12 Healthy Bodybuilding Snack Ideas (Less Than 5 Minutes!)

Eating multiple full meals a day can be a hassle. And, not being able to eat can put you in a snappy and snacky mood. So, how can you strike a balance and keep yourself sane?

The latter, snacking, is a great way to get calories in when you don’t have the luxury of time. Use them in between meals as a quick, easy, and light meal replacement. 

BUT, you shouldn’t just grab any kind of snack you crave for.

Better munch on healthy snacks for bodybuilding so you don’t stray away from your fitness goals. Healthy snacks are often dubbed as ‘boring’ and ‘bland’ — but not on my watch!

I’ve listed 12 fun and healthy bodybuilding snack ideas for you to try. All of which are packed with the macros you need for breakfast, around your workout, and just about any time of the day.

Try them out to add variety to your diet and make eating clean exciting!

12 Healthy, Fast, and Easy Bodybuilding Recipes

Proats

Proats, or protein oats, are perhaps the most popular on-the-go bodybuilding meals you can prepare. You can even prepare it the night before, leave it in the fridge, and simply reheat it when your stomach starts to rumble the next day.

Ingredients

How to Prepare

Pour all the ingredients into a bowl or a jar. Mix them until they are combined completely.

For overnight proats, leave the container inside the fridge. For immediate consumption, simply heat it in the microwave for 2-3 minutes.

And, there you have it, a carb and protein snack you can eat anytime!

For more flavor and additional calories, you can opt to top it off with sliced bananas, or mixed berries. What I like about proats is that you can get creative by adding fruits, nuts, or dark chocolate chips so it doesn’t get boring.

Nutrient Breakdown

ProteinCarbsFatsCalories
42g35g3g344

No-Bake Protein Bars

This 4-ingredient protein bar does not require baking nor too much of your time. It has a good blend of all the macronutrients – protein, carbs, and fats – making it an awesome anytime snack.

The best part about making this is it makes 12 snack-sized portions (unless you end up consuming them all in a single day given how delicious this simple recipe is).

Ingredients

  • 2½  cup rolled oats
  • 2 scoops protein powder
  • 1 cup Almond butter
  • ½ cup maple syrup

How to Prepare

Get a baking pan and spray on some non-stick cooking spray or line it with parchment paper. Then, grab a large bowl and mix the protein powder and rolled oats together.

In a small pan, mix the maple syrup and almond butter. Heat it until it simmers then turn the heat off.

Mix the wet and dry mixtures with a spatula until they’re at a moldable consistency. Transfer the batter onto the baking pan so it is easier to portion.

If you are like me, you can simply mix all the ingredients in a pan, heat them, mix them together, then portion the mixture after it cools. Consider this a pro tip. 😉

Nutrient Breakdown

ProteinCarbsFatsCalories
7g13g10g143

Egg Sandwich

Eggs are an awesome main ingredient for a bodybuilding snack because it’s very versatile — you can boil, poach, scramble, fry, or pan-fry it.

Plus, eggs are packed with protein, healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals. You should never go a day without eating it.

For this recipe, I’ll show you my favorite way of cooking eggs for a great bodybuilding snack.

Ingredients

  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 slices of whole-grain bread
  • Salt and pepper

How to Prepare

On a non-stick pan, crack two eggs and put them on low heat. Get the pan cover and a couple of tablespoons of water.

After two minutes, or when the egg whites start turning translucent, pour the water on the sides of the pan and immediately cover it.

What this does is create and trap steam inside the pan. This cooks the egg whites thoroughly but keeps the yolk runny — I’m not a fan of overcooked yolks.

Give it 30-60 seconds, and your eggs are done.

Season the egg with salt and pepper, then crack the egg yolk. Scramble the eggs on your plate, spread them on your toast, and indulge in this fatty, creamy, salty snack. 

Nutrient Breakdown

ProteinCarbsFatsCalories
18g24g12g260

Tuna Patties

If you’re bodybuilding on a budget, then you are very familiar with canned tuna. If not, you should be.

It’s one of the cheapest protein sources out there and is far less fishy and fatty than canned sardines — which is another awesome cheap protein source, by the way.

This recipe level’s the canned tuna up so you don’t have to eat it from the can, bland, dry, and overly chunky.

Ingredients

  • 1 can/12 oz. tuna in water
  • 1 tbsp. fat-free mayo 
  • ¼ cup bread crumbs
  • Garlic pepper, onion pepper to taste

How to Prepare

First, make sure you drain the can of tuna. We won’t be needing the water for this recipe. Then, grab a bowl and mix the tuna with the mayo.

Next, pour in the bread crumbs and proceed to season the mixture. Be sure to mash it well so there are no chunks of tuna left, which can make it harder to eat.

