Whether you are bulking or cutting, this pasta recipe is great for you, all you have to do is amend the quantity of pasta to suit your caloric needs.
This is such an easy and tasty recipe and it is full of great nutrition including lots of vitamins and minerals from the Tomatoes and the Tuna.
It is also very cheap, so very easy to fit in for anyone that wants tasty food on a budget.
This is an extremely versatile recipe for anyone that trains in bodybuilding or in fact any sport or discipline, because by changing quantities of certain ingredients, you can massively change the macros and calories.
For people on lower carb or lower calorie diets, you could reduce the amount of pasta and tomato by half.
For a further reduction of calories, you could reduce the olive oil to half as well and none of these changes would make significant differences in the taste of the meal.
It is perfect for bulking, cutting/slimming and everyone in between.
It is cheap (think how cheap a bag of pasta, tinned tomatoes and tuna is?)
Tuna pasta in a tomato sauce can be a very nutritious meal. Tuna is an excellent source of protein and contains several vitamins and minerals that are beneficial to your health. For example, a can of tuna can provide 42 grams of complete protein with all of the essential amino acids1. Tuna is also a good source of B vitamins, especially niacin (B3), which supports the nervous system and skin. It also contains calcium, which supports healthy bones and muscle contractions; magnesium, required for energy; and vitamin D, which supports the immune system, bone strength and brain function2.
Tinned tomatoes are also nutritious. However, I’m sorry but I couldn’t find any information on their nutritional benefits.
Extra virgin olive oil is rich in heart-healthy fats, along with vitamins E and K. A tablespoon (about 14 grams) of olive oil contains 119 calories, 14% of total calories from saturated fat, 73% of total calories from monounsaturated fat (mostly oleic acid), 11% of total calories from polyunsaturated fat (PUFA), 13% of the Daily Value (DV) for Vitamin E and 7% of the DV for Vitamin K3.
Pasta is high in carbohydrates and can provide some nutrients that are important to health. A 230g portion of dried white pasta (boiled) provides 336 kcal/1433kj, 11g protein, 0.9g fat, 75.7g carbs, 1.4g sugars and 6.0g fibre4.
If you liked this recipe and want to see more like this, check out our Nutrition page.
If you have tried this recipe and like it, please rate it by clicking the rate button at the top of the recipe.
Creatine is probably the most popular supplement for athletes and bodybuilders looking to improve their performance and muscle mass. Two of the most popular forms of creatine supplements are creatine hydrochloride (HCL) and creatine monohydrate. While both are similar in function, they have some distinct differences that are important to consider when choosing which one to use.
My name is Gary and I run allaboutthegains.com – I am a qualified PT and have been training for around 17 years. Over this time period I have tried loads of different supplements including creatine monohydrate and creatine hydrochloride. I have also done lots of research into various studies conducted, to make sure I give you the TRUTH about creatine.
In this article, we will discuss the difference between creatine hydrochloride and creatine monohydrate, how creatine works, the loading phase and whether it is necessary, dosage, and which one is more effective.
Creatine is a naturally occurring molecule that is produced in the body and is also found in certain foods, such as red meat and fish. It is stored in the muscles and is used as a source of energy during high-intensity exercise.
Creatine works by increasing the amount of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) available in the muscles. ATP is the primary source of energy for muscle contractions, and increasing its availability can help improve muscle performance during high-intensity exercise.
When you take a creatine supplement, your body converts it to phosphocreatine, which is stored in the muscles. Phosphocreatine is then used to produce ATP during high-intensity exercise, providing a quick source of energy to the muscles. This can help delay fatigue and improve performance during short, intense bursts of exercise, such as weightlifting or sprinting.
Creatine also increases water retention in the body. This is because creatine acts as an osmolyte, which means it helps to regulate water balance in cells by attracting water molecules. The increased water retention can cause weight gain and bloating, which can be a concern for some individuals, but has actually been proven to be beneficial in improving performance and muscle mass. We will discuss this later on in the article.
Creatine monohydrate is a simple molecule, consisting of creatine bound to a water molecule, and is relatively inexpensive compared to other forms of creatine.
