Do you want to bulk up fast, but don’t have the time to cook big meals all of the time? Don’t worry; I’m here to help with a list of the best bulking snacks.
These are the best snacks for bulking up. With these high-calorie snacks for bulking, you’ll watch yourself starting to gain weight in no time.
The Best Bulking Snacks for Fast Muscle Growth
The theme around these snacks is that they’re going to be something you can get fast and easily. Essentially, you won’t need to do a lot of preparing to start eating these snacks. With that in mind, let’s get right into this list.
Because it would make this list way too long, I’m eliminating any specific fast food items from being included.
1. Beef Jerky
There’s a reason why Randy “Macho Man” Savage was such a beefy dude. In all seriousness, beef jerky can be a great way to get more protein after a workout or at any time.
Personally, I can’t resist beef jerky. If there’s a bag open anywhere in my view, I’m getting at least one piece of jerky out of there.
Considering how most store-bought jerky is made, this food is going to contain high amounts of sodium. But, when it comes to snacks, you could do a lot worse regarding nutrition. This low-calorie and high-protein food is one of the best snacks to help you gain muscle mass fast.
2. Trail Mix
If beef jerky isn’t your thing, why not enjoy a little bit of trail mix? What I love about trail mix is that you can buy it from a grocery store or make it yourself. And, no, you don’t have to be any kind of professional cook to make trail mix.
For the easiest way to enjoy this tasty mix of fruits, nuts, and other delicious ingredients, I’d say go with the store-bought trail mix.
Unless you’re vegan or lactose-intolerant, it’s worth getting some more cheese in your life right now. Cheese is a food that’s one of the most versatile goodies out there. You can mix cheese in with other foods or eat it by itself.
If you don’t want to look strange eating slices of cheese or shredded cheese from the bag (by the way I’ve done both, no judging here), grab some cheese sticks for a good mix of healthy fat and protein.
4. Chocolate Milk
Yes, so chocolate milk isn’t a snack. But it’s a delicious drink that’s full of calories, fat, and protein. Plus, it’s also one of the best post-workout snacks available.
If you want to add even more calories to your drink, add in a few scoops of ice cream for an even more calorie-dense treat.
Chocolate milk tastes great and it’s a great drink to pair with your meals. If you’re not getting enough calories from these muscle building snacks, include some milk or chocolate milk into your diet.
If you can’t have milk, I’ve heard that coconut milk is a good-tasting alternative.
At this point, you might be saying “ew, oatmeal?,” but hear me out. Oatmeal is a great way to start bulking up. Don’t like the taste of oatmeal? Me neither, that’s why I add a bunch of other ingredients into it. That way, I’m getting the calories I need while not tasting oatmeal.
But why is oatmeal such a great bulking food? Because it contains oats. And oats are one of the best types of carbs you can eat while you’re bulking up. Instead of carbs that come from donuts, cakes, and candy bars, these help you gain more muscle than fat.
Bananas, strawberries, blueberries, honey, and cinnamon are a few favorite things to add to my morning cup of oatmeal. Try some of these previously mentioned ingredients into your oatmeal or throw in your own favorite fruits and sweeteners.
Whether you’re bulking or cutting, oatmeal can be a great food to have in your diet.
6. Greek Yogurt
Another food that’s full of lean proteins and healthy fats is Greek yogurt. Unlike the yogurt you’re probably used to, Greek yogurt is thicker. Another difference between regular and Greek yogurt is that latter is packed with extra protein.
This food can help increase your calorie intake, which in time will cause weight gain. But, since Greek yogurt has a lot of protein, the extra calories you’re getting will help you build muscle.
Plus, this healthy snack is available in many flavors. Whether you prefer plain yogurt, blueberry, strawberry, or another flavor.
If you want to add some more healthy fats to this food, toss in some nuts or a little granola.
7. Protein Powder
Weight gain doesn’t only come from foods. Instead, you can get the muscle building power you need from protein powder. You’ll find that many types of protein powders also have lots of essential amino acids.
Sometimes, you’re not always in the mood to eat a big meal to get extra calories. If you’re having trouble gaining weight, this source of liquid calories can help you reach your muscle building goals.
