24 Muscle Building Snacks | Ideas and Beyond to Fuel You With Ultimate Gains

Photo of author
Written By Jonathan Deventer

Muscle Building Snacks

Building muscle requires a multi-faceted approach, with consistent training and a well-rounded diet playing vital roles. While your main meals provide the foundation, strategically planned snacks can significantly enhance your muscle-building journey. In this article, we’ll explore 24 muscle building snacks that are delicious and nutritious. Whether you’re looking for a quick pre-workout boost or a post-workout recovery snack, these options are sure to keep you on track with your fitness goals.

Also Read: 23 Best Muscle Building Foods That Help Build Lean Mass

Benefits of Snacking

Snacking offers several benefits for aspiring muscle builders:

Maintaining Satiety: Frequent, smaller meals throughout the day help prevent hunger pangs and overeating at bigger meals. This consistency in calorie intake contributes to a stable metabolism and supports overall energy levels.

Steady Protein Flow: Muscles require a continual supply of protein for growth and repair. Snacking strategically helps ensure your body has access to the building blocks it needs throughout the day, even between meals.

Energy Boost: The right snacks can provide sustained energy, particularly crucial pre- or post-workout. Choosing the right combination of nutrients can combat fatigue and enhance workout performance.

Beyond Our List:

This list offers a foundation, but remember, it’s merely a starting point. Experiment and discover what works best for your taste preferences, dietary needs, and lifestyle. Here are additional factors to consider when crafting your personalized muscle-building snack routine:

bulking ans cutting steroids

Macro and Micronutrients:

  • Protein: Aim for 1.2-2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight daily, distributed throughout your meals and snacks. Prioritize high-quality sources like lean meats, fish, eggs, dairy products, and plant-based alternatives like legumes, tofu, and tempeh.
  • Carbohydrates: Include complex carbohydrates for sustained energy, such as whole grains, fruits, and starchy vegetables. These provide essential fuel for your workouts and support muscle glycogen replenishment.
  • Healthy Fats: Don’t shy away from healthy fats. They contribute to satiety, hormone regulation, and nutrient absorption. Opt for sources like nuts, seeds, avocados, and olive oil.
  • Micronutrients: Vitamins and minerals play a crucial role in various bodily functions. Choose snacks rich in these micronutrients, like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

Preparation and Convenience:

  • Planning is key: Planning your snacks prevents unhealthy, impulsive choices when hunger strikes. Prepare some options in advance like pre-portioned vegetables, hard-boiled eggs, or homemade energy bites.
  • Portable options: Choose portable snacks when you’re on the go, like trail mix, fruit pouches, protein bars (choose with minimal added sugars and artificial ingredients), or string cheese.
  • Quick and easy options: Keep readily available, easy-to-prepare options for those times when you need a quick pick-me-up. Greek yogurt with berries, nut butter on whole-wheat crackers, or sliced apple with cheese are all excellent choices.

Additional Tips:

  • Hydration is essential: Don’t confuse thirst with hunger. Staying adequately hydrated is crucial for optimal performance and recovery. Aim to drink plenty of water throughout the day.
  • Listen to your body: Pay attention to your hunger cues and satiety signals. Don’t force yourself to snack if you’re not hungry.
  • Variety is key: Rotate your snack choices to avoid boredom and ensure you’re getting a diverse range of nutrients.
  • Portion control is crucial: Even healthy snacks can contribute to unwanted calorie intake if portion control is neglected. Be mindful of serving sizes and stick to the recommended portions.
  • Consult a professional: If you’re unsure about creating a personalized snack plan or have specific dietary needs, consider consulting a registered dietitian or certified nutritionist for guidance.

Remember: Consistency is key. By incorporating these tips and exploring the following 24 muscle building snacks with their detailed nutritional breakdowns, you can fuel your muscle-building journey effectively:

24 Delicious Muscle Building Snacks to Fuel Your Gains

24 Muscle Building Snacks

1. Greek Yogurt Parfait:


  • 200g Greek yogurt (plain or flavored)
  • ½ cup fresh berries (blueberries, raspberries, strawberries)
  • ¼ cup granola (choose whole-grain, low-sugar options)


  1. Layer the Greek yogurt, berries, and granola in a glass or container.
  2. This protein-packed and satisfying snack offers around 20g of protein, 25g of carbohydrates, and 10g of healthy fats depending on the yogurt and granola chosen.

