There are literally hundreds of cereals on the market that allow you to get your day off to a tasty start. Most of them, though, are packed with sugar, carbohydrates, and artificial preservatives. However, to build a muscular, lean physique, you need something better.
That’s why we dug deep into the cereal market to make it easy for you to find the best cereals for athletes. Read on to discover the best, tastiest cereals for muscle and strength gains.
Top 8 Best Muscle Gains Cereals Tested/Ranked:
- Best Overall: Magic Spoon Cereal
- Best for Weight Loss: Kashi Go Lean
- Best for Fiber: Kellogs All-Bran
- Best Gluten Free: Arrowhead Mills Organic Maple Buckwheat
- Best for Fitness: Kellogg’s Special K Protein Plus
- Best Wheat Biscuit: Kashi Whole Wheat Biscuit
- Best Granola: Special K Low Fat Granola
- Best Grain Clusters: Kind Health Grains Clusters
How Much Do Muscle Gain Cereals Cost?
Muscle gain cereals suitable for fitness-minded people generally cost more than the sugar-laden varieties created for the mass market. To make it easy to compare our top eight, we’ve collected all the key pricing information into this handy chart:
|Category||Product||Name||Price||Boxes||Cost Per Box||Protein Per Serving (g)||Why We Love It|
|Best Overall||Magic Spoon Cereal||$43.99||4||$10.99||13-14||It is available in tasty flavors, is high in protein, and has zero sugar.|
|Best for Weight Loss||Kashi Go Lean||$23.44||3||$7.81||9||While being low in sugar and carbs, it still provides 9 grams of protein and 8 grams of fiber – and it tastes great!|
|Best for Fiber||Kellogs All-Bran||$15.29||2||$7.65||5||It tastes great with fruit and is packed with fiber.|
|Best Gluten-Free||Arrowhead Mills Organic Maple Buckwheat||$46.89||6||$7.81||4||We love the crunchiness and satisfaction that this buckwheat cereal delivers.|
|Best for Fitness||Kellogg’s Special K Protein Plus||$12.70||1||$12.70||7||It supplies you with a high-protein content, making for a great post-workout snack.|
|Best Wheat Biscuit||Kashi Whole Wheat Biscuits||$89.09||12||$7.42||6||These whole wheat biscuits make a great on-the-run snack.|
|Best Granola||Kellogg’s Special K Granola||$4.29||1||$4.29||6||We love this low-fat granola and it tastes great.|
|Best Grain Clusters||Kind Health Grain Clusters||$16.44||3||$5.48||5||We love the taste. Be warned that it can be addictive.|
Here are the top 8 muscle gain cereals on the market right now:
The best overall muscle gain cereal provides an early morning energy surge while delivering a solid amount of protein. Plus, it is low in sugar and free of preservatives.
Magic Spoon has stormed the market in recent years to establish a firm foothold in the healthy cereal space. Their promise to deliver a zero-sugar, high-protein cereal that is even tastier than the sugar-laden competitors has been a success.
Magic Spoon uses a natural sugar called allulose. This sugar does not get metabolized the same way that regular sugar does. The FDA also does not require manufacturers to list it on the label as a sugar.
A serving of Magic Spoon will provide you with 15 grams of protein, four grams of carbs, and one gram of fiber. There are also 10 grams of allulose in every serving.
Magic Spoon cereal is available in nine flavors. You’ll notice immediately that they don’t taste as sweet or have the same tangy aftertaste as high-sugar cereals. The sweetest tasting flavor is ‘Frosted’.
Magic spoon adds real fruit to their flavored cereals, and the cereal comes in loop form.
Who Should Buy Magic Spoon?
- People who want a high-protein sugar-free cereal.
- Those who are after a range of flavors that include real fruit.
Who Should Not Buy Magic Spoon?
- Those who are after a budget cereal.
- People who want a sweet after taste from their cereal.
Best for Weight Loss
The best cereal for weight loss will be low in carbs and sugars while being high in protein and fiber. It should have a low-calorie count and be free of artificial preservatives, colors, and flavor enhancers.
