Are Grapes Good or Bad For Bodybuilding? (Pros & Cons)

Fruit provides a lot of benefits for a bodybuilder: 

  1. They provide carbs, which gives you energy for your workouts
  2. They provide micronutrients, which are essential for optimal health and functioning. 

However, not all fruits are created equal.  Some are better than others.  

Today we’re going to discuss grapes.  

Are grapes good or bad for bodybuilding?

Grapes are a source of carbs that give sufficient energy to have long and arduous training sessions. They also have a compound named resveratrol that has several benefits for muscle building. Not only is it a potent antioxidant that helps reduce inflammation, but it also helps increase testosterone levels.

In this article, we will talk about everything you need to know about grapes.

  • The nutritional value of grapes.
  • The pros and the cons of adding grapes if you are a bodybuilder.
  • When is better to have grapes: before or after training?
  • How many grapes can you eat?
  • Learn how to add grapes in a fun and easy way with a new recipe. 

Grapes For Bodybuilding: Overview

Nutrition Content of Grapes

You can find grapes in all sizes and colors. Ten grapes, red or green seedless raw, have the following nutritional value.

  • Calories: 34
  • Carbs: 8.9 g
  • Fiber: 0.4 g
  • Fats: 0.1 g
  • Protein: 0.4 g

Calories

Grapes can be very filling and relatively low in calories. Ten grapes have just 34 kcal. One cup of grapes (151 g), equivalent to more or less 30 grapes, has 104 kcal.

If you are looking for something to constantly snack without too many calories because you are in a cutting phase, grapes are the way to go.

In a bulking phase, you might not get enough calories if you fill up with grapes. Try adding other energy-dense foods like peanut butter or honey to increase the caloric load. 

Macronutrients

Grapes are a natural high carb source. They give fast-acting energy that will help you have a good training session.

One cup of grapes has approximately 27 grams of carbs. The benefit of using grapes is that since you can have them in units, it’s easy to adjust the carbs you need depending on your daily macros.

Grapes are not as high in fiber as other fruits. However, it does offer a good amount of fiber. One cup of grapes has 1.4 g of fiber, representing almost 5% of the recommended daily fiber intake.

Check out other foods high in fiber: 

A bodybuilder is an excellent source of energy. However, it lacks other macronutrients a bodybuilder needs, such as proteins and fats. Whenever you decide to have some grapes, make sure to add a protein source (like chicken or Greek yogurt) and healthy fat (like avocados). 

Did you know baby food is considered one of the best “low fiber foods”? Check out my other article: Do Bodybuilders REALLY Eat Baby Food?

Micronutrients

Grapes have several important micronutrients. 

It has thiamin, riboflavin, vitamin B6, potassium, copper and manganese—all of these nutrients in small quantities (less than 3% of the recommended daily intake).

Two of the most important nutrients it provides are vitamin C and vitamin K. Why are these two so important?

  •  Vitamin C. It boosts immune function. Having a greater immune function means less time away from the gym. Also, it is common when people that are highly active need to take a break, if they are not careful their muscle mass might go down. 

One of the benefits of grapes is that they come in different colors. Each color has its own antioxidant variety and quantity. 

For example, red grapes are very high in resveratrol compared to green grapes, which helps increase testosterone (I discuss this in more detail below). 

When you decide to add them, make sure to get a different range of colors. 

Check out my complete guide on the Best Fruits For Bodybuilding.

Are you eating the right foods for your bodybuilding goals?

3 Pros Of Eating Grapes For Bodybuilding

Grapess For Bodybuilding Pros vs Cons

Grapes are a good source of energy, and they are easy to carry around and relatively cheap. 

There are other benefits if you are a bodybuilder though.  Here is a list of benefits you get by adding this tasty fruit regularly:

1. High in Antioxidants

Antioxidants help repair the damage done to the cells by free radicals. An excess of free radicals leads to oxidative stress.  In short, this means more inflammation in the body, leading to increased inflammation which could affect your post-exercise recovery. Also, when it is not managed, it has been associated with increased heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.

The specific antioxidants that are in grapes are:

  • Vitamin C
  • Quercetin
  • Lutein
  • Ellagic acid
  • Lycopene.

2. Increases Testosterone Levels

Resveratrol is found in the skin of grapes, not only is it an antioxidant but it has also been shown to increase testosterone levels.  

Resveratrol is an aromatase inhibitor, which is an enzyme that turns testosterone and other androgen hormones into estrogen.

One of the benefits of resveratrol is that it inhibits the production that turns testosterone into estrogen, a female hormone that has been linked to increased fat mass and a decrease in muscle mass. Higher testosterone levels mean an increase in lean mass.

In other studies, it has been shown that resveratrol that due to an increase in testosterone, there was an improvement in sperm quality. This may or may or not be important to you as a bodybuilder, but it’s important to mention nonetheless. 

3. Improves Muscle Health

Vitamin K is one of the vitamins to look out for when talking about muscle health.

