19 Snacks that’ll Help you Build Muscle (And Taste Delicious!)
Check out my client James’s transformation where he lost a whole lot of fat by following the right dietary plan and eating the right foods and snacks!
Here are 19 of the BEST Snacks for building muscle. Learn exactly what to eat to build muscle and bulk up.
These low-calorie, high-protein foods will help you stay ripped and lose fat.
If you want to find the best bodybuilding snacks for muscle growth and for cutting, look no further.
Eating the right things to build muscle can be pretty challenging on a daily basis.
Sure, in the beginning you might be okay with eating the same 5 or 6 high-protein meals on rotation.
But at some point, you’re going to get sick of constantly eating the same things. And in general, you’re going to have cravings for things like snacks that are crunchy or sweet.
On top of that some days you’re just not going to have enough time to meal prep.
The good news is – you can satisfy both your cravings and a busy schedule, while still building muscle.
All of this is possible just by having a few of the high-protein snacks that I’m about to go over.
#1 String Cheese
And the first one is a very simple, long-time bodybuilding favorite – string cheese.
When choosing which string cheese to get, you have the option of light, which is usually made partially with skim milk.
Or you can choose regular string cheese that’s made with whole milk.
The difference is that regular string cheese has about 80 calories, with 6 grams of protein, and 6 grams of fat.
Meanwhile, light string cheese only has 50 calories, the same 6 grams of protein, but only 2.5 grams of fat.
Really, either of these snacks are fine. But if you’re trying to stay very lean while gaining muscle, you can save almost half the calories by going with light string cheese.
Alternatively, you can have 2 light string cheese sticks, for virtually the same calories as one regular string cheese stick. This way you’ll be taking in double the amount of protein – 12 grams.
Also, if you get a good brand, light string cheese can actually taste just as good as regular string cheese.
#2 Quest Cookies
Next is a sweet snack that can help you destroy your cravings for dessert. The nutrient profile is also pretty good for someone trying to bulk up.
I’m talking about Quest cookies. Quest is a company that’s known for making protein bars that taste delicious.
And they definitely don’t disappoint when it comes to their cookies. One Quest chocolate chip cookie has 15 grams of protein and only 1 gram of sugar.
However, it is high in fat and fiber, so just one cookie will add 250 calories. That’s why this snack is a lot better for someone that isn’t trying to do a lean bulk.
Although you can definitely fit 250 calories into your plan while still staying lean.
In either case, this can be a great high-protein option compared to a regular cookie.
In fact, at this size, a normal cookie would have almost 300 calories. It would also have over 20 grams of sugar, and only 3 grams of protein.
#3 Quest Tortilla Chips
Another one of Quest’s snacks that happen to be crunchy instead of sweet is their flavored tortilla chips.
And these have a much friendlier macronutrient profile for staying lean. They also taste really good.
Looking at the spicy & sweet variety, we see that one bag (32 grams of Quest chips) provides 140 calories.
They also contain a whopping 19 grams of protein, only 5 grams of carbs, and 5 grams of fat.
Compared to Doritos spicy and sweet chili chips, we see that for a smaller serving of the Doritos, we still end up with 140 calories.
But out of those calories, only 2 grams are made up of protein, instead of 19 like the Quest chips.
Most of the calories come from the 18 grams of carbohydrates, and 7 grams of fat per serving.
#4 Whisps Parmesan Cheese Crisps
Now, instead of buying pre-packaged Quest chips, you can make your own high-protein chips with parmesan cheese. Alternatively, you can buy them as well.
For example, Whisps parmesan cheese crisps contain 13 grams of protein, 10 grams of fat, and only 1 gram of carbohydrates.
But like I said, if you have parmesan cheese at home and you want to make these on your own, it’s very easy.
Simply take 1 tablespoon of parmesan cheese and place it flat on parchment paper or a non-stick oven pan. Do this over and over again to make multiple parmesan cheese crisps.
Cook them in a pre-heated oven at 400°F for about 3-5 minutes or until they become golden brown and crispy.
