Post Workout Nutrition

The Best Foods To Eat After A Workout For Building Muscle

We’ve all been told from a young age that breakfast is the most important meal of the day… But for a hard training bodybuilder or athlete your post workout meal is actually the most important food you eat in terms of maximizing muscle recovery and growth.

During a hard workout your body breaks down muscle tissue and burns glycogen that’s stored in the muscle cells for energy. However, for about 45 minutes after a workout your body is most responsive for absorbing carbohydrates and protein.

Most serious bodybuilders will drink a post workout shake with fast digesting protein and simple carbs right after their workouts to help replenish their depleted muscles – which is great – but proper post workout nutrition doesn’t end with a shake. The food you eat after training is important as well for optimizing your muscle recovery and growth.

Watch the video below to see a sample Post Workout Meal…

Click Here To Watch The Full Video On YouTube.

Post Workout Nutrition 101:
– Focus on lean protein and complex carbohydrates
– Keep fat intake low, because fat slows digestion
– Eat up to 25% of your calories in your post workout meal
– Shoot for a 2 to 1 ratio of carbs to protein
(i.e. 100 grams of carbs & 50 grams of protein)
– Ovoid excessive fiber intake, too much fiber slows digestion

Here are some of the best foods to eat after your workouts to fuel and reload your depleted muscles.

Good Sources Of Post Workout Protein:
– White Fish (i.e. cod, flounder, haddock, tilapia, mahi mahi, etc.)
– Chicken Breast
– Turkey Breast
– Egg Whites
– Very Lean Red Meat (i.e. eye of round steak)
– Protein Powder

Good Sources Of Post Workout Carbohydrates:
– Rice
– Potatoes
– Yams / Sweet Potatoes
– Pasta / Noodles
– Quinoa
– Oatmeal or Cream Of Wheat
– Fruit (all types)

If you would like to learn more about bodybuilding nutrition, than I recommend that you download a copy of my Bodybuilding Nutrition Made Simple PDF Report.

Bodybuilding Nutrition Made Simple

About The Author


Lee Hayward is a former competitive bodybuilder and muscle building coach who has been online coaching people since 1997. His work has been featured in several international magazines such as: FLEX, Muscle Insider, Muscle Mag International, Testosterone, Ironmag, and Forbes. Lee's main focus right now is with helping men over 40 - who don't want to be fat anymore - lose the gut, build muscle, and get back in shape. If you're ready to "Start Again" for the last time and finally build a lean healthy body that you can be proud of, just e-mail Lee to discuss a realistic action plan that's right for you...


  • Carlos Haro

    Thanks Lee For Good Info.very easy to forget about Meal timing after workout.

  • Great information. thanks for sharing diet plan with us. I’ll follow this.

  • Great read!

    Whenever I finish a workout, I always put 2 scoops of protein powder in my shaker with a scoop of porridge oats.

    Perfect post workout carb hit to fuel the muscles!

  • Jarrett Wanving

    Steve P,

    Add some peanut butter and a frozen banana to that and say hello to Gainsville, USA

  • lee

    Never thought about eating as soon as you finish a workout… Great tip thanks I generally drive home which takes about 45 then eat or drink a protein shake..

    Great PDG… Thanks, give us guys some good ideas and advice…

  • Wes

    Been eating straight after workouts for the last few months and have seen a bigger increase all over. Great advice and I need all I can get…

  • wow thanks for the tips guys. looking to try bulk up quick and will try this

  • mrx3

    At which time can I start to take supplements

    • As long as you are in your mid teens or older you can use nutritional supplements in your diet to help make up for any deficiencies and to ensure you are meeting your nutritional needs.

  • Kali M

    After workout I always have protein shake including creatine and also classic meal, white rice & chicken. However my body fat is still high, can’t get my abs. 🙁

    • The problem here is not with your post workout meal, but with your overall diet and training program. In order to burn bodyfat you need to average a caloric deficit over the course of the day so that you can tap into burning stored bodyfat for energy. Reducing your food intake and increasing your cardiovascular exercise can help to create this caloric deficit. If you’d like more help losing bodyfat, then I’d recommend you check out the Extreme Fat Loss Program at:

  • Ioannis

    After workout I have a whey protein shake with only 3gr of carbs per serving. It is wright?

    • The protein shake is fine. But to optimize muscle growth you should have some carbohydrates post workout as well, just like was mentioned in the blog post.

  • ali

    nice nice nice nice nice

  • Excellent advice! I love the blog content. Great article!

  • airam

    Hi, i workout around 10pm, what i need to eat after workout at that time?

    can i take whey protein at that time?