A high presence of vitamin K in blood was associated with better muscle strength, increased muscle mass, and higher physical activity in this study. In the study, they found that the people that had higher levels of vitamin K had a stronger hand grip power.  

One cup of grapes has 28% of the recommended daily intake of vitamin K.

However, not much research has been made regarding this vitamin with more benefits linked to benefits towards exercise. More research is needed. 

1 Con of Eating Grapes For Bodybuilding

Although grapes provide the necessary energy for your daily activities. It might not have enough protein for a bodybuilder. Here are two other cons of adding grapes if you are a bodybuilder. 

Can Produce Bloating

Grapes are moderate in fiber. People who are not used to having such large quantities of it might cause stomach problems like bloating.

They are also high in fructose, a natural sugar that in excess for some people can cause gas or bloat as well.

There are also other components called tannins that might also cause an upset stomach for certain people.

The last thing you want before you workout is to feel bloated, which will impact your performance in the gym. 

Thus, if you notice any gastrointestinal symptoms arising after you eat grapes, stop eating them.

I’ve written about other high fiber foods for bodybuilding before, including: 

Can You Eat Grapes Before Workouts?

Grapes are a good snack to have before a workout. Since they are high in carbs, they will give you that energy you need to have a strong training session. You can have them 30-60 minutes before a workout to prevent any bloating.

Grapes for Bodybuilding

However, if you are thinking of having a snack with grapes 2-3 hours before a workout, you need to add protein and fat to have a steadier energy release. You can add Greek yogurt (protein) and nuts (healthy fats) to have a slower energy release.

How many grapes can you eat?

If you are in a bulking phase, having 2 cups of grapes provides the necessary energy and carbs you need before a workout. However, if you are in a cutting phase, 1 cup is more than enough prior exercise.

Pro Tip: If you are craving something sweet and it’s very hot, try freezing some grapes. It will give you that sweetness without adding too many extra calories. 

Can You Eat Grapes After Workouts?

Grapes provide the necessary carbs to help you recover after a training session. This means that they are an excellent snack to add after a workout. However, keep in mind that they only offer carbs; no protein or fats. Thus, add a protein source like a protein shake and healthy fat like nuts to make it more balanced.

Grapes are high in antioxidants which means they help decrease the inflammation produced after a workout. This helps, in the end, have a better recovery and improved muscle health.

Protein is an essential macronutrient in muscle formation. Grapes are very low in this nutrient. Hence add some protein whenever you choose to have grapes as a snack.

How many grapes can you have after a workout?

If you are in a bulking phase, you can have the same recommendation of two cups. However, you will still need to increase your carb intake, for example, adding some honey or granola. You could add an extra cup of grapes, but it increases the chance of bloating.

On the other hand, if you are in a cutting phase, you can have one cup of grapes after training and maybe even have two cups, but no more than this recommendation. 

Do Grapes Help Muscle Growth?

Grapes help provide the necessary calories and carbs ideal for muscle growth. It also contains essential nutrients like vitamin K and potent antioxidants that help in the muscle-building process. However, it lacks one of the most essential macros, protein.

Grapes for Muscle Growth

To have an ideal muscle increase, you need at least 1.6 grams of kilogram per body weight of protein. Increase your protein intake whenever you have grapes by adding Greek yogurt, chicken, cheese strings, or a protein shake.

Apples also have vitamin K, which seems to increase muscle strength and increase in muscle mass. Also, resveratrol by boosting testosterone levels helps develop a higher muscle mass. 

Learn more about apples in my article: Are Apples Good or Bad For Bodybuilding?

Grape Recipe For Bodybuilding

Grape chicken salad recipe for bodybuilding

Grape chicken salad is a great way of adding this tasty fruit differently.

Traditionally, grape chicken salad is made with mayonnaise. If you are in a bulking phase, you sure can add some in. However, if you are looking for a more balanced and low in calories version, here is my favorite grape chicken salad recipe.

It has all macronutrients in the ratios you need for optimal muscle building. I hope you enjoy it!

Recipe

Macros

  • Calories: 420
  • Carbs: 13 g
  • Fats: 25 g
  • Protein: 37.1 g

Ingredients

  • 3 oz shredded chicken
  • ¼ cup plain Greek yogurt
  • ½ cup grapes halved
  • ¼ chopped celery
  • 2 tablespoons chopped pecans
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, add all of the ingredients.
  2. Mix well until everything is blended.
  3. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Enjoy right away, or place it in the refrigerator for a couple of hours. 

Tips

  • If you want to add extra carbs, have the chicken salad with a slice of whole-wheat toast. This could be ideal for someone in a bulking phase.
  • Add some avocado if you want to increase your healthy fat intake.
  • If you keep it in an airtight container, it will last 3-5 days.

Have a FeastGood Nutrition Coach help you get results faster than trying to stick it out alone

Other Fruits For Bodybuilding

Check out my other fruit resources for bodybuilders:


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.