If you’re bulking, pizza can be a great way to fuel your body and help put on muscle mass.
However, the type and quantity of pizza you consume are very important!
The best way to eat pizza to put on muscle mass is to include sources of protein in your pizza. Pizza can also be a great way to keep your calories up over the bulking season.
Pizzas are usually calorie-dense due to their combination of crust, cheese, and toppings. This can benefit those looking to increase their caloric intake while bulking.
In this article, we will cover the nutritional benefits of pizza, including a breakdown of pizza’s macros.
If you’re someone who’s bulking and enjoys pizza (who doesn’t) read on to learn how to incorporate pizza into your bulk. Read on to find out about:
- The nutritional benefits of pizzas
- A breakdown of popular pizza’s nutritional values
- The best time to consume pizza
- How to make pizza healthier for you
- What toppings are best for bulking.
Let’s get started!
Table of Contents
Are There Any Nutritional Benefits Of Pizza?
Pizza can actually provide some nutritional benefits. Cheese is a great source of protein and calcium, while vegetable toppings add vitamins and fiber to the mix. Tomato sauce also contains antioxidants such as lycopene.
However, the nutritional value of pizza can vary based on the ingredients used. Opting for a whole grain crust and adding more veggies can enhance the health benefits of your pizza. Let’s dive into a more in-depth discussion of the nutritional values.
Nutritional Value of Pizza
Calories and Macros
Pizza is a great way to help increase your calories during bulk. This ensures that your body is using the energy available to help build muscle, instead of breaking it down.
Pizza is also a great source of carbohydrates, which are used to help restore glycogen stores after a workout. Additionally, lean meats added to pizza provided a good source of protein.
Protein is essential for muscle growth during a bulking phase. Some pizza toppings, like pepperoni or sausage, contain high levels of protein, which can help boost your protein intake for your day.
Consider adding extra protein sources like chicken, turkey, or lean beef to your pizza, or have a side with a high-protein content.
By incorporating whole-grain or whole-wheat crust, leaner meats, and vegetables, you can help incorporate fiber into your diet which will help maintain healthy digestion by promoting regular bowel movements and preventing constipation.
When you’re consuming larger quantities of food to support muscle growth, a well-functioning digestive system is crucial.
Source of vitamins and minerals
Although not considered a healthy food, the toppings on pizzas often provide a good source of vitamins and minerals which are important in muscle growth.
For example, Tomatoes, bell peppers, and other vegetable toppings contain vitamin C which aids in collagen production, an essential component of muscle health.
B vitamins found in ingredients like whole wheat crust play a role in energy metabolism, which is crucial for muscle function.
Overconsumption of Pizza
Overcoming the temptation of pizza during a bulking phase can be a challenge, especially after a big gym session.
While pizza can certainly be a part of a bulking diet, it’s important to consume it in moderation and make healthier choices to support your muscle-building goals!
Pizza is high in carbs, and may not be the best way to get the majority of your calories.
Enjoying pizza in moderation is key! Instead of eating pizza every day of the week, it is best to limit your intake of pizza or have it as a treat – especially if you are buying it from a fast food outlet.
You can also supplement salad or steamed vegetables to increase the overall nutritional value of your meal.
Healthier Pizza Choices
Opt for healthier pizza options such as whole wheat or whole grain crusts, leaner cheese, and an abundance of vegetables as toppings. This can help provide more nutrients that are used in muscle building.
Although it is tempting to buy out, making your pizza at home is the best way to ensure you are consuming quality ingredients and hitting your nutritional targets.
You can also add protein-rich ingredients such as chicken, salami, and turkey to help hit your protein requirements.
Track Your Macros
If you’re following a specific macronutrient-based diet, like counting your protein, carb, and fat intake, include the pizza in your tracking.
This way, you can make adjustments to your other meals to ensure you stay within your target macros.
Here is a table of the nutritional value of a slice of pizza from different outlets
|Pizza Outlet||Pizza size||Calories per slice||Protein per slice||Carbohydrates per slice||Fat per slice|
|Pizza Hut||Pepperoni Pizza||320||13g||35g||15g|
|Pizza Hut||Mega Meat Lovers Thin & Crispy||237||11.1g||25.4g||9.6g|
|Dominos||3 Meat Classic Crust Pizza||195||7.8g||26.9g||5.8g|
|Little Caesars||14″ Original Round Pepperoni||246||12.2g||26.4g||9.5g|
How To Incorporate Pizza Into A Bulking Diet?
The good news: if you love pizza, there are many ways you can incorporate pizza into your bulking diet!
There are a few effective ways to optimize eating pizza to hit your nutritional targets while allowing you to grow muscle mass:
Healthy Pizza Crusts
One of the best ways to optimize adding pizza into a bulking diet is to make good choices when it comes to pizza crusts.
If you’re buying pizza from fast food outlets, try to avoid stuffed crusts! Stuffed crusts are usually packed with fat and calories.
