Consuming high protein foods regularly throughout the day is essential for bodybuilders as well as anyone who wants to achieve a great body. The problem is though high protein foods are often quite expensive, making it difficult for many people to afford them.
However, there are some good-quality high protein foods that can fit into almost anyone’s budget, which means providing your body with the building blocks it needs to build muscle and function optimally is easily within your reach!
I recently visited my local supermarket and found the prices for the most cost-effective high protein foods.
Also, we will determine the value of the high protein food based on it providing 40 grams of protein, which is roughly what many bodybuilders aim to have in each of their meals during the day.
Here are the most cost-effective high protein foods for bodybuilders on a budget:
1. Free-range eggs
The free range eggs were $4.25 for a dozen. Since one whole egg contains approximately 6.5 grams of protein you will need to have 6 eggs to get close to the 40 grams of protein. This means that the cost of 40 grams of protein from whole eggs will be about $2.12. Of course, if you have standard eggs instead of free-range eggs it is likely to be cheaper.
The other drawback of consuming whole eggs is the fat content. 6 whole eggs have around 30 grams of fat, which is too much for a single meal.
Therefore, if you remove the yolks (to remove the fat), the protein content also decreases so you’re going to need to eat more eggs, which increases the cost.
Here in Australia there are selected supermarkets that do sell egg whites in a carton and these may be a better alternative. For more information , please visit: Golden Eggs. These cost around $7.00 for 950mls. A little under 400mls is required to provide 40 grams of protein, which means it cost around $2.94.
The large tins of tuna is springwater were on special and cost $4.69 per 425 grams. Since 160 grams of tuna provides around 40 grams of protein it works out at about $1.76.
Tuna is very low in fat and does not contain any carbohydrate unless you buy the tins of flavoured tuna.
3. Cottage Cheese
Low-fat cottage cheese cost $3.29 per 500 grams. Since around 250 grams provides the 40 grams of protein the cost works out to be $1.65.
Cottage cheese is a great source of casein (slow-release protein) and glutamine. Therefore, it is a great protein option for a pre-sleep meal.
However, since cottage cheese is quite high in sodium it is best to avoid it in the days leading up to a competition.
4. Whey Protein
Whey protein is the gold standard of proteins. Prices vary quite considerably based on the type of whey protein, any additional ingredients it may have, and how much the company spends on marketing!
Nevertheless, as a very ‘ball-park figure’ you’re probably going to spend around $25 per kilogram (2.2pouinds) if you buy it in bulk.
Since approximately 50 grams of an average whey protein powder will contain 40 grams of protein, the cost works out to be $1.25, which is pretty cheap!
There are many benefits to using a whey protein, suffice to say it contains virtually no fat or carbohydrate, has high amounts of the valuable branched-chain amino acids, and is in a pre-digested for so it makes an ideal post-exercise protein source.
Beans have always been the number one source of protein for vegetarians. They are available in tins for $1.06 per 400 grams. Since they provide 6.5 grams of protein per 100 grams you’re going to have to eat about 1.5 tins in order to get your 40 grams of protein!
Whilst it is cost-effective at $1.59 and does provide you with a very good amount of soluble fibre, it will probably take you a while to eat it, does come with a stack of carbohydrates (87 grams!), and still doesn’t provide all of your amino acids, since it is an incomplete protein source.
The local butcher near the supermarket sells mutton, which is old sheep meat. It may be a little bit tough but it is relatively lean and if you cook it in a casserole or stew it is fine. Alternatively, you can get them to mince it up for you at no additional charge.
Best of all, it is really cheap! It costs around $6.00 for a kilogram! Since around 200 grams of it provides 40 grams of protein it works out to be $1.20 per serve, which is the cheapest of all of the protein sources covered here!
Personally, I like to eat food rather than rely too much on shakes so mutton works out to be pretty good value if things are tight for you financially.
So there you have it! The best protein sources for bodybuilders on a budget. Now there’s no excuse why you can’t get all the protein your body needs every day to help you grow!
For more protein sources, please watch this video: