If you plan to start bodybuilding, effective exercise is undoubtedly important for building and sustaining lean muscle. Losing body fat so these muscles become more visible--and getting adequate nutrition to sustain this--all boils down to cardio and an effective diet, however.
I ran into quite a conundrum when I first started bodybuilding--I could barely afford to buy a package of chicken breasts! I quickly began researching--and frantically searching all the grocery stores in my area--for alternative eats that weren't as expensive. The foods listed below are now my main eats, with plenty of protein and slow-digesting carbs to spare.
If you're on a tight budget, here are some cheap bodybuilding foods you can purchase that won't break your wallet:
5 Cheap Bodybuilding Foods to Get You Ripped
Canned tuna: Canned tuna is a great (and cheap) bodybuilding food because it's rich in protein, low in carbs, and usually very low in bad fats. I like to mix it with a pinch of plain yogurt and chili seasoning for a zesty kick. If you're watching your caloric intake, go for the "light" versions, which contain less than 100 calories per serving. At my local Cub, canned tuna usually sells for $0.70 per can.
Cottage cheese: Cottage cheese is almost the perfect bodybuilding food--not only is it low in carbohydrates, it's packed with muscle-building protein. I prefer to eat this as my last meal, usually with a side of peaches, so that it slowly digests while I'm sleeping, which helps fight late-night hunger pangs. I prefer the cottage cheese sold at Trader Joe's, simply because it's cheaper and tastes better--last week I bought two tubs for around $4.00.
Eggs: You've probably already had this on your grocery list, but eggs serve as a wonderful source of protein (and good fats) if you can't afford lean beef or chicken, making it a great cheap bodybuilding food. If you live near a farmer's market, you can get eggs there for fairly cheap. If you don't, try to locate a local Asian market for great deals. I regularly snag carts of eggs from my local Asian market in St. Paul for around $1.00 each.
Natural peanut butter: Lo and behold my surprise last week when I visited my local Trader Joe's--natural peanut butter currently sells there for under $2.00. As far as peanut butter goes, that's dirt cheap. I love peanut butter because it's rich in good fat, high in protein and has a naturally sweet flavor. Mix it with your post-workout shake, have it with bread for a filling meal, or dip fruit in it to sustain your energy levels. It's the perfect bodybuilding food for staying satisfied.
Potatoes: Although sweet potatoes are generally better for bodybuilders, regular potatoes still contain slow-digesting carbs, which keeps you satisfied. Regular potatoes are always a favorite cheap bodybuilding food of mine because of its versatility--I can cook it as is, slice it into strings for homemade fries, or mix it in the blender for instant mashes potatoes. It always tastes good with a serving of protein, too! I can usually snag a bag of potatoes for around $2.50 at my local Cub, and it usually lasts for a week or more.
Although this isn't an exhaustive list of cheap bodybuilding foods you could possibly purchase, these are the ones I prefer the most, due to taste, cost and its high protein, good fat and carb content.