8 Best Bread For Bodybuilding (Bulking & Cutting)

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On FeastGood.com, we’ve published a lot of bread content related to bodybuilding, addressing questions such as: 

However, we’ve yet to make recommendations on the best bread for bodybuilding.  So that’s what this article aims to answer. 

We researched every bread that’s sold at the top 15 grocery stores in the US.  We then analyzed each type of bread, including the ingredient panels, calories/macros, and vitamins/nutrients.  All in all, this process took 23 hours to complete. 

Our raw list included 29 brands and exactly 100 different types of bread, which we distilled down to the 8 recommendations below.  

If you’re in a rush, here’s our top pick:

The best bread for bodybuilding is Pepperidge Farm Whole Grain due to its high fiber (3g) and protein content (7g).  But, if you’re bulking, the best bread is Dave’s Killer Bread Organic Everything Bagels for its higher calories. If you’re cutting, the best bread is Dave’s Killer Bread Powerseed for its lower calories.

Some of the topics that I will explore in this article are:

  • Factors to consider when buying bread for bodybuilding
  • The top 8 breads for bodybuilders
  • Frequently asked questions when it comes to eating bread for bodybuilding

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Factors To Consider For Buying Bread

1. Whole Wheat vs. White

The following nutritional information is based on 100 g of bread. 

ProductCalories
(kcal)
Carbs
(g)
Fiber
(g)
Protein
(g)
Fats
(g)
Whole Wheat25443.16.012.33.5
White Bread26744.82.39.43.6

White bread and whole wheat bread have very different nutritional characteristics. 

Thanks to its low fiber content, white bread is easier to digest than whole wheat. This makes it ideal for people that need a quick energy boost before a workout (30-60 minutes before). On the other hand, whole wheat bread, thanks to its higher fiber and protein content, is better for a longer energy release. 

This means that it provides a higher fullness level compared to white bread. Thus, making it ideal for people in a cutting phase as fiber prevents making people go hungry during the day. 

Those in bulking can also take advantage of whole wheat’s high protein content and long-lasting energy. 

2. Grains Used 

The typical grains used in breads are whole wheat, oats, wheat, millet, barley, and millet. While other grains might be included, they are not seen very often. 

For people with celiacs disease or gluten intolerance want to avoid having any bread that is not gluten-free (those that have wheat, barley, and rye have gluten). Simple Kneads Bread Quinoa Power Grains offers a great option that is gluten-free and high in fiber. 

If you don’t have this particular issue, you can choose any type of bread available. Make sure that you choose those that have more grains available to get different nutrients in your diet. 

There are other considerations when it comes to choosing the type of grain in your bread. Oats, hemp, or quinoa based bread are higher in protein, which is ideal for those people looking to reach their daily requirements. 

Some grains are also healthier due to their higher fiber and nutrient content. For example, rye has 2 g more compared to wheat, which makes it a better option for those that are looking to increase their fiber intake due to its satiating effect. 

However, be on the lookout for the word “refined grains.” This means that they have been highly processed, removing most of its nutrients. 

3. Check the Ingredient List

On the nutritional label, you can find the ingredients used in the food. They are written from the highest in content to the lowest. 

When reading the ingredients list, make sure it is short. The shorter, the better, as that  means it’s a low processed food and retains a lot of the vitamins and minerals of the whole ingredients. 

For example, BREAD ALONE Organic Peasant Bread has a very short ingredients list with natural ingredients. 

ingredients of bread alone organic peasant bread

Also, make sure that you understand the ingredients. 

This means that you should be able to recreate the recipe from the ingredient list (it should not be a science experiment with hard-looking names). The easier it is to understand the ingredients, the more natural they are. This means that they are more likely to be full of nutrients. 

4. Calories 

Another important factor to consider is its calories. On average, one slice of bread has around 80 kcal. This is a good base to determine whether bread is high or low in calories. 

For those in a cutting phase, you might want to have bread that is around 80 kcal or less bread. This makes it easier to reach your macros without giving away most of your calories in a slice of bread. For example, Eatsane Nuts and Seeds Bread Loaf offers bread slices with only 50 kcal, ideal for those in a cutting phase. 

On the other hand, for those in bulking, you might want to consider breads with more than 80 kcal per slice. This means searching for those that have nuts and seeds in their mix. In this case, you might want to go for a bread like Dave’s Killer Bread Organic Everything Bagels.

5. Macro Contents

The macros are another important factor you need to consider. Breads are typically low in protein (around 2-3 g of protein per slice). 

