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Fact checked by Andrew Lenau, ISSA CPT & Sports NutritionistFACT CHECKED
March 29, 2023
One of the hardest things to do to lose weight or eat healthier is cutting out snacking. But what if we had a healthy snack that helps build muscle? Enter protein balls, an easy-to-make snack packed with enough protein, complex carbohydrates, and healthy fats to provide the perfect boost.
In this article, we will teach you everything you need to know about protein balls and give you our 7 best recipes.
Protein Balls, sometimes called power balls, energy bites, or protein bites, combine protein-packed ingredients with a natural sweetener. The protein combination is usually a mix of old-fashioned rolled oats, peanut butter, chia seeds, flax seeds, and protein powder. At the same time, it is usually held together by honey or maple syrup. Many add other items to increase flavor, such as chocolate chips, but the main goal is to create a high-protein healthy snack.
The carbohydrates, protein, and healthy fats make for a perfect snack. Protein balls are great for snacking throughout the day, as a pre-workout or post-workout energy boost, or as a treat for dessert and they don't even count as a cheat meal!
We always like to start with the most basic and simple protein ball mixture, which can be used as is or as a template to build on. This easy no-bake protein balls recipe only takes ten minutes to prepare and requires only four ingredients, with the chocolate chips being optional.
This basic recipe will produce 24 protein balls, each containing roughly 98 calories, 6 grams of protein, 12 grams of carbs, 2 grams of fiber, and 5 grams of fat. This recipe will produce delicious protein balls, but we encourage you to add additional ingredients for flavor and to increase macros.
Note: Feel free to use whatever flavored protein powder you want as a way to increase flavor.
If peanut butter and jelly is the top combination, peanut butter, and chocolate isn't far behind. This delicious recipe takes only 10 minutes to make and has only 100 calories each, making it perfect for a weight-loss diet.
This recipe is designed to create a total of 24 protein balls, each being considered one serving. Each serving contains roughly 104 calories, 5 grams of protein, 10 grams of carbohydrates, and 6 grams of fat. There are also 2 grams of fiber and 3 grams of sugar.
If you love cookies, chocolate, and sweets, this recipe is perfect. These take roughly 20 minutes to make but only require six common ingredients.
This recipe will yield roughly 26 protein balls, each containing about 137 calories, 4 grams of protein, 17 grams of carbs, and 7 grams of total fat. There are also 2 grams of fiber and 10 grams of sugar per serving.
Note: You can increase the protein content by using a full cup of protein powder without needing to adjust the other ingredients.
This delicious recipe tastes so great you will think you're eating real candy. This recipe takes only ten minutes of prep and has roughly 109 calories each. These are the perfect snack or make a great dessert item, especially in a weight loss diet.
This recipe will yield 24 protein balls, each with about 109 calories, 5 grams of protein, 9 grams of carbs, 2 grams of fiber, and 7 grams of fat. Considering how sweet these are, there is also a modest 3 grams of sugar.
Note: Make sure you use chocolate protein powder for this, as most of the almond joy flavor comes from the protein powder.
This recipe might make you think of the Fall, but it's perfect any time of the year. It requires slightly more ingredients than the others, but the decadent pumpkin flavor is worth the extra work.
This recipe will create about 20 pumpkin protein balls, each with about 157 calories, 6 grams of protein, 17 grams of carbs, 9 grams of fat, and 2 grams of fiber. There are also 10 grams of sugar in each.
Note: If your almond butter has salt, you can skip the additional salt.
If you don't have protein powder on hand or prefer not to use it, don't worry because we have the perfect recipe for you. This recipe requires only five ingredients and takes about ten minutes, so you can have delicious protein balls made easily.
This simple recipe will produce 12 protein balls, each containing roughly 200 calories, 6 grams of protein, 16 grams of carbs, 4 grams of fiber, and 13 grams of fat. There are also 7 grams of sugar.
This is for you if you are looking for a gluten-free, vegan-friendly recipe. This low-carb recipe is perfect for a weight-loss diet or for anyone looking for a healthy snack.
This recipe will produce 24 protein balls, each containing 128 calories, 6 grams of protein, 7 grams of carbs, 3 grams of fiber, 10 grams of fat, and 1 gram of sugar.
Note: Check out the best vegan protein powders that you could use in this recipe.
As we briefly mentioned above, we highly encourage you to add other items to your protein balls for added flavor and additional macros. Some of the items to include are:
You can swap certain ingredients and use substitutes:
Note: No need to use a food processor, as the added texture will make the protein balls more enjoyable.
Protein balls can be used in any diet; you just need to know your macros. Protein balls are a great way to help gain muscle, especially during a bulking diet. The body needs a steady flow of protein, carbs, and healthy fats to stay anabolic and build muscle.
Eating these protein balls throughout the day is an excellent way to increase your calories, with most protein balls being around 130 calories each and some as high as 200 calories each. They are also great for both pre-and post-workout to provide the muscles energy. Also, try favoring recipes with high protein and higher carbohydrate content to promote muscle growth.
Protein balls can also be used in meal preparation for weight loss using the correct recipes. To promote weight loss, you need to be at a caloric deficit. Try going for a recipe with fewer calories and fewer carbohydrates, as it's important count macros to lose weight.
There are several low-carb recipes that are around 100 calories in total, which would be perfect for weight loss. You should also avoid adding unnecessary sugars to keep your calories at a minimum.
Yes, protein balls are good for you. They contain healthy ingredients that provide a balanced combination of complex carbohydrates, high-protein content, and healthy fats. However, they should be a snack, not a complete meal.
Each protein ball only contains approximately six to ten grams of protein, so you can comfortably eat three or four if trying to build muscle. If you are on a cutting diet, try eating two to three max a day to keep your calorie count down.
Yes, energy balls are healthy. We are using healthy ingredients without much-added sugars, which are quite healthy. They contain a perfect combination of protein, long-lasting carbohydrates, and healthy fats.
Most recipes have roughly 100-120 calories per energy ball.
If cutting out snacks has been an issue, or you are simply trying to find healthier snacks, protein balls are the perfect treat you have been missing. Protein balls contain a balanced blend of complex carbohydrates, healthy fats, and high-protein content to create a perfect snack for athletes and gym-goers.
Protein balls are great any time of day as a snack or for a boost of energy, either pre- or post-workout. In addition, they can be beneficial in reaching your macros for both weight-loss and muscle-building diets, making them a must-try treat.
Want more protein packed recipes? We have an amazing high protein oatmeal recipe, 5 delicious recipes for homemade protein bars, or if cookies are your thing, then check out the best protein cookies recipes.
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November 30, 2023
November 30, 2023
November 30, 2023
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