Are Strawberries Good For Muscle Growth? A Dietitian Answers

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Key Takeaways

  • Strawberries can indirectly help with muscle growth because they contain antioxidants that reduce inflammation and support muscle recovery after intense training sessions. 
  • Strawberries contain some carbs to give you energy for working out.  However, compared with other fruits, they’re considered “low carb.”  As such, you should pair them with other carb sources before working out, like bananas or rice cakes.
  • Strawberries are relatively high in fiber and low in calories.  As such, they digest more slowly and keep you full longer, making them a great snacking option while eating in a caloric deficit and trying to lose fat.  

Check out our complete guide on the Best Fruits For Muscle Gain.

Strawberries: Overview

nutrition content of strawberries 144 grams


One of the advantages of strawberries is that they are low in calories, with one cup having only 46 calories. 

This makes strawberries a good snack while cutting because they can fill you up without adding many calories to your total intake.

Other low-calorie fruits that are good to eat in a cutting phase include watermelon, mango, dragon fruit, and grapefruit.

On the other hand, strawberries may not be ideal if you’re in a bulking phase. They can keep you full and stop you from eating enough calories for healthy weight gain.

Most bodybuilders in serious bulking phases choose dried fruits like dates or raisins because of their caloric density.


Strawberries contain 11 grams of carbs per cup, which isn’t a lot, certainly not during a bulking phase.   

However, one benefit of strawberries is that they are high in fiber, with one cup providing 11% of the daily recommended fiber intake. Fiber supports gut health, digestion, and satiety.

Since strawberries lack the other macronutrients (protein and fats), have them with foods like cottage cheese or peanut butter for a more balanced snack.


Strawberries are an excellent source of several nutrients that aid in workout performance. 

  • Vitamin C (99% of daily needs per cup). It helps produce collagen, an essential protein for joint, bone, and connective tissue health. Also, as a potent antioxidant, it can protect healthy cells and reduce inflammation after training.

Pros Of Eating Strawberries

pros of eating strawberries

1. Immunity Booster

A cup of strawberries has a whopping 99% of the daily recommended vitamin C intake, an essential nutrient for immune system health.

Increased immunity leads to less time at home recovering and more time at the gym. 

Stronger immunity means you’re at a lower risk of catching the flu and having to take time off the gym. 

Also, research suggests that loading up on vitamin C can speed up recovery if you already have the flu or common cold.

2. Assists With Weight Loss & Management

Strawberries are a fantastic snack for someone in a cutting phase. 

They are low in calories, high in fiber, and high in water (91%), which means they fill you up and make it easier to stick with caloric restriction for fat loss. 

3. Reduce Muscle Pain

Strawberries are very high in antioxidants. 

They have polyphenols, potent components that help reduce inflammation in the body and could even support muscle recovery. 

4. Help With Hydration

As mentioned, strawberries consist of 91% water, which can help keep you hydrated. 

This is important, as research shows that a mere 2% loss in body weight due to fluid losses can hinder athletic performance, leading to less productive training. It can also affect cognitive function and mood.

Here is some additional insight from bodybuilder Jeff Behar:

“Water is the medium in which all energy reactions take place. If you become dehydrated you will become lethargic, may experience cramping, and endurance and strength performance will suffer.”

Cons of Eating Strawberries

High in Pesticides

There is a list of veggies and fruits referred to as “The Dirty Dozen,” which are likely to have more pesticides. Strawberries are on that list.

A high pesticide diet could lead to anxiety, stomach issues, and impaired immunity.

So, strawberries may be one of the fruits you should consider buying organic, as the risk of pesticide exposure would be lower

Can You Eat Strawberries Before Workouts?

You can eat strawberries before a workout, but they may not be the best option as a stand-alone snack.  You should pair them with other foods to optimize performance in the gym. 

Here are the three reasons they’re not the best pre-workout snack on their own:

  1. They are relatively high in fiber (2.9 grams per cup)
  1. They are low in carbs (only 11 grams per cup)
  1. They digest fairly slowly for a fruit
strawberries bodybuilding

Too much fiber before training can lead to stomach discomfort and affect your performance. 

Plus, the carbs provided may not be enough to fuel your performance.

According to research, the recommended pre-workout carb intake is at least a gram per kilogram of body weight. 

So, if you weigh 70 kilograms (154 lbs), that would mean 70 grams of carbs, the equivalent of over six cups of strawberries.

You can enjoy up to a cup of strawberries but include some low-fiber carb sources for a bigger energy boost: a ripe banana, rice cakes, and dried fruit like raisins.

Also, given that strawberries digest fairly slowly, have them at least 90 minutes before training. You can also blend your strawberries into a smoothie to help with digestion.

Keep in mind that strawberries lack protein and fat. If you want a steadier energy release (such as when having your pre-workout meal two or more hours before training), add a protein source, like a protein shake, and a healthy fat source, like peanuts. 

Can You Eat Strawberries After Workouts?

Strawberries are a great snack after training as they help replenish lost glycogen (the complex carb source stored in the muscles).  But again, you need to pair them with other foods to make it optimal. 

Strawberries are high in water, which helps improve hydration (particularly valuable if you sweat a lot during training), and are rich in antioxidants that may help with muscle recovery.

That said, strawberries alone are not enough. First, research recommends having at least 0.3 grams of carbs per kilo of body weight following a workout.

If someone weighs 70 kilograms (154 lbs), that would be 21 grams of carbs or nearly two cups of strawberries.

Second, your body also needs 0.3 to 0.5 grams of protein per kilogram after training for recovery. Greek yogurt, low-fat cottage cheese, or a protein shake would help speed recovery and prevent muscle protein breakdown.

Final Verdict: Does Strawberries Help Muscle Growth?

Strawberries add some calories and carbs to your diet, but having a caloric surplus is vital for muscle growth

Since strawberries are low in calories, it might be difficult for you to reach the expected caloric intake to help with muscle growth. 

You can blend strawberries and have them as a smoothie to limit their satiating effect. That way, you’d get extra calories, fiber, and nutrients.

You must also eat enough protein (at least 1.6 grams per kilogram), which strawberries lack.

The bottom line is that strawberries can be a nice addition to a muscle-building diet (so long as they don’t make you uncomfortably full and reduce your calorie intake), but you also need protein: eggs, meat, fish, cottage cheese, and whey protein.


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About The Author

Brenda Peralta

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

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