10 Best Low Calorie Foods For Body Builders

May 15, 2019 by  
Filed under Extra Protein Boosts

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Vegetable salad

When you're trying to stay lean while building muscle, finding protein-rich, low calorie foods is a must. While it’s important to give yourself adequate fuel when you’re bodybuilding, if you don’t watch what you eat, you’ll just get fat instead of muscular!

In this world of high fructose corn syrup and saturated fat, finding healthy food with the right nutrients might seem hard at first. Luckily, you can get what you need from some very basic low-calorie foods you can find in any grocery store.

Low Calorie Foods FAQ

Before we dive into what specific foods you should look for at the supermarket, let’s go over some of the basic aspects of nutrition that you should consider when bodybuilding.

Why Choose Low-Calorie Foods?

Yogurt drink

Image by Myriams-Fotos

If you’re like most people, you like to eat. One of the challenges of staying fit is to not overindulge in food. We have a very extensive snacking culture in most developed countries, and this sneaks a lot of hidden calories into our diets. We can easily end up eating more calories than we burn and storing those calories as bubbling fat.

What’s the point of bodybuilding if you’re just going to end up covering all that muscle definition in a layer of fat?

There are a few ways to tackle this problem: One of them is to simply put less food into your mouth. All things being equal, you will probably eat fewer calories if you have fewer meals. This isn’t feasible for many people, though, especially if eating is a hobby.

Instead of depriving yourself, you can simply switch out some of the food that you eat with low calorie foods instead. These alternatives can keep your stomach feeling full and give you some protein, but will be less likely to put you over your caloric limits.

What Should I Look For in Body Building Food?

Foods that are good to eat when you’re bodybuilding have a few things in common:

  • They have adequate protein
  • The protein ideally contains a good mix of amino acids
  • They have a lot of micro nutrients, such as vitamins
  • They are not unreasonably high in calories
  • They don’t have a ridiculous amount of refined sugar

You should look for foods that have complete proteins especially since these are the ones that your body can most easily turn into muscle. “Complete” means that the protein contains all of the essential amino acids. You can also combine foods to get this effect.

Some bodybuilders may tell you not to worry about the specifics and to just stuff your face with whatever food will make you “big.” This might work temporarily, especially if you’ve never lifted before, but it’s not a good long-term strategy. There’s no point in having bulging muscles if the food you’re eating is going to lead to health problems down the road. Eat food that will help you stay healthy enough to lift for years to come.

When Should You Not Eat Low Calorie Foods?

Yogurt snack

Image by RitaE

Now, low calorie foods are a good idea for most people, but they might not be for everyone. There may actually be circumstances where you should not concentrate on eating low calorie foods. Take a more calorie-dense approach if:

  • You don’t like to eat
  • You often forget to eat or have very few meals per day
  • You have a very fast metabolism

Most people have the opposite of the above problems, but if you’re a “hard gainer” because you burn through calories like crazy and don’t like to eat, then you’ll need to focus on very caloric foods. If you eat high-calorie foods, then you can get the energy you need with fewer meals. Otherwise, you may find it hard to gain muscle.

This doesn’t mean that you should eat junk, of course. There are plenty of healthy foods that you can incorporate in your diet that are also calorie-dense. Nuts, legumes, and grains are just a few examples.

Are Healthy Foods and Low Calorie Foods the Same Thing?

Mushroom and broccoli in oyster sauce

Image by sendywulandh

No! There are plenty of foods that are extremely calorie-dense, so you will have to limit your intake. For instance, avocados are healthy, but they are also very high in calories, and you shouldn’t go crazy with them if you’re trying to keep your intake low. They have a lot of good fats in them, but fat molecules are very caloric.

The reverse is also true: not all low calorie foods are healthy, either. For example, many popsicles are actually low in calories (because they're just frozen, flavored sugar water), but they aren’t exactly great for you. They’re just empty calories, basically.

To know if something is good for you, check the label.

Do Protein Powders Count as Low Calorie Foods?

Organic cricket powder

Image by primalfuture

Protein powers may be called a “supplement,” but actually they’re really just food. Protein is food, the same way fat and carbs are. Whether your protein powder counts as a low calorie food or not depends on how caloric the protein powder is.

If the powder is pure protein with nothing else, then that’s as low calorie as it gets, really. If there are a bunch of additives, like sugar, to make it taste a certain way, then it might have some extra empty calories. Again, check the label.

How We Reviewed

We determined which foods work best on a bodybuilding diet using a number of factors. The main concern was the protein-to-calorie ratio. Since protein is a macronutrient, and it contains four calories per gram, anything with protein is going to have some calories. We focused on finding healthy, natural low calorie foods with few additives that are easy to find at the store.

Price Ranges Of Low Calorie Food

Healthy food doesn’t have to be expensive. In fact, most of the low-calorie foods that you’ll find listed on this page are quite cheap! They are just basic staples that you may already have in your cupboard, but that you never considered to be “bodybuilding food.”

There’s a lot of hype when it comes to fitness nutrition. The truth is that you don’t have to spend a fortune to get the nutrients you need to build an impressive physique. All you need is a simple, reasonable diet.

What We Reviewed

Anderson Reserve All Natural Free Range Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts"10pc of 6oz"
  • 10pc of 6oz All Natural Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
  • All Natural, Free Range, Antibiotic Free
  • Not Pumped, No Added Sodium
  • Raised On A Natural Vegetarian Diet
  • Individually Cryovaced

The most popular kind of poultry by far, chicken is tasty, easy to make, and absorbs flavors well when it’s cooked with seasoning. Chicken breast is some of the leanest meat on the chicken, meaning that it has less fat than other parts. This makes it less caloric, as well. If you cut out the fat, you can cut out a lot of the calories, since fat—at 9 calories per gram—is by far the most caloric macronutrient.