After mashing, form the mixture into 1-2 patties.

Spray some oil on a hot pan, cook the patties until they’re crisp on both sides, and you’re done. 

You can eat this one alone, or if you need something more filling, make it into a tuna burger by sandwiching it between a bun.

Also, if you prefer to spread it rather than sandwich it, simply add more mayo to the mix and you have yourself a tuna spread. See how a simple can of tuna could open up to a bunch of great bodybuilding snack ideas?

Nutrient Breakdown

ProteinCarbsFatsCalories
25g15g9g245

Sweet Potato Chips

Sweet potatoes are a staple in many bodybuilders’ diets. They are usually eaten as a carb and fiber source beside a serving of cooked meat.

It’s usually hard to eat sweet potato by itself because it tends to be bland, dry, and, well, just plain unappetizing.

Here’s how I prepare this high-carb, high-fiber starchy vegetable that’ll make you want to munch on it every time your mouth is bored.

Ingredients

  • 1 large sweet potato
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • Salt

How to Prepare

Take a peeler and peel the sweet potato. And, I mean the whole piece, not just the skin.

This gives you nice thin strips that’ll make it easier to cook. The thinner they are, the crispier they get.

Get a large bowl, put the strips in, and drizzle them with a teaspoon of olive oil. You can use MCT or avocado oil, too.

Season it with salt and mix the bowl until all the sweet potato strips are covered in oil.

Next, with the microwave set to high, let it cook inside for 2-4 mins. Allow it to cool down. This makes it crispier.

Now, you have a big bowl of chips that you can munch on while on your work break, watching TV, or reading the latest issue of Muscular Development. Say goodbye to the unhealthy potato chips waving at you in the grocery!

Nutrient Breakdown

ProteinCarbsFatsCalories
4g37g14g300

Brownie Bowl

Making legit brownies means you have to turn on the oven, make a mess in the kitchen, and finish a slightly popular podcast before you get to eat them.

What if you can “bake” a brownie in just 5 minutes? Guess what — you can! Satisfy your sweet tooth without breaking your diet protocols with this recipe.

Ingredients

  • ½ cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 scoop protein powder (chocolate flavor of course)
  • 1-2 tablespoons of sugar substitute (Splenda, stevia, muscovado, etc.)
  • Cinnamon powder
  • Salt

How to Prepare

Pour the puree, protein powder, and sweetener together in a bowl. Add a small pinch of salt and a dash (or dashes, it’s up to you) of cinnamon. Mix all of it well until they combine completely.

Then, coat the bottom of a microwave-safe bowl with avocado oil or whatever cooking oil you prefer. If you have a Pam spray, then this will do as well. The less fat you add to the mix, the better.

Since you’re cooking a small portion, chuck it into the microwave and cook for 2-3 minutes. 

When it’s done, let it cool for a little, and then it’s time to dig in.

Nutrient Breakdown

ProteinCarbsFatsCalories
21g16g4g159

Protein Smoothie

Aside from proats, this is one of the most common concoctions meatheads make when they think of a “protein snack”.

Yes, it’s a drink. I know. But are you even a bodybuilder if you don’t only see calories?

Protein smoothies are light “meals” that you can consume any time of the day. And, how full you feel afterward entirely depends on what you mix the smoothie base with.

Fruits are a great addition to pre and post-workout smoothies. MCT, heck, even olive oil is good to stave off mid-morning and mid-afternoon hunger. 

Ingredients

  • 2 scoops of protein powder
  • Almond milk
  • Ice
  • Fruits, cereals, healthy fats (optional)

How to Prepare

Do you even need this section for this one? Simply blend all the ingredients until you get the consistency you like. 

If you want something that can be downed easily and you don’t mind the flavor, just add more water.

Something that I do when I crave ice cream is to replace the liquid in this recipe with ice instead. Then, I blend it at the highest speed. This creates a thick consistency instead of a drinkable one.

You can add more protein powder for an even richer consistency. And, for a creamier taste, freeze milk in advance so you have milky cubes instead of plain ones.

Top it off with any fruit, cereal, or healthy oils of your choice. Just remember to count the added calories into your nutrition log for the day.

Nutrient Breakdown

ProteinCarbsFatsCalories
51g8g1g301

Anabolic Grilled Cheese 

If you feel like cheating on your diet but can’t afford to, this high-protein grilled cheese can be your go-to bodybuilding snack.

We simply swap out the ingredients for healthier options that are dense with the macros you need to build muscle.

Ingredients

  • White bread
  • Canadian bacon
  • Fat-free cheese slices
  • Zero-calorie butter

How to Prepare

Grab a pan, and melt a tablespoon of zero-calorie butter onto it.

