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I swear I am the king of snacking. I hate cooking full course meals just because it is so time consuming.
I’m always doing college, working on this website, lifting, playing sports, or even just playing video games. So- I sympathize with you, sometimes you just want something quick.
So, here are 20 high protein snacks for bodybuilding.
I seperated this post into two categories,
- ‘At-Home High Protein Snacks’
- These are high-protein snacks you’ll usually keep at home in the refrigerator. These are also snacks that will require a few minutes of preparation but are just something quick you can fix up and get your protein in.
- ‘On-The-Go High Protein Snacks’
- These are ‘On-The-Go’ High Protein Snacks. These are snacks you can put in your backpack or something and eat whenever. You won’t need refrigeration or anything, you’re just able to take it and eat it on the go.
“At-Home High Protein Snacks”
These are the best high protein snacks for bodybuilding that are more ‘at-home’ kind of snacks. You know? They generally require a tiny bit of preparation or a refrigerator. The other section is the best high protein snacks if you’re outside and out and about.
Cottage cheese is one of those ‘old-school’ bodybuilding snacks that even the bodybuilding legends will tell you to eat.
Simply put, the food is basically all protein. It’s super healthy for you, super cheap, and you can eat a lot of it at a time.
And who doesn’t love cheese?
I covered a lot about cottage cheese in my, Best Cheeses for Bodybuilding post.
But, what you need to know is- it is hands down the best cheese for bodybuilding! And honestly, probably one of the best high-protein snacks for bodybuilding in general.
Jake Harcoff, a certified sports nutritionist and who has a masters degree in strength and conditioning said:
“My favorite high protein snack is low fat cottage cheese, mostly because of its macronutrient breakdown.
In just one cup, low fat cottage cheese has 28 grams of protein (nearly as much as a whole chicken breast), 6 grams of carbohydrates, and just 2 grams of fat..
Cottage cheese is also very versatile and can be paired with vegetables like cucumber or celery for low carb dieters, or rice cakes and toast for a great mass building pre/post-workout snack.”
It is incredibly healthy for your gut, has tons of probiotics, and incredible nutrition. Here’s what the nutrition says (and don’t be surprised, I told you it was amazing!):
Calories: 80 caloriesCarbs:6 gFat:1 gProtein:14 gCottage Cheese Nutrition
So, next time you’re at the store- pick up some cottage cheese. It will transform your gains!
Greek Yogurt is one of the best high protein bodybuilding snacks.
There is one food I eat almost every day that has supercharged my muscle growth. It is just so good for you, it’s hard to find a replacement. That food? Chobani Flips, a greek yogurt/candy mix.
Now, most greek yogurt will be the same generally, so you don’t have to worry about getting too picky.
But overall, it is yogurt that is super high in protein. Greek yogurt is awesome because it has tons of probiotics, is great for your gut, tastes good, is easy to eat, is a great source of calcium, and is a very easy source of protein.
Chobani Flips S’mores S’mores
Sylvia, CEO of Mira, said “I love greek yogurt because you can customize it based on what you’re craving.
Greek yogurt is the star ingredient, as it has more protein and is way creamier than regular yogurt.
You can use it plain as a dip, or eat by itself. You can add strawberries and granola, or use it to make a thicker smoothie.
If you have popsicle molds, you can mix it with fruits and then freeze it into the molds, or spread it on a non-stick mat and add fruits, then freeze it to make yogurt bars.
If you are craving a salty snack, then mix it with lemon juice and cucumber, and you have a dip that goes great with celery sticks or baby carrots.”
Calories: 90 caloriesCarbs:6 gFat:0 gProtein:16 gGreek Yogurt Nutrition (3/4 cup serving, nonflavored)
Next time you’re at the store, don’t skip on the greek yogurt. It is one of the BEST high protein bodybuilding snacks out there!
Pumpkin Seeds (You’d be surprised!)
Pumpkin seeds are actually one of MY favorite high protein bodybuilding snacks, and you’d be surprised how good they are.
At first, you’re probably like, “Tommy… pumpkin seeds? Are you being delusional?”.
But honestly, they are REALLY fricken good. They’re really crispy and have a nice crunch to them.
(Plus, they are one of the best foods for boosting testosterone!)
On top of the testosterone boosting benefits, they have a ton of protein in them.
Luis Souza from Raw Vegan Power said, “Pumpkin seeds are an excellent source of protein, amino acids, omega 3, zinc and magnesium making them an excellent healthy snack for bodybuilding.
Calories: 120 caloriesCarbs:15 gFat:5 gProtein:5 gPumpkin Seeds Nutrition (1 oz serving)
They’re one of the best bodybuilding snacks you can choose and they’re great for vegan bodybuilders too – 100g of pumpkin seeds contain around 20g of protein.
They’re packed full of antioxidants and have anti-inflammatory properties; they help to regulate blood sugar which is a huge benefit. Plus, they’re tasty!”
String Cheese is one of the most simple and easiest high protein snacks for bodybuilding.
Like, you literally just peel off the wrapper and eat it. There’s not much more to it- no cooking, no preparation, and it’s fairly cheap to buy a lot of string cheese.
Plus, it’s dairy, which means you’ll be getting a lot of protein. Here’s the nutrition:
Calories: 80 caloriesCarbs:1 gFat:6 gProtein:6 gString Cheese Nutrition (3/4 cup serving, nonflavored)
Abby said, “String cheese is an easy way to get more protein and calcium.
Reduced-fat versions have fewer calories.
Full-fat string cheese is better for gaining muscle mass.”
I eat at least 3-4 string cheese things a day, they’re so convenient and cheap for muscle building it’s hard to avoid them. Plus, they have a ton of calcium- which is important in building bone strength.
Corn Dogs / Mini Corn Dogs
Most people don’t know that you can microwave corn dogs and/or mini corn dogs. This means you can have a tasty high protein bodybuilding snack in minutes.
Plus, corn dogs are really filling and ‘feel’ like a real meal. Sometimes when you just eat something like beef jerky, you don’t feel full after. Corn dogs are great at making you feel full.
Here’s the nutrition:
Calories: 220 caloriesCarbs:23 gFat:11 gProtein:6 gCorn Dog Nutrition (1 Corn Dog)
Mozzarella Sticks are something I rarely see mentioned in the bodybuilding community, even those these things are INCREDIBLE for muscle growth.
Aside from their MASSIVE protein (i mean, they are just cheese)- they taste phenomenal.
I buy bulk packages at the store of like 300 mozzarella sticks and it lasts me forever. I easily pop 10-20 of these into my Nuwave Air Fryer, put it on for 10 minutes, and have an incredible bodybuilding snack that will help me meet my caloric intake goal for the day, and protein goal.
And let’s again, not kid ourselves, the taste is amazing. Who doesn’t love mozzarella sticks?
Next time you’re at the store, pick up a bag. You’ll thank me later.
Calories: 280 caloriesCarbs:24 gFat:15 gProtein:11 gMozzarella Sticks (4 stacks)
Hard Boiled Eggs
To people that have never had hard boiled eggs, it sounds disgusting. But- they’re actually really good! As a matter of fact, they’re super portable, tasty, and have incredible macros for you.
(Eggs are one of the best foods for bodybuilding, after all)
Brian Boyce, a qualifier in NPC Men’s Bodybuilding said, “Whether cutting for a contest or off-season, hard-boiled eggs are a must.
Fast, easy, and incredibly cheap, the macro-nutrient breakdown of eggs is simple to measure out to the gram if needed. Consider that a 1.8 ounce hard-boiled egg brings 77 calories, 5.3 grams of fat and 6.3 grams of protein. Hard-boiled eggs take just a few minutes to boil, and they keep well in the fridge if meal-prepping. Dabbed with hot sauce, mustard, or just eaten whole, hard-boiled eggs are great bodybuilding snacks.”
The best part is, most of us already have eggs at home. So you don’t need to go out and buy anything for this.
