fit man eating protein bar

4 Snacks That’ll Help You Build Muscle

In my perfect world, we’d tote our pre-prepped meals and snacks around in cooler packs all day long. But let’s be real: That reality exists for pretty much no one.

That said, I’m always looking for convenient foods to fuel my body and support my hard-earned muscle. Here, I’m sharing four of my favorite ways to keep my nutrition and gains on-point when I’m on-the-go.

1. Quest Protein Bars

First off, I love how Quest bars taste. (Birthday Cake, Cookies and Cream, and Chocolate Sprinkled Donut are my favorites!)

Related: 9 Easy Ways To Up Your Protein Intake

From a nutrition standpoint, they offer two major perks. Not only do that pack 20-plus grams of high-quality protein to help promote muscle growth and recovery, but they also contain soluble corn fiber, which my team and I tested at my lab, The Applied Science and Performance Institute. We found that, unlike many of the fibers used in protein bars, we truly don’t digest soluble corn fiber. Translation: Quest bars are keto- and low-carb diet-friendly—and keep you full for longer than some of the other guys.

2. Whey Protein Shakes

If you like to mix your whey protein with milk, shakes may not always be the most convenient option. Still, whey protein is the best-of-the-best for promoting muscle growth and I definitely recommend grabbing a whey shake if you need protein in a quick and easy form. 

My favorite whey protein brands are Dymatize and Optimum Nutrition, because both companies use high-quality protein and have tons of great flavors. Dymatize’s Fudge Brownie protein is actually addicting…

3. BCAA Shakes

A BCAA (branched-chain amino acid) shake is another great ‘snack’ when you need a muscle-building boost. BCAAs taste great mixed with water (yeah, even lukewarm water), so I always have them stashed at my desk. 

Related: Are You Taking Your BCAAs At The Right Time?

Though BCAAs don’t necessarily maximize muscle growth by themselves, they can help keep muscle growth rolling between meals. If you have a long window between meals and want to stay in an anabolic (growth) state, I highly recommend them. 

mixed nuts

4. Nuts (Of All Kinds!)

Whether almonds, peanuts, or mixed nuts, nuts are another go-to on my snack list. 

Nuts are easy to pack, so you can just throw them in a baggie and hit the road. Just a few handfuls provide a decent amount of protein, fiber, and healthy fats. (I typically follow a low-carb or keto diet, so getting in those healthy fats throughout the day is crucial!)


Known as ‘The Muscle Ph.D.,’ Dr. Jacob Wilson has a knack for transforming challenging, complex concepts into understandable lessons that can support your body composition and health goals. A skeletal muscle physiologist and sports nutrition expert, Wilson is a leader in muscle sports nutrition. As the CEO of The Applied Science & Performance Institute and researches supplementation, nutrition, and their impact on muscle size, strength, and power.

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