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Fact checked by Andrew Lenau, ISSA CPT & Sports NutritionistFACT CHECKED
January 07, 2023
Protein, in combination with strength training, is often the top priority when it comes to building muscle. Carbs and fat, however, also play a role in your body's ability to pack on mass.
A great dish that combines the best of all three macros is high protein oatmeal. Packed with slow-digesting complex carbohydrates to fuel your body, protein to repair your muscles, and healthy fats to energize you and support cell function, high protein oatmeal may just be the perfect meal.
Now, if you're thinking of basic oatmeal, the first thing that comes to mind may be a food with a bland concrete-like consistency and zero protein. But that doesn’t have to be the case! There are many tips and tricks to load your oatmeal with extra protein and make it taste like a sweet dessert or a savory treat.
Let's get into the best high protein oatmeal recipes, so you can satiate your stomach, muscles, and tastebuds simultaneously! This article will discuss:
Unless you've discovered some great recipes like the ones we're featuring here today, oatmeal typically doesn't elicit favorable emotions from many people. In fact, when we say oatmeal, you may instantly imagine bland oatmeal cookies, quaker oats boxes, instant packets, or the plain old, sludge-like breakfast food.
Oatmeal describes the preparation of oats. Whole rolled oats are what people typically think of when the breakfast staple is mentioned. These oats are rolled flat and steamed to make them cook faster. Quick oats are essentially the same thing, but they cook even quicker since they are ground up. Steel-cut oats are raw oats that are cut into smaller chunks.
Nutritionally, they are all similar and low on the glycemic index. The only differences are small things like cook times, taste, and cost. Instant oats are by far the worst choice. They are cut up small and filled with additives that give them a high glycemic index and lots of sugar, which is not what we are after.
In their simplest form, oats are cooked and served as hot cereal, sometimes with fruit to add taste and sweetness. And since oats are slow-digesting carbs, they will provide you with a steady stream of energy throughout the day. Compare this to something like a cookie, which will give you a quick crash due to its high glycemic index.
In its original form, oatmeal is very low in fat, making it a perfect meal to eat before a workout. Alternatively, you can also add in healthy fats to ensure you're creating a well-rounded and filling meal. Just keep in mind that the more fat it contains, the more it slows digestion down. So plan your pre and post-workout meals accordingly!
Not only will oats provide you with great energy and no crash, but they are also packed with fiber, iron, and magnesium, which support digestion, blood cell health, and prevent muscle cramps. Plus, you can add oats to everything from protein cookies to protein shakes, making them ultra versatile.
Now, if you're wondering "is oatmeal high in protein?", the answer is no, not by itself. And that's where a delicious protein oats recipe comes into play.
First things first! Let's get into a protein-packed oats recipe that will quickly become your go-to. After the recipe, we will also discuss strategies for including more protein in your oatmeal and a few more great recipes, including an overnight oats recipe that's ideal for meal prep.
Our featured recipe is a chocolate protein oatmeal, which tastes like super sweet high protein oatmeal cookies in breakfast form. This is our favorite oatmeal protein breakfast as it tastes like dessert, yet is still packed with nutritious ingredients designed to help you build muscle.
The recipe's stellar macronutrients make this protein powder oatmeal perfect to start your day, fuel a workout, or recover from one afterward. Adding extra fruit on top will add some more carbs and increase the macros to a 2:1 carb-to-protein ratio.
If you are eating this before a workout, give yourself 1-2 hours beforehand to let it digest enough that you don’t have any stomach issues during your session. And good news for those following a vegan bodybuilder diet! Avoid adding yogurt to the top of your oats, and this recipe is completely plant-based.
It's important to note that if you alter the ingredients in this high protein oats recipe, it'll likely affect the macros breakdown we've included. Just something to keep in mind if you're macros counting this oatmeal with protein recipe.
Keep an eye out for the recipe card after the ingredients, directions, and nutrition information. Save it to your phone or computer, and you'll have it for easy reference the next time a protein oatmeal craving strikes!
Nutrition Information: 419 calories, 39g carbs, 29g protein, 15g fat, 11g fiber
Before you prepare an oatmeal high protein dish, you'll need to stock up on the necessary ingredients. You don't need all of these items, so pick your favorites, whether you're partial to high protein nuts and seeds or like more creaminess with Greek yogurt or cottage cheese.
There are plenty of ways to boost the protein in your oats. Take a look at these strategies for making oatmeal with high protein. It's also helpful to know how much protein you need daily to build muscle, so you know how much to target per meal.
One of the easiest ways to make a high protein oatmeal breakfast is to use milk instead of water when cooking your oatmeal. At almost 9 grams per cup, milk immediately boosts the protein count without adding a ton of sugar or fat to your meal.