Calories: 78 caloriesCarbs:1 gFat:5 gProtein:6 gOne Hard Boiled Egg (1 egg)
Plus, I love hard-boiled eggs just for the fact you can put them in the fridge and eat them later. Cooking takes way toooooo much time time out of my day, and hard-boiled eggs really do help. I can just grab one, eat it whole, and get back to work.
Imagine having awesome tasting, filling, and high protein pancakes you can make by putting just tossing them in the toaster for a minute.
Oh wait, that’s exactly what Kodiak Cakes are! I got introduced to these and I absolutely LOVE them. They are the ‘old-style pancakes, made of complete whole grains. They taste phenomenal and real. They are incredibly filling and are super healthy for you.
I always dreamed of eating like a lumberjack when bodybuilding. You know- constant working out, constant eating, and just GROWING. Lumberjacks would wake up, and eat nearly 3,000 calories of pancakes in the morning just for breakfast. They needed that energy until noon- where they ate even more!
Kodiak Cakes has that special old recipe. It fills you up, it gives you a ton of long lasting energy, and has a TON of protein.
Here’s what Ria, founder of BoltActive, said: “Kodiak cakes aren’t obviously nutritionally equivalent to chicken breast, but it’s a higher protein alternative to your traditional pancake and muffin mixes. Making them with egg whites for more protein is a good way to get more protein in. (You can order this either precooked or as a mix!) This snack option will satisfy a sweet tooth, but also fuel your workout with lots of carbohydrates.
Calories: 230 caloriesCarbs:24 gFat:11 gProtein:12 gKodiak Cakes Serving (2 waffles)
Sausage (Microwaveable ones)
Sausage is a meat that is really good for bodybuilding. You don’t actually need to cook all of it in a pan, there are tons of microwaveable breakfast sausages that you can have ready in 1-2 minutes.
I actually bought a huge like value pack of 100 sausages, and they work really well. I can pop 6-10 of them in the microwave in the morning and have a solid high protein breakfast that is also filling.
Calories: 270 caloriesCarbs:1 gFat:26 gProtein:8 gSausage (3 Links)
“On The Go High Protein Snacks”
These are high protein snacks for bodybuilding that are best for ‘on-the-go. You can just toss these in your backpack and eat them at your earliest convenience.
P-Nuff Crunch (Yep, from Shark Tank!)
If you’ve watched shark tank recently, you might’ve seen this product already!
P-Nuff Crunch is a snack designed for bodybuilding- but also at the same time being a snack that is designed to be delicious. (And trust me, they are delicious)
That’s what makes this product so unique in my eyes. Typically, most high protein snacks have a bad taste to them. And for what it’s worth, they’re typically in different aisles of the store than normal ‘snacks’.
P-Nuff Crunch is different. It’s sold in the snack aisle next to chips, pretzels, etcetera. It tastes REALLY good. In fact, even if you weren’t into bodybuilding, you’d probably eat these anyways.
P Nuff Crunch Cinnamon Flavor
And that’s what is so awesome. These things taste REALLY good. The owner actually used to snack on Pretzels after his workouts, and he was sick and tired of eating high protein foods that didn’t taste good. He wanted something that would help his bodybuilding goals AND taste good.
I actually had the chance to speak with the owner Dr.Juan Salinas about his product. Here’s what he said:
“I found myself reaching for pretzels every time after a workout – while realizing I was consuming zero protein! Which my body required all day long due to my intense bodybuilding routine.
So I decided to create something better. P-Nuff Crunch.
I developed this product with the unique combination of three plant-based proteins: Peanuts, Brown Rice and navy beans.
This way it provided all 9 essential amino acids while also being high in leucine.
The product also contains slow-digesting carbs for sustained energy and low insulin spike.
The best part is that they also taste awesome!”
I’ve actually had these myself. And if you’re going to buy some, I HIGHLY recommend you get the cinnamon flavor. The cinnamon flavor is my favorite, and the chocolate/cocoa is my 2nd choice. The normal ‘peanut’ flavor didn’t really resonate with me as well, but it isn’t bad.
But if you’re looking to get addicted to P-Nuff crunch, get the cinnamon flavor and you’ll never look back. (It’s almost like Cinnamon Toast Crunch!)
