Here are the 10 best bodybuilding nutrition books to add to your library if you’re interested in learning more about how to build muscle mass or get lean!
Hey! Chantal here – I’m a mom of two, certified personal trainer and also a certified nutrition coach. Welcome to my site!
Let me start by saying that even if you’re not into bodybuilding seriously, everyone should be learning about nutrition.
You don’t have to want to be the next Arnold Schwarzenegger to benefit from reading these books. I’m especially talking to you, ladies!
You will not look like a man by resolving to start eating for muscle growth or lifting more weights. It takes A LOT of long-term dedication to get huge!
So go ahead and get the myth that lifting weights makes you bulky and big out of your head.
Only lifting HEAVY for a long time and also eating a specific way will really make you get bulky.
But hey, that might be your goal! If that’s the case, this is especially for you.
It’s a great starting point whether you want to become a professional bodybuilder or just want to look and feel great.
While I am not personally into any serious bodybuilding, I am most definitely into knowing more about fitness, helping people reach their goals, and strength training in general.
It’s literally one of my favorite things in life. Period.
My readers and online followers know that I love to get a bit nerdy about fitness-stuff, but today I want to take it a little further and talk to a more serious audience about bodybuilding.
If that’s not for you, take a look at a few of my other articles:
- Muscle Recovery Tips: 7 Natural Ways To Help Yourself Heal
- 50 Different Types of Fitness Goals To Work On
- What is Biofeedback?
Today I’m going to share the best books for educating yourself when it comes to strength training, meal plans, building muscle mass, and more!
If you’re still wingin’ it when it comes to lifting and eating, this will be a lot of help. Onward!
Before we get to the books, I need to mention that nutrition is not the only piece of the puzzle here.
No matter how much experience you have in the gym, you need to learn strength training anatomy, basic bodybuilding exercises, different training methods, etc.
If you’re going to focus on one aspect of bodybuilding (proper nutrition) but forget all about the others, your efforts will simply be in vain.
A lot of hard work goes into it!
To be the best of the best, you have to keep reaching higher and keep learning.
Hire a personal trainer, start seeking expert advice, and start following successful bodybuilders and their journeys.
With that in mind, a couple of the books I want to share with you today are focused on a variety of other aspects of bodybuilding and strength training in general.
Fitness is such a multi-faceted realm and you should always keep tweaking and testing different things on your journey. 🙂
Gather as much information as you can and then keep doing it!
That being said, let’s get to the best bodybuilding nutrition books.
Seeking out useful advice is a great way to get started. Here are some of the best bodybuilding nutrition books on the market.
Related Reading: 30 Best Books on Mindset To Change Your Life Forever
10 Best Bodybuilding Nutrition Books
Only the best books for bodybuilding & nutrition! Grab a couple of them on Amazon and let the journey begin. 🙂
1. Bigger Leaner Stronger: The Simple Science Of Building The Ultimate Male Body
I just got done reading this comprehensive guide and it solidified a lot for me.
(I read the female version since I am female and so are all of my clients.)
There seems to be a misconception that you have to do really crazy and elaborate exercises to make gains & see results. (We can thank the Instagram trainers for that.)
This book helps to give you a super-solid foundation when it comes to nutrition and lifting. It also dispels many fitness myths with the science to back things up.
Overall, this book is a great starting point and I think that everyone should have it in their home library, regardless of their fitness goals.
It will give you a great plan for both exercise and nutrition, and it keeps things simple but science-based. Perfect!
2. Nancy Clark’s Sports Nutrition Guidebook
I had to read this book as a continuing education credit to retain my personal training certification and now it’s one of my favorite nutrition books.
Let’s just say that this book is FULL of little nuggets of wisdom based on science & experience. (It’s written by a highly-trained registered dietician who specializes in sports nutrition.)
Perhaps the most valuable information I took away from this book was about the best timing of different nutrients based on different activities.
(AKA what and when to eat for best results depending on exercise type.)
However, this book is just loaded with science and nutrition gold and I would recommend it to athletes of any kind, not just those into the sport of bodybuilding!
Really seriously, everyone should know nutrition basics, and this book is super helpful for that.
3. The New Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding
This is an Amazon Bestseller and it’s written by bodybuilding legend Arnold Schwarzenegger.
If you are an Arnold fan, you definitely need this book in your home library!
In it, Arnold and contributor Bill Dobbins cover strength training and nutrition, but they also cover injury-prevention, competition prep and posing, the history of bodybuilding, and more.
If you are looking for more of a “behind-the-scenes” read, this book covers it with expert advice and great detail. Find out how and what Arnold ate before, during, and after competition…among other things!
4. Iron On My Mind (Or Any Dave Draper Book)
Dave Draper is affectionately known as “The Pied Piper of Bodybuilding” and “Blond Bomber.”
