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Protect Your Muscle Mass: The 10 Best Protein-Packed Snacks for Men Who Hit the Gym Hard

Sailun Tires

You’ve got your beard game on and gym routine down to the tee.

But hitting your daily macro count is no easy walk in the park, especially if you want to build and keep lean muscle mass while maintaining a busy lifestyle. While you may be nailing your protein intake at mealtimes, snacking smartly is equally important to ensure your body has the fuel and resources it needs to recover and grow stronger. 

That’s where high-protein snacks come into play. They’re the perfect way to bridge the gap between meals and keep your macros on track, particularly during your post-workout cool-down.

Today, we’ll share ten delicious, protein-rich snacks that will keep you satisfied and energized on the go.

First up – What Qualifies as a High-Protein Snack?

Generally speaking, a high-protein snack should contain at least 10-15 grams of protein in each serving. However, it pays to consider the overall nutritional value, including the amount of healthy fats, fiber, and good carbs in the snack. The best high-protein snacks will be nutrient-dense, minimally processed, and provide a balanced mix of macronutrients to keep you feeling satiated and energized.

As with any dietary change or supplement regimen, it’s always advisable to consult with a healthcare professional or registered dietitian, especially if you have any underlying health conditions or specific dietary requirements. Remember, fueling your body with the right nutrients is just as important as hitting the gym hard.

The last thing you want is to flood your body with artificial colors, carrageenan, and other harmful chemicals in the name of high-protein snacking. Just like reading the fine print for conditions associated with rental leases, casino bonuses, or a smartphone plan before signing up, you want to scrutinize the product label to ensure no unhealthy ingredients are lurking in your snacks.

High-Protein and Hitting the Gym are a Match Made in Heaven

Protein is the building block of muscle, and if you’re hitting the gym hard, it’s a no-brainer to prioritize protein intake. Not only does protein help repair and rebuild muscle fibers after intense workouts, but it also plays a crucial role in maintaining lean body mass, boosting metabolism, and keeping you feeling fuller for longer.

Active men’s recommended daily protein intake varies based on age, weight, and activity level but generally falls between 0.5 to 0.8 grams per pound of body weight. For example, a 180-pound gym-goer might need anywhere from 90 to 144 grams of protein daily.

While it’s important to get a significant portion of your protein from whole food sources like lean meats, fish, eggs, and legumes, high-protein snacks can be a game-changer for hitting your daily targets. They’re convenient, portable, and often packed with nutrients like fiber, healthy fats, and vitamins and minerals.

The 10 Best Protein-Packed Snacks to Help You Hit Your Macro Count

(1) Edamame

It’s tough to eat your greens and get your macros count up at the same time. Meet edamame. These young, green soybeans are a plant-based protein sensation. They offer around 18 grams of protein per cup (shelled) as a snack. They’re also rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals, making them a well-rounded snack choice.

(2) Jerky

Beef jerky is the go-to snack for most people who hit the gym hard. However, you can up your snacking game with salmon jerky. With 16 grams per serving, it’s a tasty way to get your fix of high-quality, omega-3-rich protein on the go. Look for jerky made from wild-caught salmon with minimal additives or preservatives.

(3) Fruit and Cottage Cheese

Fruit and high-protein dairy delight is the perfect combo. Cottage cheese ticks all the right boxes. With plenty of casein protein, it’s slow to digest, so it helps keep you feeling full for hours. Top it with fresh fruit like pineapple or peaches for a burst of sweetness and extra fiber.

(4) Hard-Boiled Eggs

You can’t go wrong with a true classic like hard-boiled eggs. They’re a fantastic source of complete protein. Each egg packs around 6 grams of protein. They’re easy to prepare in advance, highly portable, and can be jazzed up with a sprinkle of salt, pepper, or your favorite spices.

(5) Seeds and Nuts

From almonds and cashews to pumpkin and chia seeds, nuts and seeds are convenient, shelf-stable snack options that deliver a powerful protein punch. According to the Mayo Clinic, one serving of chia seeds offers 5 grams of protein. Mix and match your favorites for a satisfying, crunchy treat.

(6) Greek Yogurt

Greek yogurt is a protein powerhouse, with around 20 grams of protein per serving. Add a scoop of your favorite protein powder and some fresh or frozen berries for a delightfully creamy and nutrient-dense snack or post-workout treat.

(7) Nut Butter

Creamy nut butter goes well with crisp apple slices for a snacking delight. Look for natural nut butter with minimal added sugars or oils.

(8) Protein Shake

This one is a no-brainer. Choose a high-quality protein powder and blend it with your favorite milk, fruits, and veggies for a nutrient-packed beverage.

(9) Roasted Chickpeas

Chickpeas can fit the bill if you’re not a big fan of roasted nuts. They’re loaded with protein, fiber, and essential vitamins and minerals. Roast them with cumin, chili powder, or smoked paprika for an irresistibly crunchy and savory snack.

(10) Avocado + Tuna + Crackers

What a combo! Opt for tuna packed in water, fresh avocado, and whole-grain crackers for a satisfying snack that’ll keep you going strong.

Wrapping Up: When to Snack

Experts recommend snacking every 2-3 hours, especially around intense workouts. Pre-workout snacks should be light and easily digestible, while post-workout snacks should focus on protein and carbs to replenish depleted glycogen stores and kickstart muscle recovery.


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