Tips and ideas for high-protein snacks

Preparing quick and healthy snacks isn’t difficult, but you need to know how to choose the right ingredients to balance out the protein you want to use. There are proteins that increase muscle mass but also proteins that can help you lose weight without sacrificing flavor.

Protein is essential for our physical wellbeing and it is important to wake up knowing what to eat for breakfast  in order to face the new day in the right mood and with the necessary energy.

Starting the day with savory food is a good habit and one that also allows us to strike the right balance between saturated and unsaturated fats. A slice of toast with a drizzle of Carli Extra Virgin Olive Oil accompanied by seasonal fruit is the best way to activate the metabolism in the morning.

While there are many benefits to a rich and varied breakfast, our mid-morning and afternoon snacks are just as important, even if we are no longer growing children. A snack break is useful for filling the stomach between main meals, supplementing the energy intake of those who do sport and improving the balance of our diets.

Protein snacks for athletes

Protein is really important to athletes because of its structural function and the way it contributes to muscle development. The vast array of energy bars on the market shouldn’t obscure the fact that there are many protein snacks we can make with our own hands.

There is no magic recipe for increasing muscle mass but if you are going through a period of heavy training it is always a good idea to get the right amount of protein in order to strengthen your muscles and help you deal with physical exertion. It is therefore important to follow a balanced and varied diet but, to avoid metabolic overload, be sure to include protein by carefully choosing your foods.

pancake with blueberries and honey

Here, then, is how to make a high-protein snack for athletes:

  • Pancake with Extra Virgin Olive Oil Fruttato
  • Wholegrain sandwich with lettuce and a low-fat cold meat like bresaola.
  • Greek yogurt with our Pitted Olives and a pinch of turmeric.

As for actual training, while it is a good idea to consume the right amount of carbohydrates before working out, it is also important to pay attention to what you eat after exercising in order to prevent brain fog, restore lost energy and help rebuild muscle tissue, preventing the onset of annoying cramps.

Protein snacks for losing weight

Having a snack between meals is always a good idea, particularly if you are on a weight-loss diet and have to stay disciplined at mealtimes. To avoid sitting down to lunch or dinner on an empty stomach, you can alternate light but filling snacks that won’t tip the balance.

What are the best snacks for those on diets? Here are a few ideas suitable for all seasons:

  • A low-fat or fat-free yogurt, preferably plain and made from goat’s milk
  • A portion of cottage cheese
  • One cooked egg white
  • A slice of roast beef
  • A small portion of Grana Padano PDO cheese
  • A few peanuts (ideal portion: 0.9 - 1 oz per day)
  • An apple

Although the idea of eating vegetables to sate your hunger in the middle of the morning or the afternoon may not appeal at first, it is an option worth reconsidering. Carrots, celery, fennel and tomatoes are easily portioned and can be taken to work and wherever else you go. Another superfood worth remembering is cabbage, in all its many forms: this should form part of any balanced diet because of its health benefits.

How to make a high-protein snack at home?

Making your own protein and granola bars is much easier than it sounds and, as well as saving money, you will also benefit in terms of flavor by being able to choose your favorite ingredients.

Homemade energy bars

Ingredients for 4 bars:3.5 oz honey, 1.5 oz oatmeal, 0.7 oz puffed rice, 0.4 oz pumpkin seeds, 0.2 oz dried fruit.


Pour the oatmeal into a bowl and add all the other dry ingredients one at a time: puffed rice, pumpkin seeds and your favorite dried fruit. Mix and incorporate each ingredient individually. Heat the honey over a low heat until it becomes liquid. Pour the warm honey over the cereal, stirring carefully to amalgamate all the ingredients. Let the mixture stand for a few minutes while you line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Pour the contents of the bowl onto the parchment paper with the help of a spoon and flatten the mixture so it takes the shape of the baking sheet. Cook in a pre-heated oven at 350°F for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and leave to cool completely. Once it has cooled, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 12 hours. All that’s left to do is to slice up the block with a smooth-edged knife, trying to make sure it doesn’t crumble it as you cut it into bars.

What are the best quick protein snacks to prepare?

Bruschetta with cherry tomatoes and tuna

Finally, a few ideas for last-minute protein snacks. Having a well-stocked pantry and a weekly food plan will help you guarantee variety and maximum flavor:

And, talking of fish, one last piece of advice: in general, oily fish is high in protein and rich in Omega 3 so products like our Mackerel Fillets in Olive Oil represent a real superfood for both athletes and non-athletes alike.