Beans, prepared simply, are an excellent bodybuilding food, and one that bodybuilders should include in their diets more often. Beans are loaded with fiber, something which bodybuilders often do not get enough of on a regular basis. Although the U.S. RDA for fiber is 25 grams per day, many among our bodybuilding brethren consume less than 20. Adding a one-cup serving of beans will take you a long way toward this nutritional goal. A cup of kidney beans alone has over 16 grams of the hearty stuff, while black beans have 15 and pinto beans over 14.

You’ve got a wide variety of kinds from which to choose though, all chock full of healthy nutrients and protein, in addition to fiber. Even prepared beans, such as baked and refried, can be bodybuilding friendly. Check labels on canned and prepared beans–some types can be loaded with unhealthy fats and salt, and you generally want to avoid canned beans that include bacon.

Don’t worry though – with so many healthy versions available, you’ll have no problem choosing a bean that suits your tastes.

Baked 12.7 12.0 236
Black 15.0 15.2 227
Garbanzo (chickpeas) 12.5 14.5 269
Kidney (California red) 16.5 16.2 219
Lima (large) 13.2 14.7 216
Navy 11.6 15.8 258
Pinto 14.7 14.0 234
Refried 13.4 13.8 237
White 11.3 17.4 249

NOTE: Values are based on one-cup servings of beans that are dry-packaged and cooked by boiling with salt. Numbers given for the baked and refried beans, which are prepared and canned, are also for one-cup servings.

* Fiber and protein are measured in grams.