Pros

  •  Easy to find at any supermarket
  •  Some of the cheapest meat you can get
  • Easy to prepare
  •  Easy to use as a substitute for more caloric meats in many dishes
  • Can be prepared in a variety of ways
  • Contains all the essential amino acids

Cons

  •  A bit bland on its own sometimes, especially since the breast has little fat
  • Can be a bit dry if not prepared correctly
  • Since it comes from an animal, it is not vegetarian- or vegan-friendly

Price

The price of chicken can vary a lot by your location and also the quality of the chicken. In the US, the chicken breast will average around $ per pound, but it can cost more if the chicken is free-range or the meat is organic.

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Eggs are the go-to breakfast staple for a lot of people because they’re so easy to prepare. If you’re a busy person on the run, you can simply boil a few eggs before your workout and scarf them down when you’re done. They’re also one of the least expensive sources of amino acid-complete protein.

Pros

  • Fairly low in calories for the amount of protein you get
  • Protein contains all the essential amino acids
  • Extremely inexpensive
  •  Easy to prepare

Cons

  • High in cholesterol
  • Contains some saturated fat
  • Not vegan

Price

Eggs vary in price depending on where you live and the current supply, but typically they will cost around $ per dozen. The cost may be higher if they are from a high quality source or if the hens who laid them are cage-free.

Watercress is one of those low-calorie foods that is almost too good to be true. Its 0.8 grams of protein per chopped cup may not seem impressive at first, but it is when you take into account that this same amount only contains 4 calories! In other words, the largest source of calories in watercress is its protein.

Pros

  • Extremely low-calorie food for the amount of protein
  • Goes well in a fresh salad and is easy to prepare
  • Contains tons of micronutrients, including vitamin A and vitamin K
  • Works for vegans and vegetarians

Cons

  • Because it has so few calories, it may not be as satisfying as other foods
  • A bit expensive when taking into account how many calories one gets
  • Since it is seasonal, it may cost more out of season
  • Amino acid profile not as ideal as that of eggs, dairy, or meat

Price

The price of watercress will depend on the season and how it is packaged. A 16-ounce bag can cost around $ or $ at a health food store.

Avalanche Coconut, Quinoa & Chocolate Swiss Granola, 10.1 Ounce Bag (Pack of 2) Non-GMO, All Natural, Kosher, Portable Packet of Granola, Convenient Size Snack On The Go, Can Pour in Milk or Yogurt
  • A DELICIOUS AND NUTRITIOUS CHOICE FOR BREAKFAST: 2 Pack, Avalanche Swiss Granola, 10.1 ounce boxes, Baked in and imported from Switzerland. The grab and go granola that will bury your hunger and fuel your body and soul for endless adventure.
  • BAKED LOW AND SLOW IN SMALL BATCHES: Avalanche Granola is baked low and slow on a 131ft oven. This method bakes more evenly and produces the perfect texture, slower roast brings out more flavors, maintains larger clusters and creates a better taste.
  • WE SEAL IN THE FRESHNESS: After Avalanche Swiss Granola is prepared with care it is then packaged to retain freshness until the first bite. Each foil pouch goes through a nitrogen flush to keep out moisture and oxygen for a crispy and crunchy granola.
  • DELICIOUS GRANOLA FOR ALL OF LIFE'S MANY ADVENTURES: We use the finest all-natural ingredients, GMO-free 5 delicious flavors: Original Organic, Original w/ Raisins Organic, Fruit Basket Organic, Red Berries Organic, and Coconut Quinoa & Chocolate
  • AN AVALANCHE OF CRUNCHY FLAVOR: If you've tried Cascadian Farms Granola, Love Crunch Granola, Quaker Natural Granola, Bear Naked Organic Granola, 18 Rabbits Organic Granola, Purely Elizabeth, or Nature's Valley Granola Crunch you'll love Avalanche Swiss Granola.

Greek yogurt is one of the least expensive sources of complete animal protein. It is also fairly low in calories for the protein punch that it packs. Since it is fermented, it may have some added benefits for your gut bacteria, too.

Pros

  • Contains a lot of protein per serving
  • Ready to eat; does not require preparation
  • Can be made easily into parfaits or other healthy deserts
  • Possibly offers probiotics that aid digestion

Cons

  •  Not appropriate for people who are sensitive to dairy products
  • May contain a lot of sugar
  • Not vegan

Price

The price varies, but it’s not unusual to find a 4 to 6 ounce, a single-serve container for $. You can also buy tubs that are 16 ounces or more for just a few bucks.

StarKist Chunk Light Tuna in Water, 5 Ounce Cans (Pack of 4)
  • StarKist is 100% committed to Dolphin Safe fishing methods.
  • Good source of protein (tuna is a naturally high-protein food)
  • Add variety to your diet with tuna - it's a great way to incorporate seafood in your meals if you prefer a mild flavor
  • A versatile and easy way to liven up a meal - use in cool salads or hot casseroles.
  • An affordable and delicious option for a quick snack, lunch or dinner

Fish has a lot of advantages over land animal meat. For one, it contains a lot of omega-3 fatty acids, which are important for heart health. It also tends to be leaner than other meats, with more protein and fewer calories.

Pros

  •  Full of micronutrients, such as omega-3’s
  • Comes in many formats that are easy to prepare, including from cans
  • Can be worked into many different meals or even eaten raw in some cases
  •  Easy choice for pescatarians

Cons

  •  Not appropriate for people who are sensitive or allergic to seafood
  • Like almost all seafood, tuna contains some mercury
  • Not vegan

Price

The price of tuna can vary by quality and the current supply, but you can sometimes find fresh tuna for as low as around $ per pound. If you like it precooked and canned, it can be as low as $ per can.

Powerful | Chocolate | High Protein Greek Yogurt Drink | Gluten-Free | Natural Ingredients | 20g Protein (12 Count)
  • Contains 12 - 12.4 Ounce Protein Drinks
  • Made with Natural Ingredients, Gluten-Free, non-GMO, Kosher, Naturally Sweetened
  • Each Bottle Contains: 20g Protein - 160 Calories - 4g Fat
  • The only High-Protein drink with a delicious Greek yogurt base
  • Single serve bottles are great for on the go, pre/post workout, or anytime!

