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The Best Sources of Lean Bodybuilding Protein

author image Brian East Dean
Brian East Dean is a registered dietitian who has been writing since 2007 on all things nutrition and health. His work has appeared in top health portals around the Web, such as, and in the academic publication "Nutrition Today." He holds a Master of Science in nutrition from Tufts University in Boston.
The Best Sources of Lean Bodybuilding Protein
Egg whites are a top notch source of lean bodybuilding protein. Photo Credit: camacho9999/iStock/Getty Images

Anyone looking to pack on serious amounts of muscle mass should increase their protein intake, ESPN Training Room reports. While sedentary people require .8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight, anyone who spends appreciable time in the weight room needs 1 to 1.5 grams per kilogram.

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However, many sources of bodybuilding protein, like steak and eggs are anything but lean. While they do contain protein, they're also full of fat.

Fortunately, there are a number of lean bodybuilding protein sources for you.

Egg Whites

Egg whites contain a lot of protein.
Egg whites contain a lot of protein. Photo Credit: ziquiu/iStock/Getty Images

Egg whites are a bodybuilding staple--and for good reason. Unlike whole eggs, which contain significant amounts of total and saturated fat, egg whites are completely fat free. About 1/3 of a cup of egg whites, or 100 grams, contains 10 grams of protein and zero grams of fat, reports.

Important for bodybuilders, egg whites are a highly digestible form of protein. The biological value, a measure of how much of the protein in a given food is digested and ultimately utilized by the body, is very high in egg whites, Wageningen University's Food-Info website reports.

Turkey Breast

Turkey breast is high in protein.
Turkey breast is high in protein. Photo Credit: YelenaYemchuk/iStock/Getty Images

When it comes to lunchtime bodybuilding meals, it's hard to top a healthy sandwich with protein-rich lean turkey breast. Turkey breast is a portable, no frills way to get large amounts of complete protein without worrying about fat content. A 4-ounce serving of 98 percent lean turkey breast contains more than 20 grams of protein, reports Besides sandwiches, lean turkey breast goes great on top of pizza, as part of a salad, or even on its own as a high-protein snack. The one downside of turkey breast is that it tends to be very high in salt, which may increase the risk of hypertension in salt-sensitive people. Instead, opt for low-sodium versions of turkey breast.

Chicken and fish can also be good sources of protein when they are lean cuts.


Consider tofu for your next meal.
Consider tofu for your next meal. Photo Credit: novaart/iStock/Getty Images

If you're a bodybuilder who likes to to eat outside the box, then consider tofu as part of your next bodybuilding meal. Rare for a plant, the soybeans that make up tofu are an excellent source of complete protein--meaning that the protein in tofu is ultimately utilized by the body. Four ounce of reduced fat tofu contain more than 10 grams of protein and 4 grams of fat.

Tofu is one of the most versatile sources of lean bodybuilding protein. Try adding tofu to veggie stir fries, as part of soups and stews, or as a meat replacement for grilling.

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