Bodybuilders and people who work out eat fruit to help reduce sweet cravings, in addition to adding essential vitamins and micronutrients to their diet.
However, we know that not all fruits are suitable for bodybuilders. So, are mangoes good or bad for bodybuilding?
Mangoes are great for bodybuilding because they are one of the highest fruits with vitamin C. This essential nutrient helps boost immunity, produce collagen, and is a powerful antioxidant. All these benefits are crucial for a bodybuilder’s recovery. Mangoes also provide adequate energy for pre-workout nutrition.
In this article, you will learn everything you need to know related to mangoes and bodybuilding, including:
- Mango’s nutritional content: calories and macronutrients.
- The pros and cons of adding mango if you are a bodybuilder.
- Whether you can eat a mango before or after training.
- How much can you eat depending on your phase (cutting or bulking).
- How it affects muscle growth.
- Learn how to make a delicious recipe using mango.
Mango For Bodybuilding: Overview
Nutrition Content of Mango
One cup of mango (165 g) has the following nutritional content.
- Calories: 99
- Carbs: 24.8 g
- Fiber: 2.6 g
- Fats: 0.6 g
- Protein: 1.3 g
One cup of mango doesn’t provide a lot of calories compared to other fruits. For less than 100 calories, you can have a snack that is high in nutrients and fiber.
If you are a bodybuilder in a cutting phase, it is the perfect snack to have. It is low in calories and provides a lot of satiety (the feeling of being full without eating a lot of physical food).
Although it isn’t so high in calories for a bodybuilder in a bulking phase, it has the advantage that you can make a smoothie out of it. This means that you can create a high-calorie snack out of mango in any phase of training.
Other low-calorie fruits include dragon fruit and strawberries. Check out my article on:
A bodybuilder’s diet mainly consists of carbs. You need carbs to help you provide the energy you need to fuel your workout. Mango is an excellent source of carbs. Since they are simple carbs, they are easy to digest and provide quick energy.
One of the advantages of mango is that it is very high in fiber. One cup of mango has 10% of the recommended daily intake of fiber. Having a high fiber diet helps have a healthy gastrointestinal tract, and helps provide satiety.
Keep in mind that it lacks the other macronutrients a bodybuilder needs to have optimal muscle growth. Whenever you add mango, make sure to add a protein source like Greek yogurt and a healthy fats source like coconut.
Fruits provide a lot of nutrients to your diet, and mango is not the exception. It is high in vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B6, vitamin E, vitamin K, and copper.
- Vitamin A. It has an important role in fighting infections and boosting your immune function. This means that you are less likely to get sick and stick to your training routine.
- Vitamin C. It also plays an important role in boosting immunity. It also helps synthesize collagen, which is key for having strong joints. Being a potent antioxidant, it also helps reduce inflammation in the body, which leads to greater recovery.
- Vitamin B6. This vitamin helps convert food into energy your body can use. It also helps absorb the amino acids we eat, and use them for muscle building.
- Vitamin E. It is another potent antioxidant found in mangoes. It helps decrease inflammation which leads to better muscle recovery.
- Vitamin K. In some studies, an increase in vitamin K in blood has been seen to produce greater muscle strength and greater muscle mass.
- Copper. It has active roles in energy production as well as boosting immunity.
Check out my complete guide on the Best Fruits For Muscle Gain.
3 Pros Of Eating Mango For Bodybuilding
Not only are they good for providing energy, but they are also very nutritious. Here are other benefits of adding mangoes if you are a bodybuilder.
1. Boosts Immunity
As seen from all the vitamins and minerals that have immune-boosting properties, mango is an excellent choice when looking to get sick less often.
Vitamin A, vitamin c, and copper all have great qualities of boosting your immune system. With a strong immune system, it means that you are less likely to get sick, which means less time spent in bed trying to recover.
Remember the use it or lose it principle. If you are not careful, staying in bed without having adequate muscle stimulus, could lead to a decrease in muscle mass.
2. Provides Satiety
Fiber is the part of the carbs that you cannot digest. Since you cannot digest it, it passes through your stomach intact. The benefit of fiber is that it adds bulk and satiety, leading to reduced food intake.
Thanks to mangoes’ high fiber content, they are a great food to add if you are looking to cut down on your calories. For bodybuilders that are in a cutting phase, it helps with reducing their calorie intake without feeling hungry during the day.
3. Reduces Inflammation
Antioxidants help fight inflammation in the body. They help protect our cells from the damage done by free radicals. Imagine the antioxidants as the guard dog protecting your house from foreign things from entering.
Mangoes are very high in antioxidants. Having more antioxidants in the body leads to less inflammation, which leads to more significant muscle recovery.
1 Con of Eating Mango For Bodybuilding
One of the drawbacks of mangoes is that they might be hard to find in certain places. They also lack protein, which is a very important nutrient for bodybuilders. Here is another con of adding mangoes to your diet if you are a bodybuilder.