When you have a sweet tooth, you’re going to need to find alternatives if you want to stick to low calorie foods. Frozen Greek yogurt makes for a nice dessert that doesn’t have nearly the amount of calories that ice cream does. It can also be easier to digest for some.

Pros

  • Lower in calories than other sweets like ice cream
  • Goes well with fresh fruit
  • Contains more protein than most other deserts

Cons

  • Can contain a lot of sugar
  • Might be hard to find at some conventional grocery stores
  • Not vegan
  • Not appropriate for those who are sensitive to dairy
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Price

The cost of frozen Greek yogurt will tend to be around the same as ice cream, so $ to $ a pint. It can be more if it’s organic or if you buy it at a health food store.

Celery is a common snack for people on a diet because it hardly contains calories at all. It is made mostly of water and micronutrients, so it gives you something to munch on that won’t add to your waistline.

Pros

  • Very, very low in calories
  •  Contains lots of vitamins, like vitamin K, vitamin A, and folate
  •  Goes well in soups and salads

Cons

  •  Not as protein dense as watercress
  •  Since there’s hardly anything to it, it’s not very satisfying for most people
  • The taste is too bitter for some people, though cooking can help with this
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Price

Celery can cost $2 or $3 per pound.

Sea Best 41/50 Cooked Peeled and Deveined Shrimp, 2 Pound
  • Mild, sweet flavor
  • Naturally low in fat
  • Fully cooked
  • Resealable bag
  • Farm raised

Shrimp is a great source of protein and fat for seafood lovers. It can be prepared in different ways and is fairly low in calories for the nutrients that you get.

Pros

  •  Easy to make and can even be eaten raw
  •  Less mercury than fish
  •  90% of its calories come from protein
  •  Contains no carbs, so it’s perfect for those on a low carb diet
  •  Contains an abundance of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids

Cons

  • High in cholesterol
  • Not appropriate for those who are allergic to shellfish
  • Not vegan or vegetarian

Price

The price of shrimp will vary by supply, but it can be anywhere from $ to $ per pound in the US.

Zucchini is a versatile vegetable that can be used as a substitute for grains when you’re on a low-carb diet. Regardless, it is low in calories and high in vitamins, which makes it a great food to add to your menu.

Pros

  • Contains a lot of vitamins, such as vitamin C
  • Can be used as a substitute for pasta or rice in many dishes
  •  Contains almost no fat
  • Great for vegans and vegetarians

Cons

  •  Contains a higher amount of sugar than protein
  •  Not a complete protein
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Price

The price of zucchini will vary, but you should be able to find it starting at about $ per zucchini, or a few dollars per pound.

Halibut is another fish that is worth considering if you’re on a bodybuilding diet. It is one of those low calorie foods that still manages to include plenty of protein. Like a fish, it also contains those essential omega-3 fatty acids.

Pros

  •  High in protein
  •  High in omega-3 fatty acids
  •  No carbs or sugars

Cons

  •  Since it's fish, it may contain mercury
  • Won’t work for you if you have a seafood allergy
  •  Contains cholesterol

Price

You can get halibut for as low as around $ per pound.

The Verdict

Finding food that works for you when you’re on a bodybuilding diet doesn’t have to be complicated. Low calorie foods are actually really common, and you can find them at most grocery stores.

So, which one of these low calorie foods should you eat? Ideally, all of them!

Of course, not all low calorie foods will be for you. For instance, if you’re vegan or you’re just trying to lower your meat intake, you should focus on plants foods like watercress and celery. If you’re on a low-carb diet, then focusing on the meat and seafood would suit you better, since these foods are low in sugar and high in fat and protein.

Regardless, all these low calorie foods are natural, healthy, full of muscle-building protein, and make a great addition to any bodybuilding diet.

10 Best Protein Powder Brands

March 1, 2019 by  
Filed under Extra Protein Boosts

Comments Off on 10 Best Protein Powder Brands

a bodybuilder, who takes protein powder, lifting a barbell

It seems like every week there is a new bodybuilding and exercise supplement on the market. How can you differentiate the legitimate products from those covered in false claims? With protein powder, we understand all too well your concerns.

On the one hand, you want a great tasting product that isn’t going to make you puke, and on the other hand, you want a product that does not compromise when it comes the quality of ingredients.

In the following guide, we juggle these criteria, plus others, to bring you ten protein powders that are worth checking out.

Protein Powder FAQ

What Is Protein Powder?

What Does Protein Powder Do? 

How Does Protein Powder Work? 

Where Can You Buy It? 

How We Reviewed

The following products were reviewed based on the following parameters: Features, Pros & Cons, Price, Where to Buy, and Warranty. We based our review of each protein powder on these parameters because they let us understand first of all how effective they are in supporting muscle building and recovery.

As a side note: although we could not find much information on the warranty, we believe any unsatisfied customers can easily return the product (if purchased from Amazon) and get their money back.

Overall Price Range of This Product (and Similar Products)

different protein powder brands

Image by Bavl via Pixabay.com

Protein powder range in price from $22.96 for 2 lbs to $86.75 for 7.5 lbs. The higher-end products cost more because they contain purer forms of protein and other naturally sourced ingredients. Also, the most expensive products also contain high amino acid and glutamine content, which helps aid in muscle recovery.

Serving size is also important to keep in mind. Some proteins contain comparatively more grams of proteins per serving than others and are relatively cheaper. So it’s essential to break down the price into cost per serving when shopping for the best value.

What We Reviewed

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Dymatize ISO 100 Whey

Dymatize ISO 100 Whey Protein Powder with 25g of Hydrolyzed 100% Whey Isolate, Gluten Free, Fast Digesting, Gourmet Chocolate, 5 Pound
  • 5 lbs of Dymatize ISO 100 Gourmet Chocolate Protein Powder (71 Servings)
  • Scientifically proven, fast-digesting, hydrolyzed, 100% whey protein isolate
  • 25 grams of protein, 5.5 grams of branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs), & 2.7 grams of Leucine per serving
  • Less than 1 gram of fat & sugar per serving
  • Gluten free with less than 0.5g of Lactose

Features

The Dymatize ISO 100 Whey Isolate features the second highest protein ratio on the market today. The powder also has a bonus of 5.5 grams of amino acids and leucine to help you recover and maintain those gains. Dymatize ISO 100 is 100 percent gluten and lactose-free.

