10 Best Snacks For Building Muscle

10 best snacks for building muscle

You’re here because you’re looking to find the best snacks for building muscle. Gaining weight is difficult, we get it. You need to constantly maintain a calorie surplus. And one of the easiest ways to do this is to have some high calorie snacks that you can have throughout the day. We’re here to help you to find these.

But before we get started, there’s something we need to say. There’s a difference between healthy snacks and the best snacks for building muscle we’re listing in this article. The difference is that the high calorie snacks in this article will be a minimum of 250 calories per serving. They’re designed for getting that calorie surplus, and building muscle. They’re not designed to be low calorie.

Once you finish this article, you’re also going to want high calorie foods that are meals. These will complement the snacks in this article. Head to this article.

Let’s get started.

Our 10 best snacks for building muscle

A 50g portion of nuts – 300 calories

The first item on our best snacks for building muscle list is a 50g portion of nuts. You can choose whichever nuts you like here – our favourites are almonds, cashews, pistachios and plain old dry roasted peanuts.

We like nuts as one of our high calorie food for muscle growth because they’re easy to eat. Have a 50g portion whilst you’re sitting at your desk at work, or in front of the TV whilst watching your favourite episode on Netflix. Take them wherever you go for an extra 300 calories per portion.

Homemade Flapjack – 250 to 350 calories

At Sports Samurai, we like to make homemade flapjacks every Sunday. They last for the week in the fridge. Ours contain the following ingredients:

  • Oats
  • Milk
  • Whey Protein
  • Peanut Butter
  • Any addition of your choice, for example, chia seeds, raisins, flaxseeds, or anything similar

Simply mix together all ingredients in a bowl and place in a fridge for 30 minutes. Once cold, bake for around 20 minutes. Let the flapjacks cool down and split into 6 portions – perfect for the whole week!

And what’s even better is that homemade flapjacks are packed with calories. A tasty and healthy treat!

A pint of semi-skimmed milk – 260 calories

Have you heard of the GOMAD diet? It helps people put on weight quickly, by drinking a gallon of milk a day.

Yes, you heard that right. A gallon.

Now… we’re not saying to drink a gallon per day, but instead, a pint. One pint of semi-skimmed milk contains 260 calories, and it’s easy to drink. Enjoy as a mid-morning high calorie snack, or in the evening when you get home before you eat dinner.

A perfect item for number 3 on our best snacks for building muscle list!

Pro Tip: If you’re really struggling to get calories, opt for full-fat milk instead of semi skimmed milk. A pint of full-fat milk contains 375 calories, which is over 100 more than our semi-skimmed example.

Three rice cakes with 30g peanut butter – 275 calories

Buy some plain rice cakes from your supermarket, and top with 10g peanut butter on each one! Peanut butter is delicious and high in calories. If you can’t find plain rice cakes, you could try this with flavoured rice cake. Or, try with wholemeal crackers, Ryvita, oatcakes, or anything similar.

Replace the peanut butter with any other type of butter, if you wish. Almond and cashew butter are both delicious, too! A perfect snack for building muscle that you can make in a couple of minutes!

Smoothies – anywhere from 250 calories to 1000 calories

Our pre workout smoothies article has some great ideas for smoothies. Although this article is predominately filled with lower calorie smoothie recipes, you’ll get some good ideas from here.

Consider adding oats, peanut butter, whey protein, milk, and greek yoghurt to any of our smoothies to get your calories higher for the day.

We love smoothies at Sports Samurai because they can be high in calories and are easy to drink. You can also use fruit or vegetables that are about to go off for some extra calories, and it means less waste. A win-win.

Why not check our selection of gym bags and backpacks?

Pitta bread with hummus – 270 calories

The next item on our list for best snacks for building muscle is pitta bread with hummus. We love this option, and it can be made in minutes. Simply toast or grill the pitta bread, cut it into slices, and serve alongside a healthy portion of hummus. Add a bit of chilli and you’ll feel like you’re at Nandos all over again!

If you’re feeling adventurous, consider making hummus at home. We try to make it ourselves at Sports Samurai when we have the time!

A 50g portion of dark chocolate – 275 calories

If you’re a chocolate lover, this one is for you! When we talk about chocolate, most people think that we’re just being greedy. However, dark chocolate is full of health benefits.

At Sports Samurai, we’re not able to eat 50g in a sitting, but if you can, it’s a great way to increase your calories! If not, consider having a smaller portion after every meal, so you’re still getting 50g in throughout the day.

A cream cheese bagel – 280 calories

Now you’re talking! One cream cheese bagel contains 280 calories, takes minutes to minute, and is mouth-watering. It’s high in calories, and so a perfect addition to our list of best snacks for building muscle.

If you’re getting bored of cream cheese, consider these 8 ways to top a bagel.

Pro Tip: Consider freezing your bagels if you want bagels at hand. Bagels (and bread in general) has a relatively short shelf life. Freezing it can mean you can enjoy bagels anytime you wish as a high calorie snack for building muscle.

Cereal – including granola, Weetabix, Bran flakes, and more – 250 calories to 750 calories

We’ve included cereal in the snacks category. We know some people class cereal as a meal rather than a snack, and we completely understand this.

However, cereal takes literally minutes to make. It can be a perfect snack for building muscle. Simply choose your favourite cereal, top with milk, and enjoy. Consider adding peanut butter, nuts, honey, or other ingredients to increase your calories for the day.

When choosing your cereal, try to opt for wholegrain cereals, rather than cereals full of sugar. These are fine for a one-off if you’re trying to gain weight, but not every day.

A 50g serving of granola mixed with 100g of greek yoghurt – 300 calories

The final item on our best snacks for building muscle list is granola mixed with greek yoghurt. When looking for granola, try to opt for the ones that are lower in sugar. Mix a healthy portion of granola with 100g of greek yoghurt, and you’ll have a quick and easy high calorie snack.

You don’t need to go for low fat yoghurt here – full fat yoghurt contains more calories, which is ideal if your goal is to gain weight. It tastes better too!

If you want, add fruit, seeds, nuts, peanut butter, or honey to this for even more taste and calories. The options are endless.

What snacks help build muscle?

Any of the above 10 best snacks for building muscle will do here. As mentioned above, all of our high calorie snacks are 250 calories or above. Have these, along with your meals to create a calorie surplus. Provided you have a calorie surplus every day, you will gain muscle (and weight).

To note: to build muscle, you also need to do some resistance training. It’s not possible to build muscle otherwise, so ensure you’re doing this.

In summary, our 10 best snacks for building muscle are:

  1. A 50g portion of nuts
  2. Homemade flapjack
  3. A pint of semi-skimmed milk
  4. Three rice cakes with 30g of peanut butter
  5. Smoothies
  6. Pitta bread with hummus
  7. A 50g serving of dark chocolate
  8. A cream cheese bagel
  9. Cereal
  10. A 50g serving of granola mixed with 100g of greek yoghurt


In this article, we’ve gone through our 10 best snacks for building muscle. In order to build muscle, you need to be in a calorie surplus. The reason why these snacks work is that they all contain at least 250 calories, if not more. If you have 2 or 3 of these per day, along with a number of high calorie meals, you’ll be well on your way to weight gain.

Pro Tip: Don’t ignore your meals. It’s important to have high calorie snacks if your goal is to gain weight, but having high calorie meals are just as important (if not more!). Combine the two, and you’ll be well on your way to the muscle growth you’ve always dreamt of.

What did you think of our 10 best snacks for building muscle? Do you have any more you’d like to add to the list? Let us know in the comments section below.


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