Heat or cook the bacon depending on which texture you prefer. Heat for a soft, meaty texture. Cook through for a crispy one.

Spread some butter onto the bread as well.

Now, time to assemble the sandwich. On the pan, place the first piece of bread butter side down, and stack on the bacon and cheese slices alternately. 

After you place the final piece of bread on the top, cover the sandwich with tin foil and heat it for about 2 minutes.

This melts the cheese and toasts the bread, giving you layers upon layers of flavor and texture.

Make sure to use Canadian bacon. Why? Because it is comparatively leaner and, hence, higher in protein than its American counterpart.

Nutrient Breakdown

ProteinCarbsFatsCalories
46g46g6g458

Tuna Lettuce Wraps

This one is for the folks who are cutting down on calories to prepare for a beach vacation or a photoshoot, maybe even a competition. 

Ingredients

  • 3 cans tuna in water
  • Romaine lettuce
  • Low-fat mayo
  • Salt and pepper
  • Sliced peppers, onions (optional)

How to Prepare

This recipe is fairly easy to create.

First, drain the tuna from the water. Then, mix it in with the mayo in a bowl.

Make sure you mash the tuna chunks well so they’re easier to down. Although, the mayo takes care of its dryness.

You can opt to add sliced peppers or onions for an added kick. Wash the lettuce thoroughly then separate the leaves.

There you have it. A filling, yet low-carb bodybuilding snack to help you cut down your calories.

Nutrient Breakdown

ProteinCarbsFatsCalories
66g9g6g375

Protein Peanut Butter Popcorn Balls

Popcorn balls take you back to your childhood. Waiting for all the kernels to pop while you watch the corn syrup and butter mixture boil on the stovetop — yum! As a kid, you can afford and enjoy all the sugar and calories.

Now, however, you are health conscious and know only to consume what would help you reach your fitness goals.

This high-protein popcorn ball recipe lets you satisfy your sweet tooth and hit your macros, without putting a dent in your health.

Ingredients

  • 40g unpopped popcorn
  • 2 tbsp. peanut butter (or nut butter of choice)
  • 1 scoop protein powder
  • Stevia, water (stevia syrup)

How to Prepare

The first thing to do is to pop the kernels. Use a non-stick pot so you can cook the popcorn without any oil — we don’t add any unneeded calories.

After popping, place the popped kernels in a large bowl.

Be sure to sift through the popped kernels and remove the unpopped ones. Your teeth will thank you later.

In a separate pot, mix stevia with water and bring to a boil. You can eyeball this one, just make sure you get a thick, syrupy consistency.

When you’ve cooked the syrup, add in the peanut butter and protein powder. Mix all of them thoroughly.

Then, pour the syrup concoction over the popcorn and give it a good mix until everything is coated. Let it cool down for a bit, then form it into bite-sized balls.

Nutrient Breakdown

ProteinCarbsFatsCalories
43g53g7g428

Protein Drizzled Apples

This is a fun recipe to spice up your fruit snacks. Also, it’s a great way of interspersing fiber between your full meals so you can digest and absorb nutrients better.

This is a foolproof bodybuilding snack, there’s no way to get this recipe wrong!

It’s super easy to make. Plus, you can have it up to 3 times a day and you’ll only end up with a total of 510 calories.

Ingredients

  • 1 medium apple
  • ½ scoop protein powder
  • Cinnamon powder
  • Lemon juice

How to Prepare

Cut the apple up any way you like — wedges, cubes, or even sliced thin — and place it into a bowl.

In a separate bowl, combine the protein powder, dash of cinnamon, and lemon juice.

Afterward, simply drizzle the mix over the apples.

This is a very light bodybuilding snack that’s enough to stave off hunger in between meals.

Nutrient Breakdown

ProteinCarbsFatsCalories
27g14g0g170

Anabolic French Toasts

Are you tired of plain eggs and toast for breakfast? Then, you are in for a treat, my friend! Make every breakfast feel like a cheat meal with this anabolic french toast recipe!

If you work out early in the morning, this snack will give you the carbs and protein you need to fuel your training session and keep you in an anabolic state.

Ingredients

  • ½ cup egg whites
  • 1 scoop whey protein powder
  • 1-2 packets zero-calorie sweetener
  • Vanilla extract
  • Cinnamon powder
  • 3 slices whole-grain bread

How to Prepare

Whisk the egg whites, protein powder, dash of cinnamon, and sweetener together in a mixing bowl until thoroughly combined.

Then, dip all the slices of bread into the egg white mixture. Make sure they absorb as much liquid as they can.

Get a large skillet and put the heat to medium. Spray a light coat of oil or non-stick spray so you don’t mess up the bread while flipping.

After the final flip, pour the rest of the egg white mixture into the pan so you get all the protein in.