It is easy to mix, and the final mixture is not chunky. Three flavors are available: birthday cake, gourmet chocolate, and chocolate coconut. This powder brand brings a smooth texture and a whopping 25 grams of pure protein with each serving.

Pros

  • Great tasting
  • Lactose and gluten-free
  • Mixes well

Cons

  • Aftertaste not so good
  • Pricey
  • Black particles in the product

Warranty

MusclePharm Combat 100% Whey

MusclePharm Combat 100% Whey, Muscle-Building Whey Protein Powder, 25 g of Ultra-Premium, Gluten-Free, Low-Fat Blend of Fast-Digesting Whey Protein, Chocolate Milk, 5-Pound, 68 Servings
  • MUSCLE-BUILDING WHEY PROTEIN POWDER: MusclePharm's Combat 100% Whey is a muscle-building protein powder comprised of high-quality ingredients that help build muscle mass and assist in recovery
  • AMAZING-TASTING WHEY PROTEIN MIX: Our whey protein 10-lb chocolate milk mix is easy to mix with milk, almond milk, water, fruit, and vegetables. It tastes great whether simply mixed into a beverage or blended in a smoothie or shake
  • PACKED WITH PROTEIN: Our muscle-building protein powder is packed with 25 grams of protein, featuring whey protein isolate and whey protein concentrate. It's also gluten-free
  • BANNED-SUBSTANCE TESTED and certified by Informed-Choice. Athletes who see the Informed-Choice logo on a product can be assured it has undergone rigorous checks and testing to ensure that it is not contaminated with banned substances and is safe to use
  • 100% SATISFACTION GUARANTEE: All MusclePharm products are backed by a 30-day full money-back guarantee.

Features

MusclePharm Combat 100% Whey features 100% micellar casein to deliver slow-digesting protein and amino acids that help you build muscles even when you’re inactive. There are a total of 28 grams of Micellar Casein in every serving.

This powder brand repairs muscles as well as build them. For those who are looking for a nighttime protein source, MusclePharm is your top choice. There are no added artificial substances and ingredients in this product.

Pros

  • Mixes well
  • Good taste
  • Casein protein

Cons

  • Clumpy
  • Too thick
  • Tastes chalky

Warranty

MET-Rx Ultramyosyn Whey Protein Isolate Powder

MET-Rx Ultramyosyn Whey Protein Isolate Powder, Great for Meal Replacement Shakes, Low Carb, Gluten Free, Chocolate, 5 lbs
  • You will receive (1) jar of MET-Rx Ultramyosyn Whey Protein Isolate Powder, Chocolate, 5 lbs
  • FUEL YOUR WORKOUT: Your muscles need support & energy for high intensity training. With over 6 g of BCAAs from Ultramyosyn Whey protein, our powders are a great way to get extra protein & support muscle strength & post-workout recovery.*
  • EASY MIX PROTEIN POWDER: MET-Rx protein powders are easy to mix in pre- or post-workout shakes, add to smoothies or use in baking for a boost of protein. MET-Rx protein powders are available in a variety of flavors & formulas to fit your needs & tastes.
  • MET-RX PREPARES ATHLETES TO DOMINATE: From protein bars & protein powders to pre-workout & post-workout powders & drinks, MET-Rx makes training fuel with protein & nutrients to enhance your performance, workout, muscle building, & post-exercise recovery.
  • MET-RX WORKOUT FUEL: Compare with workout supplements from Quest Nutrition, Clif Builder's, RXBAR, Epic, MusclePharm, Gatorade, Kellogg's Special K, Muscle Milk, Optimum Nutrition, GRENADE, MuscleTech, Supreme Protein, Power Crunch, Bulk Supplements, BPI.

Features

The MET-Rx Ultramyosyn Whey Protein Isolate Powder contains 30 grams of protein and over 6 grams of BCAAs in each serving. Two flavors are available: chocolate and vanilla.

You can rely on this protein brand to fuel your most intensive workouts. BCAAs help your muscles recover, and protein supports their growth. The formula is smooth and easily mixable by itself with milk or with your favorite smoothie blends.

Pros

  • Low calorie
  • Tastes great
  • Mixes well 

Cons

  • Has artificial sweetener
  • Vanilla doesn’t taste good
  • Thick texture

Warranty

Jarrow Formulas Whey Protein

Jarrow formulas whey protein supports muscle development, french vanilla, 32 Ounce
  • Easily Dissolvable Whey Protein Formula Free from rBST 100% Natural No Artificial Sweeteners or Additives 4.0 grams BCAAs Per Serving Reduced Fat & Lactose Content 3 Flavors & 2 Sizes

Features

Jarrow Formulas Whey Protein is created from cows sourced in the United States and nowhere else. These cows are not treated with hormones so what you get in the powder are completely natural protein sources. Jarrow also contains 4 grams of amino acids for all your recovery needs.

This product also mixes well with your liquid of choice. Three flavors are available: chocolate, vanilla, and unflavored. There is a lot to love about this powder, including its smooth texture and high protein content (18 grams in each scoop).

Pros

  • Non-hormone
  • Mixes well
  • Smooth texture

Cons

  • Tastes could be better
  • Diarrhea
  • Makes body and scalp itchy

Warranty

Isopure Zero Carb

Isopure Zero Carb Protein Powder, 100% Whey Protein Isolate, Keto Friendly, Flavor: Strawberries & Cream, 7.5 Pounds (Packaging May Vary)
  • 100% WHEY PROTEIN ISOLATE - a high-quality protein source providing 25g per serving to support muscle
  • ZERO CARBS- helps for those watching their calorie intakes
  • A PERFECT FIT - supports your active lifestyle and can be used post-workout, between meals, along with a healthy breakfast, or any time of day
  • KETO-FRIENDLY - this protein powder can help support your ketogenic macros
  • GLUTEN & LACTOSE FREE

Features 

The Isopure Zero Carb contains 25 grams of 100% whey protein isolate in each one scoop serving. This zero/low carb option is specifically designed with the carb-conscious in mind. There are added vitamin and mineral blend to aid in your muscle recovery.

