5 Bodybuilding-Approved Canned Foods

Canned foods that are easy to eat and full of muscle-building nutrients.

There is a section of the grocery store that nobody wants to be caught lingering in. No, it’s not the dairy aisle, despite the onslaught of sugary calories it can provide. No, it’s not the bulk aisle, where the temptation to sneak a chocolate-covered almond or two is hard to resist. And it’s definitely not the deli counter where the cute girl slicing up prosciutto has caught your eye. The place in the supermarket where you’re likely to tilt your head down and get in and get out fast is the canned-food aisle. That’s because canned food is considered a last resort when it comes to feeding yourself, worthy of little more than sustenance for college kids or your cat.

But there is no reason why you should be ashamed to pile your grocery cart high with tins. That’s because savvy shoppers know that the right canned food can deliver all the protein you can stomach at budget-friendly prices, not to mention plenty of other surprising nutritional perks to help you get jacked. Also consider canned proteins like beans and fish as your answer to shortcut healthy meals. So raise your head high and push your cart into the darkness with pride on the hunt for these protein heavyweights as you proudly shout: “Don’t damn the can!”


While there is nothing particularly glamorous about chicken stuffed into a can, it’s a great way to load up your sandwiches and salads with protein without needing to turn on the oven. Since canned chicken is, essentially, just chopped-up white meat, it has a stellar protein-to-fat ratio of about 5 to 1, making it a convenient way to help you amass more mass. Inside each can is also a significant amount of selenium. Acting as an antioxidant, selenium may help speed up recovery from your time heaving iron by lessening the muscle cell-damaging effects of exercise-induced oxidative stress.


Look for chicken that is canned in water instead of broth or oil for a cleaner product.



  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 2 tsp fish sauce
  • 1 medium carrot, cut into thin matchsticks
  • 1/2 small English cucumber, thinly sliced
  • 2 (5 oz) cans chicken
  • 1/3 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 2 tsp finely chopped ginger
  • 2 tsp Sriracha chili sauce
  • Juice of 1/2 lime
  • 4 slices sprouted bread, preferably toasted


Whisk together rice vinegar, honey, and fish sauce in a bowl. Add carrot and cucumber. Set aside for 30 minutes. In a separate bowl, stir together chicken, yogurt, cilantro, scallions, ginger, chili sauce, and lime juice. 

Divide chicken mixture between 2 slices of bread and top with vegetables and remaining bread slices.



PROTEIN (g): 43

CARBS (g): 41

FAT (g): 6


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