Is Bacon Good For Bodybuilding? A Deeper Look at This Popular Pork

Bacon is practically a staple food in the bodybuilding community. The savory slices of cured and smoked pork belly add rich flavor and satisfying fats to otherwise bland chicken and rice meals. But is loading up on bacon actually optimal for muscle building and fat loss? Let’s dive deeper into the pros and cons of bacon for bodybuilding.

A Bodybuilder’s Typical Bacon Intake

Reading through bodybuilding forums and subs on Reddit, it’s clear that bacon holds a special place in many lifter’s diets. A typical bodybuilder may eat:

  • 2-4 strips of bacon as part of breakfast

  • Bacon bits added to salads or wraps

  • A couple strips with eggs for a protein-packed snack

  • Thick cut bacon weaved into fatty meals like burgers or steaks

While not eating bacon at every meal, having some amount daily or a few times a week is common among bodybuilders. The keto and paleo crowds tend to eat even more bacon as it fits with low-carb high-fat diets.

Potential Benefits of Bacon for Bodybuilding

So why has bacon become such a staple in the muscle-building community? There are a few potential benefits that make it a convenient food for bodybuilders:

  • Protein: 2-3 strips provide 6-9g protein. While not a complete protein source alone, it contributes quality amino acids.

  • Fat: Roughly 5g of fat per strip of bacon, mostly monounsaturated and saturated fat. Provides energy and satisfies macros.

  • Flavor: Makes bland bodybuilding foods like egg whites or chicken breast taste far better. Improves satisfaction.

  • Sodium: Higher sodium content aids with hydration, water balance and muscle fullness.

  • Convenience: Easy to cook and incorporates well into many bodybuilding staples.

So in moderation, bacon can be an easy way to add protein, fat and flavor to a bodybuilding diet when eaten alongside other nutritious foods.

Potential Drawbacks of Bacon for Bodybuilding

However, there are some potential drawbacks of overdoing it on the bacon as a bodybuilder:

  • High in saturated fat: Can negatively impact blood lipid profile in some individuals when eaten in excess.

  • Nitrates/nitrites: Processed forms contain preservatives that may have detrimental health effects long-term.

  • High calorie density: Small serving size packs big caloric punch, can be easy to overeat.

  • Low nutrient density: Lacks volume, fiber or micronutrients found in many whole foods.

  • Generates cravings: Salty, fatty, savory taste can stimulate hunger and cravings.

  • Processed meat concerns: Associated with increased cancer and heart disease risk in some studies.

So while the occassional serving of bacon may be perfectly fine, having it too frequently could potentially cause issues with health, blood lipids, hunger levels, and diet adherence for some individuals. Moderation is key.

Healthier Bacon Alternatives for Bodybuilders

If you want to keep enjoying the bacon flavor but mitigate potential downsides, consider these healthier alternatives:

  • Turkey bacon has fewer calories and fat, and often less sodium too.

  • Prosciutto is salt-cured rather than smoked, providing sodium without nitrates.

  • Beef jerky can provide salty, savory protein without the fat.

  • Tempeh bacon mimics smoky flavor with soybeans instead of pork.

  • Coconut bacon offers crispy texture with plant-based fat.

  • Portobello mushroom bacon captures umami taste of bacon nicely.

The Bottom Line on Bacon for Bodybuilding

Can bacon fit into a bodybuilding diet? Absolutely, when consumed in moderation and alongside nutritious whole foods. A few strips here and there likely won’t negatively impact your goals. However, you may want to limit intake to a few times per week at most, and experiment with healthier bacon alternatives too. If you start to see negative impacts on health markers, cravings, or diet adherence, consider further reducing your bacon intake.

At the end of the day, bacon can add enjoyable flavor and macros to a bodybuilding diet for many folks. But it shouldn’t make up a major portion of your overall calorie intake if optimal health and physique are the goals. Use it as a flavor enhancer, not a dietary staple.

What If You Eat BACON Every Day For 30 Days?


Does bacon help build muscle?

They’re Both High in Protein Your humble sausage contains 11g of muscle-building protein and a slice of bacon packs 10g, which is ideal for adding inches to your biceps. You need 1.6g of protein per kilo of bodyweight everyday to bulk up, according to nutritionist Scott Baptie.

Can I eat bacon if I’m bulking?

Fat is your friend when bulking, so aim for richer protein sources like beef, bacon, whole milk, and whole eggs. Nuts and nut butters of all kinds — high in healthy fats and protein — are a great choice, as is trail mix, bags of which should take up residence in your glove box and desk drawer at work.

Is bacon good for growth?

Rich in protein: Bacon is a good source of high-quality protein, which is essential for muscle growth and repair.

Is bacon good when working out?

Bacon takes a long time to metabolize, and it will slow down your metabolism even after a intense workout.

Is Bacon good for bodybuilding?

Bacon is good for bodybuilding as long as your overall macronutrient goal for the day is achieved and you eat bacon in moderation. For example, since 70% of the calories from bacon come from fat, you’ll want to ensure that your other meals throughout the day have a higher protein intake, but lower to moderate amounts of fat.

Is Bacon a good source of protein?

3. Bacon is a good source of high-quality protein. With 30% of calories coming from protein, bacon isn’t the most protein-dense food. However, it is a good source of high-quality protein, which means it contains a good balance of amino acids (including all the essential amino acids), and the protein is highly digestible.

Should you eat bacon if you’re a muscle builder?

Your best bet is to just opt away from eating bacon entirely. There’s just no healthy way to prepare it nor will it really provide enough protein to really be beneficial to your muscle-building goals anyway. Bacon should essentially come with the health advisory of ‘eat at your own risk’.

Is Bacon good for a healthy body?

It doesn’t take much knowledge about nutrition to realize that although bacon may taste absolutely fantastic, it’s not really going to do a great deal for maintaining a healthy body. Not only is bacon about 69% total fat, but it’s also very high in cholesterol, sodium, and other preservatives that are going to do anything but promote good health.

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