Isopure is completely gluten and lactose-free. Aside from building muscles and supporting recovery, this product also helps to keep you full in between meals so that you can reach your goals faster. Use this powder with your favorite smoothie recipe or added to pancakes and waffles.

Pros

  • Low/zero carb
  • Mixes well
  • Tastes great

Cons

  • Aftertaste could be better
  • Vanilla doesn’t taste like vanilla
  • Too creamy.

Warranty

OPTIMUM NUTRITION Gold Standard 100% Whey

OPTIMUM NUTRITION GOLD STANDARD 100% Whey Protein Powder, Double Rich Chocolate, 5 Pound
  • GOLD STANDARD 100% WHEY BLEND - 24g blended protein consisting of whey protein isolate, whey protein concentrate, and whey peptides to support lean muscle mass - they don't call it the GOLD STANDARD of quality for nothing
  • OVER 5G OF BCAAS - help build lean and strong muscles with naturally occurring BCAAs
  • 3-4G CARBS, 1-3G SUGAR, AND 1-1.5G FAT, GLUTEN FREE, No Sucralose in Double Rich Chocolate Flavor
  • INSTANTIZED - improves mixability to prevent lumps and clumps
  • BANNED SUBSTANCE TESTED - highest quality control measures so you feel comfortable and safe consuming the product

Features

The OPTIMUM NUTRITION Gold Standard 100% Whey contains 24.5 grams of pure whey protein and 5.5 grams of amino acids in each 30-gram scoop (one serving). This protein mixes well and can also be added to your favorite recipes.

Although the formula has changed, this protein brand still offers delicious-tasting flavors including banana cream, double chocolate, and cake batter. You can take this product any time you like, such as before and after your workout to help your muscles recover.

Pros

  • Great tastes
  • Mixes well
  • No sucralose 

Cons

  • Formula changed
  • Diarrhea
  • Added artificial ingredients in the new formula

Warranty

Nutiva Organic Hemp Protein

Nutiva Organic, Cold-Processed Hemp Seed Protein from non-GMO, Sustainably Farmed Canadian Hempseed, Hi-Fiber, 3-pound
  • NUTRIENT DENSE: Nutiva Organic, Cold-Processed Hemp Protein is a sustainable source of amino acids, fatty acids, protein, and edestin. One serving provides 15 grams of raw organic protein and 8 grams of fiber (32% DV).
  • NATURALLY EXTRACTED: Nutiva's all-natural cold press extraction process yields a clean, plant-based protein that's high in Omega 3 fats and antioxidants without the use of dangerous and harmful chemicals, hexane, or heat.
  • PREMIUM DIET COMPATIBILITY: Nutiva Organic, Cold-Processed Hemp Protein is an ideal source of Omega 3 fats and antioxidants, just right for vegetarian, vegan, raw, whole food, paleo, ketogenic, and gluten-free diets.
  • COMMITMENT TO QUALITY: Nutiva partners with Canadian farmers to source the world's finest organic, non-GMO, sustainably grown hemp seeds and stringently adheres to USDA certified organic and non-GMO guidelines to deliver superfood that is good for you and good for the planet.
  • EASY TO USE PACKAGING: Nutiva Organic, Cold-Processed Hemp Protein is packaged in safe, convenient, BPA-free packaging.

Features

The Nutiva Organic Hemp Protein contains cold-processed hemp protein with amino acids, edestin, and fatty acids to kickstart your muscle building and recovery. Each serving of this product contains 15 grams of raw organic protein and 8 grams of fiber.

Nutiva’s protein is completely naturally extracted and plant-based. It is high in Omega 3 fats and none of the harmful artificial ingredients commonly found in other protein brands. This product is perfect for vegans, vegetarians, paleos, and celiacs.

Pros

  • Hemp protein  
  • Tastes good
  • Mixes well

Cons

  • Bad packaging
  • Sick and nauseous
  • Some flavors could taste better

Warranty

Legion Whey+ Whey Isolate

Legion Whey+ Whey Isolate Protein Powder from Grass Fed Cows - Low Carb, Low Calorie, Non-GMO, Lactose Free, Gluten Free, Sugar Free. Great For Weight Loss (Chocolate Peanut Butter, 30 Servings)
  • THE CLEANEST AND PUREST FORM OF WHEY PROTEIN POWDER - WHEY+ is 100% whey protein isolate, which is 90%+ protein by weight, has almost no fat or carbs, and contains no lactose. This means no "wasted" calories and better digestibility and fewer upset stomachs!
  • MADE WITH MILK FROM SMALL IRISH DAIRY FARMS - WHEY+ is made from exceptionally high-quality milk from small dairy farms in Ireland, which produce some of the healthiest, cleanest dairy in the world. This means you get to enjoy clean, high-protein, healthy-for-you shakes that are a cut above the rest.
  • NO ARTIFICIAL JUNK - WHEY+ is 100% naturally sweetened and flavored and contains no GMOs, hormones, antibiotics, artificial food dyes, fillers, or other unnecessary junk. This means peace of mind knowing that you're not gulping down a bunch of potentially harmful chemicals every day!
  • 100% SATISFACTION GUARANTEED - You must be completely satisfied with everything you order from us. If you're not for any reason, contact us right away and if we can't resolve the issue, you can keep it. We'll give you a full refund on the spot--no complicated forms and no return necessary. You won't find this guarantee anywhere else! That's how confident we are you're going to love WHEY+.
  • THE MAN BEHIND THE BRAND - Mike Mathews is an international bestselling fitness author with over a million books sold, and the co-founder of Muscle for Life and Legion Athletics. In his own words, "I founded Legion to bring something new and unique to the supplement world, because let's face it, the last thing we need is yet another line of flashy, hyped-up, bogus pills and powders."

