Are Noodles Good for Bulking? (+Tips)

Noodles can be good for bulking, due to their high calorie and carbohydrate content. They offer quick energy for your workouts and aid glycogen replenishment post-exercise. However, the choice of noodles is crucial, as well as what you pair them with (chicken, veggies, etc). 

For example, instant noodles are high in sodium and calories (fat) but lack protein and overall nutritional value, making them potentially suitable for gaining size, not necessarily muscle. 

Achieving muscle gain instead of fat requires a caloric surplus, but with adequate protein intake, and rigorous training to push your body to adapt to increased demands. It might not matter if you’re not concerned about gaining both body fat and muscle, like in a ‘dirty’ bulk, however regular consumption of instant noodles can pose health risks, too, which makes it worth considering.

Without the right approach, noodles can steer you away from your desired physique and athletic goals.

If you’re considering adding noodles to your bulking diet, this comprehensive guide delves into the nutritional aspects of various noodle types. It highlights their pros and cons for bulking, helping you manage your diet effectively with maximum results.

We’ll also cover:

  • The crucial insights into eating noodles before and after exercising
  • Explore ways to make noodles healthier
  • Give you a few noodle-based recipes for bulking.
Editor's Choice: Best Testosterone Booster

TestoPrime is currently our No.1 Ranked Testosterone Booster. It has the most effective ingredients formula on the market according to our research and testing.

Nutritional Value of Different Type of Noodles

Here is a table of the different types of noodles and their nutritional value that you can use to accurately calculate your future meal plans. The data below is sourced from top fitness apps and websites I rely on daily to monitor my nutrition, all measured per 85 grams.

Noodle TypeCaloriesProteinFatCarbohydrates
Instant Chicken Noodles364 9.1g 12.8g 53.2g 
Rice Noodles930.77g0.17g21.16g
Whole Wheat Noodles 1054.53g0.45g22.56g
Egg Noodles  32612.04g3.77g60.58g
Spinach Noodles30011g1g61g
Gluten-Free Noodles2906g1g64g
Chow Mein Chinese Noodles2373.77g13.84g25.89g
Soba Japanese Noodles1135.77g0.11g24.44g

Benefits of Eating Noodles for Bulking

  • High in Carbohydrates
    Noodles provide your body with a decent amount of carbs that are your body’s preferred energy source while working out. As a fast release carb source, they can provide you with the required energy for your workout, increasing your performance. As a post-workout meal they can restore glycogen, a form of glucose stored in your muscles and liver, that provides you with energy.

    Restoring your glycogen stored with adequate carbs can also aid in faster recovery and reduce DOMS.
  • High in Calories
    Noodles have lots of calories, which can help you bulk up by hitting your calorie goals. It’s not always easy to eat enough when you need extra calories for bulking. This is especially handy while at work or you don’t find time for a ‘proper’ meal throughout the day.
Best for Bodybuilding

If you are serious about gaining muscle, then go with TestoFuel. It has been specially formulated to promote muscle growth.

Drawbacks of Eating Noodles for Bulking

  • Low in Protein
    The biggest downside of eating noodles for bulking (relying on noodles) is that they are very low in protein. The amount of protein it contains isn’t enough to build or even maintain muscle mass. As we’ve learnt you need adequate protein to build muscle (1-1.2/kg/body weight), without that will be difficult to reach your bulking goals.
  • Low in Micronutrients
    Noodles are extremely low in essential vitamins and minerals. We often overlook the importance of these nutrients, however, studies show that they support our immune system, organs (heart), muscle function, growth and recovery, performance and our overall development. 

    Remember that micronutrient content is extremely important for your body to achieve long-term health and short-term bulking goals. Instant noodles by itself don’t provide you with the nutrients for these benefits. 