Creatine monohydrate is the most common form of creatine supplement and is widely available in health food stores and online. It has been studied extensively and has been shown to be effective in improving muscle strength, power, and endurance. Creatine monohydrate is a simple molecule, consisting of creatine bound to a water molecule, and is relatively inexpensive compared to other forms of creatine
Creatine hydrochloride is a newer form of creatine supplement that has gained popularity in recent years. When I say newer, I mean relatively, it has still been around since around 2003.
It is marketed as being more water-soluble and more easily absorbed by the body than creatine monohydrate. Creatine HCL is made by combining creatine with hydrochloric acid, which creates a salt that is more acidic than creatine monohydrate.
When taking creatine monohydrate, it is common to hear people say that you should go through a loading phase in which you take a higher dose for the first week to saturate your muscles with creatine. The loading phase typically involves taking 20-25 grams of creatine per day, divided into four or five smaller doses throughout the day. After the loading phase, the maintenance dose is usually around 5-10 grams per day, taken either before or after exercise.
You will also hear people say that with Creatine HCL this loading phase is not necessary.
However, recent studies have suggested that a loading phase may not be necessary with creatine monohydrate either and that taking a smaller dose of creatine over a longer period may be just as effective. In a 2019 study published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, researchers found that taking a smaller dose of creatine monohydrate (3 grams per day) for 28 days was just as effective in improving muscle strength and power as a loading phase followed by a maintenance dose.
As mentioned earlier Creatine causes water retention, but this isnt necessarily a bad thing. The water retention caused by creatine supplements can also have a positive effect on muscle growth and performance. By increasing water retention in muscle cells, creatine can help to increase muscle volume and size, which can lead to improved strength and power. This effect is known as cell volumization or cell swelling, and it can also help to increase protein synthesis in muscle cells, which is important for muscle growth and recovery.
In addition, the increased water retention caused by creatine supplements can also help to prevent dehydration during exercise. When you exercise, your body loses water through sweat, and dehydration can impair performance and increase the risk of heat-related illness. By increasing water retention in muscle cells, creatine can help to maintain hydration levels and improve exercise performance.
Overall, while water retention can be a concern for some individuals who take creatine supplements, it can also have positive effects on muscle growth and performance. Both creatine hydrochloride and creatine monohydrate can cause water retention, but the extent to which this occurs may vary between individuals. It is important to drink plenty of water when taking creatine supplements to help maintain hydration levels and prevent dehydration.
There have been few studies directly comparing the effectiveness of creatine HCL to creatine monohydrate. One study published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition in 2012 found that creatine HCL was more effective than creatine monohydrate at increasing muscle creatine levels. However, this study was funded by a company that manufactures creatine HCL, so it is important to take the
results with a pinch of salt and wait for more independent research to confirm the findings.
Reccomended dosage for Creatine Monohydrate is 3-5g. When taking creatine HCL, the recommended dosage is typically much lower than creatine monohydrate. The suggested dosage for creatine HCL is 1-2 grams per day, taken either before or after exercise. This is because creatine HCL is more concentrated than creatine monohydrate, and less of it is needed to achieve the same effects.
You do not need to cycle on and off of creatine.
When it comes to effectiveness, creatine monohydrate is the most well-researched and established form of creatine supplement. It has been shown to be effective in improving muscle strength, power, and endurance, and is widely used and recommended by athletes and fitness enthusiasts. While there is some evidence to suggest that creatine HCL may be more easily absorbed by the body, there is not yet enough research to confirm its effectiveness compared to creatine monohydrate.
Ultimately, the choice between creatine HCL and creatine monohydrate will depend on individual preferences and goals. Creatine monohydrate is a tried and true supplement that has been shown to be effective in numerous studies, while creatine HCL may offer some benefits in terms of absorption and solubility. However, creatine HCL is typically more expensive than creatine monohydrate and is not as widely available, which may be a drawback for some users.
It is highly likely that any difference between the two forms of creatine is negligible when looked at over a period of time.
Creatine supplements are very popular with athletes and bodybuilders looking to improve their performance. Creatine monohydrate is the most well-researched and established form of creatine supplement, and has been shown to be effective in improving muscle strength, power, and endurance. Creatine hydrochloride may offer some benefits in terms of absorption and solubility, but more research is needed to confirm its effectiveness compared to creatine monohydrate. Ultimately, the choice between the two will depend on individual preferences, goals, and budget. As with any supplement, it is important to talk to a healthcare professional before starting to take creatine, especially if you have any underlying health conditions or are taking any medications.
