NFL’s Nick Bosa Says High-Protein, Fish-Heavy Diet Keeps Him Lean

NFL’s Nick Bosa Says High-Protein, Fish-Heavy Diet Keeps Him Lean

  • San Francisco 49ers Nick Bosa says he has the lowest body fat percentage on his whole team. 
  • Bosa says his high-protein diet that emphasizes lean fish and chicken is the reason why. 
  • Other sports stars like Tom Brady and Kevin Love have also spoken about the benefits of a fish-heavy diet.

San Francisco 49ers star Nick Bosa said he has the lowest body fat percentage on his team, and he believes his new high-protein diet is the reason for it. 

Speaking during an interview with NFL Network, the 24-year-old Pro Bowl defensive end said every player on his team underwent a Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) scan this offseason, which measures body mass index and how much of a person’s mass is fat and how much is muscle. His body fat percentage was the lowest on the team. 

For perspective: Bosa is on the same team as slender wide receiver Travis Benjamin, who is almost 100 lbs lighter at 175 lbs, and yet has a higher body fat percentage.

Bosa, who weighs 266 lbs, plays a position on the defensive line that is conventionally known to have bulkier players who embrace weight as an advantage against opponents, and are not typically seen as lean. In Bosa’s case, more of his weight comes from muscle.

Bosa believes his lean physique — with a body fat percentage of 3% when he was checked in August, according to NBC Sports Bay Area — has translated to results this season. He racked up 15.5 sacks compared to just nine total in his first two seasons, and made his second Pro Bowl. 

Bosa says he got particularly lean after taking up a strict, protein-heavy diet this year — part of his recovery from a season-ending ACL injury early in the 2020 season. During his rehab, he hired a private chef to help get his body back to the best physical level.

“I’ve got an amazing chef, Chef Anna, shout out. She’ll come in two days a week and cook for almost the whole week,” Bosa said. “There’s a really good fish market right near my house so she gets fresh fish from there. There’s poke, ceviche, delicious fish, chicken, steak, and then the salad she makes to accompany them are top-notch.”

High-protein diets can help build lean muscle and reduce inflammation

Following a high-protein diet is an effective way to reduce body fat and build lean muscle, especially when following a diet like Bosa’s which is heavy on lean protein and vegetables. 

Insider reporter Rachel Hosie cut her body fat percentage in half by following a high-protein diet over the course of six months, as sh

Bosa’s high-protein, low-carb diet is also not unlike other stars in the NFL and other sports who follow strict lifestyles to maintain high performance. 

Tom Brady, 44, follows a diet that includes high-protein smoothies and main dishes made up of 20% lean protein and 80% vegetables, according to his wellness program TB12.

NBA star Kevin Love, 33, told Insider that his main source of protein is fatty fish, which helps him avoid injury and maintain energy as an aging player.

Fellow NFL defensive lineman Ndamukong Suh, 35, told GQ that he follows a high-protein, low-carb diet with a lot of vegetables that is similar to Bosa’s. Suh’s strict lifestyle which has helped him avoid injuries throughout his entire NFL career at 315 lbs and continue to play at a high level in his late 30s.