    They offer sodium in excess, which is harmful for your health. Instead, pair them with vegetables, and lean meat to improve their micronutrient content.
  • Can Cause Health Problems
    If you eat noodles in excess, it can lead to many health problems, such as cardiovascular disease, stroke, digestive issues, and dehydration. That’s why it’s important to eat or supplement it with a balanced diet instead of relying on noodles completely.

Should You Eat Instant Noodles Before Exercise?

As mentioned earlier, instant noodles have a high amount of carbs that you can consume before a workout. Yet its high fat content may make it sit in your stomach for a quite long time. High fat meals can slow down your digestion system and reduce your performance, so you should eat them at least two hours before your workout.

Otherwise, your body won’t allow you to exert the effort and energy necessary for exercise leaving you frustrated. Resultantly, you can experience digestive discomfort.

Best for Bodybuilding

If you are serious about gaining muscle, then go with TestoFuel. It has been specially formulated to promote muscle growth.

Should You Eat Instant Noodles After Exercise?

Noodles can make a great post-workout meal, because they provide carbohydrates that replenish glycogen stores in your muscles. This helps with muscle recovery and restoring energy levels. Pairing them with protein sources can enhance these benefits further, while also aiding in muscle growth! Consider using noodles that contain beef or chicken stock, and pair them with legumes, grains, beef, or chicken or any healthy ingredients you like!

How to Make Healthy Noodles for Bulking

Yes, there are many different ways you can make your noodles a healthy food option. We have compiled a list of the easiest ones you can easily follow at home.

1. Add Vegetables

Adding cooked or fresh vegetables to your noodles is a great way to improve their nutritional value. You can use vegetables such as mushrooms, onions, broccoli, and carrots to add essential and healthy nutrients that noodles don’t offer.

2. Add Protein

Poling on protein is the best method for bodybuilders who are bulking to make noodles healthier. You can use eggs, meat, tofu, grains, legumes, and fish products in your noodles. It might take some time to change your noodle recipe by adding protein, but it’ll significantly improve the nutritional profile of your food.

3. Use Low-Sodium Noodles

We have already discussed the health problems that can occur due to high amounts of sodium in your body. Using low-sodium noodles will allow you to make sure that you don’t consume sodium more than the daily recommended value. We recommend you also opt for MSG-free noodles because it’s also associated with health issues.

4. Don’t Use the Flavored Packs

Lastly, use fresh spices and herbs and mix them with low-sodium chicken stock to make your own broth. It’s the best way to make your noodles healthier. You can also add as many other healthy ingredients as you want to improve the nutritional value of your recipe further.

5. Choose Whole-Grain Noodles

Whole grain noodles hold a higher nutritional value over instant ones. Their high fiber content aids in better digestion, while also keeping you full for longer (slow release carbs). They retain essential nutrients and antioxidants that we mentioned instant noodles don’t!  

Additionally, their lower glycemic index offers a gradual energy release, unlike the rapid spike associated with instant noodles. Moreover, whole grain noodles contain fewer harmful components like excess sodium and unhealthy fats, promoting better heart health and reducing the risks of long-term diseases.

While it aligns more with a healthier lifestyle, doesn’t mean you can’t have instant noodles, you should just find the balance!

Related: Are Nuts good for Bulking?

Noodle Recipes for Bulking

Having an arsenal of versatile recipes in your meal prep can help ensure that you make steady and consistent progress in your bulk. To give you some inspiration, let’s take a look at some of the go-to noodle recipes that I’ve used in previous bulking phases: 

Spicy Garlic Noodle Recipe 

As a bulking meal, this first recipe is incredibly delicious and addicting. The sauce is savory, garlicky, spicy, and tangy, topped with a crispy fried egg and paired with refreshing cucumber. 

Another great element of this recipe is how customizable it is depending on your nutritional requirements. 

It is vegetarian-friendly, so you can add any protein that you want! You can even incorporate crushed peanuts, crispy fried scallion, or shredded chicken for more flavor.