Kashi Go Lean
Kashi Go Lean is a great choice for people trying to lose weight. This whole grain cereal consists of a combination of vegetarian-friendly ingredients, including crunchy fiber twigs, crispy soy protein grahams, and honey-toasted whole grain puffs.
The numbers of Kashi Go lean are pretty impressive:
- 9-gram protein
- 8-gram fiber
- 4-gram fat
Kashi Go Lean goes great with yogurt and fruit. Besides getting your day off to a healthy start, it also makes a healthy any-time snack.
Who Should Buy Kashi Go Lean?
- Those who are trying to lose weight.
- People who want a low-calorie way to get a lot of protein.
- Folks who are looking for a healthy any-time snack.
Who Should Not Buy Kashi Go Lean?
- People who enjoy a smooth texture cereal.
Best for Fiber
Fiber is very important for overall health. It will also improve the digestive system and help you lose weight by filling you up. The best fiber-rich cereal will have more than 10 grams of fiber per serving.
Kelloggs All-Bran stands out like a sore thumb when it comes to high-fiber cereals. Created with natural wheat bran fiber, it delivers a whopping 12 grams of fiber per serving, which is 40 percent of your recommended daily fiber intake. That high fiber count makes Kelloggs All-Bran a great aid to your digestive system. It will also help with weight loss by keeping you satiated.
There are five grams of protein in every serving of Kellogg’s All-Bran. It’s also low in calories. These crispy flakes go great with fruit and milk.
Who Should Buy Kellogg’s All-Bran?
- People who want a high-fiber breakfast cereal.
Who Should Not Buy Kellogg’s All-Bran?
- People who want to focus more on protein content than fiber.
Gluten-free cereals are not that common, but they are available. The best cereal in this category will still provide the texture and crunchiness you expect from a top cereal while also being gluten-free and low in sugar.
Arrowhead Mills Organic Maple Buckwheat
Arrowhead Mills Organic Maple Buckwheat is made from locally sourced organic buckwheat. Each serving provides you with 33 grams of whole grains. The average sugar content across the flavors is five grams per serving.
Arrowhead Mills has a rigorous quality control process, ensuring you don’t end up with any short flakes. Each bag of Arrowhead Mills Organic Maple Buckwheat contains uniformly long flakes that are crunchy and satisfying.
Each box of Arrowhead Mills Organic Maple Buckwheat contains 10 six-ounce bags of product.
Who Should Buy Arrowhead Mills Organic Maple Buckwheat?
- People who are after a gluten-free form of crunchy cereal.
Who Should Not Buy Arrowhead Mills Organic Maple Buckwheat?
- People who are after a high-protein cereal.
Best for Fitness
Fitness enthusiasts need a cereal that is easy to digest and has a low complex carbohydrate count and sugar. It should also have plenty of protein to fuel muscle recovery after a workout.
Kellogg’s Special K Protein Plus
Kellogg’s Special K is for fitness-minded people that are after a high-protein and energy cereal to start their day. It is made from wheat, soy, and rice, delivering a good combination of plant-based protein sources.
With 7 grams of protein per serving, Kellogg’s Special K is a great choice for iron pumpers who want to put themselves in an anabolic state ahead of their workout. It works equally well as a post-workout meal to help promote protein synthesis. This cereal also contains 11 vitamins and minerals to promote overall health and well-being.
Kellogg’s Special K has a delicious honey flavor, with each bite delivering a crunchy, satisfying taste experience.
Who Should Buy Kellogg’s Special K?
- People who want a very high-protein count in their cereal.
- Folks who want to use their cereal as a post-workout meal.
Who Should Not Buy Kellogg’s Special K?
- People who want a low-sugar cereal.
Best Wheat Biscuit
Wheat biscuits deliver a compact, tasty and healthy cereal or snack option. They are a great source of fiber and protein, so the best choice should have more than 10 grams of each per serving.
