Protein does a lot more than put muscle on your frame. This super macronutrient can also help you to strip off body fat. In addition to having a very high thermic effect, protein fills you up more than either carbs or fats and it boosts your metabolism. That makes getting into the protein snacking habit a smart move if your goal is to develop a lean, muscular physique. Here are five protein rich snack ideas that will help you get there.
Cottage cheese makes a great healthy high protein snack. A half cup serving will provide you with 14 grams of protein, along with a host of micronutrients including Vitamin B12 and calcium. Cottage cheese may not to be everyone’s taste but, if you like it, we encourage you to use it regularly as a hunger busting, muscle growth enhancing snack. You can eat it straight or add it to crackers or fruit.
Don’t Forget Your Carbs
While protein is vital to support muscle maintenance and growth as well as to curb the appetite and promote thermogenesis, you should not neglect your carb intake. Contrary to what some people think, carbs are not your enemy. It is especially important that you get a healthy supply of green vegetables into your body. They contain phytochemicals and other nutrients that you cannot get from other sources.
A great way to get your green vegetables is with a greens juice drink. The benefits of regularly taking a greens juice drink include fat loss, digestive health improvement, enhanced immunity, and reduced inflammation. There are a number of green juice products on the market. Check out our athletic greens review for more information.
All sorts of nuts make a great snack, being high in healthy fat content. When it comes to protein content, though, almonds make a standout tasty protein snack. A single ounce of almonds will provide you with the same protein content as an egg. They also provide those healthy fats, along with riboflavin and vitamin E.
An ounce of almonds will make up about 23 individual almonds. That quantity will provide you with an awesome, hunger busting snack to feed your muscles while preventing weight gain.
Hard Boiled Eggs
Eggs are generally acknowledged as one of the best sources of protein on the planet. In addition to proving you with a complete amino acid profile, they also have very high bioavailability and digestibility. Eggs are also packed with important B vitamins and a host of trace minerals. Eggs are very satiating, helping you to lose weight.
However, the real beauty of the humble egg comes in its portability. Spend a few minutes in the evening hard boiling some eggs and you’ve got a ready to go snack for the coming day. Each egg contains 6 grams of protein. Hard-boiled eggs are very easy to eat, so a 3 egg snack is an excellent way to get 18 grams of protein into your system.
A protein bar can make the ideal on the go muscle promoting snack. We say ‘can’ because many of the protein bars on the market are loaded with ingredients that are anything but health promoting. These include sugars, artificial flavorings, and colorings. You need to check the ingredients label carefully to ensure that what is in your protein bar deserves to be in your body. If you see words listed that you can’t pronounce, it’s a pretty good indication that you should move on!
Your safest bet when it comes to protein bars may well be to make your own. That way you are in total charge of what goes into the bar. Here is a simple homemade almond butter protein bar recipe:
- 1 cup smooth almond butter
- ¼ cup coconut oil
- 2 tsp maple syrup
- ½ cup collagen powder
- ⅓ cup chocolate chips
- Line a large pan with parchment paper.
- Add the almond butter, maple syrup, and coconut oil to a large bowl. Mix until sticky and thick.
- Add the collagen powder and mix well.
- Fold in the chocolate chips.
- Scoop your mixture into the pan, flattening it out so that it is even.
- Put the pan in the freezer and leave for 20 minutes.
- Remove and cut into squares to serve
No list of healthy protein snacks is complete without the addition of the protein shake. When it comes to convenience, a protein shake is hard to beat. With the invention of the shaker bottle, you can mix up your shake anywhere, including on the gym floor. Be sure to use whey protein if taking your shake pre or post-workout as it provides you with the fastest digesting protein source. For an evening protein shake option, we recommend casein protein as it is slower digesting than whey. This provides a slow release of amino acids throughout the night.