Features

The Legion Whey+ Whey Isolate contains 100 percent grass-fed whey isolates. This is the cleanest and the purest protein powder you can find on the market today. There is only slight traces of fat and carbs in this protein brand, which means that you’re not forced to consume useless calories. Also, this protein brand is completely free of harmful and artificial ingredients, including GMOs and hormones.

Pros

  • Tastes good
  • High quality
  • Mixes well

Cons

  • Too sweet
  • Hard to keep down
  • Stevia 

Warranty

OPTIMUM NUTRITION Serious Mass Weight Gainer

OPTIMUM NUTRITION Serious Mass Weight Gainer Protein Powder, Chocolate, 2.72 kg
  • High Calorie Weight Gainer: 1,250 Calories per 2-Scoop Serving
  • 50 Grams of Protein per Serving. Over 250 Grams of Carbohydrates per Serving
  • 25 Vitamins & Minerals Plus Creatine & Glutamine. No added sugar
  • Using an Electric Blender to Add Fresh or Frozen Fruits, Peanut Butter, Nuts & Other Calorie Dense Foods to Boost Your Weight Gain Potential
  • Search "ON Apparel True Strength" to see our new ON clothing line

Features

The OPTIMUM NUTRITION Serious Mass Weight Gainer contains one of the highest calorie protein content on the market: 1,250 calories in the 2-scoop serving size. There are 50 grams of protein in each serving and over 250 grams of carbs as well.

A total of 25 vitamins and minerals are contained in this product, as well as creatine and glutamine. Rest assured there is no added sugar in this protein brand. You can drink this protein by itself, or blend it with fresh fruits, peanut butter, and other fresh ingredients to gain muscles and control your weight.

Pros

  • Gained mass
  • Meal replacement
  • Good tasting

Cons

  • Strawberry is gross
  • Headache
  • Bad aftertaste

Warranty

MuscleTech NitroTech

MuscleTech NitroTech Protein Powder, 100% Whey Protein with Whey Isolate, Milk Chocolate, 4 Pound
  • AMERICA'S #1 SELLING BODYBUILDING SUPPLEMENT BRAND - MuscleTech NitroTech Pure Whey Protein delivers 30g of premium 100% whey protein, primarily from whey protein peptides and whey protein isolate
  • POWERFUL PROTEIN POWDER - Core ingredients in MuscleTech NitroTech Pure Whey Protein are scientifically shown to build 70 % more muscle than regular whey protein alone
  • SCIENTIFICALLY SUPERIOR - 5g of glutamine & precursor, 6.8g of BCAA aminos plus a clinically studied 3g dose of HPLC-Tested creatine monohydrate in each serving
  • COLD-FILTERED MICRONIZATION - Cold filtered, multi-phase filtration reduces fat, lactose and impurities without using heat, harsh acids or salt
  • STACK WITH: Frequently purchased with MuscleTech Platinum 100% Creatine, MuscleTech AminoBuild Next Gen, MuscleTech Glutamine, 100% Ultra Pure L-Glutamine

Features

The MuscleTech NitroTech contains 30 grams of premium 100% whey protein sourced mostly from whey protein peptides and isolate. This powerful product promises to help you build 70% more muscles than with other products alone.

This protein brand also contains 5 grams of glutamine and 6.8 grams of BCAAs to help you maintain muscle recovery long after you stopped working out. This product is free from impurities and gluten and lactose. For best results, stack this with glutamine and creatine powder.

Pros

  • Mixes well
  • Tastes great
  • Absorbs fast 

Cons

  • Changed formula
  • Scoop is different
  • Bad aftertaste

Warranty

The Verdict

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Image via Pexels

After looking at each of these ten protein powders, we believe we have our verdict for the best protein powder brand: Dymatize ISO 100 Whey Isolate. This no non-sense product is old school; it is packed with 25 grams of protein and over 5 grams of BCAAs plus nearly 3 grams of Leucine in each serving to help you achieve all your muscle gains.

What’s more, there is less than 1 gram of fat and added sugar, which means there is no need to worry about putting on unwanted pounds. With that out of the way, you can focus solely on how good this product tastes. With flavors like gourmet chocolate and cinnamon bun, Dymatize brings on the tastiness without all the calories.

If you’re looking for a delicious and effective protein formula, why not give this one a try? 

Featured Image by Pexels via Pixabay.com

10 Best Protein Bars to Build Muscle

February 1, 2019 by  
Filed under Build Muscle, Extra Protein Boosts

Comments Off on 10 Best Protein Bars to Build Muscle

Protein bars offer a lot of health benefits. Whether you are a bodybuilder, a busy person that needs a quick meal replacement, or a dieter trying to lose weight, protein bars are a great supplement to your daily diet. They give you energy, they keep you full for longer, and they can be a great pre- or post-workout treat that gives you the energy to hit the gym hard or recover from a difficult workout.

There are a lot of flavors, brands, and types of protein bars offered, and we have reviewed ten of the top options below to give you a comprehensive picture of different products' pros and cons.

Product FAQ

1. WHAT ARE PROTEIN BARS?

2. ARE PROTEIN BARS HEALTHY?

3. WHO SHOULD EAT PROTEIN BARS?

4. WHEN SHOULD YOU EAT A PROTEIN BAR?

5. HOW SHOULD YOU CHOOSE WHICH PROTEIN BAR TO PURCHASE?

How We Reviewed

We reviewed ten popular protein bars and analyzed the quality of their ingredients, the amount of protein they offer, additional nutritional information (including carbs and fiber), and whether they are appropriate for strict diets (such as lactose-intolerant consumers or those with nut allergies). Further, we considered the flavor offerings and price of each product.

