Body Building Resources

Is Oatmeal Good For
Bodybuilding? 7 Reasons

Oatmeal is one of the most popular staple foods for bodybuilding. Oatmeal is the end result of adding water or milk to oats to cook it. There are several types of oats like steel-cut oats, oat groats, scottish oats, old fashioned rolled oats, instant oats and oat bran. All these oats are healthy and great nutrition-wise except instant oats as most instant oats are processed and are high glycemic carbs plus they have added sugar in them. Usually if you see the label "100% wholegrain" in a pack of oats, it's your best choice.

In bodybuilding, eating foods which are healthy and nutritious are important, this is why oatmeal ranks among the highest as a bodybuilding superfood. Here are several reasons why oatmeal is good for bodybuilding:

High in complex carbohydrates

Oatmeal is rich in complex carbohydrates which are slow-digesting carbs that provide a steady supply of energy throughout the day. As compared to simple carbohydrates, there is no insulin spike followed by a crash later on. With complex carbs, you'll feel energetic for several hours and these are favored by bodybuilders since they help them go through their workout with ease.

Apart keeping you energetic, complex carbohydrates are essential to give your muscles a fuller look. Protein is not the only nutrient vital for muscle building, if you rely on protein alone, your muscles will look rather flat.

Complex carbohydrates like oatmeal also provide a major benefit that is making you less prone for fat storage due to their sustained release of energy. As you might know, carbs convert to glucose or sugar into your blood for energy but when they convert fast(usually the case with simple carbs), this makes you more prone for fat storage particularly when your body doesn't have enough time to use all that glucose for energy. Consequently, the excess glucose will get stored as adipose tissue(body fat).

A great start of the day will be a big bowl of oatmeal for breakfast. In 1 cup of oats(156 g), there are 103 grams of complex carbohydrates.

High in protein

Although bodybuilders don't depend on complex carbs for their protein intake, it's a bonus to have some protein derived from carbohydrates. For vegan bodybuilders, oatmeal can be a great muscle-building food since it's high in protein. One cup of oats yields 26 grams of protein.

High in dietary fiber

One major benefit of eating oatmeal is their high dietary fiber content. Bodybuilders usually eat lots of protein via chicken, meat, fish etc… and they need to have enough fiber to prevent constipation, so including oatmeal in their diet is a good thing to do. Healthwise, oat fiber extract contains the soluble fiber beta glucan which has been proven to lower low-density lipoprotein(LDL also known as bad cholesterol) and total cholesterol. A cup of oats gives 16 grams of dietary fiber which is quite a lot.

Low in saturated fat

Eating foods which have low saturated fat content are one of the goals for bodybuilders and having oatmeal is one of the best things to do for that. Oatmeal is low in saturated fat with only 1.9 grams for 1 cup(156 g). Too much saturated fat is bad for the heart and can potentially lead to strokes and cardiovascular diseases.

High in healthy fats

Fats are an important part of a bodybuilding diet as they aid in protein synthesis but not any type of fat. Saturated fats, trans fats and hydrogenated fats should be avoided or limited and healthy fats should be included instead. Healthy fats include omega-3 monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats and in one cup of oats, you have 3.4 g and 4 g respectively. Omega-3 fats will also increase your good cholesterol levels(HDL aka high-density lipoprotein) while decreasing your bad cholesterol levels(LDL aka low-density lipoprotein).

Rich in iron

Oats contain a good amount of iron at 7.4 mg for 156 grams of oats. Iron is a mineral which is essential for the creation of hemoglobin(healthy red blood cells). These aid in carrying oxygen to your muscles during your workout.

Rich in magnesium

Magnesium is an electrolyte which can play an important role in muscle building as it helps relax the muscles and nerves and can also prevent muscle cramps. In 1 cup of oats(156 g), you can have 41.6 mg of magnesium.

To make your oatmeal creative, you can add bananas, blueberries, cranberries, raisins, honey, maple syrup and so on. Whether you're into bodybuilding or not, oatmeal is one of the best foods you can have because not only is it nourishing but it can also help guard against numerous health issues like diabetes, high blood pressure, cardiovascular diseases, high triglycerides, bad cholesterol levels(LDL) and even cancer.

Here are some of the best rolled oats and oat bran for bodybuilding.

Bob's Red Mill - Organic Regular Rolled Oats, 32 Ounces (Pack of 4)

Bob's Red Mill - Organic Regular Rolled Oats, 32 Ounces (Pack of 4)

Cream Hill Estates Lara's Rolled Oats, 2.2 Pound Box (Pack of 4)

Cream Hill Estates Lara's Rolled Oats, 2.2 Pound Box (Pack of 4)

McCANN'S Irish Oatmeal, Quick Cooking Rolled Oats, 16-Ounce Boxes (Pack of 6)

McCANN'S Irish Oatmeal, Quick Cooking Rolled Oats, 16-Ounce Boxes (Pack of 6)

Bob's Red Mill Oat Bran Hot Cereal, 40-ounce (Pack of 4)

Bob's Red Mill Oat Bran Hot Cereal, 40-ounce (Pack of 4)

Hodgson Mill Oat Bran, Hot Cereal, 16-Ounce (Pack of 12)

Hodgson Mill Oat Bran, Hot Cereal, 16-Ounce (Pack of 12)

Arrowhead Mills Organic Oat Bran, 16 Ounce (Pack of 12)

Arrowhead Mills Organic Oat Bran, 16 Ounce (Pack of 12)

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