If you are having trouble reaching your protein intake during the day, or if you follow a plant-based diet, you might want to consider slices of bread with higher protein content, like Pepperidge Farm Whole Grain 15 Grain Bread.

Look for bread brands that have more than 5 grams of protein per slice. 

6. Fiber Content

Fiber is important to have a healthy gut, fight constipation, reduce your cholesterol levels, and most importantly, it helps increase your fullness levels

According to the American Heart’s Association, the average consumption of fiber in the US is around 15 grams per day (while the recommendation is more than 25 g per day). Thus, most people have a low fiber intake. 

Low fiber intake leads to constipation, irregular sugar levels, more hunger, and irregular bowel movements. Thus the importance of having breads that are high in fiber. Bread is considered to be high in fiber when it has more than 3 grams of fiber per serving. 

7. Shelf Life

Finally, one thing most people don’t consider is shelf life. Natural loaves of bread (those with little to no additives) don’t have a very long shelf life. They might last 7-14 days. 

Thus, you need to consider how often you will have bread. 

For example, if you are not a fan of bread and have it once in a while, maybe it’s better to get bread with a longer shelf life (or place it in the fridge or freezer to make it last longer). 

Top 8 For Bread On The Market

  • Pepperidge Farm Whole Grain 15 Grain Bread – Best High-Protein Bread
  • Dave’s Killer Bread Powerseed – Best For Cutting 
  • Dave’s Killer Bread Organic Everything Bagels – Best For Bulking
  • Ezekiel 4:9 Low Sodium Sprouted Whole Grain Bread – Best To Control Sodium Levels
  • 365 by Whole Foods Market Bread Sandwich Whole Wheat Organic – Best When On A Budget
  • Simple Kneads Bread Quinoa Power Grains – Best Gluten-Free Option
  • Eatsane Nuts and Seeds Bread Loaf – Best Keto-Friendly Option
  • 365 by Whole Foods Market, Bread Sandwich Classic White – Best For Pre-Workout 

1. Pepperidge Farm Whole Grain 15 Grain Bread – Best High Protein Bread

Pepperidge Farm Whole Grain 15 Grain Bread is a great option for those following a plant-based diet or that have a challenging time reaching their protein intake. You get 130 kcal, 22 g carbs, 3 g fiber, 7 g protein, and 2.5 g of fat in one slice. 

Looking for a carb high in protein can help you achieve your proteins without relying on animal proteins. For example, in 100 g of this bread, you get almost 14 grams of protein (the same as having two large eggs). 

On the other hand, other carb sources might not be very high in protein. If we compare rice, it only has 2 g of protein per 100 g. For someone that has a hard time reaching their daily protein intake, finding a carb that is high in protein helps a lot reach your daily requirements. 

This makes Pepperidge Farm Whole Grain 15 Grains a top choice for those people having a challenging time adding protein to their everyday lives. 

Additionally, it has a good amount of fiber (3 g), which can help you increase your satiety levels and make you feel fuller during the day. 

The only drawback would be that the protein is not high quality compared to animal products. Thus, you might want to add other protein sources like chicken, eggs, cheese, fish, and meat.

Pros

  • High in protein 
  • Moderate in fiber

Cons

  • Low-quality protein

2. Dave’s Killer Bread Organic Sprouted Whole Grains Thin-Sliced Bread – Best For Cutting 

Dave’s Killer Bread Organic Sprouted Whole Grains Thin-Sliced Bread is the best option for those that are in a cutting phase. One slice has 70 kcal, 15 g carbs, 2 g fiber, 3 g protein, and 1 g fat. 

You need to consume fewer calories than your body needs to reach a caloric deficit and lose fat mass in a cutting phase. 

Sprouted bread is an excellent choice for those looking for low-calorie bread. It has 10-20 kcal less than the average slice of bread (around 80-90 kcal). While this might not seem like a lot, every calorie counts when in a cutting phase. 

Also, it has a moderate amount of fiber which helps increase your fullness levels. Nonetheless, it might not have as much fiber (more than 3 g) to have a greater satiating effect. 

Pros

  • Low in calories
  • Moderate in protein 
  • Moderate in fiber
  • Low in fat

Cons

  • Could be higher in fiber 

3. Dave’s Killer Bread Organic Everything Bagels – Best For Bulking

Dave’s Killer Bread Organic Everything Bagels is ideal for those people in a bulking phase. One bagel (95 g) has 260 kcal, 44 g carbs, 5 g fiber, 13 g protein, and 5 g fat. 

To gain weight, you need to consume more calories than your body needs (caloric surplus). Finding foods that are high in calories and won’t make you feel too full is ideal for helping you reach your total energy requirements. 