#5 Twin Peaks Keto-Friendly Protein Puffs
Another option if you like cheese doodles and cheese puffs, is Twin Peaks keto-friendly protein puffs.
Now this company really nailed the macros on this snack.
One cup will provide 130 calories, with an insane 21 grams of protein, 4 grams of fat, and only 2 grams of carbs.
With this macronutrient profile you really can’t go wrong in providing your body with the protein it needs to build muscle without many extra calories.
The issue is that even though many people like these protein puffs, myself included, reviews are mixed.
Some people like them some people hate them. So it’s up to you if you want to give them a shot.
#6 Icelandic Yogurt
Moving on to another very quick high-protein source, that a lot of people don’t know about, is Icelandic yogurt.
Everyone already knows that regular plain yogurt usually will have much less protein than Greek yogurt. But the protein champion when it comes to yogurt is actually Icelandic yogurt, also known as skyr.
To save calories, make sure that you don’t get a flavored variety since it will have a lot of added sugar.
Instead, combine your yogurt with a calorie-free flavored water enhancer. Alternatively, you can add your own fruit like blackberries, blueberries, or raspberries.
#7 Cottage Cheese
Another dairy-based food that has been used as a high-protein snack or meal replacement for a long time is cottage cheese.
If you don’t like cottage cheese alone, you can use it in many recipes that you will like.
For example, you can make a high-protein sour cream. Simply combine 1 cup of cottage cheese with 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, and blending it in a blender.
It tastes almost identical, and you can use it as a base for a high-protein dip for your Quest chips.
Or you can use it to make healthy high-protein tacos. In either case, you’re going to get way more protein and way less fat by using cottage cheese instead of sour cream.
There are other things you can do with cottage cheese as well. For example, protein pudding or combining it with salsa.
#8 Meat Sticks
The only problem with dairy-based snacks is that you must keep them refrigerated. This is not the case for beef, chicken, and ostrich sticks.
Although I don’t recommend it, dried meat sticks like this can sit in a hot car for hours, and still be perfectly edible.
They also happen to have a great macronutrient profile for building muscle.
Chomp’s beef sticks, for example, contain 90 calories made up of 9 grams of protein, 6 grams of fat, and 0 carbohydrates.
That’s pretty good, but if you want something even leaner, you can go with Ostrim sticks.
The original flavor has only 80 calories, made up of 14 grams protein, 1.5 grams of fat, and 2 grams of carbs.
#9 Pb2 and Celery
You can have pb2 with virtually anything, whether that’s celery or apples. Though celery has hardly any calories.
If you want a low-calorie, high-protein snack that can also help you manage cravings, then I highly recommend this combination.
For those of you who don’t know what pb2 is, it’s basically a dehydrated form of peanut butter that contains 3 times fewer calories, and 90 percent less fat than regular peanut butter.
You simply mix it with water and is a great replacement for any peanut butter snacks you usually enjoy.
#10 Vital Proteins Collagen Shot
Let’s move on to a quick high-protein beverage, or rather I should say shot.
The strawberry-flavored vital proteins collagen shot contains 7 grams of protein and only 3 grams of carbs.
This comes out to 40 calories which isn’t a bad deal. As the name implies, this shot also helps you take in more collagen. This is a unique type of protein mostly found in broths, bones, and tendons.
Many people don’t get enough collagen, and that’s unfortunate. Collagen provides benefits like younger-looking skin, improved joint mobility, and increased bone strength.
#11 Protein Shake
Another beverage that could be used as a quick snack for building muscle is a protein shake.
If you’re trying to stay lean, a regular protein shake with some pb2 added in can taste really good and help fill you up.
Specifically, a casein-based protein shake can help you feel full for longer than whey. That’s because casein takes much longer to digest.
Either way, if you’re looking to make your protein shake taste better, you can add a tablespoon of pb2, skim milk, and half a banana before blending it all together.
If you’re doing a dirty bulk, you can also add oatmeal, coconut oil, and whole milk instead of skim milk.
#12 Hard-boiled eggs
Next is a high-protein snack that can be made quickly and can be eaten cold or warm – hard-boiled eggs.