Although a high-calorie diet is ideal when you’re bulking, ensuring these are from good sources such as healthy fats and proteins, is best for muscle growth.
If you’re making your own pizza, there are many ways to make the pizza healthier. Some examples include:
- Whole Wheat or Whole Grain Crust: Making your pizza crusts with whole wheat or whole grain flour helps to provide more fiber, vitamins, and minerals compared to refined white flour crusts.
- Cauliflower Crust: A cauliflower crust is made from cauliflower rice, often combined with cheese and eggs. It’s low in carbohydrates and provides extra fiber and vitamins.
- Quinoa Crust: Quinoa is a high-protein grain and quinoa crusts are gluten-free and protein-rich, which is great during bulking.
Incorporating healthy toppings, or buying pizzas with healthy toppings is the best way to enjoy the great taste of pizza, whilst providing fuel to your body to build more muscle.
Here are some ideas:
|Topping||Calories per Serving (3.5 oz)||Protein (grams)||Carbohydrates (grams)||Fat (grams)|
Additional tips and tricks
If you’re in a time crunch, a great option is to buy a frozen pizza from the supermarket and add some healthy toppings to it before placing it in the oven!
For example, you can add lean meats and spinach to give you a protein boost for muscle growth as well as fiber from the spinach.
How Much Pizza Can You Eat While Bulking?
The amount of pizza you can eat during bulking varies on your goals. If you’re bulking, it is important to have a daily calorie goal in mind!
If you are in a mild calorie surplus, you must keep in mind that pizzas have the potential to be high in calories.
If you’re on a ‘dirty bulk’, you can have as much pizza as you want as long as you are hitting your macro targets. Even in a dirty bulk, it is important to make sure you are getting enough protein to help muscle growth!
If your pizza toppings are high in proteins and other nutrients and are made at home, you can get away with eating pizza every other day.
Best times to eat for muscle growth
If you’re bulking, it is important to maintain a regular eating schedule. Because bulking requires a calorie surplus, this can be difficult to achieve in 1 or 2 meals a day.
Spreading your calorie intake throughout the day is often the best way to hit your targets.
In addition to breakfast, lunch, and dinner, some other good times include:
- Before your workout: Eating a meal 1-2 hours before your workout can provide your body with the energy it needs to perform at its best.
This is often a great time for pizza, as pizza is naturally high in carbohydrates which provide quick energy and some protein to support muscle maintenance and growth.
- After your workout: After your workout, it’s important to refuel to support muscle recovery and growth.
Aim to consume a meal or protein-rich snack within 1-2 hours of your workout! In addition to protein-rich food which helps muscle repair, restoring glycogen stores is important.
Do this by ensuring adequate carb intake. Additionally, having some sugar will help raise your insulin levels which are involved in protein uptake in muscle cells.
What are the macronutrients in pizza?
The macronutrient breakdown vicars hugely depending on the type of pizza. The type of crust, amount of cheese, and toppings added to the pizza influence this greatly.
However, pizza is generally the highest in carbohydrates due to the base and contains fat and protein depending on the toppings.
What are the healthiest pizza toppings for bulking?
The best pizza toppings for bulking include meats and cheese which are high in protein. Protein-rich toppings include turkey, chicken, salami, and ground beef.
Seafoods such as shrimp and salmon are also great additions to help with muscle growth.
Are there any specific pizza chains that are better for bulking than others?
No. While some pizza chains have a greater variety of pizzas to choose from, the type of pizza you order is much more important than the brand you buy from.
Pizza chains will often use very similar ingredients for standard pizzas such as cheese, pepperoni, and Hawaiian
What are some other healthy bulking foods that I can eat with pizza?
Having a side of lean meat is a great way to boost your protein intake when eating pizza.
For example, try supplementing your meal with chicken tenders. Having some yogurt for dessert is also a great way to increase your fat and protein intake.
Is pizza high in protein?
Pizza is usually not the best way to hit your protein targets for the day. However, if you are mindful of your topping choices and add extra lean meats, you can help boost the protein content of your meal. Consider adding extra turkey, chicken, or ground beef to help.
Why do bodybuilders eat a lot of pizza?
Pizza, when made thoughtfully and in moderation, can provide a controlled source of calories with a balance of macronutrients.
Bodybuilders will eat pizza to help restore their fuel sources as it contains carbohydrates, while the protein in toppings can help with muscle growth.
You’ll be pleased to know that pizza is a helpful food to use when bulking!
When you’re bulking, you should be in a calorie surplus while still ensuring that your macronutrient targets are being reached.
Pizza is a great way to ensure you are meeting these targets and offers a flexible way to ensure you are getting vegetables into your diet as well!
More importantly, it helps you restore your glycogen stores after exercise and with the right toppings and helps you reach your protein targets.
While eating out is tempting, the best way to make pizza work for you is to make it yourself.