushi often uses white rice, which contributes carbohydrates but not much more than nutrients. It can increase the calories in sushi, increasing blood sugar and insulin, potentially contributing to weight gain. White rice's main benefit is that, when it cools, the quantity of resistant starch it contains rises, reducing the glycemic reaction it provokes in the body. But if you have the option, opt for brown rice because it has more fiber and nutrients.