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Build Muscle on a Budget! Top 10 High Protein Foods

You need at least 1g protein per pound of body-weight per day to maintain and build muscle. If you weigh 70kg/155lbs, that’s 155g protein per day. When you’re looking to build muscle, burn fat, and boost your metabolism, adding more protein to your diet is a prime resolution. And while the recommended dietary allowance for protein remains at 56 grams for men and 46 grams for women per day, research shows that upping your intake may be more beneficial for your body goals. The easiest way to get this amount is to eat whole protein with each meal.


Some of you are on a tight budget, still student, living in expensive cities or just frugal. These can make it hard to get the protein you need to build muscle. This post will show you the 10 cheapest sources of protein to build muscle.

  1. Canned Tuna Fish is a fantastic source of protein and the canned version is no exception.

If fresh fish is too expensive for your budget, canned tuna is an excellent way to boost your protein intake without breaking the bank.

Most brands of tuna cost around $1 per 5-ounce (142-gram) can.

Although a 3-ounce (85-gram) serving only contains around 99 calories, it includes about 20 grams of high-quality protein

Additionally, tuna is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, which help fight inflammation in the body

Don’t worry about the mercury: 1 can chunk light tuna per day is safe.

  1. Whole Eggs. 7g protein/egg. are one of the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet, and are very affordable with an average price.

Not only are they full of vitamins, minerals and healthy fats, but they are also packed with protein. One large egg contains 6 grams.

Adding eggs to your diet is a great way to increase your protein intake and may also help you reduce your calorie intake and lose weight.

Several studies have shown that having eggs for breakfast helps keep hunger in check by causing you to eat fewer calories throughout the day. This can, in turn, help you lose weight.

Lower your body fat rather than throwing the yolk away if you have bad cholesterol. Dietary cholesterol isn’t bound to blood cholesterol, and the yolk contains half the protein and vitamins A/D/E.

  1. Whey.Adding whey protein powder to your diet is a convenient and affordable way to boost your protein intake.

Whey protein has been thoroughly researched for its beneficial role in weight loss and its ability to increase muscle mass and strength.

On average, one scoop (28 grams) of whey protein powder provides an impressive 20 grams of protein.

Whey protein powder can be added to smoothies, baked goods and other recipes for an extra dose of protein.

1 scoop ON whey for example,  is 24g protein/30g serving. At 2 scoops/day, a 10lbs bag will last 10 weeks. You don’t get cheaper than this. But don’t rely on whey only because it’s cheaper. Vary your protein intake.

  1. Ground Beef. 25g protein/100g. Buy 80% ground beef and rinse the fat if lean beef is too expensive. You can reduce the fat content by as much as 50%.
  2. Milk30g protein/liter milk. Although some people are intolerant of milk and other dairy products, it is an affordable source of highly absorbable protein for those able to digest it.

One cup (244 grams) of whole milk contains over 8 grams of highly absorbable protein, along with loads of vitamins and minerals.

It is especially high in the minerals calcium and phosphorus, which help keep bones strong and healthy.

If you’re a skinny guy, want to gain weight fast and don’t bother gaining some fat, drink 1 gallon raw milk per day. Don’t worry about the saturated fat. Stay away from milk if you want to lose fat.

  1. Frozen Chicken Breast25g protein/100g, Chicken breast is one of the most popular protein-rich foods.

If you eat it without the skin, the majority of calories in it come from protein. Chicken breast is also very easy to cook, and tastes delicious if you do it right.

Protein content: 80% of calories. 1 roasted chicken breast without skin contains 53 grams, with only 284 calories.

7.Peanut butterLong a favorite of hungry bodybuilders, peanut butter is a tasty, filling way to get protein (albeit with lots of fat along with it.) It may not match the amount of protein in a giant turkey leg, but at eight grams of protein per serving, it provides an economical way for those on a shoestring budget to get their fill. Just prioritize peanut butters that don’t include huge amounts of palm oil, which is used as an emulsifier but adds unnecessary saturated fat to the mix.

  1. OatsOats are a hearty, gluten-free grain that is very inexpensive.

They also happen to be much higher in protein than other grains. A 1/2-cup (78-gram) serving provides 13 grams of protein. Oats are high in vitamins and minerals, plus contain a type of soluble fiber called beta-glucan.

  1. Beans.Everyone knows beans are typically low in cost and high in nutritious fiber, but they’re also loaded with protein. Depending on the type of bean, protein amounts range from about 15 to 25 grams per cup.

They are high in fiber, magnesium, potassium, iron, folate, copper, manganese and various other nutrients. Due to the high amounts of protein and fiber that they contain, black beans make you feel full and are excellent for weight loss.

  1. Sunflowers seeds are a great source of protein, at approximately 19g protein per 100g, but they are also incredibly high in fats. The fats in these seeds are good fats, but they should mainly be considered as a protein and fat source when you’re attempting to gain quality weight.


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