Is Cheese Good For Bodybuilding? Truth Revealed

  • By: Dave Moffat
  • Date: December 15, 2023
Is Cheese Good For Bodybuilding?

Cheese is a yummy, flexible, and super popular dairy product that’s used in lots of dishes all over the world.

But when it comes to bodybuilding, people often argue about if cheese should be part of a diet that helps build muscle.

Cheese has a lot of protein and tastes great. Many fitness enthusiasts wonder if adding cheese to their meals can help them build more muscle.

In this blog post, we’ll look closely at cheese’s nutrition. We’ll consider its good and bad points. Finally, we’ll figure out if this tasty dairy treat deserves a place in your bodybuilding diet.

So, let’s jump in and find out the truth in the big cheese debate!

Nutrition of Cheese

Cheese is a nutrient-packed food. It provides a lot of protein, which is important for muscle growth and repair. The amount of protein changes based on the type of cheese. However, usually, you can find around 20–30 grams of protein in every 100 grams of cheese.

Cheese gives essential vitamins and minerals like calcium, phosphorus, and vitamin A. They help keep bones strong and overall health good.

But it’s important to remember that cheese can be high in calories, fat (especially saturated fat), and sodium.

When adding cheese to a bodybuilding diet, consider these things: Eating too many calories can lead to unwanted weight gain. Also, high levels of saturated fat and sodium could be bad for heart health.

You can still enjoy the nutritional benefits of this protein-rich food by choosing cheese options with less fat and less sodium. Or, you can eat cheese in smaller amounts. It won’t go against your diet goals.

Cheese Contains a lot Of Protein

Cheese is packed with protein, which makes it a good food for bodybuilders who want to help their muscles grow and recover.

On average, there are about 20-30 grams of protein in every 100 grams of cheese. This makes cheese a complete, high-quality source of protein because it has all nine of the essential amino acids our bodies need.

Some kinds of cheese, like Parmesan, Swiss, and Gouda, even have more than this average. They can match traditional protein sources like chicken or beef.

But it’s really important to think about how many calories are in cheese, as well as its fat and sodium content, when adding it to a bodybuilding diet.

Choose options with less fat and less sodium. Avoid overeating. This way, you can use cheese’s protein benefits effectively without messing up your nutrition goals.

Cheese Tastes Good

Bodybuilders often add cheese to their meals not just because it’s good for them, but also because it tastes really yummy.

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The strong, tasty flavors of cheese can make meals more enjoyable to eat. This helps bodybuilders eat the amount of calories and protein they need to help their muscles grow.

Bodybuilders can enjoy a variety of cheese flavors while sticking to their diet goals. Cheese comes in many types with different textures and tastes.

Cheese is Casein Protein – A Muscle-Building Advantage

One main reason why cheese is really liked in diets for bodybuilders is because of its main type of protein, which is called casein.

Casein protein makes up about 80% of the protein in cheese, which means cheese is a big source of this type of protein that takes a while to digest.

Casein protein takes longer to digest and releases more into your bloodstream than whey protein, which your body absorbs fast.

This slow release gives a steady supply of amino acids (the building blocks of protein) to the muscles over a long time. This helps muscle growth, repair, and lessens muscle breakdown, especially during times of not eating or sleeping.

The casein protein in cheese can be especially good for bodybuilders. It helps keep a constant anabolic state for the best muscle development and recovery.

It’s important to balance how much cheese you eat with other sources of protein. Also, consider its calories, fat, and sodium when adding it to a bodybuilding diet.

Cheese Has Calcium: A Crucial Element in Bodybuilding

Calcium is an important mineral. It helps our bodies in many ways. For example, it makes our muscles move, sends signals through our nerves, and keeps our bones healthy.

Cheese is a great source of calcium, so it’s really good for bodybuilders to add to their diets.

Bodybuilders need enough calcium. It helps their muscles work properly during workouts and stops muscle cramps or spasms that could lead to injuries.

Calcium also keeps our bones strong, which is super important for bodybuilders. They do high-intensity training, which can put a lot of stress on their bones.


What Kind of Cheese Should You Eat?

Here are some cheese varieties that are suitable for bodybuilding diets:

  • Cottage Cheese: Low in fat and high in protein, this cheese is a popular choice among bodybuilders. It contains casein protein, which provides a slow, steady release of amino acids, promoting muscle growth and recovery.
  • Greek Feta: Made from sheep’s milk, Greek feta is lower in fat and calories compared to other cheeses while still providing a good amount of protein. Opt for reduced-sodium versions if available.
  • Swiss Cheese: Swiss cheese has a relatively high protein content and lower fat levels than many other varieties, making it a suitable option for bodybuilders.
  • Parmesan: This hard cheese has a high protein content and can be used in small amounts to add flavor to dishes without adding too many additional calories or fat.
  • Mozzarella: Choose part-skim mozzarella for a lower-fat option that still provides adequate protein. This cheese is also lower in sodium compared to other varieties.
  • Ricotta: Opt for low-fat or fat-free ricotta as a versatile cheese choice that can be used in both sweet and savory dishes while providing a good amount of protein.
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Remember to consume cheese in moderation. Balance it with other protein sources to maintain a well-rounded bodybuilding diet.

The Drawbacks of Cheese For Bodybuilding & Muscle Growth

Although cheese offers several benefits for bodybuilding and muscle growth, there are some drawbacks to consider when incorporating it into your diet:

  • High Caloric Density: Cheese is calorie-dense, which can be problematic for bodybuilders trying to maintain a specific caloric intake or those on a cutting phase. Consuming too many calories can lead to weight gain and negatively impact body composition.
  • High Fat Content: Many types of cheese contain high levels of saturated fat, which can contribute to increased cholesterol levels and potential cardiovascular issues if consumed in excess.
  • Sodium Content: Cheese can be high in sodium, which can lead to water retention, increased blood pressure, and hinder muscle definition. Opting for reduced-sodium varieties can help mitigate this concern.
  • Lactose Intolerance: Some individuals may have difficulty digesting lactose, the sugar found in dairy products, leading to gastrointestinal discomfort, bloating, and other digestive issues. For those with lactose intolerance, it’s essential to find alternative protein sources. They can also opt for lactose-free cheese options.
  • Hormones and antibiotics: Some dairy products, including cheese, may contain hormones and antibiotics used in the production process. These substances can potentially disrupt hormonal balance and negatively affect bodybuilding progress.

Conclusion of Is Cheese Good For Bodybuilding?

In short, cheese can be really good for a bodybuilder’s diet if you eat it thoughtfully and not too much. It has a lot of high-quality protein, including casein protein that digests slowly and helps muscles grow and recover.

Cheese also gives you important nutrients like calcium. Calcium is really important for your muscles to work right and for keeping your bones strong.

But remember, cheese can also have downsides like lots of calories, fat, and sodium, and some people can’t digest lactose in cheese. To get the most benefits from cheese for bodybuilding, choose healthier kinds. Look for low-fat, reduced-sodium, or lactose-free options.

Make sure to balance how much cheese you eat with other sources of protein. This way, you can eat a balanced diet that helps you reach your bodybuilding goals without hurting your overall health.

Dave Moffat

Hi, I'm Dave Moffat the founder and Chief Editor of and certified International Personal Trainer and Certified Nutritionist. My passion has always been bodybuilding but with 15 years' experience in weight loss programs too, it's hard not to mention all that when you're working at your fitness level fullest (I hope). When Im not in the gym or spending time away from my family i often think about what advice would help others achieve theirs goals just like these inspired mine.