Is Canned Tuna Good For Bodybuilding?

If you’ve been reading my website for a while, you may have heard that I was notorious for eating multiple cans of tuna a day when I started bodybuilding.

Honestly, I never was rich or anything growing up, and the food bank gives a lot of canned tuna. And sure, Rich people just frown upon anybody eating Tuna- but honestly, the food tastes great and is actually really good for you.

This brings me to my point, is canned tuna good for bodybuilding?

Yes, canned tuna is VERY GOOD for bodybuilding! In fact, it’s one of the BEST foods you can eat as a bodybuilder. It has incredibly high protein, incredibly low calories, tastes great, and is PACKED with omega-3s and tons of crucial nutrients and vitamins. And that’s not to mention how cheap it is to buy! But, eat it in moderation.

I love this food and recommend it to all new bodybuilders. So, let’s cover it a bit more in-depth.

Is Canned Tuna Good For Bodybuilding?
Is Canned Tuna Good For Bodybuilding?

Canned Tuna Has a TON Of Protein

The most crucial macronutrient in all of bodybuilding is protein, hands down.

Without enough protein, you just will NOT grow muscle- there is no argument about this.

Many bodybuilders have a hard time getting in all that protein every day, so having a source of food that is just loaded with protein is a good thing. That’s where Tuna comes in.

Look at the facts, most bodybuilders have to eat nearly 150g of protein a day. Yet, most foods barely contain 5g of protein in them.

This is why bodybuilders often have to get very creative with their diets to include those super high protein foods.

Here’s the nutrition of Canned Tuna:

Macronutrients Per 5oz Serving (1 can)
Calories: 90 calories
Protein: 20g of protein
Fats: .5 g of fat
Carbs: 0g of carbohydrates
Canned Tuna 5 oz Serving

So, needless to say- those nutrition stats are REALLY good.

Tuna is 20g of protein for 90 calories, which is incredible!

That means no matter if you’re bulking or cutting (losing weight) in bodybuilding, you can eat this food and it will support your protein goals.

Canned Tuna is Generally Pre Cooked, So It’s Easily Accessible

Most of us bodybuilders can relate that getting in the protein every day can be tough, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

The amount of time I spend cooking food every day is INTENSE. That’s why I loved canned tuna so much, most of it is pre-cooked. (In fact, I’m not sure if any canned tuna is not pre-cooked…) That means I can literally just take it out of the can and eat it.

Instead of me having to fire up my George foreman electric grill (which, is pretty easy, honestly) and spend 10-15 minutes seasoning and cooking fish or a meat, the canned tuna is instant.

Honestly, I just microwave it for about two minutes and eat it alone. Sometimes I will combine it with taco shells and make fish tacos, but most of the time I just eat it standalone.

That means when I’m busy with work all day or whatever I’m caught up in- I can get an easy and quick fix of protein in mere seconds.

Canned Tuna Has Low Calories and Fills You Up

Any bodybuilder that is trying to lose weight will desperately search for foods with low calories that will fill you up.

I mean, that’s not even limited to just bodybuilding- anybody wants that.

Canned Tuna is actually a great food for that.

It is only 90 calories for a 5 oz serving, and because it is all protein it does a great job of filling you up. You actually feel full for a while and you don’t get that ‘hunger spike’ that comes with eating most snacks or other foods.

Canned Tuna Has TONS Of Critical Nutrients

People don’t realize that canned tuna has TONS of critical nutrients that are incredible for the body.

As I covered in my Top 20 Multivitamins for Bodybuilders article, taking a good multivitamin will go miles in helping you build muscle and stay energized.

Most people don’t realize how important Omega 3s are! (I personally, anecdotally, of course, get a ton of energy from Omega 3s- but many people claim they can’t function without them!)

When you work out as frequently as most bodybuilders do, you can quickly become vitamin and mineral deficient in a ton of things. Tuna can do a great job at replacing some of those vital nutrients.

Let’s look at some of the vital nutrients Canned Tuna can provide:

  • Vitamin D (super important!)
  • Iron
  • Selenium
  • Iodine
  • Phosphorus
  • Omega 3s

Omega 3s are one of the newer vitamins that are being talked about right now. Scientists are finding that they give us humans (unless you’re…something else? an alien?) a ton of health benefits, energy, and help our brains function.

So, let’s talk about them

Omega 3s Are Awesome, and Hard To Get

According to the National Institute of Health, most Americans are deficient in Omega 3s.

Yet, these Omega 3s are so crucial they affect nearly every part of your body.

In fact, consuming Omega 3s regularly boosts your health significantly. According to Healthline, Omega 3s reduce depression, promote eye health, boost brain health, help your sleep, and much more!

According to WebMD, omega 3s can even slow plaque buildup inside the blood vessels, lower levels of blood fats, lower inflammation, and more.

Look, I know you’ve probably already heard millions of things about Omega 3 fatty acids, so I’ll just leave it at that. If you want more information, feel free to click the links above- but I know they’ve been in the news EVERYWHERE lately, so I’ll save you the spiel.

Point is? Omega 3s are awesome, and indirectly boost your muscle growth too.

It’s So Cheap

One of the worst things about bodybuilding is how expensive it can get!

Canned Tuna is one of the cheapest foods out there you can buy. In fact, just at my local Target, it’s less than $1 a can for a great source of meat. For the same amount of chicken or steak, it’s nearly 2-3x that price.

Plus, if you buy it in bulk at a place like Amazon or even Costco, you’ll be paying literally pennies on the dollar for it.

What About Mercury Concerns?

Tuna has had backlash in the media for potentially having a large source of mercury in it due to humans increasing the amount of mercury in our oceans.

I hear you. In fact, I am concerned about my mercury consumption myself and I am very cautious about it.

Back in the day, things about Tuna and mercury were very confusing. These days, the information is much more clear.

According to’s article about Mercury poisoning, “Tinned tuna is a very low source of mercury, so people would have to be eating at least three cans a day for about six months before it really became a concern, (Melanie McGrice, RD)”

That’s a relief to hear.

Additionally, Albacore Tuna (the more expensive type) has way more mercury than the typical light tuna (the cheaper kind).

So, just keep on ordering the cheap stuff.

I personally don’t eat tuna every day to avoid any mercury poisoning, but it is certainly rare to even see mercury poisoning according to that VICE article. So, if I were you, try to not eat it every day and limit it to a few times per week.

Additionally, due to world regulations- less mercury has been being put into our oceans. This is a good thing, as it means mercury levels will also decrease in all the fish.

Keep in mind that all fish have mercury in them, it’s not just tuna!

I think the best advice in the world applies to this situation: all in moderation.

Conclusion of Is Canned Tuna Good For Bodybuilders?

So, here’s the verdict:

Canned Tuna IS good for bodybuilders- like really good! It’s a great source of protein and crucial nutrients like Omega 3s.

So, save yourself some money and time and get some canned tuna at the store the next time you see it. You’ll thank me later. Just keep it in moderation.

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