Might Cause Gastric Problems
If you are not used to having a lot of fiber added to your diet, mangoes can produce gastrointestinal problems. They might make you feel bloated, and for some people, it might cause diarrhea.
This could jeopardize your training session since it might make you feel sluggish, or even worse, you feel so bad that you might have to skip the gym.
Pro tip: Remember to increase your water intake whenever you are increasing your daily fiber!
Can You Eat Mango Before Workouts?
Mango is a great pre-workout snack. They are high in simple carbs, which means they are easy to digest and provide 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 2-3 hours before training.
Since mangoes are high in vitamin B6, they help convert food into usable energy, making it a perfect food to add before training.
How much you can have of mangoes though will depend on your phase of training.
If you are in a bulking phase, you can have up to 2 cups of mango before a workout. For people who are not used to high fiber intake, maybe 4 g of fiber before a workout might be a lot. Thus, to make it a little more digestible, you can blend it.
However, if you are a bodybuilder that is in a cutting phase, you might want to stick to having 1 cup of mango before training. This provides the necessary energy you need to have an intense training session.
Remember that mango lacks protein and fat. Therefore, you should add a protein source, like a protein shake, and some healthy fats like peanut butter.
- A great pre-workout snack I’ve talked about previously is combining whey protein with cereal. Check out my article: Can You Mix Whey Protein With Cereal?
Can You Eat Mango After Workouts?
Mango is a great fruit to add after your workouts. After you train, having a carb source allows the protein to be used as muscle-building material instead of energy. Mangoes are also high in potent antioxidants like vitamin C, vitamin E, and vitamin A, which help your muscles recover faster.
If you add a good source of antioxidants after your training session, it helps reduce inflammation. Less inflammation leads to better recovery. Mangoes have potent antioxidants that help fight the damage inflammation does to the body.
If you are a bodybuilder in a bulking phase, 2-3 cups of mango are more than enough to replenish the energy lost during your training session. If you have trouble having that much mango at one time, you can always blend it and create a smoothie out of it.
On the other hand, a bodybuilder in a cutting phase might want to have 1-2 cups of mango after training. Since they are high in fiber, they provide satiety which means you feel fuller for longer. In the end, feeling fuller makes you less likely to add on calories.
Just like your pre-workout nutrition, to make the most out of your post-workout snack, remember to add a protein source and healthy fat.
Does Mango Help Muscle Growth?
One of the most important things when it comes to muscle growth is having sufficient carbs and calories during the day. Without adequate carb intake, you might end up using protein as an energy source. Mangoes help provide the calories and the necessary carbs for muscle growth.
Also, having adequate recovery helps with muscle growth. Since mangoes are high in antioxidants, they help decrease inflammation which leads to improved recovery.
Vitamin C has a special role in collagen formation, which helps create strong muscle connections. Indirectly, mangoes help in muscle growth.
With all that said, you definitely need to add a protein source to make sure you help mangoes with muscle growth. Add some cottage cheese along with mangoes to have the perfect combination of carbs and protein together.
Mango Recipe For Bodybuilding
This delicious mango ice cream is high in protein and won’t add a ridiculous amount of calories.
It is also low in sugar and has all the benefits provided by mango.
The best part is that it uses a few ingredients and is not hard to make. Let’s get to it!
- Calories: 546
- Carbs: 73.1 g
- Fats: 10.8 g
- Protein: 45.5 g
- 2 cups of frozen mango
- 1 cup of Greek yogurt
- ½ cup water
- 2 packets of Stevia or any other sweetener
- 1 scoop vanilla powder
- 1 tablespoon coconut flakes
- Place a metal cake pan for storing the ice cream. Place a piece of parchment paper on the bottom of the pan.
- Add all of the ingredients to a blender until is it a smooth consistency. Make sure not to over blend. You don’t want the mixture to melt.
- You can serve it straight from the blender or place it in the cake pan for at least 1-2 hours.
- This is an excellent pre or post-meal snack. If you are looking for something more refreshing to have 30-60 minutes before your workout, eliminate the protein powder and the Greek yogurt. Switch them up for water and add a splash of lemon juice.
- If you want it extra sweet but don’t want to add more sugar substitute, you can add a frozen banana.
- You can increase the healthy fats by adding a few pieces of crushed pecans or coconut flakes.
- For longer storage, place the aluminum paper on top.
Check Out Other Fruits For Bodybuilding
- Is Grapefruit Good For Bodybuilding?
- Are Bananas Good For Bodybuilding?
- Are Apples Good For Bodybuilding?
- Is Watermelon Good For Bodybuilding?
About The Author
Brenda Peralta is a Registered Dietitian and certified sports nutritionist. In addition to being an author for FeastGood.com, she fact checks the hundreds of articles published across the website to ensure accuracy and consistency of information.