Painting of a muscular barbarian eating pizza to bulk up.

Is Pizza Good for Bulking? It Can Be

If you’re on a quest to bulk up, pizza can seem like a formidable ally. It’s hearty, delicious, and bursting with the calories needed to fuel growth. Its high caloric density and balanced mix of protein, carbohydrates, and fats make it seem like the perfect bulking meal. But is it really?

The Nutritional Value of Pizza

Pizza is a popular dish of vaguely Italian origin consisting of a usually round, flattened base of leavened dough topped with tomatoes, cheese, and the occasional sardine. It’s then baked at a high temperature.

None of that is inherently unhealthy, but the quality of the ingredients matters. The pizza you get at the local fast-food joint might have thick slabs of dough made from highly processed grains, perhaps with sugar added. That’s an entirely different beast from a pizza made from nutritious whole-grain dough.

  • Dough: The dough is often made from white flour. Better if it’s whole grain. Either way, it’s a dense source of carbohydrates.
  • Tomato Sauce: Usually made from tomatoes, garlic, onions, and various herbs and spices. This contributes a negligible number of carbs and fibre, along with a range of vitamins and minerals.
  • Cheese: Most commonly mozzarella, but you’ll also find cheddar, feta, or gorgonzola. This adds protein, fat, and micronutrients, such as calcium.
  • Toppings: The toppings can range from various types of meat (like pepperoni, sausage, or chicken) to vegetables (like bell peppers, onions, or spinach) to even fruits (like pineapple). These contribute various amounts of protein, fat, carbohydrates, and fibre. Lean meats can raise the protein content, but pizza is already relatively high in protein, especially if you’re using whole-grain dough. Adding fruits and veggies is probably the better approach if you’re trying to make it more nutritious.

Pizza Macros & Calories

Pizza is a great source of macros and calories while bulking. Its main shortcoming is the lack of fibre, especially if you’re using heavily processed dough. Here’s what you’ll get in every slice:

  • Carbs: 25-35 grams of carbohydrates.
  • Protein: 10-15 grams of protein.
  • Fats: 10-20 grams of fat.
  • Fibre: 1-3 grams of fibre. More if you use whole wheat dough.
  • Calories: 250-400 calories.

If you eat three slices of pizza as a meal, you could expect:

  • Carbs: 75-105 grams
  • Protein: 30-45 grams
  • Fats: 30-60 grams
  • Fibre: 3-9 grams
  • Calories: 750-1200 calories

That’s great. It’s high in carbs, high enough in protein, and rich in fats. Eating three slices of pizza is an incredibly easy way to eat 1,000 calories.


Pizza can be a good bulking food. As with any food, moderation is key. Opt for healthier versions when possible, such as those made with whole grain crusts, lean proteins, and plenty of vegetables. Consider pairing it with a salad. Maybe have some fruit for dessert. Try to get most of your calories from nutritious whole foods.

Pizza is high in calories, helping you bulk with ease, but health is more than a caloric squeeze. For true strength and health, let it be known: seeds of balance must be sown.

Wide Old Bamba

For more, you might like our article on dirty bulking.

Cassandra Duquette

Cassandra is a registered nutritionist living in Cancun, Mexico. She believes vitality comes from an abundant diet, regular exercise, and a healthy lifestyle. Her specialty is nutrition. She's gained 20 pounds.

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