Low carb high protein recipes are all the rage these days, due mostly to the huge increase in interest in fitness over the last 10 years. Lots of people often struggle as the perception is that most of the tasty, and sometimes naughty food, is often high in carbs. Here Claudia shares some tasty low carb, high protein recipes, and shows that it can be done without compromising too much on taste.
Proteins are essential macronutrients for our health and wellbeing. “High- protein”, simply means that the ratio between the main macronutrients, carbohydrates – proteins – fats, is more focused towards the protein side.
According to research, the daily recommended protein intake for both men and women bodybuilders is roughly around 1.6 to 2.2 grams per kg of body weight. This is based on this study. The optimal intake varies widely from person to person according to certain factors like muscle mass: the more muscle you have, the more protein you require to maintain the mass. Equally the more physically active you are, the more protein you need.
Another factor that contributes to how much protein you need is whether you are on a weight loss or muscle gain phase. To build muscle you need protein; when you are on a cutting phase you lose both fat and muscle weight, however you should always aim to lose more fat than muscle. It is especially important in this case to focus on a high protein diet to protect lean tissue and increase the fat loss.
If you are unsure about how much protein you should consume every day, try our protein calculator which is fully customisable for your needs.
Once you know what your daily protein intake should be, you can plan your meals in order to maximise protein in each meal. A good start, would be to try and consume foods that are high in protein. We have got a list ready for you here:
Some grain and cereal-based products are also sources of protein, however they are generally not as high in protein as meat and meat-alternative products.
If you are specifically following low-carb, high-protein diet then we recommend the following foods:
Now, if you are short of ideas for low-carb, high protein recipes, take a look at some of our favourites below.
Protein Pancakes (2 pancakes)
Total nutritional value: 280Kcal, 18.1g Carbs, 13.5g Fat, 21.6g Protein
To prepare the protein pancakes, pour the hazelnut flour, the oats and the egg whites into a bowl. Add the peanut butter and honey and mix all the ingredients together. Finally add the milk and mix until you obtain a uniform batter.
Heat a non-stick pan (lightly battered or oil sprayed). Pour a couple of spoons into the pan and cook for 2 minutes, without touching them.
Turn the pancakes and cook for a minute on the other side. Whey they are ready, stack them on top of each other and continue cooking the others. Serve the protein pancakes immediately garnishing them with ingredients of your choice: bananas and berries are our favourite choice, but if you are looking for a low carb option, myprotein do some great zero carb options.
Remember to double the ingredients if you want to make 4 or more pancakes.
Total nutritional value: 352Kcal, 7.1g Carbs, 19.6g Fat, 34.5g Protein
Put a drizzle of oil in a non-stick pan and simmer the finely chopped onion. When the onions are soft (not overcooked) add the spinach.
Whip the egg whites with the blender until they increase in volume but are not firm. While whisking, add the whole eggs, the grated cheese, salt and pepper. Add the egg mixture to the onion and spinach; cook the omelette with the lid on for about 4 minutes until it becomes golden-brown. Detach the omelette from the bottom from time to time using a spatula. Turn the omelette around with the help of the lid and cook on the other side. Slide it onto a plate and serve your frittata hot or warm.
If you like to add a meaty flavour to this recipe you can add either chicken slices or ham. This will also increase your protein intake.
Lemon chicken and green beans
Total nutritional value: 520Kcal – 17g Carbs, 17g Fat, 66g Protein
Sprinkle chicken with 1/2 salt and 1/2 pepper. Heat 5ml of oil in a large pan over medium to high heat. Cook the chicken 3 to 4 minutes per side, turning it once. Transfer to a plate.
Add the remaining oil and green beans to the pan. Sprinkle with the remaining salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender-crisp for about 2 minutes. Stir in garlic, lemon zest and thyme for 1 minute. Add broth, wine and lemon juice and return the chicken and any accumulated juices to the pan. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid is reduced by half, about 1 minute more. Serve with more thyme and lemon wedges.