  • 2 servings of whole-wheat noodles
  • 1.5 tbsp. of chili oil 
  • 2 tbsp. of soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp. of black vinegar 
  • 1 tbsp. of crushed red chili flakes
  • 0.5 tbsp. of sesame seeds
  • 4 tbsp. of oil
  • 1 tsp. Sichuan peppercorn 
  • 5 cloves of minced garlic 
  • Sliced cucumber 
  • Cilantro 
  • Green onion 
  • Eggs


  • Step 1 – Prepare and cook the noodles in salt water.
  • Step 2 – Add the soy sauce, black vinegar, chili oil, crushed red chili flakes, and sesame seeds in a bowl. Add the minced garlic as the top layer.
  • Step 3 – Heat the 4 tbsp. of oil and add the Sichuan peppercorn.
  • Step 4 – Pour the hot oil onto the garlic and remember to strain the oil to prevent the peppercorn from going in. Let the oil mix and sizzle in the bowl.
  • Step 5 – Add in the drained noodles and proceed to mix. Service with the green onion, cilantro, fresh cucumber, and fried egg.

High-Protein Gluten-Free Noodle Recipe 

This next recipe is one of my favorites because of how well it beefs up the Italian classic. It is a tasty noodle-based meal that has 848 calories, 44g of protein, 13g of fat, and 132g of carbs. 

The best part about this basic noodle dish is that it only takes around 15 minutes to cook and prep! If you’re looking for a noodle-based meal that is quick and simple with good macros, this recipe is the ideal option. 


  • 2 oz. of canned crushed tomatoes 
  • 3 oz. of 90% lean ground beef
  • Salt 
  • 6 oz. of gluten-free noodles
  • ¼ cup of basil leaves


  • Step 1 – Add the tomatoes in a pot over high heat. Once they begin to bubble, put the ground beef in and stir for 2 minutes to break up the beef, then reduce to a simmer.
  • Step 2 – Pour 3 cups of water into another pot, add the salt to taste, and bring it to a boil.  
  • Step 3 – Add in the noodles and proceed to stir. 
  • Step 4 – Once the noodles are al dente, strain them and add to the tomato mixture. Tear the basil leaves, add them to the tomato pot, and continue to stir. 
  • Step 5 – Plate and serve. 

Egg Noodle Soup Recipe

Ramen is good for bulking when you are on a tight budget. The last recipe on this list is the ideal choice for those who need a more affordable bulking meal loaded with protein and carbs. 

This great-tasting egg noodle soup recipe is easy to make and perfect as a quick and hearty snack. 

It is the best budget-friendly noodle recipe that will give you gains without hurting your wallet. But as simple as this meal is to make, there are many slight nuances and techniques you need to use to achieve the perfect final product. 


  • Your favorite flavor of ramen noodles
  • 4 eggs


  • Step 1 – Fill a pot with over ⅓ of water. Once you notice that the water is boiling, add the ramen noodles. 
  • Step 2 – Cook the noodles until they easily break apart with a spoon. This process should take about 2 to 3 minutes. Then, reduce the heat to low.
  • Step 3 – Crack the eggs into the pot. Slowly stir them with the noodles. They should be solid but wispy with plentiful bits of egg chunks.
  • Step 4 – Stir in the spices from the ramen pack. Keep stirring until the egg bits are solid. This will take about 2 minutes.
  • Step 5 – Pour the egg noodle soup into a bowl. Grind some pepper over it or add in some hot sauce if you prefer.

Final Words

As a food source for bulking, the overall nutritional value that noodles can provide will largely depend on their quality and preparation

Effectively integrating noodles into your diet while bulking is all about making sure that you hit your caloric and macronutrient needs. 

While noodles can be a good tool for bulking, the key to a successful bulk is to focus on a balanced and nutrient-dense diet designed to improve your overall health and help you achieve your fitness goals.

Best for Bodybuilding

If you are serious about gaining muscle, then go with TestoFuel. It has been specially formulated to promote muscle growth.