What We Reviewed

  • RISE BAR NON-GMO, GLUTEN FREE, SOY FREE, REAL WHOLE FOOD, WHEY PROTEIN BAR
  • QUEST NUTRITION PROTEIN BAR, DOUBLE CHOCOLATE CHUNK
  • MUSCLETECH NITROTECH CRUNCH PROTEIN BAR
  • MET-RX BIG 100 COLOSSAL MEAL REPLACEMENT BAR, SUPER COOKIE CRUNCH
  • QUEST NUTRITION PROTEIN BAR, CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE DOUGH, HIGH PROTEIN BARS
  • MUSCLEPHARM COMBAT CRUNCH PROTEIN BAR
  • DETOUR LEAN MUSCLE WHEY PROTEIN BAR
  • PROMAX LOW SUGAR BAR PEANUT BUTTER CHOCOLATE
  • SOURCE BAR CHOC CHIP COOKIE DOUGH
  • GOMACRO ORGANIC PEANUT BUTTER CHOCOLATE CHIP

Rise Bar Non-GMO, Gluten Free, Soy Free, Real Whole Food, Whey Protein Bar

FEATURES

RiseBars are a great protein bar option for pre-workout, post-workout, recovery, or an on-the-go snack. They contain only three ingredients: almonds, honey, and whey protein isolate. They are low carb and lactose-free, and they are essentially fat-free. High in protein, vitamins and minerals, and fiber, RiseBars have no added sugar and are gluten-free.

PRICE

A twelve-pack of RiseBars can be purchased on Amazon for about $20, which is not a high price compared to similar products.

Rise Bar Non-GMO, Gluten Free, Soy Free, Real Whole Food, Whey Protein Bar (20g), No Added Sugar, Almond Honey High Protein Bar with Fiber, Potassium, Natural Vitamins & Nutrients 2.1oz, (12 Count)

                                                        

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Pros

  • No added sugar
  • Three ingredients total and does not contain "filler" ingredients
  • Lactose-free and gluten-free

Cons

  • Oil can make the bar a bit oily in the packaging
  • Some customer reviews say they are not "fresh"
  • Some customers say that a few bars arrive as rock solid and others are soft and mushy

Quest Nutrition Protein Bar, Double Chocolate Chunk, 20g Protein

FEATURES

A Quest protein bar contains 20 grams of protein and they are full of fiber that will keep you satisfied for a longer time. Quest bars can serve as great snacks, and they are great for pre and post workout consumption.


They can also be baked into a dessert, which is a great option for people who have a sweet craving. All the flavors used are natural, and the bars are gluten and soy free with no added sugar.

PRICE

The price of Quest bars depends on the flavor that you purchase. A 12-pack box of Double Chocolate Chunk protein bars costs about $23.

Quest Nutrition Chocolate Caramel Pecan Hero Protein Bar, Low Carb, Gluten Free, Soy Free, 10 Count

                                                        

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Pros

  • All natural flavors, including unsweetened chocolate
  • Contains only 4 grams of carbs
  • 20 grams of protein, great for pre and post workout

Cons

  • Contains milk-derived substances, so not suitable for people that are lactose-intolerant
  • Contains almonds and should not be consumed by anyone with a nut allergy
  • Some customer reviews say the bars taste "chemically" 

MuscleTech NitroTech Crunch Protein Bar

FEATURES

MuscleTech NitroTech Crunch Protein Bars contain 22 grams of whey isolate protein along with 5 grams of dietary fiber. It has a very clean micronutrient profile, and it is an excellent option for people on a strict diet.

It has fewer carbs than other similar protein bars, which makes it a great option for bodybuilders. NitroTech offers a variety of flavors, and it is a perfect snack for pre and post workout performance energy.

PRICE

You can purchase a twelve-pack of MuscleTech NitroTech protein bars for about $24 on Amazon, which amounts to about $2 per bar.

MuscleTech NitroTech Crunch Protein Bar,Birthday Cake, 22 Grams Protein, 5 Grams of Fiber, 240 Calories, Low Carb, Gluten Free, 65g Bars, 12 Count

                                                        

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Pros

  • Comes in seven delicious flavors
  • Fewer carbs than comparable products
  • Contains high-quality whey isolate

Cons

  • Contains milk and not suitable for those that are lactose-intolerant
  • Contains nuts and not suitable for those with nut allergies
  • Contains soy and not suitable for those that are allergic to soy

MET-Rx Big 100 Colossal Meal Replacement Bar, Super Cookie Crunch

FEATURES

The Met-RX Big 100 protein bar offers a lot of protein in one snack-sized bar— 28 grams. It uses several types of protein, including soy protein isolate, whey protein isolate, casein protein, and egg whites, to offer a balanced mixture of slow and fast-acting proteins. Further, it has added vitamins to boost energy and health. It is a great meal replacement, it can serve as a pre or post workout treat, and it comes in a variety of flavors.

PRICE

MET-Rx Bg 100 Colossal Meal Replacement Bars cost about $47 for a pack of twelve. This is one of the more expensive options compared to similar products.

MET-Rx BIG 100 Colossal Meal Replacement Bar Crispy Apple Pie -- 9 Bars

                                                        

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Pros

  • Contains 28 grams of protein per bar
  • Includes different types of protein, mixing slow and fast-acting proteins
  • Contains added vitamins for more nutritional value

Cons

  • Expensive compared to other protein bars
  • High in sugar
  • High in calories

Quest Nutrition Protein Bar, Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, High Protein Bars

FEATURES

These Quest bars contain 21 grams of protein and 14 grams of fiber. They are made from high-quality and bioavailable proteins, and they also contain fiber-rich carbohydrates to give you a lot of energy either pre or post workout. They use simple and healthy ingredients, and they only contain 1 gram of sugar per bar.

PRICE

You can buy a twelve-pack of these bars on Amazon for about $23.

Quest Nutrition Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Bar, High Protein, Low Carb, Gluten Free, Soy Free, Keto Friendly, 12 Count

                                                        

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Pros

  • Made with a mix of whey protein isolate and milk protein isolate
  • Low net carbs and only 1 gram of sugar
  • 21 grams of protein per bar

Cons

  • Contains milk-derived substances, so not suitable for people that are lactose-intolerant
  • Contains almonds and should not be consumed by anyone with a nut allergy
  • Some customer reviews say that the bars taste "chemically"

MusclePharm Combat Crunch Protein Bar

FEATURES

MusclePharm Combat Crunch bars contain 20 grams of protein and use whey protein isolate for fast-acting protein combined with milk protein isolate for extended protein release. They contain 12 grams of dietary fiber per bar, only 210 calories, 5 grams of sugar, 28 grams of carbohydrates, and 7 grams of fat. They use simple ingredients, and MusclePharm bars are available in six different flavors.