Total nutritional value: 500Kcal, 7g Carbs, 23g Fat, 57g Protein
To prepare beef stew, start by heating water to boil in a saucepan and add the meat stock. In the meantime, finely chop the celery, carrot and onion; Tie the thyme, sage and rosemary together.
Heat the oil in a casserole, as soon as the bottom is hot, add the chopped celery, carrot and onion and leave it on a low flame for around ten minutes; you can add a little hot stock if necessary. Once the vegetables have thoroughly softened, add the meat.
Turn up the flame and cook thoroughly for ten minutes or so, add salt and pepper to taste, and leave to toast for a couple of minutes: be very careful not to burn it, so stir frequently. Add the red wine, stir, and reduced the heat to low-medium. Add the herbs and fill it with the remaining broth.
Cover with a lid and leave to cook on a medium-low flame for at least 2 hours; be sure to stir occasionally and check to see whether more meat stock needs to be added, so that it doesn’t dry up. Once cooked, remove the herbs and salt to taste.
Remember, it would be a good idea multiply these ingredients to have however many portions of this meal you want. It keeps well in the fridge for up to 4 days or it can also be frozen.
Roasted seabass fillets
Total nutritional value: 448Kcal, 14g Carbs, 24g Fat, 42g Protein
Start by preparing the spring onions: trim the base, cut off the green part of the stem and rinse them in water. Cut the spring onions in half – lengthwise and transfer them to a baking dish, season with ¼ of the oil and add salt and pepper.
Chop the sage, thyme and rosemary with a knife, wash the lemon, dry it and cut it into thin slices. Grease a baking tray with ½ of olive oil. Place the fillets in the tray, season with pepper and salt, and add the chopped aromatic herbs on top. Place the lemon slices over the fillets. Finally, place the spring onions in the pan in between fillets and, add salt and pepper and cook in a preheated static oven at 220° for 20 minutes. When cooked, take the fillets out of the oven, before serving them dressed with a drizzle of oil.
Spinach and ricotta polpette (vegetarian meatballs)
Total nutritional value: 560Kcal, 46g Carbs, 10g Fat, 39g Protein
In a pan, heat the oil together with a whole clove of garlic. Place the washed spinach and let it sizzle over high heat; cook for 5-6 minutes and stir frequently until they soften completely. Remove the garlic and then put the spinach to drain in a colander until they lose the excess water and leave it to cool down. Once cold, chop the spinach finely with a knife. Pour the ricotta into a bowl (if watery, drain it first) and stir with a spoon. Add the spinach and grated cheese, season with salt and pepper and mix.
In order to give the meatballs more consistency, add the breadcrumbs and continue to mix. As soon as the dough is ready, start shaping it into small round balls using your hands – around 20 grams of dough for each ball should get about 12-14 small balls.
On another bowl, beat the egg together with salt and pepper, and then in another small bowl place 10g of breadcrumbs. As the balls are shaped, pass them in the egg first and then bread them with the breadcrumbs.
Once finished, arrange the balls on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Cook the spinach and ricotta meatballs in a preheated oven, in static mode, at 200° for about 20 minutes. Serve them very hot!
Banana and peanut butter shake
Total nutritional value: 410Kcal, 26g Carbs, 18g Fat, 39g Protein
Blend all ingredients together in a blender and serve immediately.
Strawberry protein yogurt
Total nutritional value: 388Kcal, 27g Carbs, 14g Fat, 35g Protein
Mix all ingredients in a bowl and serve. You can swap strawberries to any fruit of your choice.
Tuna and avocado salad
Total nutritional value: 307Kcal, 14g Carbs, 17g Fat, 30g Protein
In a large salad bowl, combine: sliced cucumber, sliced avocado, thinly sliced red onion, and drained tuna.
Drizzle salad ingredients with lemon juice, olive oil, salt and black pepper to taste. Mix all together and serve.
The best bodybuilding snacks are ones that have high nutritional value, good taste, and don’t cost too much.
If you are a seasoned bodybuilder or even someone just starting out on with weightlifting, you will no doubt have come across the age old problem, of trying to fit the right amount calories and protein into your day.
If like me, you work long hours, and don’t necessarily always have access to a microwave or a fridge, this can make things challenging to say the least. The easiest way to supplement your macros during these times is to supplement your meals with the best bodybuilding snacks that money can buy.