I have mentioned hardboiled eggs many times before. So an alternative can be to make egg muffins.
You can take them with you on the go since they can also be eaten cold or warm.
They’re also very easy to make. All you need is a muffin tray, eggs, veggies, and some seasonings.
Speaking of veggies, one vegetable that happens to be very high in protein is edamame.
As a snack, you probably won’t have more than half a cup or a full cup of edamame. They are quite filling because of their high fiber and protein content.
Just half a cup of edamame has 9 grams of plant-based protein.
Just make sure that, when combined with other soy-based products like tofu and soy milk, you’re not having an excessive amount of soy in your diet on a daily basis.
If you’re just having one or two servings of soy in the form of edamame, you should be totally fine.
#14 Pop Corners Flex
Another crunchy high-protein snack similar to Quest chips is pop corners flex. Pop corners make many delicious, relatively low-calorie, popped tortilla chips.
The high-protein flex variety they offer isn’t quite as good as the Quest chips from a macronutrient perspective.
But it’s still really good, and these are available in most supermarkets.
A similar serving of pop corners flex will contain around 90 calories with 10 grams of protein, 10 grams of carbs, and 3 grams of fat.
#15 Pork Rinds
These are a really good high-protein snack that can help you meet your daily protein requirements as well.
Just like the Quest chips mentioned earlier, pork rinds are higher in protein than they are in fat and carbohydrates.
One half-ounce serving will provide you with about 80 calories, 9 grams of protein, and only 5 grams of fat.
This is much better than your typical carb-loaded crunchy snack.
Nuts can also be a great, moderately high-protein snack. They’re particularly indicated if you’re trying to bulk but don’t care about gaining some fat in the process.
Walnuts, cashews, and almonds are relatively high in protein. However, they’re also higher in carbohydrates and fats as well.
Even though this doesn’t matter in a dirty bulk, too many can definitely increase body fat along with muscle.
As an alternative to meat sticks, you can have jerky instead. This is another snack that can help reduce hunger, without adding too many carbohydrates or fats.
You can easily make beef jerky yourself with a dehydrator.
Or you can buy pre-packaged jerky at the store. But it will contain preservatives and some added sugars.
When choosing which one to get, just make sure you go for the original or unflavored varieties. Those will have the least amount of added sugar.
A serving of Jack Link’s original beef jerky contains 11 grams of protein, 6 grams of carbohydrates, and just 1 gram of fat.
#18 Quest Protein Bars
Now one snack that I haven’t mentioned that Quest does a really good job with is a regular protein bar.
When you find a delicious-tasting protein bar it can really help satisfy your sweet tooth.
And Quest has all different kinds of flavors and most of their macronutrient profiles check out.
Just make sure to read the nutrient label to ensure that the protein bar doesn’t have too much added sugar.
For a safer bet, another brand that has pretty much no sugar and tastes great is Pure protein bars.
#19 Black Bean Pasta
Last but not least is one that many of you won’t call a snack. But I want to mention it anyway because it is high in protein. I also think it can help a lot of you with your pasta cravings.
I’m talking about black bean pasta. Black bean pasta is made up of black beans and water. That’s it.
It also contains 25 grams of protein, and 17 grams of carbohydrates, 12 of which are fiber.
A similar serving size of regular pasta contains about the same amount of carbohydrates, but only 4 grams of protein. Bean pasta with some salsa tastes great.
That about wraps it up, guys.
Now, aside from high-protein snacks, you’ll definitely need to eat high-protein meals, with natural single–ingredient foods.
If you want to skip all the trial and error, you can check out the link below.
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My passion for fitness began when I was 14 years old. I naturally fell in love with training and haven’t stopped since. At 18 years I acquired my first personal training certification from ACE after which I opened my first of 3 transformation studios in 2011. I love to share my knowledge through personal training, my online courses, and youtube channel now with over 3,000,000 subscribers! I can happily say that we've helped over 15,000 people get in great shape over the years. I'm always here for my customers so if you need help don't hesitate to send your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org