Entomophagy for Bodybuilders – Why Eating Insects is the Way Forward

By on May 9, 2014

Unfortunately the conclusion is inescapable: if you are a bodybuilder, then you should be eating insects…

The reasoning is simple. As a bodybuilder you need to get extra protein in your diet in order to repair the damage you’re doing to your muscle fibres and in order to sustain greater muscle mass.At the same time you will want to reduce your intake of carbohydrates and fat and you will want to ensure that your amino acid profile is a good one so that you are getting the maximum number of amino acids in nicely bio-available combinations.

Chicken  ticks these boxes to a degree. But compared with crickets and chicken? Chickens are jokers!

Health Benefits of Caterpillars, Crickets and Grasshoppers

100 grams of chicken contains 25 grams of protein, 219 calories and 13 grams of fat. Compare this with caterpillars and there’s no contest: caterpillars contain 26-28 grams of protein, very little fat and a lot of iron and B vitamins.

Crickets meanwhile contain a little less  protein weighing in at 12.9 grams, but are incredibly lean with just 121 calories. Like whole eggs, crickets contain all the essential amino acids giving them one of the best amino acid profiles out there. They have more iron than beef and almost as much calcium as milk along with a high number of essential fatter acids. Grasshoppers will get you 14 grams of protein and only 2.2 grams of carbs!

For bodybuilders or athletes of any kind then, these are some incredibly lean sources of protein with many extra health benefits and a highly attractive amino acid profile. For everyone else, they could be fantastic for dieting while boosting health. Could we one day be eating caterpillar buggers at McDonalds?

Could You Eat Locusts for Breakfast Though?

entomophagyThis may be all well and true, but there’s no denying that there’s a certain mental hurdle we need to leap here before we’re likely to accept grubs for our grub. For many, the mere idea of eating insects or foods containing insects is repellent (pun intended) and enough to put them off the idea. But a mental barrier really is all this is, and over time it’s likely to be something that we can get over. Think about athletes who down raw eggs every morning – those aren’t exactly appealing either. And really eating a dead pig wouldn’t be particularly appetising either: once those crickets are ground up into flower and added to protein bars, you won’t even know you’re eating anything unusual.

Okay so this one didn't taste great...

And in many other countries, entomophagy is already practiced openly. In Mexico for instance grasshoppers are a popular snack when seasoned with garlic and lime. The French meanwhile have been eating escargot (snails) for years which really are just as disgusting when you think about it. If you’re still unsure, bear in mind that crickets are closely related to lobsters – something that we actually consider a specialty.

The Future of Entomophagy

The benefits of eating insects go well beyond their nutritious advantages though. For one, insects are very attractive in terms of sustainability requiring little in the way of land or crops and producing none of the methane problems you get with livestock. They’re also easy to transport making them a very viable solution for developing countries, and all this makes them very cheap as well. The myriad potential benefits of insect protein is good news for we bodybuilders as it means more people are likely to get behind the idea and make it happen.

But if you are impatient and you don’t want to wait, there are already some ways you can get your first insect protein bar. Head over to www.Eco.co to see a company that has just come fresh out of a successful Kickstarter campaign, or http://chapul.com/ where you can order a number of tasty snacks (this one was on Shark Tank apparently). I’ll be doing a review of my first insect protein bar on this very site soon, so check back!

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One Comment

  1. Insects are fine for protein but the hormonal effects of eating them in large numbers is likely an issue. Hormones affect your body much more then dirt alone. Eggs beat crickets every time just like fat beats carbs

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