Kashi Whole Wheat Biscuit
Kashi whole wheat biscuits are bite-sized whole wheat biscuits that provide a very nutritious, satisfying start to the day. Each wheat biscuit begins as wheat berries. These are then steamed, shredded, and weaved. Finally, the biscuits are baked, leaving you with a light, tasty, whole grain product.
Kashi Whole Wheat Biscuits are 100 percent whole grain. They are also completely organic, vegan, and non-GMO. Each container provides eight servings.
A single serving will provide you with six grams of protein, five grams of fiber, 43 grams of carbs, and one gram of fat. It is also a good source of magnesium, zinc, and niacin.
Who Should Buy Kashi Whole Wheat Biscuits?
- People who are after a tasty, whole grain wheat biscuit.
Who Should Not Buy Kashi Whole Wheat Biscuits?
- Folks who are on a low-carb diet.
Granola is a calorie-dense breakfast cereal that provides lots of healthy vitamins and minerals. It is a mix of nuts, rolled oats, and sweeteners. The best granola will feature healthy sweeteners like honey rather than sugar, chocolate, or syrups.
Kellogg’s Special K Granola
Kellogg’s Special K Granola consists of clusters of whole grain oats sweetened with honey. It contains 50 percent less fat than most competing breakfast granola brands. Each serving provides you with 31 grams of whole grains, along with six grams of protein, around two grams of fat, and nine grams of sugar.
Kellogg’s Special K Granola delivers a healthy dose of vitamins. Each serving provides nine vitamins close to the recommended daily amount, including folic acid, B-vitamins, and iron. The 11.3-ounce resealable bag helps your cereal remain fresh and tasty.
Who Should Buy Kellogg’s Special K Granola?
- People who want tasty, crunchy granola that they can snack on any time of the day.
Who Should Not Buy Kellogg’s Special K Granola?
- People who are on a low-carb or low-sugar diet.
Best Grain Clusters
Grain clusters can be used as a cereal as well as a tasty snack when you’re on the go. The best grain clusters should have less than five grams of sugar and carbs and be rich in fiber and protein.
Kind Health Grains Clusters
Kind Health Grains Clusters are a blend of gluten-free oats, brown rice, millet, buckwheat, amaranth, and quinoa. They also contain evaporated cane juice, peanut butter, soy crisp, peanuts, whey protein, canola oil, sea salt, and natural vitamin E. The inclusion of whey protein means that this is not a vegan product.
A serving of Kind Health Grains Clusters, equating to half a cup, will provide 130 calories and 3.5 grams of fat. That is very good for granola clusters, which tend to be high in fat content. They also have small amounts of sugar and sodium. There are five grams of sugar and two grams of fiber in the extremely tasty grain clusters.
Who Should Buy Kind Health Grains Clusters?
- People who want a delicious, healthy grain cluster that is low in fat.
Who Should Not Buy Kind Health Grains Clusters?
- Those who want a vegan grain cluster.
- Folks who are after a high-protein breakfast cereal.
What to Look For When Buying Muscle Gain Cereal
It’s easy to be overwhelmed by the choice when you turn up at the breakfast cereal aisle of your local supermarket. Here are the things you should focus on to help separate the best for muscle gain and health from the rest:
- Protein content: Look for a product that delivers at least 10 grams of protein per serving.
- Carb & fat content: Ideally, the carb and fat count should be no more than half the protein count per serving.
- Flavors: Look for a brand that offers a range of flavors so you can mix them up.
- Price: You should expect to pay a little more than unhealthy cereals. A high-quality cereal, though, should not cost much more than ten dollars.
How We Decided Our Picks
In narrowing our selections of the best to the top eight, we focused on the following criteria:
- Protein content per serving
- Low carb count
- Low in sugar
- Free of artificial preservatives
- High in fiber
Benefits of Muscle Gain Cereals
Here are a few benefits of starting your day with a muscle grain cereal:
- Sets you up for muscle building: You’ll get a protein infusion to help put you in an anabolic state ahead of your workout.
- Great source of nutrients: A quality cereal will provide your body with a range of vitamins and minerals, including iron, magnesium, zinc, and copper.
