Protein is superfuel for your body. It repairs your muscle fibers after a lifting session, providing the raw material that helps them grow bigger when you’re trying to gain size. But besides building muscle, protein helps keep you lean because it’s satiating—so you’re likely to eat less and feel more satisfied. Plus, if you’re trying to lose weight, it helps protect your hard-earned muscle from being used as energy.  

Now, that doesn't mean you have to gnaw on chicken breast or gulp down a carton of raw eggs to get the maximum benefit. Protein powder is an easy and inexpensive way to make sure you're getting enough protein on a daily basis, says Mike Roussell, Ph.D., R.D., and nutrition advisor for Men's Health. Adding it to your favorite snacks after workouts or between protein-rich meals can ignite muscle growth all day and keep the weight off for good, he says. Roussell prefers whey protein powder, but other varieties like casein, soy, or vegetable proteins also work. Keep reading for a list of 6 delicious, muscle-building snacks made with protein powder. 

Part 1


Chia Pudding


1 ripe banana

2 Tbsp protein powder 

1/2 c + 1 Tbsp unsweetened vanilla almond milk

1 1/2 tsp chia seeds

How to make it: Blend together the protein powder, banana, and milk. Stir in chia seeds and let sit until gelled, about 3 hours. Serve plain or with berries on top. Makes 1 to 2 servings.

Source: Alexandra Caspero, R.D., owner of weight management and sports nutrition service


Almond Apple Spice Muffins


2 c almond meal

5 scoops vanilla protein powder

4 eggs

1 c unsweetened apple sauce

1/2 stick butter

1 Tbsp cinnamon

1 tsp all spice

1 tsp cloves

2 tsp baking powder

How to make it: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Melt butter in microwave (about 30 seconds on low heat). Thoroughly mix the butter and the rest of the ingredients in a bowl. Spray muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray or use cupcake liners. Pour mix into muffin tins until they're about 3/4 full. Place tin in the oven and cook for 12 minutes. Yields 12 muffins.


Blueberry Pancakes


2 eggs

1 scoop vanilla protein powder

2 tsp of oat bran or wheat bran

1 handful of blueberries

How to make it: Mix all ingredients thoroughly. Lightly spray a pan or skillet with non-stick cooking spray and set your stove top to medium heat. Scoop 1/4-cup portions of the batter onto the skillet. Cook until small bubbles form in the top of the batter, and then flip and cook for another 2 minutes. Yields approximately 3 pancakes.

Source: Alan Aragon, M.S., Men's Health weight loss coach


Chocolate Balls


8 pitted dates

1 scoop (about 25g) protein powder (can use unflavored powder, or chocolate or vanilla for a sweeter taste)

1/4 c finely chopped peanuts

4 tsp maple syrup

2 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder

How to make it: Combine the dates, protein powder, half of the 1/4 cup of peanuts, maple syrup, and cocoa powder in a food processor. Pulse until combined. The mixture should be slightly sticky so that it can be rolled into a ball. If it's too dry, add another date. If it's too wet, add a bit more peanuts or protein powder. Roll a heaping tsp into a ball and roll in the remaining peanuts. Yields 8 to 10 balls.

Source: Alexandra Caspero, R.D., owner of weight management and sports nutrition service


Banana Walnut Oatmeal


1/3 c rolled oats

1 banana, sliced

1 scoop vanilla protein powder

2 Tbsp chopped walnuts

1 c water

How to make it: Combine water and oats in a bowl, and microwave for 1 to 2 minutes. Stir and let sit for 1 minute. Mix in the protein powder, sliced bananas, and walnuts, and serve. Makes 1 serving.

Source: Mike Roussell, Ph.D., R.D., Men's Health nutrition advisor


Protein Ice Cream Sundae


1 frozen banana

1 c unsweetened vanilla almond milk

1 scoop vanilla protein powder

How to make it: Blend together all ingredients until smooth. Use less almond milk for a thicker consistency or more for a thinner consistency. Add toppings like dark chocolate, shaved almonds, or fruit. Makes 1 serving.

Source: Chris Mohr, Ph.D., R.D., owner of


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