Bodybuilding Nutrition | Cheap Diet For College Students

meal prep

By James Braun

US Myprotein Writer


Being a college student isn’t easy, and it makes it even harder to get in proper nutrition to fuel muscle growth, especially with the busy schedule, late night studying, and classes. At some points, it’s even hard to make it to the gym!

Of course, college students also have a hole in their wallets and simply can’t afford healthy food to help with their bodybuilding aspirations. A large part in the way most people look is the nutrition aspect, as is their training.

Now, we’re going to look at some fast, cheap, and easy meals for college students who are struggling with paying tuition and making gains. Also, I will outline some tips for those with a dining hall meal plan and no kitchen.

The Dining Hall

old school bodybuilding diet

You see that bowl of fruit?

Shove it in your bag, along with some loaves of bread and a jar of peanut butter. In all seriousness, take what you can from the dining hall! Most halls have plenty of fruit and even some whole-grain bread, so stock up. Also, the halls tend to have “healthier” options such as grilled chicken, veggie and turkey burgers, and a salad bar. Get as much as you can while you’re there, and you can get a bit of nutrition from what you have in your dorm.

Moderation Goes A Long Way


Another key point I wanted to mention in this article is moderation. Go ahead, check out that dessert bar from time to time, and don’t feel guilty for doing so. It’s important to treat yourself every now and then, and having something “bad” sometimes can make the diet so much more sustainable over the Long Term.

The Meals For Bodybuilding Diet


Now, I hope as a college student you’re not expecting some crazy gourmet meals. These meals are cheap, nutritious, and easy to make and you can even take them on the go!



Oatmeal “Sludge”

This meal is crazy easy, and actually tastes great too. You’ll combine the oats, protein powder, and peanut butter in a bowl or tupperware container, and slowly add water until it turns into a thick “sludgy” consistency. If you add too much water, it won’t turn out. Also, no microwave needed, just mix in the ingredients and eat up.



 – 1 cup of old fashioned oats(do not use quick oats)

 – 2 scoops of Whey protein of choice

 – 1 tbsp of peanut butter

 – Topped with one banana


Calories: 665

Protein: 45 grams

Carbs: 94 grams

Fat: 17 grams


Remember, you can always adjust these recipes to fit into your overall diet. Add in chocolate chips, more whey, less oats, more nuts…. You get the idea.

Tuna and Rice

I call this my daily pile of “mush” (Yes, I’m also a college student). It’s really easy to make, and it tastes relatively good (definitely add sriracha, hot sauce, or salsa, otherwise it doesn’t taste that good). You can cook the rice in the microwave, and just add in a can or two of tuna.

bodybuilding nutrition tuna


 – 2 cups of rice of choice

 – 1 can of tuna

 – Salsa or hot sauce


Calories: 430

Protein: 28 grams

Carbs: 76 grams

Fat: 1 gram


Now, this meal only has one gram of fat, so if you need more, have some nuts with it or eat some peanut butter out of the jar. If you don’t like tuna, canned chicken is also really good, as is canned salmon. Also, your roommate and other students may hate your guts because of the smell of tuna, but gains are more important anyway.

The Shake”

Now, this is just if you don’t feel like eating a ton of food, or if you need a ton of calories.



 – Myprotein Total Oats and Whey

 – 1 cup unsweetened almond milk

 – 100 grams Myprotein Quick Oats

 – 2 Medium bananas

 – 2 tablespoons of peanut butter


Calories: 1,055

Protein: 43 grams

Carbs: 160 grams

Fat: 31 grams


Remember, taper these meals as necessary. You can easily make this a “Lower calorie shake” by using less peanut butter, less bananas, less oatmeal, and a lower calorie whey protein. Whatever fits your needs, go for it.

Takeaway Tips

Canned food is another great option, such as canned beans or meat. Lower sugar granola bars, protein bars, whey, nuts and fruit are all great snacks that you can keep in your dorm room, and you can always take bread from the dining hall to make peanut butter sandwiches. Getting in proper nutrition while you’re in college shouldn’t be a struggle, so take these tips and meals and get back to it!




Our articles should be used for informational and educational purposes only and are not intended to be taken as medical advice. If you’re concerned, consult a health professional before taking dietary supplements or introducing any major changes to your diet.

James Braun

James Braun

Writer and expert

Fuel Your Ambition with Sports Nutrition & Performance Apparel Essentials Be quick, shop now!