One bagel gives you 260 kcal per slice. Compared to other carb sources, bagels give you more calories per gram. For example, in 100 g of rice, you only get 97 kcal, while in 100 g of this bread, you get 270 kcal. Thus, you might find it easier to reach your daily calories. 

It also has a good fiber content (5 g) which allows you to get a decent fiber intake for overall good health, but it doesn’t have too much fiber to make you feel stuffed throughout the day. 

Additionally, it has a good protein content, which is an essential macronutrient for muscle building. It has almost the same protein content as two large eggs, but keep in mind that it is not as high quality as animal protein (since it doesn’t have all the amino acids your body needs). 

Nonetheless, it has 350 mg of sodium in one bagel, which is a very high intake. To be considered a low sodium food, it needs to have less than 140 mg per serving (100 g). 

Pros

  • High in calories
  • Moderate in fiber 
  • High In protein

Cons

  • Low-quality protein 
  • High in sodium 

4. Ezekiel 4:9 Low Sodium Sprouted Whole Grain Bread – Best To Control Sodium Levels

Ezekiel 4:9 Low Sodium Sprouted Whole Grain Bread is a great option for those that are looking to cut back on their sodium. One slice of bread has 80 kcal, 15 g carbs, 3 g fiber, 5 g protein, 0.5 g fat, and 0 mg of sodium. 

High consumption of sodium can lead to high blood pressure. The recommendation for daily sodium is 2,300 mg per day. If you are a bodybuilder with high blood pressure or have a family history of high blood pressure (or heart disease), this is the best option. 

If you don’t have high blood pressure (or family history), but you are looking to cut back on sodium to prevent water retention and look leaner, this is an excellent option since it doesn’t have any sodium. 

It is also very high in protein (it has 5 g per slice), which is great for people that have trouble reaching their total protein requirements for the day (like plant-based bodybuilders). It has almost the same protein content as one medium egg, but as we previously saw it cannot be classified as a high-quality protein. 

However since it doesn’t have any sodium, it might not have a long shelf life. 

Pros

  • Low in sodium
  • High in protein
  • High in fiber

Cons

  • Might have a shorter shelf life

5. 365 by Whole Foods Market Bread Sandwich Whole Wheat Organic – Best When On A Budget

For those with a tight budget 365 by Whole Foods Market Bread Sandwich Whole Wheat Organic is the best option available with a low cost. One slice of bread has 80 kcal, 14 g carbs, 2 g of fiber, 4 g protein, and 1 g fats. 

On average, a loaf of bread could range from $7-11. This means that it has an average of $0.30-1.00 per ounce. This loaf of bread has a price of $4.19, which represents $0.21 per ounce. 

Bodybuilders tend to have very high energy requirements, which means that the grocery bill might be too high with all the food it needs to be consumed. Finding cheap and healthy carb options are ideal for those bodybuilders on a tight bu\dget or what to cut back on expenses. 

When it comes to the macro content, it has a good fiber intake (2 g). Also, it has an average amount of protein since it has 4 g of protein, more or less the same as one small egg. 

Pros

  • Low price
  • Moderate fiber
  • Moderate calories

Cons

  • Could be higher in fiber
  • Low-quality protein

6. Simple Kneads Bread Quinoa Power Grains – Best Gluten-Free Option

If you have trouble digesting gluten, this is the best choice for you. One slice of Simple Kneads Bread Quinoa Power Grains has 100 kcal, 18 g carbs, 3 g fiber, 3 g protein, and 2.5 g fats. 

One of its main ingredients is quinoa flour which not only is an excellent gluten-free option but it is also a good protein source. While this bread is not particularly high in protein (it only has 3 grams). Quinoa does contain all the essential amino acids that your body needs.

It’s also a good source of fiber since it has 3 grams of fiber. This helps you increase your fullness levels, which prevents you from getting hungry during the day and opens the door to constantly snacking during the day (which increases your caloric intake and could jeopardize your goals). 

However, even though it has an excellent plant-based protein choice (quinoa), it is still low in protein. You shouldn’t be relying on bread to hit your protein goals though, so this shouldn’t be too much of a problem, especially if you’re simply looking for a gluten-free option. 

Pros

  • Gluten-free
  • High in fiber
  • High quality plant-based protein 

Cons

  • Low in protein 

7. Eatsane Nuts and Seeds Bread Loaf – Best Keto-Friendly Option

For bodybuilders following a keto or low-carb approach, the Eatsane Nuts and Seeds Bread Loaf is the best option. One slice has 50 kcal, 5 g carbs, 3 g fiber, 4 g protein, and 3 g fats. 