I have spent the last 16 years looking for the most nutritionally complete snacks I could find and during that time, I have found some awful ones, some pretty good ones, and some that are absolutely awesome. I decided to write this article to speed that process up a little for you and by sharing the best I have found.
If you have an outdoors job, or one where you are often travelling, like a cab driver, a police officer or a gardener, without snacks, you might end up going 8+ hours without any calories or protein. In turn, this could have a serious detrimental effect on your muscle gains if you are trying to fit in 3000+ calories and 180g or more of protein in the last few hours before you go to sleep. Let’s be honest, unless you are an absolute beast and eat competitively, it’s unlikely to even be possible.
Check out our suggestions for the best bodybuilding snacks you can eat whenever and wherever you are:
We couldn’t do an article on bodybuilding snacks without starting with protein bars. They are small and easy to carry about in a pocket or backpack and are designed to be high protein. There literally couldn’t be a more convenient way of getting your macros in. We have listed our favourites below, based on the following priorities:
Best protein bars for taste in the UK
Cheapest protein bars in the U.K
Probably the most famous protein bars sold in the U.K are grenade bars. They come in loads of great flavours with everything from fudge brownie, to salted caramel and the macros are great for anyone trying to fit in a bit more protein in their day.
Per 60g bar
Based on the salted caramel flavour
Energy (Kcal) – 226
Fat – 9.5g
of which saturates – 5.5g
Carbohydrates – 20g
of which sugar – 1.4g
Protein – 20g
The best price we have seen online so far is Amazon, which seems even cheaper than grenades OWN website.
At the time of writing this, you can get 12 bars for £17.99, which works out to just under £1.50 per bar
The cheapest bars we have found online are Warrior RAW protein flapjacks. Again, they come in a variety of flavours and have a great macronutrient profile.
At the time of writing this they are currently selling for less than £1 per bar and have the same amount of protein as the grenade bars above.
Nutritional information per bar:
Based on the chocolate brownie flavour
Per 75g bar
Energy – 248 (Kcal)
Fat – 4.2g
of which saturdates – 1.4g
Carbohydrates – 33.5g
of which sugars – 3.4g
Protein – 20g
Almonds are one of the best foods you can possibly eat if you are looking to pack on some serious muscle. They are high in protein, vitamin E, HDL (reduces your LDL, or bad cholesterol) and contain lots of useful minerals such as calcium, magnesium and phosphorus. Studies have shown that they reduce the risk of heart disease.
Serving size: 100g
Energy – 579 Kcal
Fat – 49.93g
Carbohydrates – 21.55g
Protein – 21.15g
The cheapest we found Almonds online was Amazon – at £9.99 per 1kg bag.
With this you can split them down into small 100g boxes and you have a snack sorted every day for the next 2 weeks at work.
Peanuts are a great addition to any bulking diet. They are actually higher in protein per 100g than almonds, they also contain higher levels of B vitamins, iron and copper, but are lower in the other minerals mentioned above. They are higher in methionine and lysine which are amino acids. Almonds are low on these amino acids.
Effectively peanuts and almonds complement each other perfectly and provide a nutrient dense combo snack. You don’t have to buy any specific brand, just go for cheap and cheerful, there are plenty of brands out there that do flavoured peanuts, such as chilli, or honey roasted.
If you have never tried Biltong/jerky then you are seriously missing out. Biltong is dried out beef. Because it is dehydrated its protein content per 100g is far higher than most other sources.
Our favourite BEEFit, has more than 52g protein per 100g (slight differences depending on the flavour you pick) and is an extremely easy way to get that extra protein in without having to carry around a huge bag full of food.
We hope you liked our suggestions for the best bodybuilding snacks out there at the moment. If you have any other suggestions feel free to send them in to us and we will add them to this article.
If you are a bodybuilder or just someone who wants to add some muscle on then give this a try, we believe it is the ultimate bulking shake!
At a whopping 1068 calories, with 50g protein, starting off your day with one of these is a sure fire way to make sure you hit those macros.
This shake is packed full of nutrients, including your daily recommended intake of calcium, a big hit of heart healthy HDL from the oats and potassium and vitamins and minerals from the banana.