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BodybuildingDiet and Nutrition

Best Bodybuilding Snacks & Ideas

Whether you’re high-protein low carb, keto, paleo, gluten-free or vegan, fuelling your body with the right nutrients will increase your muscle growth, prevent muscle damage and promote recovery. Here are 16 great bodybuilding snacks that will support your muscle-building goals.

Pre-workout nutrition

If you prefer to eat before exercising, or if your workout will last longer than an hour, grab a snack about 45 to 60 minutes in advance and keep it small (think a palmful of carbs, a half palmful of protein, and a quarter palmful of fat).

Top 4 pre-workout bodybuilding snacks:

1

Berry Smoothie

Berry Smoothie

Blend ½ cup strawberries, one tablespoon chia seeds, one cup of coconut milk and one tablespoon almond butter. This snack will provide you with all 3 of the essential nutrients – protein, carbs and healthy fats – and you’re all set.

  • Vegan
  • Paleo
  • Keto

2

Banana With 1 Tablespoon of Nut Butter

Banana with Nut Butter

If you love the combination of nut butter and banana, then this snack is for you. It’s also a great choice when you’re in a hurry.

  • Vegan
  • Paleo
  • Keto

3

Greek Yoghurt with Berries and Almonds

Greek Yoghurt with Berries and Almonds

This high-carb snack is rich in antioxidants and paired together with greek yoghurt (protein) and almonds (healthy fats) it helps to fuel your muscles.

  • Vegetarian
  • Keto

4

Brown Rice Cakes Topped With Nut Butter

Brown Rice Cakes with Nut Butter

As a quick source of protein and carbs on-the-go, these brown rice cakes don’t require any refrigeration. You have the perfect muscle-building snack for taking on the road.

  • Gluten-Free
  • Vegan

Post-Workout Nutrition

The reason it’s nicknamed the ‘anabolic phase’ is because anabolism refers to rebuilding muscle that is broken down during exercise. What you eat in the first 30-60 minutes after your workout is crucial for ensuring that your body has all of the supplies it needs to recover, adapt and improve.

Top 4 post-workout bodybuilding snacks

1

Green Smoothie

Green Smoothie

Combine one cup of milk with one banana and two teaspoons of spirulina. This muscle-building snack has the added benefit of spirulina – a superfood that helps to reduce inflammation during exercise.

  • Paleo
  • Vegetarian

2

Wholewheat Pita Stuffed With Grilled Veggies and Hummus

Wholewheat Pitta with Grilled Vegetables

Use a wholewheat pita, smear a small amount of hummus on top and add in pre-grilled veggies. This is a great high-carb snack to up those calories and build muscle faster.

  • Vegan

3

Baked Salmon with Baked Sweet Potato and Sautéed Spinach

Baked Salmon and Sweet Potatoes

This healthy evening snack is high-protein and also high in essential fatty acids to maximise the muscle-building process.

  • Gluten-free
  • Paleo
  • Flexi

4

Omelette With Avocado and Veggies

Omlette with Avocados & Veggies

A quick and easy snack to prepare at home, this omelette will provide your hungry muscles with the nutrition they need. It’s high-protein, low-carb making it an ideal snack for cutting.

  • Keto

Top 4 high-protein bodybuilding snacks

You’ll need to keep your protein levels up when building muscle. These tasty and healthy bodybuilding protein snacks will help you reach your intake goals.

1

Hard-Boiled Eggs

Hard Boiled Eggs High Protein Bodybuilding Snack

Eggs are rich in BCAA’s to help you build muscle (1). Boil a bunch to keep at home for a ready-made snack. Omega-3 enriched eggs are good for your brain.

  • Keto
  • Paleo
  • Vegetarian

2

Mik

milk high protein bodybuilding snack

Milk is a source of high-quality protein (2). The fat will help you absorb its vitamins.

  • Vegetarian

3

Jerky

jerky high protein bodybuilding snack

Jerky is high in protein, so it’s good for your muscles (3). You can find beef, buffalo, pork, turkey, venison, and even salmon jerky options.

  • Keto
  • Paleo

4

Protein Bars

Grenade Carb Killa Banana Armour 12 x 60g

Protein bars are a tasty and convenient way to get more protein in. For non-vegetarians, Grenade’s Carb Killa bars are well-liked and provide about 20 grams of protein. A great option for vegetarians is the range of Quest Protein Bars.

Top 4 healthy late-night bodybuilding snacks

The trick is to be smart. These four bedtime snacks provide quality nutrition that supports fat loss and muscle building.

1

Cottage Cheese

cottage cheese high protein bodybuilding snacks

Cottage cheese is ideal before bed because it includes lots of casein protein. This ensures a steady supply of amino acids during the night.

  • Keto
  • Vegetarian

2

Cheese with Raw Veggies

Cheese and vegetables late night bodybuilding snacks

This pre-bed meal has the fat/protein combination you’re looking for. Cheese is carb-free and raw green veggies are nutrient-dense and low in calories.

  • Keto
  • Vegetarian

3

Canned Tuna with Olive Oil

canned tuna with olive oil late night bodybuilding snacks

Canned tuna requires minimal prep work. It adds healthy fats to boost your staying power overnight.

  • Keto
  • Paleo
  • Flexi

4

Casein Protein Shake

PhD Casein Peptide

If solid food isn’t your forte before bed, then a casein protein shake is ideal. Casein protein powder helps to repair your muscles overnight (4).

  • Vegetarian

So, get snacking – no matter your dietary preference – with the 16 best bodybuilding snacks to help you obtain your goals.

References:

(1) https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/12/171220122054.htm

(2) https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fnut.2019.00055/full

(3) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26224750

(4)https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/03/190306081832.htm

Hayley Cimring is a Registered Dietician with a passion for nutrition and health research and writing. With over 15 years’ of experience, she writes unique, science-based articles with a focus on readers/latest trends. She currently writes and reviews articles for Fitness Savvy:

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