List Of Post-Workout Muscle Building Foods

Solve the problem of post-workout meals - get ideas for food to support growth and recovery.

November 30, 2015
List Of Post-Workout Muscle Building Foods

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Food plays an important role in growth and recovery.

Diversity is the key to get all nutrients you need for growth, don't always eat the same thing just because it has more protein or less fat.

"Complete protein" foods (dairy, meat...) have all essential amino acids your body uses for protein synthesis, but you can combine other food groups and still get necessary nutrients.

It's just one meal - what matters more then choosing great post-workout food is what you eat during the whole day.

Chocolate Milk

Studies have shown chocolate milk to be as effective as different types of sports beverages and protein shakes.[1A protein combination of whey (faster absorption) and casein (slower absorption) found in milk, makes it a great recovery drink. Readily packed and easy to consume for a quick fix after a long workout that depleted your glycogen stores. Due to lots of sugar it's a real post-workout treat, so keep it for extra hard trainings.

One cup of chocolate milk serves 25 grams of carbs and 8 grams of protein.


The nature's pre-packed post-workout boost full of potassium to replenish what you lost through sweating. Banana is a great choice after endurance trainings, for building mass but also for an everyday serving of fruit to get the daily vitamins and fibers. A half of frozen banana with milk and some cocoa powder makes a simple and delicious shake you can make for refreshment when you workout at home.

One cup sliced banana has 34 grams of carbs.

Whole eggs

Not only are they high in complete protein (all essential amino acids), eggs also have other nutrients that facilitate recovery such as vitamins, calcium, zinc, iron. Don't throw away the yolks, they contain most of the vitamins and nutrients. However, if you're already having a high fat meal or following a special diet you can consider using only egg whites.

One large boiled egg contains 6 grams of protein

Egg Whites

Egg whites are high in amino acid leucine needed to boost the muscle protein synthesis[2], but without extra fat. If you buy a pack of raw egg whites in the supermarket you have to use them fast. Be creative, for example you can make a light spinach omelette and use the rest for egg white and oatmeal pancakes you can eat later (if you keep them in the fridge).

One cup egg whites contains 27 g of protein

Ricotta Cheese

Ricotta cheese is made of whey protein and thus a great choice for increasing muscle protein synthesis right after workout, as suggested by research. However, unlike whey protein powder (which is produced as an extract from milk and cheese), it contains fat and sugar, so adjust the portions of ricotta according to your daily nutrient needs.

One cup of ricotta cheese provides 28 grams of protein.

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Almost every supermarket offers this chickpea spread you can put on whole wheat cracker (to get amino acids from wheat) or mix in your low-fat cottage cheese to give it more taste. A good choice considering that chickpeas are high in leucine. Other legumes have a similar amino acid profile, so you can try making your own various spreads at home.

Two tablespoons of hummus have 7 grams of protein.


A rich natural source of nitrogenous acid creatine which is usually bought as a workout supplement to support athletic performance as it helps supply energy to the muscles. Although the creatine supplement is cheaper, with approximately 2 grams or creatine per 450 grams of beef, you can afford to give your muscles a real whole food feast every once in a while.

A cup of cooked lean beef contains 36 grams of protein.


Lean protein supply, chicken breast gives you a serving of all essential amino acids with 90% of calories coming only from protein.

One cup of boiled chicken breast has 39 grams of protein.


Fish in general is a great post-workout source of protein, but tuna has the higher amount of leucine (than for example salmon) needed for a faster recovery and can be bought in various amounts ready to eat. Canned tuna (or any other canned food) shouldn't be your everyday choice. When you can, always buy fresh foods.

A cup of cooked tuna has 39 grams of protein.

Cottage Cheese

Great choice for a high amount of protein with a low amount of fat. Also, great post-workout food if you exercised before going to sleep because of high amount of casein, slow digesting dairy protein. Add a spoon of peanut butter for healthy fat and you'll be building muscle all night long.

One cup cottage cheese has 25 grams of protein.

Brown rice and peas

If you pair brown rice and peas (to ensure a good combo of lysine and methionine) you can get all the essential amino acids as you normally would from complete protein sources such as dairy and meat. Besides, the fiber and a daily recommended intake of mineral manganese helps you digest fats.

A cup of brown rice with peas has 7 grams of protein.

What are your favourite post-workout foods? Comment below if you have some suggestions to share!

Other nutrition advice:

The rules for creating post-workout meals

Top muscle building foods

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Post a comment

  • robinsteen 179 workouts (level 44)
    awesome article, most of the times i get myself a "complete proteïn" shake (optimum nutrition) with 2 banana's right after training so i get my proteïns and carbs instantly after working out and when i get home some nice chicken breast with veggies and rice. i try not to combine to much fat and carbs because they have less effect together. (i keep most of my fats for the mornings and carbs for pre and post workouts ) December 09, 2015
  • pellihi 8 workouts (level 6)
    So why drink a pre-packed chocolate milk then? Just take regular milk add a banana and mix. Has all the positive effects of your first two food choices minus the sugar. December 01, 2015
  • nikica 984 workouts (level 143)
    Thanks for the article. My favorite post-workout meal, right after the training is a smoothie that consists of 1 banana, 1 orange, 2 apples, roasted peanuts, yogurt and water. An hour after training I usually eat some chicken breasts, eggs or tuna. December 01, 2015

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