Plus, it’s hard to have delicious protein shakes without this special kind of powder.
8. Peanut Butter
If you need help reaching your weight and muscle gain goals, it’s time to start snacking on some peanut butter. I say snacking because peanut butter probably isn’t a food that you want to eat all of the time.
Peanut butter has a decent amount of saturated fat, so it’s best to enjoy this one in moderation. Saturated fats are unhealthy fats that will cause you to gain more fat than muscle.
Besides a little saturated fat, peanut butter is a great food to help you build muscle. Peanuts are also a great source of complex carbohydrates.
If you have peanut allergies, there are other butters made from other nuts, including soy nut butter, coconut butter, and sunflower seed butter.
9. Sweet Potatoes
Another great food for building muscle is the sweet potato. This amazing food is packed with good carbs to provide steady energy all day.
This nutrient dense food is also great for all sorts of guilt-free desserts. Sweet potato pie, anyone? Include this food into your bulking diet plan and you’ll soon start building lots of lean mass.
10. Ground Beef
If you need more calories and protein to build muscle, you’ll definitely want to add ground beef into your food plan. There are so many ways to build more muscle tissue by eating ground beef.
Burritos, hamburgers, meatballs, these foods containing ground beef are just the tip of the iceberg!
Worried about gaining too much fat while eating this food? Substitute it with lean beef for the same amount of protein with less fat.
11. Whole Grain Bread
Other great snacks to help you build muscle are whole grain crackers and bread. Sure, you can eat a lot of potato chips instead of these crackers. But you’re going to be gaining a lot of unwanted fat in the process.
If you’re like the average person, the thought of eating plain crackers isn’t that exciting. So, pair your crackers with some olive oil and dried fruit for a tasty treat!
12. Olive Oil
While you’re eating many of the foods on this list, you’ll need something to cook or drizzle over your meals. That’s why I wanted to include olive oil on this list. This food is full of healthy fats and tastes great dipped in bread.
13. Protein Bars
One of the classic foods for more muscle mass is the protein bar. I’ll be honest, many protein bars are hit or miss. But, for the most part, all of these bars contain high amounts of protein and low carbs.
These bulking foods are also great to eat if you’re on the go. Unfortunately, one drawback of these bars is that most of them are pretty expensive. So, it might be best to skip this one if you need more budget-friendly bulking foods.
14. Cottage Cheese
The name isn’t very appetizing, but cottage cheese is a great food to have in any bulking diet. This food is rich in protein, containing about 25 grams of protein per one-cup serving!
What also makes cottage cheese one of the best foods for bulking is its versatility. This food is a semi-salty food to dip crackers in. Or you can mix cottage cheese with honey for a sweeter treat. Trust me, I’ve had it, it’s good.
You can’t have a list of the best foods for bulking without mentioning eggs. A standard eggs contains about six grams of protein. This food is also rich in healthy fats and vitamins.
Whether you prefer them scrambled, fried, or another way, there are about a million different ways to prepare eggs. This food also contains vitamins A and E, which helps improve overall muscle growth.
16. Tortilla Chips
If you’re like me, seeing tortilla chips on a list of the best bulking foods might seem baffling. It did for me, too. But, as I found out, tortilla chips are high-calorie snacks that can help you gain weight.
One ounce of tortilla chips is about 140 calories. Pair these chips with a high-calorie dip for a bulking treat. Personally, I’m a big fan of corn chips and bean dip.
A tasty way to gain weight while meeting your protein and fiber requirements is by eating granola. With so many flavor options available, you can enjoy these nutrient-dense foods around the clock.
This food is also high in complex carbohydrates to give you plenty of energy. It’s possible to make granola contain even more calories by adding in dried fruit.
You can even make your own granola for budget-friendly, high-calorie snacks.
Another potentially surprising thing to see on a list of the best bulking foods might be popcorn. An average one ounce serving of popcorn has a little over three grams of protein.
Popcorn isn’t necessarily something I’d include as the best high-calorie snacks. A one-ounce serving of popcorn only contains about 105 calories. However, pouring some melted butter over your popcorn can up your calorie intake quickly.
