Whether you are a seasoned bodybuilder or just starting out on your fitness journey, one thing remains constant – the importance of incorporating high-protein snacks into your diet.
As we all know, protein is essential for muscle growth and repair, making it a crucial component in any bodybuilding regimen.
Here are 13 high-protein snacks and a few recipes that are great for bodybuilding.
Normal Snacks with High Protein
These are everyday foods that you could eat to help reach your daily protein intake.
Eggs in general are one of the most popular protein sources. They’re carb-free and carry between 6-7g of protein per egg depending on the size. They’re also low in calories with most of the calories coming from the protein.
You can eat them as is, top them on a salad, or make them into a sandwich.
Cottage cheese is a great source of calcium with most of its calories coming from protein. Similar to milk, it comes in a wide variety of options from non-fat, reduced-fat, lactose-free, reduced sodium, and more. The protein and macro amounts will vary drastically, but you can expect around 11-14g of protein per half-cup serving.
Some people will eat it as is or you could add some fruit and honey to give it flavor and sweetness.
Nuts are a good source of healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals. Walnuts, pine nuts, pecan, and macadamia nuts, just to name a few, are all great sources of high-protein nuts.
You can eat these as a trail mix, add them to your smoothie or parfait, or just pick one you like to snack on when you need some quick protein.
Tuna Packets/Canned Tuna
Canned tuna is cheap and high in protein. Just 3 ounces of Starkist tuna comes with 16g of protein and only 70 calories. Seeing that 1g of protein is 4 calories, this means that the tuna can is almost all protein.
You can eat it right out of the can, with a salad, between 2 pieces of bread, or even with some crackers.
Cheese sticks are great for getting in extra protein on the go. Although they aren’t very big, they still give a great amount of protein. On average, you can expect 7-10 grams of protein per cheese stick.
Making this an easy portable snack to boost your protein intake.
Greek yogurt is another fan-favorite protein source that can be used in a number of ways. You can expect anywhere from 15-20g or more of protein in addition to some vitamin b12. This vitamin plays a major role in keeping your blood and nerves healthy (2).
You can eat Greek yogurt with your breakfast or at the office by itself or with some fruits and or granola.
Beef jerky is dehydrated meat, so it would only make sense for it to be high in protein. Drying out meat allows for longer shelf life and a strong chewy texture. This a great high protein snack for road trips or a busy lifestyle since almost every gas station carries some.
Protein shakes are an essential snack everyone has in their diet. It’s relatively cheap, convenient, and easy to consume since you drink it. Most good protein shakes will come with 20-30 grams of protein per serving.
Whey protein, pea protein, and casein protein are all great protein powders you can use to make a shake. You can also buy premade protein shakes that don’t require a protein cup, but they do tend to cost more.
Another obvious protein snack is protein bars. Protein bars are great because they’re pretty small for the amount of protein you get. Many protein bars will taste good because of the high amounts of sugar, but this can lead to weight gain and unnecessary calories.
Just pick one you like that tastes good, meets your dietary restrictions, and is low in sugar.
Protein Based Snacks
Aside from normal foods that are high in protein, these are snacks that are boosted with protein and are considered to be “protein snacks.”
Protein chips are great for snacking but do tend to be drier. They are a better alternative to regular potato chips and come with some protein. Some popular brands are Quest protein chips, Wilde protein chips, MyProtein Crisp, and Legendary protein chips which can be found at some grocery stores like Target.
Protein cookies are another snack that is different from your average protein bar. Do keep in mind that they are typically dry as hell and are blandder than a normal cookie, but do what you gotta do. Lenny and Larry’s, Atkins protein cookies, and Quest protein cookies are all popular brands of cookies.
Of all the protein snacks, protein yogurt is my favorite. Eating during breakfast time or after a workout is a good way to get a good protein boost. Oikos Pro yogurt (my favorite), Ratio protein yogurt, and Chobani are some well-known protein yogurt brands.
Protein Snack Recipes
Protein Yogurt Parfait (25g+ of protein)
One Oikos Pro yogurt (any flavor)
1/4 cup of Bear Naked Honey Almond Granola (or your favorite granola)
2 to 3 strawberries (or your favorite fruit)
Slice your strawberries, open your yogurt, and assemble.
High-Calorie Fruit Smoothie (39g of protein)
1 cup of Frozen Fruit
2 cups of Fairlife Whole Milk
1/4 cup of Bear Naked Honey Almond Granola
2 tablespoons of Peanut Butter
1-2 tablespoons of Honey (Optional)
Pour everything into a blender, mix, and serve in a big ass cup.
This is NOT a weight loss smoothie by any means. This high calorie smoothie is for those who are looking to bulk up and get some protein in.
What are high-protein snacks for muscle gain?
Hard-boiled eggs, beef jerky, canned tuna, and protein shakes are all great for muscle gain. To gain muscle, you need to make sure you’re getting enough protein each day while eating enough calories.
Although gaining weight through bulking will get you bigger, you want to make sure it’s the kind of weight you want.
Otherwise, you’ll go through what I did, a skinny kid with a big belly. (Trust me, it sucks)
What are high-protein snacks for shredding?
Hard-boiled eggs, cottage cheese, greek yogurt, and mixed nuts are great for getting shredded. While cutting weight, you should look for low-calorie and high-protein snacks.
The purpose of a cut is to burn fat while holding onto as much muscle mass as possible. To do this, you need to be in a calorie deficit and increase your protein to about 2.2-3.0 per/kg of body weight (1).
(1) Ruiz-Castellano, C.; Espinar, S.; Contreras, C.; Mata, F.; Aragon, A.A.; Martínez-Sanz, J.M. Achieving an Optimal Fat Loss Phase in Resistance-Trained Athletes: A Narrative Review. Nutrients 2021, 13, 3255. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13093255
(2) National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements. (2021, July 15). Vitamin B12 – Consumer Fact Sheet. Retrieved August 4, 2021, from https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminB12-Consumer/#:~:text=professional%20fact%20sheet.-,What%20is%20vitamin%