Protein is a love-hate relationship for a lot of people involved in fitness and bodybuilding. We love it because it literally supplies the building blocks for our muscles. But the flip side is we hate it because eating enough of it is a huge pain!
Ideally you ingest anywhere from 1 to 1.5 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight. The variance depends on which fitness expert you are listening to. Personally I am more inclined to use the 1.25 number and split the difference but I add 5 to the bodyweight total because most people are looking to add muscle. So with that in mind a 200 pound person would need to take in a whopping 255 grams of protein. As the body can only absorb 25 to 35 grams per meal that means you need to be eating protein pretty much all day.
So along with regular meals you also need a variety of snacks to ensure you have plenty of options available when trying to get that much needed protein into your body.
High Protein Snacks
- Eggs Whites – At around 15g per you can have a quick egg white scramble or omelet (with peppers and onions)
- Beef Jerky – Check the health food stores for the low salt variety which can have anywhere from 10 to 15 grams of protein per serving and only 1 to 3 grams of fat.
- Cottage Cheese and… – You can use fruit or even just honey for this quick snack. Cottage cheese has 16 grams of protein per half cup. If you use the 2% version then you only get 2 gram of fat with that.
- Protein Bars – Ah the old standby! Some of the junk ones have a ton of carbs but you can also find some great whey varieties that pack a whopping 30 grams of protein and only 3 to 5 grams of fat in a single bar.
- Yogurt and Protein Powder – An average yogurt has 8 to 10 grams of protein but after you mix a scoop or two of whey powder into it suddenly you are talking 20 to 25 grams. Plus it is easy to take with you (the powder goes in a Ziploc bag).
- Tuna – The bodybuilder staple! Each can has 25 grams of protein and about 120 calories. Instead of using mayo try a light mix of pickles and mustard for flavor.
- Protein Shakes – Great for a post-workout meal and also perfect right before bed. You can use whey powder and add other great stuff like soy milk and bananas for some added kick.
- Peanut Butter – It used to be back in the 70s and 80s that you would hear of guys eating peanut butter and banana sandwiches along with drinking a gallon of milk for protein. Since it is higher in fat you should use it sparingly and spread only a tablespoon or two on whole wheat toast with a single sliced banana.
- Trail Mix – Use mixed nuts, pumpkin seeds, and raisins for the perfect snack at the office.
- Parfait – Use 1/2 cup of non-fat yogurt, add some fresh fruit on top, and then toss on some toasted oats (2 to 3 tablespoons worth).
There you have it; ten great quick and easy high protein snacks!