The product is kind of like a Cheeto Puff, it has a very nice crunch, is firm, and is awesome to eat.
Cheeto Puffs are my favorite snack, but the problem is- they’re super unhealthy and would always make me feel kinda sick after eating a few. P-Nuff Crunch has since replaced them, with a much healthier and better version of the food.
Here’s the nutrition label:
Calories: 130 caloriesCarbs:16 gFat:5 gProtein:5 gP-Nuff Crunch Nutrition Label (4 Servings Per Bag)
While it doesn’t have as much protein as I’d like, it has higher than average. Plus, the serving size is a little skewed. There are about 4 servings per bag, and it’s kind of expected you eat the entire bag since they’re kinda small-medium sized.
So, in total you get around 20g of protein from this snack, but it’s also super filling!
I loved these, and highly recommend you try them out!
Protein2O (Drink your protein! It’s like water!)
Instead of having to eat your protein when you’re on the go, you can take a quick drink and get all that protein.
Now, usually you think of protein powders or milk- but those can taste gross and aren’t easy to store.
Imagine you could drink something that’s like water, and it has tons of protein. And this time, it didn’t taste gross.
I was skeptical at first, but I couldn’t stop drinking it. The Strawberry Watermelon flavor tastes exactly like that- strawberry watermelon water. Nothing else. No protein taste, no gross aftertaste, nothing. It tastes like pure water, with 15g of protein.
This thing tastes AWESOME. It’s like a real Minute Maid drink- but without all the calories and sugar, and with a ton of protein.
They also have a few different types of drinks.
One is a caffeine-infused protein blend, which is almost like a good ‘pre-workout drink. You could drink this after your last class at college, and have some protein to hold you over during your workout while the caffeine kicks in to give you that much-needed energy boost.
If you’re looking for a sweet-tasting protein drink that ACTUALLY tastes good- give Protein2O a try. You WON’T regret it.
Here’s the incredible nutrition:
Calories: 70 caloriesCarbs:16 gFat:6 gProtein:20 gProtein2O Beverage Serving
I cannot lie, I am a super big Protein2O fan after I first tried it. It’s like a revolutionary bodybuilding food- a high protein drink that actually tastes good! (And if you don’t believe me, believe the 13,000+ positive reviews on Amazon!)
I’m surprised I don’t see more bodybuilders eating beef jerky regularly.
It is one of the BEST high protein bodybuilding snacks, and for good reason. It’s just literally meat.
If you’ve never had beef jerky, you’re missing out. It tastes really good, will keep you full, and has incredible nutrition.
Lisa Richards, Nutritionist said, “Beef Jerky travels easy and packs a ton of protein to keep your goals in focus and you full and satisfied.
Meat jerky is a complete protein because it is sourced from animals, which ensures the dieter they are getting in all essential amino acids for exceptional muscle growth.”
Calories: 80 caloriesCarbs:6 gFat:1 gProtein:11 gBeef Jerky Nutrition
The only drawback? Beef jerky can be a little expensive. But, sometimes the taste is worth it.
I’m a pretty big Jack Links Teryaki flavored beef jerky guy myself, it just tastes so fricken good.
Almonds are one of the more interesting high protein bodybuilding snacks. You either really love them, or hate them.
Regardless, they have healthy fats, high protein, and can actually be pretty filling!
Here’s what Darryl Higgins, founder of AthleteDesk, said: “I can say that Almonds are a good choice of protein snack.
It is a very convenient snack not just because it is small but because you can eat it either raw or toasted.
This snack is high in protein, healthy fats and fibers but low in carbohydrates.
Unlike other foods, almonds contain unsaturated fats which means it does not contribute to your cholesterol level.
It is also high in antioxidants that are good in preventing diseases. It is indeed a good source of protein. In fact, almonds are one of the nuts that are rich in protein wherein for every ¼ cup (35 grams) contains 7 grams of protein”.
Calories: 170 caloriesCarbs:5 gFat:16 gProtein:6 gAlmonds Nutrition
Almonds used to be the snack Preston and I would eat after wrestling practice everyday. They’ve got a ton of energy and protein in them for a quick snack that will get your energy back to where you need it.