If dairy isn’t your thing, try adding soy milk, which still adds around 6 grams of protein per cup.
Greek yogurt is one of our favorite foods for muscles, containing up to 18 grams of protein per 3/4 cup serving. This adds some serious protein to your oatmeal and gives it a creamier consistency, so it doesn’t taste like you’re eating cement.
Not to mention greek yogurt has many flavor options, which your tastebuds will certainly appreciate as you dig into your oatmeal high in protein.
This is the easiest way to bump up the protein content, as most powders add around 25 grams of protein per scoop. Countless flavor choices can help create oatmeal that tastes like birthday cake, a girl scout cookie, and cookie dough.
Just keep an eye on the fat content, as some of the tastier protein powders may have more fat than you are looking to add.
Check out these best protein powders to find one to include in your oats!
If you are someone who loves eggs as a breakfast staple, making egg white oatmeal is an easy way to get an extra 6 grams of protein per egg per serving. We love adding egg whites to our bulking breakfasts! And, using egg whites eliminates the fat, if you prefer low-fat meal options.
You can add them once your healthy protein oatmeal is cooked, and it will cook the egg into a creamy consistency, or you can add a poached or fried egg on top of your oatmeal to give it a savory taste.
Cottage cheese is a great bulking food. It also enables you to make the best protein oatmeal by giving your oats a creamy consistency. One cup of cottage cheese will add 19 grams of protein and tons of flavor to your oatmeal.
Pair this with some of your favorite fruit, like strawberries or blueberries, and you’ll have a fantastic muscle-building breakfast. It tastes as good as instant oatmeal and is way better for you.
Great news for peanut and almond butter lovers! Nut butter is a great veggie protein source that adds at least 6 grams of protein per serving. Nut butter will add significantly more fat to your meal, but remember, it’s the healthy kind.
It also will make your oatmeal much thicker if that’s your desired consistency. If you do add some nut butter, give yourself some extra time before your workout to let the fats digest.
Seeds or nuts are good healthy fat sources, and some are also high in protein. For example, hemp or pumpkin seeds can add up to 9 grams of protein per serving.
Ingredients like almonds or sunflower seeds are closer to 6 grams of protein per serving.
Make sure your oats have plenty of protein by including some of these delicious ingredients.
Whether you're in the mood for a sweet dessert-like bowl of oats or one that's far more savory, these two recipes have one important thing in common: They're high in protein and super delicious! These recipes are the perfect complement to any workout split.
This high protein oatmeal recipe is packed with sweet, wholesome ingredients! And the variations are endless. Add more fruit, replace the cottage cheese with Greek yogurt, or add some protein powder for more protein and flavor.
This recipe is a must for any meal plan for muscle gain.
Nutrition Information: 423 calories, 17g fat, 51g carbs, 8g fiber, 21g protein
With a poached egg and vegetables, this fiber and protein-packed oats recipe will satisfy your stomach and tastebuds. Feel free to get creative with the veggies you add - almost any will work. It's even savory enough to enjoy as a high protein lunch!
Nutrition Information: 409 calories, 15g fat, 45g carbs, 5g fiber, 24g protein
High protein meal prep recipes are the best. And overnight oats are a fast, easy way to prepare breakfast ahead of time. Instead of cooking them, combine them in a bowl and stir or blend them, placing them in the fridge overnight.
In the morning, you'll have a delicious pudding-like high protein overnight oats dish that is just as easy as an instant packet and packed with much better ingredients.
They are generally eaten cold from the refrigerator, but you can also heat them when you're ready to eat. You could even make 7 jars at one time, one for each day of the week, with minimal prep time.
This is a basic overnight oats recipe, but it certainly gets the job done. And did we mention it also fits into a vegan diet? You can play around with the toppings for some delicious variety. Try adding fruit, honey, maple syrup, molasses, nut butter, or fruit spreads.
You could also sub in greek yogurt or cottage cheese for the protein powder for a different consistency and taste. And remember, when adding protein powder to your oats, invest in a good protein powder that will taste delicious, like these pea protein powders or hemp protein supplements.
Oatmeal is far more than an ingredient for semi-bland cookies or a mediocre porridge-like dish. Whether you are making a sweet dessert like protein oatmeal, a savory dish topped with eggs, or simple overnight oats, oatmeal has a definite place in every lifter's diet.
Whether you choose to eat them for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, high protein oatmeal should become one of your go-to meals for supporting muscle hypertrophy. Now all you need is an effective workout program to pair with it!
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September 21, 2023
September 21, 2023
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