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How To Build A Post Workout Meal That Builds Muscle

Post-workout nutrition. An often-discussed topic and often extremely confusing for the average Joe just looking to fuel their body with good post-workout nutrients. Today I wanted to discuss what a great post-workout meal would look like so you can reap the benefits of your hard work in the gym & go on with your lives.

To put simply, post-workout nutrition is a make or break meal that could hinder or enhance your ability to make gains in the gym. Nutrient timing and when exactly to eat is a way more in-depth article for another time. But I will tell you this: Nutrient timing and eating immediately after working out is not as important as you were led to believe. However, there are certain cases where eating a quality meal within a short period of time post workout is highly suggested. Some examples of this would be: if you are training fasted; if you haven’t eaten a pre-workout meal, or if you are attempting to add every gram of muscle to your body, then it is wise to eat an immediate post-workout meal. You also know that macronutrients and calorie intake are extremely important in building muscle.

So, for the sake of the article, below I outlined what a quality post workout meal should look like for someone looking to build muscle.

1. Set Your Macro & Calorie Targets for Post Workout Meal

A post workout meal should consist of mainly protein and carbohydrates. Protein is essential post workout because it helps decrease muscle breakdown and increases muscle protein synthesis. Carbohydrates help restock glycogen levels that were depleted during training, which may aid in the promotion of muscle growth. Interestingly though, there is no study that eating fat post workout will make it less “anabolic” or in other words, muscle building. Eating fats post workout will still allow you to get the same increase in insulin, glycogen levels, and muscle protein synthesis. Now, it will just taste a little better!

To give you a better idea of how much protein and carbohydrates to eat post training session, studies show:

Protein- 0.1-0.3 grams per pound

Carbohydrates: 0.25 -0.7 grams per pound

So, lets take me for example. I am a 190 pounds male, my numbers for a post workout meal would look as follows:


Protein- .1 x 190 = 19 grams /.3 x 190 = 57 grams

Carbohydrates- .25 x 190= 47.5 grams/ .7 x 190= 133 grams

To find your numbers for your perfect post workout meal, simply use the given number ranges above and plug in your own body weight for an individual calculation! If you are someone who does not enjoy eating a large meal post workout, confidently opt for the lower range knowing you are still making progress!

2. Plan Your Favorite Macro Friendly Meals Ahead of Time

So, what I suggest next is think of several meals rich in proteins and carbohydrates that you absolutely love. Make sure they are of good quality. Create a planner, a spreadsheet or a journal of all these favorite meals and from these favorite meals, pick 3-4 which could be used as post-workout meals.

Once you have your meals that you are ready to roll with picked out, it is time to adjust your macronutrients and calories to fit within the numbers given earlier!

So again, using me as an example: the numbers I am looking to hit post workout are 30 grams of protein and 60 grams of carbs ACCORDING TO MY WEIGHT (Section 1, exp. A).


Meal 1: Rocky Marciano

6 oz T- Bone steak, 1 cup of steamed jasmine rice, 1 cup of steamed green beans.

Protein: 41 grams

Carbs: 55 grams

Fat: 20 grams

Calories: 579

Meal 2: Where is the Gabagool?

1 scoop of whey protein, 1 cup of frozen blueberries, 1 medium frozen banana, 1 glass of 2% milk.

Protein: 34 grams

Carbs: 65 grams

Fats: 8 grams

Calories: 458

Meal 3: No Cannoli

½ cup (40 grams) rolled oats + 1 cup (240 grams) 2% milk + 1 tbs (~10 grams) brown sugar + 1 egg (50 grams) + ½ cup (120 grams) nonfat Greek yogurt + cinnamon.

Protein: 30

Carbs: 55

Fat: 13

Calories: 448

And there you have it! 3 easy to make and delicious post workout meals that will fuel your body with good shit and will ensure real progress!

I personally suggest choosing more than a dozen meals and rotating them around every week or however you prefer, just make sure to keep it fresh, so you do not get bored.

Post Workout Meals Made Simple

Too often I see people hung up on which protein powder is the best and which one is going to maximize their gains. The truth is, they all will. Of course, there are some that are better than others, but the majority will do just fine. Besides, these meals should be focused on whole foods, lean meats, and carb-rich foods.

As long as you figure out your personalized number range, you will be good to go.

This system will save you money, because you will know exactly what you need to get when you go to the grocery store and it will also save you a ton of time, because there will be no more time spent on the lingering question: “What should I eat?”. All you must do is pop open your journal, pick a favorite meal, and get to cooking!

Do you have more questions about post-workout nutrition or supplementation? Email me at or visit my website to book a consultation

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