- Fills you up: A high-protein cereal will fill you up so you don’t get the urge to snack before your next scheduled meal.
- Post-workout recovery: Take your muscle gain cereal after your workout to replenish glycogen stores and supply amino acids for protein synthesis.
What Are the Best Types of Cereals for Bodybuilders
When you’re making your way down the breakfast cereal aisle, you should steer clear of the sugar-laden mass market brands. Here are the type of cereals that gym-goers should focus on:
Steel Cut Oats
Oats are a great source of complex carbs and protein. Many brands of oatmeal, though, end up mushy and less than appetizing. That’s why you should go for steel-cut oats. These oats are cut with steel blades. They are also less processed than instant or rolled oats.
Brown Rice Farina
Brown Rice Farina makes a terrific porridge. It is the result of grinding whole grain brown rice and then bringing them to a porridge-like consistency. Add cinnamon, nuts, and fruit, and you’ve got a high-protein, high-fiber breakfast of champions.
Even though it contains just whole wheat, a serving of shredded wheat delivers six grams of fiber and zero grams of sugar. Just stay away from brands that cover the wheat in a sugary coating. It should also not contain any hydrogenated oils.
Granola makes a very tasty, healthy snack and a smart breakfast choice. But you should be selective; many products are very high in fat and sugar. Check the label for added sweeteners like cane juice and brown rice syrup.
Hot Multigrain Cereal
Multi-grain instant cook cereals offer a delicious warm breakfast option. But you should choose carefully as many of them are way too high in sugar. Focus on such pulverized whole grains as corn, millet, and oats.
There’s a new sub-market in the cereal aisles that’s good news for bodybuilders; the high-protein, low-sugar cereal. They provide more than 10 grams of protein per serve. Add milk and sprinkle on your favorite protein powder, and you’re going to be up around 25-30 grams per serve.
Quite a lot of these brands use soy protein, so if you want to avoid soy check the label carefully.
Quinoa has been lauded as a superfood due to its high protein and fiber content, along with its abundance of minerals. It is a rare example of a vegetarian protein source that contains all of the essential amino acids. Quinoa flakes are the result of steaming quinoa and then passing it through rollers.
For a fast, protein-rich hot quinoa breakfast, mix one-third of a cup of quinoa with a cup of warm water and half a teaspoon of cinnamon.
High-fiber cereals, especially those containing a decent amount of protein, are great for bodybuilders trying to stay lean. A high-fiber diet will help fill you up, ensuring you don’t suffer food cravings between your main meals.
A bodybuilder’s obsession with protein often leads them to overlook the fiber content in their diet. So having a high-fiber cereal can help them meet their daily fiber requirement.
What is the best cereal for muscle gains?
The best cereal for muscle gains is Magic Spoon. This cereal is just as tasty and crunchy as all those unhealthy cereals but is packed with protein and has no sugar. It’s also low in carbs. Magic spoon cereal will help you gain muscle and stay lean.
What should I look for when choosing the best cereal for fitness?
When choosing the best cereal for fitness, check the amount of protein and fiber per serve. Ideally, it should have no or very little sugar. Stay away from cereals that contain artificial sweeteners and other preservatives.
What should I check for on cereal nutrition labels?
Check for the per serving breakdown of the three macronutrients — protein, carbs, and fat. You want at least 10 grams of protein per serving, with less than five grams of carbs and fats. Ideally, the sugar content should be less than three grams per serving. You should also look out for the fiber content. The more fiber the cereal contains, the better, but anything over 10 grams per serving is good.
The Bottom Line
A high-quality muscle gain cereal is a tasty, muscle-enhancing way to start your day. It also makes for a terrific post-workout meal to replenish glycogen levels and infuse your muscles with amino acids.
Go here to check the price and reviews on our favorite muscle-gain cereal.
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- Kammer, Lynne; Ding, Zhenping; Wang, Bei; Hara, Daiske; et al. (2009). “Cereal and nonfat milk support muscle recovery following exercise”.
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