He became a well-known bodybuilder after winning Mr. America, Mr. World, AND Mr. Universe. He’s in the Bodybuilder’s Hall of Fame and has since written several books.
If you’re looking for more of a memoir or the history of bodybuilding, reach for Dave’s book, A Glimpse in the Rear View.
All good choices for those of you who want to nerd out about muscle building! These selections will take you back to “simpler times” and help drown out the noise of the fitness industry.
Related Reading: 13 Best Books to Organize Your Life
5. The Ultimate Bodybuilding Cookbook
Not every book you pick up needs to be about technique and programming! We’d totally miss the boat if we didn’t talk about the actual FOOD and meal prep!
Learning how to eat a high-protein diet that yields the best results can come with a learning curve.
Anyone can tell you to eat more protein, but how can you do it in a tasty way?
To help you learn what to make and how to mix it up (to keep you from getting bored with food), why not grab a cookbook written with bodybuilding in mind?
The Ultimate Bodybuilding Cookbook is a super popular, super highly-rated cookbook exclusively for those of us who want to gain muscle mass. (Without hating our food.)
Once you learn how to make healthy, high-protein food that actually tastes good, it will only make your bodybuilding journey go smoother and become more enjoyable.
Enjoy lots of great recipes with nutrition tidbits woven in with this book!
6. Anything By Mark Rippetoe
Mark Rippetoe is the author of Starting Strength: Basic Barbell Training and Practical Programming for Strength Training, among other books.
Mark’s books are the right place to start if you want to learn the proper form for bench press, squats, deadlifts, and other barbell exercises.
He was one of the first ever people to be certified by the National Strength & Conditioning Association and was also an Olympic lifting coach.
If you want detailed instruction on how to build maximum strength in the safest way, you’ll have to check Mark’s books out!
While focused primarily on strength-building, his books are super handy for beginner bodybuilders.
7. Men’s Health Natural Bodybuilding Bible
The Natural Bodybuilding Bible is a great pick for newbie bodybuilders who don’t know how to program their own workouts.
This book features a 24-week bodybuilding program along with a diet plan, competition prep help, exercise science and more.
It was developed by Natural Bodybuilding champion Tyler English, and it would be a great book to invest in to get started with a solid strength training program!
Lean on the education and experience you’ll learn from this book until you are ready to go at it alone!
Looking for some delicious recipes that are high-protein? I created this super cool PDF cookbook just for you! (And the nutrition info/macros scan right into MyFitnessPal!)
8. Strength Training Anatomy
Okay so I know that this isn’t exactly a nutrition-specific book, but it’s super important to add to your library.
Every great bodybuilder needs to understand anatomy (aka muscle names and where specific muscles are in the body).
While some anatomy can be learned just by spending time in the gym, it can be super helpful to know a higher level of anatomy when training.
This is useful so that you can program workouts and recovery with intention and reap the most benefits.
While I truly believe that the general population can benefit from learning more about exercise science and anatomy, it is especially important for aspiring bodybuilders.
Strength Training Anatomy written by Frederic Delavier is one of the most highly rated & reputable books out there.
It features detailed illustrations that show you which muscles are activated with a huge variety of exercises. It also covers injuries and stretches!
9. Jim Stoppani’s Encyclopedia of Muscle & Strength
Jim Stoppani has a doctorate in exercise physiology and was the senior science editor of Muscle & Fitness magazine and other magazines for over 10 years.
In his encyclopedia, he explores different modalities (equipment & training styles) such as TRX, kettlebell training, and various training programs. Of course, it’s full of nutrition gold as well!
This book is an appropriate read for anyone who simply wants to live a healthy lifestyle, but it makes for a useful bodybuilding book too!
(Check out his website for bodybuilding programs!)
10. The Complete Macro Cookbook
Learn how to calculate your macros for muscle gain and fat loss with this recipe book!
It features 2-week plans for food as well as programming suggestions & routines.
As you probably know, the hardest part about gaining muscle and losing fat is the NUTRITION!
This beginner-friendly book will help you fine-tune your meals, gain muscle, and lose fat (all while actually enjoying food)!
If you’re not into tracking calories and are interested in just tracking macros, this is a great book to start with.
Whether you are knee-deep in competition prep or just getting started, add this great cookbook to your library and start cooking!
Other Great Bodybuilding Resources
Don’t stop at the best bodybuilding nutrition books!
It’s always a good idea to keep learning. The most effective way to be successful is just to keep educating yourself!
You can find a wealth of information on social media as well as Google and other websites.
Here are some great resources, inspirational accounts, and other useful information sources to keep the muscle building ball rolling.
Accounts to Follow:
*These are just good starting points but there are literally thousands of great informational and inspirational bodybuilding accounts out there!
(Just to name a few!)
There you have it friends! Some of the best bodybuilding nutrition books and resources of all time!
Do you have any others that you like? Let me know!
I wish you luck and health,