Design the Perfect Muscle-Building Post-Workout Meal

Help your gains in the weight room by growing your muscles in the kitchen. Here's the breakdown on your needs post-workout and how to fuel them.

Fruit and Yogurt

Don't you love the end of a good workout? There's that feeling of exhaustion, but your aches and pains are offset by a sense of satisfaction.

While you're feeling proud of yourself, but before you close the door on a workout, you need to consider the following questions: "What can I eat?" and "Where did I put my post-workout snack?"

The questions may seem odd. After a particularly intense session, eating is probably far from your mind. However, you should take in a post-workout meal within 30 minutes following your training. This is known as the "window of opportunity," because it's the best time to feed your starving muscles. And the most important types of foods to eat during this time are proteins and carbohydrates.


The building blocks of muscle growth, protein is derived from eight essential amino acids. Without them, your body will lack muscle development. Protein is crucial for building and repairing muscle tissue. (Want more information? See Consuming Protein to Build Muscle.)


That satisfying workout mentioned earlier is only worth your time if you have enough energy to perform it. Energy is mainly obtained through carbohydrates, which break down into glucose stored in your liver and muscles as glycogen for later use, such as to power that workout.

Proper Amount of Protein

The protein needs of athletes depend on their age, body weight and activity level. The general rule is to consume 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight. However your day-by-day level of activity dictates whether you need more or less. Hard working athletes generally need more.


175-pound athlete (neutral/maintaining weight)

  • Divide 175 pounds by 2.2 = 80 kg
  • 80 kg x 0.8 = 64 grams of protein per day

175-pound athlete (involved in intense training and development)

  • Divide 175 pounds by 2.2 = 80 kg
  • 80 kg x 1.5 = 120 grams of protein per day

Protein Supplements

Protein supplements should mostly be used in place of real food when you're on the go. Be careful, though, because sometimes the amount of protein in one scoop of protein powder is more than the body can immediately process. Excess protein gets stored as fat for later use.

Post-Workout Meal/Snack Ideas


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