Cook each slice for 2-3 minutes on both sides. Serve on a plate, and enjoy.

You can drizzle some maple syrup, Skinny syrup, or even top it off with fruits. Just remember to be mindful of the additional calories.

Pro Tip: Make enough for a whole week and you’ll have amazing breakfasts all the time. Just multiply the ingredients for the egg white mixture by 7 or as many as you’d like.

Nutrient Breakdown

ProteinCarbsFatsCalories
51g53g4g452

I know, I gave you A LOT of snack ideas to try. That is why below, I’ll be grouping them so it’s easier for you to know when is the best time to consume them.

Best bodybuilding snacks for pre and post-workout:

  • Proats
  • Sweet Potato Chips
  • Brownie Bowl
  • Anabolic Grilled Cheese
  • Protein Peanut Butter Popcorn Balls
  • Anabolic French Toast

Pre and post-workout snacks should be high-protein and high-carb. 

For pre-workout: carbs fill your glycogen stores so you can go hard at the gym, while protein prevents muscle catabolism.

For post-workout: carbs replenish your muscle glycogen so you have enough energy to fulfill your other tasks for the day, while protein kickstarts muscle protein synthesis, aka muscle recovery.

Best bodybuilding snacks for staving off hunger:

  • Egg Sandwich
  • Tuna Patties

These two recipes have more fat than most of the other recipes. If you’re on a cut, fatty foods can help you stay satiated longer.

High-fat meals also make for great breakfast meals, since the fat helps you maintain stable blood sugar levels throughout the day. This prevents that mid-morning sluggish feeling.

Best bodybuilding snacks for cutting or calorie-restricted diets:

  • No-bake protein bars
  • Protein drizzled apples

If you’re trying to cut down on calories but can’t help not munching on something, then you should definitely give these two high-protein, low-calorie snacks a go.

Best low-carb bodybuilding snack recipe:

  • Tuna lettuce wraps

If you’re a hardcore carbivore, then you should probably cut back on carbs and fill in your calories instead with protein and fat. 

And, if you are intentionally cutting down on carbs to burn body fat, then this high-protein, high-fiber snack will surely help you get shredded without starving yourself too much.

So, where does the protein smoothie fit into all these categories? Well, it can fit into any time of the day.

It is a high-protein “snack”, that can be customized to be high-carb for peri-workout consumption, or high-fat for times when you simply need to delay hunger.

Healthy snacks you can buy from the grocery

Some days, between work, going to the gym, and other things you could be passionate about, you just don’t have the time to prepare food.

So, here’s a list of snacks that you can buy and eat fresh off the shelf to really save on time:

  • High-protein – Protein bars, ready-to-drink protein drinks (RTDs), jerky, Greek yogurt
  • High-carb – any type of bread, sliced fruit mix
  • High-fat – Almonds, cashews, pistachios, peanuts, trail mix
  • Low-calorie – strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, celery, carrots

Bottom Line

See, eating like a bodybuilder does not need to be boring!

Go ahead and try the recipes above and introduce some variety into your diet. It will not only make eating more exciting, but it’ll also help you stick to eating clean easier.

After trying the recipes, let me know what you think in the comments!

FAQs

What snacks are high in protein for bodybuilding?

As far as snacks you can buy and immediately consume, yogurt is the best one, especially Greek yogurt. Deli meat is also a good snack for a high-protein fix.

What are some good snacks to have the night before a bodybuilding competition?

Better ask your prep coach for this.

Usually, bodybuilders load up on high-carb foods for the night pre-contest to fill their muscle glycogen back up after months of cutting/depletion. This gives them a fuller look on stage.

What are some healthy snacks for bodybuilding?

Boiled eggs, berries, Greek yogurt, oats, mixed nuts – these are all healthy snacks for bodybuilding.

Just be sure to know how many to consume and how it fits into your macros so you don’t end up sabotaging your diet protocols.

Can bodybuilders eat popcorn?

If you’re bulking, you can go ham on popcorn. You can eat it sweetened or buttered.

If you’re on a strict diet, you still can but it will be best to eat it plain with salt to avoid the extra calories.

Are bananas bad for muscle growth?

Bananas are high in carbohydrates. Hence, they can help restore and replenish your glycogen levels. They are also high in potassium, an electrolyte needed for optimal muscle contraction.

Is peanut butter good for building muscle?

If it fits your macros, then consume peanut butter. Opt for natural peanut butter instead of sweetened ones or go for almond butter for higher vitamins, minerals, and fiber.

Imad Deryan

My name is Imad, and I struggled to gain mass in the past due to my metabolism and being very skinny. In this blog, I share the best reviews and advice when it comes to gaining weight and mass, for all the people that are struggling like I was.

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