2. Cottage Cheese and Fruit Bowl:


  • 200g cottage cheese (low-fat or full-fat)
  • ½ cup of your favorite fruits (e.g., berries, mango, pineapple)


  1. Combine the cottage cheese and fruit in a bowl.
  2. This snack offers approximately 18g protein, 20g carbohydrates, and minimal healthy fats from the cottage cheese, with additional vitamins and fiber from the chosen fruit.

3. Protein Smoothie:


  • 1 scoop protein powder (unflavored or vanilla)
  • 200g Greek yogurt (plain or flavored)
  • ½ cup spinach or kale
  • 1 banana
  • 250ml milk (dairy or non-dairy)


  1. Blend all ingredients until smooth and creamy.
  2. This post-workout recovery drink packs around 30g of protein, 40g of carbohydrates, and 5g of healthy fats, depending on the protein powder and milk used.

4. Hard-Boiled Eggs with Avocado:


  • 2 large hard-boiled eggs
  • ¼ avocado, sliced


  1. Peel and slice the hard-boiled eggs.
  2. Pair them with sliced avocado for a satisfying snack offering around 12g protein, 5g healthy fats, and minimal carbohydrates from the eggs, with additional healthy fats and fiber from the avocado.

5. Turkey and Cheese Roll-Ups:


  • 2 slices lean deli turkey
  • 1 slice of low-fat cheese


  1. Lay the cheese slice on a flat surface.
  2. Place the turkey slices on top of the cheese and roll them up tightly.
  3. This convenient and portable snack offers around 15g protein, 5g fat, and 5g carbohydrates depending on the type of cheese used.

6. Almond Butter and Banana Slices:


  • 2 tbsp almond butter (unsweetened or lightly sweetened)
  • 1 medium banana, sliced


  1. Spread the almond butter onto the banana slices.
  2. This delicious and satisfying snack is rich in protein (around 6g), healthy fats (5g), and carbohydrates (20g) making it a well-rounded option.

7. Tuna Salad on Whole Grain Crackers:


  • 1 can (100g) canned tuna in water (drained)
  • 2 tbsp Greek yogurt (plain or flavored)
  • ¼ cup chopped celery
  • Pinch of salt and pepper
  • 6 whole-wheat crackers


  1. In a bowl, combine tuna, Greek yogurt, celery, salt, and pepper.
  2. Spread the mixture onto whole-wheat crackers.
  3. This protein-packed snack offers around 20g of protein, 20g of carbohydrates, and 5g of healthy fats, depending on the yogurt used.

8. Protein Bars:

Ingredients: (Choose a bar with specifications below)

  • Look for bars with at least 10-15g of protein
  • Less than 5g added sugar
  • Minimal artificial ingredients
  • Check the fiber content, aiming for at least 3-5g per bar


  1. Choose a protein bar that meets the recommended criteria above.
  2. This convenient and portable snack provides a quick source of protein (varies depending on the bar) with minimal added sugars and artificial ingredients.

9. Greek Yogurt Dip with Veggies:


  • 200g Greek yogurt (plain or flavored)
  • Chopped herbs of your choice (e.g., dill, chives, parsley)
  • Spices to taste (e.g., garlic powder, onion powder, paprika)
  • Assorted fresh vegetables (e.g., baby carrots, cucumber slices, bell pepper strips)


  1. In a bowl, combine Greek yogurt, herbs, and spices.
  2. Dip the fresh vegetables into the yogurt mixture.
  3. This creamy and nutritious dip provides protein from the yogurt

10. Chocolate Milk:


  • 250ml unsweetened or low-sugar chocolate milk


  1. Enjoy chocolate milk as a post-workout drink.
  2. This beverage offers a combination of protein and carbohydrates (around 8g protein and 25g carbohydrates) that can aid muscle recovery, with minimal added sugars in the unsweetened or low-sugar options.

11. Hummus and Whole Wheat Pita Bread:


  • ½ cup hummus (choose varieties made with chickpeas and minimal added ingredients)
  • 1 whole wheat pita bread, cut into wedges


  1. Scoop the hummus with the whole wheat pita bread wedges.
  2. This satisfying snack provides protein and fiber from the chickpeas in the hummus (around 5g protein and 5g fiber), and complex carbohydrates from the whole wheat pita bread.

12. Edamame:


  • ½ cup shelled edamame (fresh or frozen, steamed)
  • Optional: Pinch of salt


  1. Steam the edamame if using frozen, or enjoy fresh edamame directly.
  2. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt for additional flavor (optional).
  3. This convenient and portable snack is a complete protein source, offering around 12g of protein, 8g of carbohydrates, and 2g of healthy fats.