The next time you need to replenish your pantry for cookies, it could be wise to get your hands on gingerbread. The average gingerbread cookie has almost 300 calories!
If you want to gain fat and muscle, have some honey. This natural food is the perfect sweetener and can even help improve your allergies.
21. Ice Cream
Let’s indulge ourselves with a little junk food. If you need more calories in your diet, there’s almost no easier way to achieve this goal than by eating ice cream.
Interesting fact: During his boxing career, one of Mike Tyson’s favorite treats was ice cream mixed with Cap’n Crunch cereal.
Whether you prefer them as-is or sweetened and covered with chocolate, pretzels are other great foods for bulking. Every 100 grams of whole wheat pretzels contain a surprising 11 grams of protein and over 350 calories per serving!
The next time you need to increase your daily calorie intake, eating pretzels can help you out.
You can also increase muscle mass and eat more calories with a hearty serving of beans. This inexpensive food is available in many types, including black beans, pinto beans, red beans, and many others.
Beans contain a lot of fiber and complex carbs. Plus, beans are great to help you enter a calorie surplus (where the calories your eat is more than what you burn off in a typical day).
One of the best high-calorie foods (especially during the wintertime) is chili. Mix up beans, lean beef, tomato sauce, and some spices for an amazing and healthy meal.
From what I heard, most people either love or hate raisins. Personally, I like raisins. But I can also understand why someone wouldn’t enjoy this food.
Raisins are high-calorie foods that are great for providing you with energy. This food is also rich in potassium, which can help with muscle recovery after an intense workout session.
Speaking of potassium, another food that’s great in a high-calorie diet is the banana. Whether you prefer bananas eaten whole or sprinkled over cereal, this fruit is good for both clean bulking and dirty bulking.
Don’t judge me, but I still eat food I enjoyed when I was a child. You’re not going to find me eating baby food or anything like that. However, I still can’t resist a bowl of cereal.
Combine cereal with whole milk for a sweet way to enter a calorie surplus. If you want a healthier version of this breakfast treat, there are plenty of delicious whole grain cereals on supermarket shelves.
I’m not saying cereals are the most nutritious foods in the world. But there are plenty of unhealthier ways to increase total calories consumed.
Start your day off right with a high-calorie breakfast containing pancakes. An average pancake contains about 175 calories.
Containing about 26 carbohydrates per pancake, this food isn’t the best for clean bulking. However, you can make healthier pancakes with whey protein powder for a healthier treat.
Another dirty bulking delight is pudding. Available in chocolate, vanilla, tapioca, and other flavors, pudding is a classic snack that never goes out of style. Pudding is another food you can mix protein powder in with to increase your protein intake.
29. Nut Butters
I previously mentioned peanut butter on this list. However, I wanted to round out this list by mentioning other delicious nut butters.
You can gain serious muscle with the excess calories and protein found in:
- Sunflower seed butter
- Almond butter
- Cashew butter
Creating Your Own Weight Gain Shakes
No list of high-calorie foods would be complete without the mass gaining shake. Before I wrap things up, I wanted to quickly include a few of my favorite shake recipes to help you boost calories and ramp up your protein intake.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Shake
One of my favorite ways to increase my total calories is with this amazing shake. Best of all, it only takes three simple ingredients. Mix the following ingredients in a blender for about 15 seconds and enjoy!
- 1 scoop chocolate protein powder
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1 large spoonful of peanut butter
Vanilla Protein Shake
This vanilla protein shake is rich, creamy, and perfect for any bulking phase. Simply mix all of the three ingredients below together.
- 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
- 2 cups whole milk
- 2 scoops vanilla ice cream
Root Beer Float Protein Shake
This last shake might sound a little odd, but I promise it’s delicious. As you might guess, you only need to mix the three ingredients below with a blender.
- 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
- 2 cups root beer
- 2 large scoops of vanilla ice cream
In conclusion, there are many great bulking snacks you can start including in your diet. Combine these snacks with a strength training program, and you have everything needed to start gaining some serious mass!