PRICE

You can buy a twelve-pack of these bars for about $18 on Amazon.

MusclePharm Combat Crunch Protein Bar, Multi-Layered Baked Bar, Gluten-Free Bars, 20 g Protein, Low-Sugar, Low-Carb, Gluten-Free, Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Bars, 12 Servings

                                                        

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Pros

  • Contain 20 grams of protein per bar
  • Combination of milk protein isolate and whey protein isolate
  • Simple ingredients

Cons

  • Contain 28 grams of carbohydrates
  • Some customer reviews indicate a bad recipe change that leaves them dissatisfied
  • Not suitable for those that are lactose-intolerant

Detour Lean Muscle Whey Protein Bar

FEATURES

Detour is a brand that aims to provide clean ingredients and overall healthy bars. This protein bar only contains 2 grams of sugar, 110 calories, and 10 grams of protein. They are gluten-free, and they contain whey protein.

PRICE

You can purchase a 9 count of these bars for less than $12, making them one of the more affordable protein bar options.

Detour, Lean Muscle Bars, Cookie Dough Caramel Crisp, 12 Bars, 3.2 oz (90 g) Each Detour, Lean Muscle Bars, Cookie Dough Caramel Crisp, 12 Bars, 3.2 oz (90 g) Each - 2pcs

                                                        

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Pros

  • Low-calorie protein bar
  • Made of clean and natural ingredients
  • Only contains 2 grams of sugar

Cons

  • Only contains 10 grams of protein (versus typical 20 grams)
  • Not suitable for those that are lactose-intolerant
  • Not suitable for those that have nut allergies

Promax Low Sugar Bar Peanut Butter Chocolate

FEATURES

ProMax bars contain a lot of protein, with 28 grams per bar. Further, they have a blend of whey, milk, and casein protein, making them a complete and balanced source of protein in a snack-sized form. They are gluten-free, kosher, and vegetarian-friendly, and they do not contain artificial sweeteners or preservatives.

PRICE

You can purchase a 12 pack of these bars for just under $15, making them a very affordable option.

Promax Low Sugar Bar Peanut Butter Chocolate, 12 bars, 28.36 oz

                                                        

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Pros

  • Contain 28 grams of protein
  • Use a blend of whey, milk, egg, and casein proteins 
  • Do not contain high fructose corn syrup, maltitol, or gelatin

Cons

  • Not suitable for those that are lactose-intolerant
  • Contain a relatively high amount of sugar
  • Low in fiber

SOURCE BAR Choc Chip Cookie Dough

FEATURES

The SourceBar Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough flavor is non-GMO, gluten-free, and contains no artificial sweeteners. It is made of 20 grams of protein, and it contains only 2 grams of sugar. It contains grass-fed whey protein, almonds, and 100% organic cacao.

PRICE

You can purchase a twelve-pack of these bars on Amazon for about $30.

SOURCE BAR Choc Chip Cookie Dough - Made with: Grass Fed Whey Protein Concentrate, Whey Protein Isolate, and Milk Protein Isolate.

                                                        

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Pros

  • Contains 20 grams of protein
  • Only contains 2 grams of sugar
  • Contains no artificial sweeteners

Cons

  • Not suitable for those with nut allergies
  • Some customer reviews say that they are too chewy
  • High in carbohydrates

GoMacro Organic Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip

FEATURES

GoMacro is a delicious protein bar that makes a great meal replacement and can serve as an easy grab-and-go snack. It uses plant-based products and is genuinely vegan with a balanced mixture of macro-nutrients. It is also gluten-free, GMO-free, organic, and it contains no added preservatives.

PRICE

You can purchase a fifteen-pack of these protein bars on Amazon for about $42.

Gomacro (ONLY 1 BAR) MacroBar Protein Pleasure Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip

                                                        

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Pros

  • Organic and genuinely vegan
  • Contains slow burning carbs for enduring energy
  • No additives or preservatives

Cons

  • Not suitable for those that have nut allergies
  • Expensive compared to similar products
  • High in calories

The Verdict

While we reviewed ten of the most popular protein bars, there are a lot more options on the market that we did not discuss. The right choice for you entirely depends on your goals, taste and diet preferences, and budget.

Make sure you try a bar before ordering an entire pack, and we hope that this review narrows down your choices and is helpful in your health and fitness journey.

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Extra Protein Boosts Body Building and Muscle Building Workouts

April 9, 2014 by  
Filed under Extra Protein Boosts

Body building is something that most people are interested in learning about and trying out, but for a lot of people, they think that it is only for a certain few or elite to actually accomplish the chiseled muscle look. While, not everyone is designed to grace the cover of a body building magazine, or win competitions, it is possible to get the defined look that you want if you are willing to put forth some time and effort. Like anything that you do to improve yourself, body building takes time, and you need to be committed to it if you really want to see good results.

Muscle building workouts are designed to help build an overall strength to your body, and once you have that established, you can begin to move on to isolating different muscle groups to help each group be defined. Before you begin any kind of body building routine, it is important that you have a good knowledge of what kinds of exercises you need to do, what kinds of foods you need to eat, and what other kinds of workouts you need to be doing.

Some people make the mistake of only lifting weights when they are starting a body building routine. You need to make sure that you are also doing other kinds of core engaging workouts and cardio when you are body building. You also need to make sure that you are taking in enough food every day, and that you are eating the right kinds of food to help you gain muscle and not fat. If you have some weight that you need to gain before you begin muscle building, it should mainly come from protein sources and healthy carbs. You should try to have as much of your food come from these kind of healthy sources because it will allow your body to use them more efficiently and be more likely to turn the weight that you gain into muscle and not fat.

Protein supplements that are available online and at most health food stores are a great way to help get that extra amount of protein that you need, without increasing the amount of fat that you are taking in your diet. Protein helps your body building workouts and build muscle, without gaining a lot of extra fat when you are eating more.

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