Getting The Nutrition You Need On Your Parent's Budget!

Find out how to put on twenty pounds of lean muscle in under three months. Find how to eat healthy and cheap!
As a teenager, bodybuilding becomes particularly hard. Hard because of the work, hard because of the time spent in the gym, hard because of the soreness you feel the next day. Well, yes. However, that is not the hardest aspect of bodybuilding at such a young age.

I am currently 14. My parents do not indulge my efforts to become ripped. If I drink too many bottled waters, they stop buying them. If I eat too much of a particular food quickly, they stop buying it. We even have daily fights about supplementation with things that I know have no ill effect (protein, amino acids, etc.). Yet, even with all this against myself, the hardest part of bodybuilding is nutrition. Finding the right foods that satisfy your hunger and your parents' budget is extremely difficult.

My parents, like many parents, do not buy the same foods every time they go shopping. This makes it particularly difficult to get the amount of protein and calories in your body that will add pounds of muscle. Most parents are also not into the idea of sending their child to school with a protein bar or shake mix.

Therefore, in their effort to sabotage my bodybuilding ways, I have come up with a relatively small list of certain foods that are relatively high in protein, taste good, and are affordable to counter their attack. With the help of the following foods, the right attitude, and hard training, I have put on over twenty pounds of lean muscle in just over two months.

Foods To Add Lean Mass

    String Cheese:
    Depending on the type you buy, they can range from six to 10 grams of protein per stick. They do not take that much time to eat, and are better tasting then most protein bars. Have a couple of these are you are set. Buy in wholesale though because you will probably go through a lot. I believe Costco sells a 50-pack for roughly $13. And most importantly, they are fun to eat too!

    Kellogg's Special K Cereal:
    I love cereal, especially for breakfast. In one cup of Special K, you get 7 grams of protein, and if you are not dieting, you probably eat more than one cup. Add some milk and get even more out of your daily breakfast. Add a spoonful of sugar for some extra taste if you need it.

    Banana and Peanut Butter:
    One of my all time favorite snacks. Although a single banana contains a lone gram of protein, it has loads of Potassium, which is essential for bodybuilding. Most peanut butters contain roughly eight grams of protein for every two tablespoons. This should be than enough to quench your hunger.

    Hot Cocoa:
    Want something hot to warm you up in those winter months? Well hot cocoa is just the thing. One packet of hot chocolate usually contains about four grams of protein. Four grams may not seem like that much, but it is more than drinking water alone and you can add multiple servings for an extra chocolate taste.

    Beef Jerky:
    As with all beef products, beef jerky is pretty high in protein. Each brand of jerky varies the amount of protein in the beef, but I have found it to be pretty much in the 6 to 11 gram range. Personally, I love that little bit of spiciness in a snack, but it is not for everyone. Give it a try, maybe you will find something you like.

    Macaroni and Cheese:
    Macaroni and Cheese is one of my favorite meals. I have tried many brands throughout the last couple of years. Some were better than others were, but nearly all of them are high in protein. They ranged from 12 to 16 grams for a package.

Supplements To Add Lean Mass

If you are serious about weightlifting, I recommend you eat as many grams of protein to pounds you have in your body. Therefore, if you weigh 200 pounds you should eat 200 grams of protein daily. By taking advantage of what your parents buy in the grocery store anyone can become big in no time. Try to tell the food-buyer in your house to look for items especially high in protein. When going out to dinner, try to stay away from pastas and order a meat dish like chicken or steak. Always keep in mind that meats and cheeses will have the most protein.

How Much Protein Do You Need:

Enter Your Bodyweight In The Box Below:

Your Bodyweight In Pounds: OR In Kilograms:

When I go out to eat, I almost always order a steak dish or a chicken dish that has cheese on it. I know you have probably read this a bunch of times by now if you are an avid reader, but drink as much water as you can. At first, as a student, I found it difficult to drink three gallons of water a day. Lugging around a bottle of water to all your classes is frustrating but even more so is how nearly every half hour you need to leave to go to the bathroom. Some teachers will give you a tough time about this.

Therefore, before or after class you should explain to them why you need to go to the bathroom so much and they will surely let you go. I like to bring a sports bottle to school and refill it at the water fountain as needed.

You will also probably have to buy a protein supplement because all these foods and drinks will probably not give you your desired amount of protein. When looking for the right protein shake, try to stick to whey protein for an after workout shake. Whey also contains a large amount of amino acids.

Amino acids help in the process of protein synthesis, thus making it ideal to take after an intense workout. However whey can be somewhat expensive compared to soy or other types of protein. If price is a big factor, you should go with soy protein, however, if it is not Whey protein is the way to go. The final line should be the amount of protein for the amount of money you spend.

For more tips or supplement advice, e-mail me at

Be sure to also check out:
The Penny Pincher's Guide To Supplements!