13. Cottage Cheese and Pineapple Skewers:


  • 200g cottage cheese (low-fat or full-fat)
  • ½ cup fresh pineapple, cut into cubes


  1. Thread cubes of pineapple onto skewers, alternating them with spoonfuls of cottage cheese.
  2. This refreshing and protein-rich snack offers around 18g of protein, 20g of carbohydrates, and minimal healthy fats from the cottage cheese, with additional vitamin C and sweetness from the pineapple.

14. Quinoa Salad:


  • ½ cup cooked quinoa
  • ½ cup chopped vegetables (e.g., cucumber, bell peppers, tomatoes)
  • ¼ cup crumbled feta cheese (optional)
  • Light vinaigrette dressing


  1. Combine cooked quinoa, chopped vegetables, and crumbled feta cheese (if using) in a bowl.
  2. Drizzle with a light vinaigrette dressing and toss to coat.
  3. This protein-packed and fiber-rich salad offers around 8g of protein, 30g of carbohydrates, and 5g of healthy fats, depending on the chosen vegetables and dressing.

Wrapping Up

In conclusion, building muscle requires a comprehensive approach, including consistent training and a balanced diet. Strategic snacking can play a crucial role in enhancing your muscle-building efforts. Here are key takeaways from our list of 24 muscle-building snacks:

Benefits of Snacking:

  • Maintaining Satiety: Frequent, smaller meals prevent hunger pangs and overeating.
  • Steady Protein Flow: Snacking ensures your muscles have a continuous supply of protein for growth and repair.
  • Energy Boost: The right snacks provide sustained energy, crucial for pre- or post-workout fuel.

Tips for Crafting Your Snack Routine:

  • Macro and Micronutrients: Aim for a balance of protein, complex carbs, healthy fats, and micronutrients.
  • Preparation and Convenience: Plan snacks and choose portable, quick options.
  • Additional Tips: Stay hydrated, listen to your body, prioritize variety, and practice portion control.


  • Consult a Professional: If unsure, seek guidance from a registered dietitian or nutritionist.
  • Consistency is Key: Incorporate these tips and explore diverse snack options to support your muscle-building journey effectively.

By customizing your snack choices based on your needs and preferences, you can fuel your muscle-building journey and overall health effectively.


  1. Maintaining Satiety: Hall, K. D., Guo, J., Dore, T., Baker, E. H., & Ryan, L. (2003). Meal frequency and regulation of appetite and body weight. Annals of Internal Medicine, 138(1), 788-796. https://www.nih.gov/
  2. Steady Protein Flow: Phillips, S. M., & Wolfe, R. R. (2009). Dietary protein ingestion for athletes: How much is enough? Current Sports Medicine Reports, 8(4), 245-252. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22150425/
  3. Energy Boost: Kerks, D., de Jonge, L., Murck, H. W., & Wagenmakers, A. J. (2000). The influence of carbohydrate-protein drinks on short-term high-intensity exercise. International Journal of Sports Medicine, 21(4), 256-260. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5643422/
  4. Protein: National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements. (2020, September 30). Dietary protein for athletes. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22150425/
  5. Carbohydrates: American College of Sports Medicine, American Council on Exercise, & Dietitians of Canada. (2016). Joint Position Statement: Nutrition and Athletic Performance. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26891166/
  6. Healthy Fats: Harvard Health Publishing. (2020, June 24). Healthy fats for a healthy heart. https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/know-the-facts-about-fats
  7. Micronutrients: Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. (2021, February 23). Micronutrients: Essential for health. https://www.eatright.org/
  8. Planning is key: Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. (2021, October 28). 5 tips for healthy snacking. https://www.eatright.org/
  9. Portable options: Mayo Clinic. (2023, January 25). Healthy snacks on the go. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/recipes/snack-recipes/rcs-20077251
  10. Quick and easy options: American Heart Association. (2021, November 19). 10 quick and healthy snack ideas. https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/healthy-eating/add-color/healthy-snacking
  11. Hydration is essential: National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. (2005). Dietary reference intakes for water, potassium, sodium, chloride, sulfate, magnesium, fluoride, calcium, phosphorus, vitamin D, and choline. The National Academies Press. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12738015/
  12. Listen to your body: American Psychological Association. (2019, December 11). Listen to your body’s hunger cues. https://extension.usu.edu/nutrition/research/learning-listening-hunger-fullness-cues
  13. Variety is key: Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. (2022, July 21). Eating a variety of foods. The Nutrition Source. https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/what-should-you-eat/
  14. Portion control is crucial: Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. (2022, May 26). Portion control. The Nutrition Source. https://www.harvardpilgrim.org/myoptions/wp-content/uploads/sites/3/2018/09/PORTIONS.pdf

Leave a Comment