In a perfect world, all of our meals and snacks would be from whole, natural, unprocessed foods and we would eat only high-protein snacks that are well-balanced and abundant with organic foods.
However, cooking all of your meals and having “real” foods for high-protein snacks isn’t practical for many people due to restrictions in time, finances, interest/energy in cooking, etc.
If you are trying to follow a high-protein diet or increase your protein intake to build muscle or lose weight, you may need to turn to healthy convenience store snacks.
Unfortunately, even protein bars and protein shakes that are marketed as “healthy,” are often packed with sugar, artificial sweeteners, and all sorts of fillers.
Trying to grab a meat jerky as a healthy high-protein snack at a convenience store is often fraught with problems, too. The sodium alone is often almost more than a day’s target.
The good news is that if you’re trying to stick with a high-protein diet, there are some high-protein snacks that you can grab in a pinch to satisfy your hunger while supporting your diet and weight goals.
Keep reading for our 11 top picks of healthy convenience store snacks with protein.
11 Healthy Convenience Store Snacks For Building Muscle or Bulking
Here are some of our favorite high-protein convenience foods for healthy ways to have snacks with protein on the go:
#1: Protein Chips
Protein chips like Pure Protein Protein Crisps, Quest Protein Chips Tortilla Style, and the MyProtein Chips are fantastic high-protein snack alternatives to regular potato chips or corn chips.
I love the MyProtein Chips BBQ flavor. They taste fantastic and there are 14 grams of protein and just 120 calories per serving.The Quest protein chips, in particular, are readily available in many grocery stores in the United States, making this a great convenience high-protein snack on the go.
The Quest Nutrition Tortilla Chip Spicy Sweet Chili protein chips are my favorite from the brand (but Loaded Taco rocks, too!), and there are a whopping 19 grams of protein in these flavor-packed protein chips.
The others you generally have to order online, but you can get them in bulk and then take a pack with you in your gym bag or stash a few in your desk when you need a high-protein snack throughout the day.
I love high protein cereal like Magic Spoon for any weight loss diet snack or even bulking snack (you just get to eat more!).
It’s high in protein and healthy fat, which helps keep you satiated while being deliciously reminiscent of your sweet childhood favorite sweet cereals.
In this way, spending a little bit more money to buy the best high-protein cereals is a valuable investment in your health and weight loss diet because you are getting nutritious food and don’t have to feel deprived of having delicious treats.
It makes a great healthy dessert for building muscle or you can put some in a baggie or container dry for a high-protein sweet snack on the go.
The Good Bean Edamame Snacks are roasted black soybeans made with Thai chili and lime leaf.
A ⅓-cup serving has 130 calories, 8 grams of carbs, 11 grams of filling protein, 8 grams of fiber, and 5 grams of healthy fat.
My favorite is Thai Chili and Lime. They are great to eat as is for a healthy snack or you can sprinkle them on salads.
This is a healthy snack alternative instead of Chex Mix or cereal-based trail mixes and high-carb snack mixes made from refined grains.
It is keto-friendly, with 5 grams of carbs per serving, and has up to 10 grams of protein per serving.
I like the high-quality ingredients, the fact that there’s lots of fiber, great crunch, and bold flavors, and the healthy snack mix doesn’t seem to get stale easily.
#5: Cheese Snacks
I am a big fan of cheese for a healthy high-protein snack for building muscle and promoting weight loss (if that is the goal!).
Even though cheese can be high in calories, the protein helps keep you full, and if you are following a low-carb diet for weight loss like the keto diet, certain cheeses can be a great low-carb weight loss snack or you can have larger servings for bulking snacks.
Part-skim string cheese or the little Babybel cheese wedges are good cheese snacks for weight loss.
If you want something fancier, I love the Cheese Bits Mozzamini Pearls Wasabi flavor.
These are gorgeous, delicious, Artisanal cheese bites that are great for snacking or added to healthy salads.
One serving of this nutritious snack is typically just under 80 calories but contains 7 grams of satiating protein and only the highest-quality ingredients (most of these healthy cheeses have just one or two ingredients, mainly organic, real cheese).
#6: Grab-and-Go Smoothies
Smoothies and protein shakes are popular high-protein snacks for post-workout recovery or bulking, but unless you have a blender, it can be difficult to have a smoothie or protein shake on the go.
I love the Fuel for Fire protein smoothie packets. They come in lots of flavors, both vegan and made with whey protein, and they don’t even have to be refrigerated if you are going for a long hike, bike ride, etc.
There is no sugar added, and most of these tasty protein smoothies have 10 grams of protein, about 110 calories, and simple, real ingredients.
Another great healthy snack with protein is Whisps Cheese Crisps.
It’s a single ingredient—real cheese—baked so that it becomes a delicate, light cheese crisp.
It is a great low-carb snack for weight loss, or just a good keto snack with protein and healthy fat that still provides a satisfying crunch, protein, calcium, and none of the junk found in most keto snacks.
#8: Low-Sodium Jerky
One of the best high-protein healthy convenience store snacks for keto athletes on the go is low-sodium meat jerky or premium jerky.
#9: Protein Bars
Protein bars offer a convenient way to increase your protein intake, particularly when you are on the go and don’t have time to sit down and prepare a more complete meal.
Look for protein bars that don’t use artificial sweeteners and sugar alcohols (which is surprisingly hard to find!) like Think 150 Bars (the small ones use real sugar/carbs and no sugar alcohols) or Bobo’s Protein Bars.
Plus, the Think bars listed above have 5 grams of fiber, which is about 20% of the daily value.
Fiber not only aids digestion and improves bowel regularity, but also keeps you fuller for longer because it slows gastric emptying.
I often recommend tuna as one of the best high-protein snacks for athletes, weightlifters looking to build muscle, or a filling snack for weight loss because tuna is packed with protein.
Salmon is another one of the healthiest high-protein snacks for bodybuilders and athletes.
Plus, these “real food” healthy snacks have omega-3 fatty acids that can help reduce inflammation after hard workouts in the gym.
However, cans of tuna or salmon or making tuna salad on the go can be a hassle and sometimes smelly.
I love the Safe Catch Tuna Pouches. It is the lowest mercury tuna, super high in protein, while being low in sodium, even if you have the seasoned varieties.
For example, the Safe Catch Citrus Pepper has just 110 calories, 21 grams of protein, and just 8% of the DV of sodium, which is much lower than most of the seasoned tuna snack packets.
Plus, the brand makes a no salt added version, as well as no salt added salmon packets.
#11: Pure Protein Puffs
If you are at a convenience store and trying to find healthy convenience store snacks with protein, definitely browse the “nutrition“ aisle where you might find high protein meal substitutes, protein bars, protein shakes, and protein snack foods.
One of the best protein snack brands is Pure Protein. This company has an array of high-protein foods.
Among all of the traditional offerings like surprisingly decadent protein bars, I highly recommend Pure Protein Puffs Brick Oven Pizza Protein Puffs.
These protein-packed snacks are an amazing alternative to cheese puffs, Cheetos, Combos, pizza-flavored snacks, Doritos, etc.
You get 18 g of protein per serving with only 130 calories and 1 g of sugar.
Plus, the protein puffs are super crunchy, non-GMO, gluten-free, and made without artificial colors or flavors.
It’s a perfect high-protein convenience store snack instead of regular cheese puffs, potato chips, or even popcorn.
If you are struggling with your appetite, check out our guide to what to eat when you don’t feel like eating here.