Ramen noodles are a popular and convenient type of meal that is enjoyed by people around the world, however, the amount of protein ramen noodles has is stupidly low.
While they may seem like a quick and simple meal, they can actually be quite unhealthy.
In this article, I’m going to show you a great way you will love to 3x the amount of protein, without adding any additional food to the ramen bowl.
Maruchan Ramen Noodles Nutritional Breakdown
A typical serving of Maruchan ramen noodles (the 85g block style) contains around 190 calories, 4 grams of protein, 27 grams of carbohydrates, and 7 grams of fat.
But if you look at the packaging a little closer, you’ll notice that 1 serving of the ramen is actually only HALF of the block, not the full block of ramen.
If you eat the whole noodle block, all of those numbers double, and things get real interesting, real fast. That means now we are looking at 370 calories, 14 grams of fat, 8 grams of protein, and a whopping 54 grams of carbs.
That’s a lot of carbs for such a small meal serving.
Because the manufacturing process strips away so much of the original nutrition, a bowl of ramen noodles and soup typically provides very little nutritional value to your diet.
While a healthy diet requires a fair share of daily fats and carbs, we would like to see more protein in our ramen bowl.
An Easy Hack To 3x Your Protein Ramen Noodles
So, how do we turn out normal, low-protein noodles into a high protein powerhouse meal?
One way to make high protein ramen noodles is to add meat to them. By incorporating protein into your instant noodles, you can increase their nutritional value and give your body the nutrients it needs to function properly.
Of course, that also means you have to cook the chicken and then dice it up into small pieces for your ramen soup bowl.
There are many different ways to add protein to your bowl of ramen noodles, including adding protein powder, topping them with chopped chicken or beef, or stirring in some tofu or eggs.
But as it turns out, there is a super easy hack that can nearly triple your protein of basic instant ramen noodles, without adding anything more to the dish.
That’s right! Protein ramen soup with no additional prep, no extra ingredients or food added, and no extra time needed to get it ready.
Skip The Water, And Go With Chicken Bone Broth
When you are making basic ramen noodles, the only thing you need to add to the dry noodles is water. Each cup of water acts as a base, softening the instant noodles as they cook in the pot, and making a nice, tasty soup broth into which the flavor packet dissolves.
And while water is obviously great for the body, it adds no nutritional value to traditional ramen noodles.
Its job is to simply facilitate the cooking of instant noodles.
So what if we could replace the water with a different liquid that not only added nutritional value by changing the ramen into protein ramen but also contributed to the great taste of the instant noodles?
Look no further than a delicious cup or two of unsalted chicken bone broth.
From Plain To Protein Ramen Noodles
Bone broth is a protein professional, usually having zero fat or carbs, but lots of protein and flavor. This is the perfect substitute for water when making your ramen bowl, and will convert your dish into a protein ramen masterpiece.
By adding 2 cups of delicious bone broth, you do add around 80 more calories to your dish (raising the total calorie count from 370 to 450), but you add an additional 18 grams of protein, increasing your protein intake from 8g to a whopping 26 grams of protein.
You just made protein packed ramen noodles simply by subbing the water with unsalted chicken bone broth.
Not only do you get the extra protein to help offset the high-carb macronutrient count, but you also add extra flavors to your noodles.
It’s a no-brainer for anyone looking to bump up the protein macros of ramen noodles. More protein and more flavor are a win-win.
But, chicken bone broth has a lot of benefits, not just its great protein macros.
The Benefits of Chicken Bone Broth
Let’s take a look at perhaps the most important of those benefits, which is its ability to keep your gut healthy and happy.
The gelatin in the bone broth has been shown to have positive effects on your digestive system, improving both digestion and nutrient absorption.
It also helps increase collagen production in the body and has been shown to reduce inflammation and promote healing.
Yes, bone broth is also chock full of protein, thus making it an excellent way to boost your protein intake while still enjoying the comfort of a warm ramen bowl.
It’s a great substitute for water in many dishes when you want a way to help your gut health and even get in more protein.
Are Ramen Noodles Healthy?
So is ramen really healthy? Well, that depends on a few different factors.
The primary concerns with ramen noodles is their high carbohydrate and sodium content, as traditional instant ramen noodles contain close to 70% of your daily value of carbs in just one bowl and 1,520 mg of sodium for a full noodle block, 66% of the daily recommended amount. This means they are often off-limits for those who follow low-carb or keto diets, as well as those who are trying to lower their intake of carbs and sodium.
But if you replace the water that is used to cook ramen noodles with unsalted chicken bone broth, you add a lot of protein and nutrients while still keeping your carb count fairly low compared to the protein intake.
Ramen does offer a bit of dietary fiber as well, around 7% of the total daily recommended amount per serving.
Why Is The Sodium So High In Ramen Noodles?
The high sodium content of ramen noodles is due to the fact that they are dehydrated and packaged, which means that the majority of their water has been removed. This allows them to be transported and stored easily, but also means that they have a higher sodium content than other types of noodles.
The flavor packets are also a high contributor to the excessive salt amounts in ramen packets.
If you want to reduce the total sodium intake, you can simply leave out the flavor packet and use the bone broth to help add a little extra flavor to your noodles.
Will it taste as good? No. But, the flavors will still be delicious and best for your health and heart thanks to less salt.
In those cases, add some garlic and onion powder for some additional and delicious flavors to your soup bowl.
Final Thoughts On Making Protein Ramen
To get the most benefit from your bowl of high protein ramen noodles, pair them with a healthy vegetable dish or protein source to make sure that you are getting plenty of nutrients in your diet.
And for those who follow low-carb or keto diets, chicken bone broth is one of the best ways to enjoy the comfort and flavor of noodles without breaking your carb budget, and one of our favorite protein snacks.
Rob is a Certified Personal Trainer and Certified Nutrition Coach through the National Academy of Sports Medicine. For the past 10 years, Rob has been navigating the health and fitness landscape in a quest to better himself and those around him focusing on tools such as calorie and macro counting, intermittent fasting, and HIIT training techniques.