Next time you’re at the grocery store, get a bunch of almonds! I personally just eat them by the handful, they aren’t really messy or anything so it works out good.
Canned Tuna (It’s Actually GREAT For You)
At first, canned tuna may sound gross- but it’s actually tasty. And, it’ really good for you and super high protein.
Like, it’s hard to find anything higher in protein considering this is just straight fish meat.
The best part is you can pack the cans and eat it straight out of them. While it sounds gross, sometimes you need to do whatever it takes to get that protein in.
Plus, Tuna is one of the cheapest proteins you can buy. You can get a ton of cans for like dirt cheap.
Here’s what Paul, Certified Nutritionist, said: “Tuna is my favorite protein snack. Because it is literally fish muscle tissue, it is almost entirely composed of protein. Just a cup has around 40g of protein. On top of that, tuna has no carbs and very little fat. It is ideal for someone that JUST wants protein.”
Calories: 90 caloriesCarbs:0 gFat:.5 gProtein:20 gTuna Nutrition Label
Optimum Nutrition Protein Cake Bites
Who doesn’t love cake? And who doesn’t love protein? (Well, hopefully you don’t hate it if you’re bodybuilding…)
What would happen if you combined both of those? Well, that’s exactly what Optimum Nutrition did.
Makayla, from May-Ty Fitness said, “My FAVORITE protein snack is “Protein Cake Bites” from Optimum Nutrition.
This curbs my sweet cravings, and it has been one of the best post-gym snacks for bodybuilding for years!
With 20-25g of protein, and 25g of carbs, it has the right balance of macronutrients for me as a vegetarian bodybuilder.
Optimum Nutrition Protein Cake Bites – One of the best high protein snacks for bodybuilding.
They also have a delicious vegan line that tastes like chocolate truffles!
(Tip: Put them in the fridge or freezer for the best taste!)”
Here is the Optimum Nutrition Protein Cake Bites Nutrition label.
Calories: 210 caloriesCarbs:27 gFat:6 gProtein:20 gOptimum Nutrition Protein Cake Bites Nutrition (serving size: 1 package/3 pieces in each “bar’)
Honestly, they’re pretty good. If you like cake and want a great high protein snack for bodybuilding after your workout that ALSO tastes good, give these a try!
Amazon has a wide selection of flavors here including Chocolate Birthday Cake, Chocolate Frosted Donut, and normal Birthday Cake!
5% Nutrition Knock The Carb Out
As many of you know, Rich Piana is literally my idol. I even did one of his famous 8 Hour Arm Workouts and uploaded it to YouTube!
I think a lot of people can learn from Rich Piana’s quotes and ‘no excuses’ lifestyle.
Rich Piana was always a fan of eating REAL FOOD. He said that many protein bars and powders are just loaded with junk and are overpriced. Honestly, he was very right, especially in the early 2010s a ton of products were very sketchy.
So, he had a meal plan vision of giving bodybuilders real food, which was later discontinued.
But, even after his death he still has many products that rely on the principle of giving us real food. And his protein bar is the best example of this.
John Frigo, owner of BestPriceNutrition, said:
The best snack for bodybuilders is 5% Nutrition’s Knock the Carb Out Bar.
These bars have 20 grams of protein from egg whites which is great for muscle building, its also got 14 grams of fiber and is made from natural ingredients.
Another thing I really like about this bar is most protein bars don’t fill you up, but these bars are actually pretty filling.
They’re moderately high in calories and fat but if your training hard every day that’s not an issue you’ll burn right through it and they are low in carbs.
They are also by far the best tasting protein bar and the best texture I’ve ever had short of the protein bars that are actually candy bars like a Robert Irvine Fit Crunch Bar.”
Calories: 290 caloriesCarbs:19 gFat:21 gProtein:20 g5% Nutrition Knock The Carb Out Nutrition
If you’re a fan of Rich Piana’s real food ideas and want a solid protein bar, I highly recommend you pick it up.
