Is Mango Good or Bad For Bodybuilding? A Dietitian Answers

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Whether bulking to add quality muscle or cutting to shed fat, mangoes can be valuable to your bodybuilding diet. As a nutrition coach, I’ll break down the facts about mangoes and share their benefits (+ 1 noteworthy con).

Key Takeaways

  • Mangoes are good for bodybuilding because they are relatively low in calories (99 per cup) but contain fast-digesting carbs that boost energy levels and can improve workout performance.
  • Mangoes are a good source of antioxidants (vitamins A, C, and E), limiting muscle inflammation and supporting post-workout recovery. These nutrients can also strengthen your immunity, reducing the risk of getting sick and taking time off training.
  • Since mangoes provide mostly sugar, they are a fantastic snack for 30-60 minutes before working out. You can eat them alongside a protein shake or low-fat cottage cheese for a balanced pre-workout snack.

Mango: Overview

nutrition content of 165 grams of mango


At 99 calories per cup, mango is not as energy-dense as other fruits, which makes it an excellent snack for bodybuilders, especially during a cutting phase. 

It fills you up and can satisfy your sweet tooth while dieting.

Although it isn’t high in calories for a bulking phase, you can add it to a smoothie to get extra calories.

Here’s a quick tip from Registered Dietitian Ryan Raman:

“Mango is delicious…but also a great addition to smoothies, salsas, and summer salads. Try pairing fresh mango with higher-calorie ingredients like nuts or coconut if weight gain is your goal.”

For more ideas, check my article on the best fruits for protein shakes on how to use mango.


A bodybuilder’s diet mainly consists of carbs, which provide the energy you need to fuel your workout. 

Mango is an excellent source of simple carbs that are easy to digest and provide quick energy. 

Another advantage is that mango provides some fiber, with one cup covering approximately 10% of your daily needs

Eating enough fiber is beneficial for satiety (feeling full), digestive health, and regular bowel movements. 

However, mango lacks the other two macronutrients (protein and fats). Protein provides the building blocks (amino acids) your body needs for muscle repair and growth, whereas fats are necessary for hormonal health.  

So pair mango with these other macronutrients for a balanced snack or meal. 


Fruits provide many nutrients to your diet, and mango is not the exception. It is high in vitamins A, B6, C, E, and K and copper and potassium minerals.

  • Vitamin E. It is another potent antioxidant found in mangoes. It helps decrease inflammation, which can support muscle recovery.

Check out my complete guide on the Best Fruits For Muscle Gain.

Pros Of Eating Mango

pros of eating mango

1. High in Potassium

In addition to the micronutrients mentioned above, mangos are also incredibly high in potassium. 

A single cup of mango provides 277 mg of potassium, almost as much as what you’d get from a medium banana (which many people think is the “gold standard” for potassium content).

For reference, that’s approximately 8% of the recommended daily intake for men and 10.5% for women.

Adequate potassium levels help prevent muscle cramps and fatigue, allowing bodybuilders to train more effectively and for longer durations. 

Additionally, potassium is key in regulating fluid balance and nerve signals in the body. For bodybuilders, maintaining fluid balance is important not just for muscle function, but also for overall health and recovery.

2. Promotes Satiety

Fiber is a carb you cannot digest, which means it passes through your stomach intact.

One benefit of fiber is that it can delay gastric emptying, meaning food takes longer to pass through the stomach. As a result, you are more likely to feel full for longer after eating.

Additionally, mango has a high water content (83%), which means it’s more voluminous and fills up your stomach without adding many calories to your daily total. 

For bodybuilders in a cutting phase, it helps reduce their calorie intake without feeling hungry during the day. 

3. Reduces Inflammation

Mangoes are high in antioxidants (vitamin C, mangiferin, and beta-carotene) that help with muscle recovery.  

After you exercise, you create “muscle damage,” which causes inflammation, leading to soreness. 

Antioxidants protect against inflammation and can help calm this soreness, making it easier for your muscles to repair and recover.

As such, eating mangoes after a workout may reduce how sore you feel and speed up your recovery time, meaning you can get back to trainer sooner and more effectively.    

Cons of Eating Mango

cons of eating mango

Might Cause Gastric Problems

Mangoes have 2.6 grams of fiber per cup, which, while beneficial for satiety, digestive health, and regular bowel movements, can also cause some GI discomfort in certain people.

Most notably, fiber can make you feel uncomfortably full if you ingest too much in a single sitting. To avoid that, start with a smaller serving and see how you respond.

Pro tip: Drink more water when you increase your daily fiber intake because this nutrient absorbs liquid and can lead to constipation.

As a rule of thumb, you should drink a liter of water for every ten grams of fiber you consume. 

Can You Eat Mango Before Workouts?

Mango is a great pre-workout snack. They are high in simple carbs, making them easy to digest and providing fast-acting energy. 

You can have them 30-60 minutes before a workout, or if you feel that they bloat you a little (because of their fiber content), have them around 90 minutes before training.

mango before workouts

Research recommends eating approximately a gram of carbs per kilogram of body weight an hour before training.

For a 90-kilo bodybuilder (198 lbs), that’s 90 grams of carbs, the equivalent of almost four cups of mango. 

In such a case, I recommend limiting your mango intake to two cups and getting the remaining carbs from other non-fibrous options like white bread with jam or low-fiber cereal.

You can even blend mango in a smoothie to make it more easily digestible.

Remember that mango lacks protein, so you may want to eat it with a protein shake or low-fat cottage cheese for a balanced pre-workout snack. 

Can You Eat Mango After Workouts?

Mango is a great fruit to add after your workouts, as it provides carbs, which help replenish lost glycogen––the complex carb stored in your muscles.

Research suggests that a dose of at least 0.3 grams of carbs per kilogram of body weight is beneficial after training. For the same 90-kilo (198lb) bodybuilder, that would be 30 grams of carbs or just over one cup of mango.

This would apply regardless if the person is bulking or cutting.

You must also add protein (0.3 to 0.5 grams per kilogram) to increase protein synthesis and kickstart recovery. 

For instance, you can make a high-protein mango smoothie with vanilla protein powder, milk, plain Greek yogurt, and ice cubes.

Does Mango Help Muscle Growth?

Muscle growth requires enough carbs and calories for steady weight gain and optimal performance in the gym. 

Not getting enough carbs would make it harder to create the necessary surplus and will likely hinder your training.

Mangoes provide calories and carbs for muscle growth. They also provide antioxidants that may help with muscle recovery.

That said, you also need to get enough protein (at least 1.6 grams per kilogram) to grow. Mango has no protein, so you must find other sources to include in your diet.

Other Fruits For Bodybuilding


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About The Author

Brenda Peralta

Brenda Peralta is a Registered Dietitian and certified sports nutritionist.  In addition to being an author for, she fact checks the hundreds of articles published across the website to ensure accuracy and consistency of information.