This bread has the benefit of being low in calories (ideal for those in a cutting phase), but it also has the benefit that it only has 2 g of net carbs (total carbs – fiber). Having only 2 g of carbs is ideal for those on a ketogenic diet. 

Thanks to its high fiber content (3 g) and protein (4 g), it has a high satiating effect, which will prevent you from getting hungry during the day. 

However, in a ketogenic diet, you need to have a higher fat intake to provide you with your daily energy. 

This bread won’t give you the necessary energy to sustain you in a keto diet. Thus, if you are going to have it, you would still need to include a fat source (avocado, butter, cream cheese, or olive oil) to compensate. 

Pros

  • Low in calories
  • Moderate in protein
  • High in fiber

Cons

  • Low in fat

8. 365 by Whole Foods Market, Bread Sandwich Classic White – Best For Pre-Workout

Finally, for the best pre-workout snack the 365 by Whole Foods Market, Bread Sandwich Classic White is a great option. One slice has 110 kcal, 21 g carbs, 1 g fiber, 3 g protein, and 1.5 g fat. 

White bread is easier to digest than whole-grain bread since it is lower in fiber. This bread only has 1 g of fiber, which won’t give you bloating, stomach cramps, or make you feel sluggish before training. 

If you are looking for a quick and easy energy-boost, having a couple of slices of this bread can give you sufficient energy for your training session. 

Simply add a healthy fat and a protein source to make a long-lasting energy release.Additionally, it is good for those with a tight budget since it costs $3.00 for the loaf of bread, which is a cheap option. 

The only con would be the low fiber content. Due to this important factor, I wouldn’t make it my daily carb choice since it can make you have a low fiber intake during the day (especially if you are not adding other high fiber foods like fruits and veggies). 

Pros

  • Easy to digest
  • Low cost 
  • Low in fiber 

Cons

  • Low in fiber (for frequent use)

Bodybuilding Buyer’s Guide To Bread

Types of Bread

In the following table, you get the nutritional information for several types of bread according to 100 g of each product. 

ProductCalories
(kcal)
Carbs
(g)
Fiber
(g)
Protein
(g)
Fats
(g)
Sprouted4393.83.40.3
Potato Bread26647.16.312.53.1
Spelt Bread30046.76.71011.7
Whole Wheat25443.1612.33.5
White Bread26744.82.39.43.6
Sourdough27251.92.210.82.4
Rye Bread25948.35.88.53.3
Multigrain26543.37.413.44.2

While each brand might vary from the nutrition content above, it can give you a clear idea of which one to choose based on your goals. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is The Best Phase Of Training To Eat Bread?

Either in a bulking phase or cutting phase, you can eat bread.  This is because bread is primarily carbs, and you need carbs to provide the necessary energy for your training sessions. The only difference between eating bread for bulking or cutting is the serving sizes.

When Is The Best Time of Day To Eat Bread?

You can have bread any time during the day. Add it before a workout to provide energy for your training session. Add it after your workout to ensure you replenish your glycogen stores and have the best muscle recovery, or have it during the day to help you reach your daily carbs. 

Can You Eat Bread If You’re Losing Weight?

Yes, you can eat bread while you lose weight as long as you track the portions thoroughly and keep track of your calories and macros. To ensure that you are within your calorie and macro budget, weigh each slice of bread using a food scale and use a tracking app (like MacroFactor). 

Is Brown Bread Better For Cutting?

Yes, brown bread is better for cutting because it has twice the amount of fiber compared with white bread. Fiber takes longer to digest, making you feel fuller for longer. While in a cutting phase, this allows you to cut your calories without making you feel hungry throughout the day. 

Is Sourdough Bread Good For Building Muscle?

Yes, sourdough bread is a high-energy-dense food and good for building muscle. In 100g, you get 267 kcal. It has more than twice the calories as other carb sources (like rice), ideal for obtaining a caloric surplus. However, it might not have sufficient protein, so it’s recommended to add other protein sources (eggs, cheese, or chicken). 

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Final Thoughts

The best bread depends highly on your lifestyle or your overall goals, but the top choice for me would be Pepperidge Farm Whole Grain 15 Grain Bread thanks to its high fiber content and high protein intake.


About The Author

Brenda Peralta

Brenda Peralta is a Registered Dietitian and certified sports nutritionist.  In addition to being an author for FeastGood.com, she fact checks the hundreds of articles published across the website to ensure accuracy and consistency of information.