Cliff Bars (Try their ‘BUILDER’ Bars!) (Old Reliable)
We all know what cliff bars are. They are like, the ‘old reliable’ of snacks. You really can’t go wrong with a cliff bar for anything, I swear they give somewhat unlimited energy.
Even when I left my brutal wrestling practice and had 5 minutes to get to work for a 6-hour shift, I relied on those cliff bars to get me that protein and get me through those dreaded movie theater shifts…
The truth is, they’re one of the best high-protein snacks for bodybuilding. If you’re looking for a more ‘protein’ oriented version, you should try their ‘BUILDER’ Cliff Bars, which are like the normal cliff bars but amped up. They generally have 2x the protein and calories- so it works out.
Eugene said, “The good ol’ fashioned Cliff Bar. It’s delectable, easy to eat after a grueling workout – and has a ton of protein and healthy fats.
Especially the Macadamia Nut and White Chocolate flavor. When I was working on building my body – I hated the protein bars that would be overly “cakey” and just tasted like raw protein in my mouth.
I loved the fact that Cliff bars are so tasty, and to be honest – you could eat two after a hard workout. It has enough protein to build muscle mass, without sacrificing flavor.
You’re trying to make your body used to the exercises that you’re putting it through, why add more hardship to yourself when it comes to snacks? With Cliff bars – they have more nutrition, better taste, and can be bought in bulk in places like Amazon and Costco.”
Calories: 290 caloriesCarbs:29 gFat:11 gProtein:20 gCliff Builder Bar Nutrition
Met-Rx Colossal Bars
Met-Rx is a well-known brand in the bodybuilding industry. They even create one of the best multivitamins for bodybuilding out there, Met-Rx Active Man.
Plus, Met-Rx is huge. There is a good chance you’ve seen one of their protein bars in stores or at your local gas station.
But, let’s get to the point. The Met-Rx Colossal Bars are one of the best high protein snacks for bodybuilding out there, and for good reason.
Mark Stephenson, who writes about the best shoes for athletes said, “I like the MetRx bars because they pack a punch, containing 32 grams of protein, 410 calories, and 18 vitamins and minerals, which makes it a perfect body-building snack!
The flavor is intense and it goes well with that concentrated protein taste. If you’re looking to bulk up or use it as an emergency meal substitute, I take them whenever I’m going on a road trip.”
Calories: 290 caloriesCarbs:29 gFat:11 gProtein:20 gCliff Builder Bar Nutrition
They are easy to pack on road trips, will fill you up, and are literally colossal. They are bigger than most protein bars (but still small enough you can pack and carry).
I personally like the Cookie Dough flavored ones, but they have a lot of flavors.
Quest Protein Cookies
Many protein cookies taste horrible- but NOT the Quest Protein Cookies, they taste fantastic.
They are soft cookies that taste very close to normal cookies but have a ton of protein in them. I use to eat a whole box of them a day, it filled my sweet tooth and protein needs at the same time.
While they aren’t ‘completely’ like normal cookies, for what it’s worth, they’re very very very close.
I recommend picking up a box of these, quest makes really good products.
Calories: 250 caloriesCarbs:19 gFat:17 gProtein:15 gQuest Protein Cookie Nutrition
Pure Protein Bars (Cheapest Protein Bars)
If you’re into bodybuilding, you’re going to see pure protein bars everywhere.
Simply put, they’re some of the cheapest protein bars you can get ahold of. While they don’t taste as good as quest protein bars do, they’re definitely good and are a great budget option.
My friends and I used to buy these boxes in bulk and it was very cheap, plus it gets you the protein you need. These are one of the best high protein bodybuilding snacks to take on the go just because of the price.
If you have a sudden road trip, you just want something cheap and simple that will get you the macros you need.
I recommend the Chocolate Peanut Butter flavor, it definitely tastes the best by far.
Calories: 200 caloriesCarbs:16 gFat:6 gProtein:20 gPure Protein Bars
Wrap-Up of 20 Best High Protein Snacks for Bodybuilding
These are the 20 Best High Protein Snacks for bodybuilding. Hopefully these helped!
If you have a high protein snack that you love, tell me in the comments below and I will add it!