Best Post Workout Meal: What to Eat and What Not to Gain Muscles!

Your sweaty and hard workout in the gym is incomplete without a proper nutritious best post workout meal that works as fuel for working muscles. What you eat before and after your workout is crucial that many tend to ignore. 

You must understand that food supports your body’s demands during the physical activity you perform. Food also balances how your body reacts to a rigorous workout. 

When you exercise, your muscle tissue gets damaged, fluids are lost in sweat & glycogen is depleted. To get everything back to its normal state, a good post workout meal is what you need at the right time, in the right way & in the right amount.  

Eat a balanced diet as per your individual goals and demands. 

Important Post Workout Nutrition Tips To Remember

Your post workout meal should be simple, basic & uncomplicated. The key is to eat right as per your goals & that’s it. There’s no requirement to unnecessarily add supplements and expensive stuff to your diet plan. Your body will appreciate CLEAN. 

Stock up on quality whole food rather than marketed items that are hyped for no good reason. 

The next important thing is to NEVER skip your post-work-out meal. 

For both pre and post-workout, food is the main element that adds to its success. Your dietary strategy, like carbs, proteins, etc., can range or jump from one to another, but skipping it is a big NO-NO. It improves your performance. Without carbs, proteins, and necessary fluids, your performance gets hampered. 

Right after your workout, a combination of carbs and protein increases rates of muscle glycogen synthesis. 

When you work hard in the gym, your muscles demand fuel. If your muscles don’t get enough nutrients that restore depleted glycogen stores, protein balance gets stagnant to a point where it’s negative. Therefore, if you skip meals post-workout, it can be harmful in the long run.

Perfect Post Workout Meal List

Simply joining a gym and sweating your body out is not enough for maintaining a healthy and fit lifestyle. Your food choice plays a vital role in achieving your fitness goals. Therefore, below is a quick list of the best things to eat after a workout that complement your workout the way you want it to be.  

1. Power Smoothie

Popular and the best post workout food, it’s an interesting amalgamation of fruits, Greek yogurt (non-fat), dairy (your choice of dairy), water & ice. For a dash of healthy fat, you are free to add some nut butter. Enjoy this fulfilling smoothie right after your workout. 

Image Courtesy: pritikin

2. Peanut Butter

Ditch the sugary jam and substitute it with a spoonful of peanut butter that’s nutrient-dense with healthy fats, plant protein, and good fiber. Have it with a multi-grain roti, good quality bread, or anything that’s part of your post-workout meal. 

Peanut Butter

3. Scrambled Egg

One egg with your favorite vegetables tossed with spices and topped up with fresh black pepper is a delicious and ideal post-workout meal that suits every fitness goal. A glass of fresh fruit juice with it is a great add-on. 

Scrambled Egg for muscles gain

4. Wraps

Whole grain high fiber wraps are a great meal for post-workout recovery. Roll up some avocado, greens, spices, meat, or anything that fits your meal plan. Enjoy a nutrient-dense meal. 

5. Brown Rice With Chicken Breast

It’s a great recovery meal that’s also a comfort food for many fitness enthusiasts out there. For a wholesome meal, nothing can beat this option. In case you’re worried about high fiber intake, you can any day substitute brown rice with white rice…

Brown Rice With Chicken Breast

6. Some Best Post Workout Snacks to Munch On

  • Low fat chocolate milk
  • Tuna on whole-grain toast
  • Banana with nut butter
  • Fat-free Greek yogurt with some fruit
  • Whey protein and banana blended

After that proud running session on the treadmill, you think you deserve a pizza? Your wrong food choices can ruin all your hard work in the gym. Why do that? Here’s a list of 20 food items that you should absolutely ignore post-workout.

Eat That, Not This!

1. Pre-Made Mixes Smoothies

When running short on time, such smoothies come handy. But do you know these mixes contain a lot of added sugars? Yes!  Sugary drinks delay or even stop your process of burning fats even after heavy exercises. If smoothies work for you, try fat-blasting smoothies that will add to your healthy routine. 

2. Spicy Food

It’s a great idea to stay away from spicy food that’s very hard to digest. Perfect post workout meals should look like a wholesome plate of protein, carbs & a little bit of sugar. Protein to help your body repair, carbs to replenish your energy level, and sugar to balance the sugar level in the body.   

3. Soda

Bubbles, caffeine, or something refreshing will attract you as a reward but repeat it at least ten times: No soda post workout. You can incorrectly interpret your body hydration demand for these drinks but water is the right choice to make. Also, soda might make you bloated. 

4. Heavy Protein

Protein, protein, protein, protein! You must have heard it for like endless times that could mislead you into its intake more than required. And anything excess is bad. Therefore, avoid heavy protein like a juicy steak for example. If you are trying to lose weight, a moderate protein intake like a protein shake post workout is the best that aids in retaining muscles. 

Heavy Protein retaining muscles
Image Courtesy: dietburrp

5. Fatty Items

This one, we believe, goes without saying. Oil, seeds, fried, nuts, etc., post workout is a big thumbs down. Fat delays the process of digestion in the gut and will not allow the vital nutrients to absorb into the muscles. 

6. Chocolates

We can imagine your sad face here. We don’t want to say that you can’t have chocolates after your workout, but that’s true. Though you can have it after a while, but not immediately at least. Especially when your aim is to lean down, it’s best to avoid chocolate bars. 

chocolates meal after your workout
Image Courtesy:

7. Fast Food

Do whatever in your power to stay away from fast food after your workout. It’s best to stay away from this slow poison as much as you can. Loaded with fat and unhealthy ingredients, fast food totally reverses your fitness goals. 

8. Simple Carbs

Simple carbs like white bread is a simple No. Why? They contain added sugars that slow down your metabolism. The meal might be low and simple, it won’t do any good to your body. 

9. Energy/Protein Bars

The name might trap you into thinking that these bars will give you energy. Not much really. You are fed that these bars are loaded with protein that helps in repairing & building your muscles after your workout. The reality is, these bars have added sugars with no or less nutritional value that equals a candy bar. 

Protein Bars Best Post Workout Meal
Image Courtesy: mekitec

10. Workout Drinks

Though these drinks are advertised to provide the perfect dose of hydration post workout because they contain electrolytes, what’s that’s bad? The high sugar content that’s not required by your body. Coconut water or a healthy smoothie are great options. 

11. Raw Vegetables

Though they are considered a great addition to your diet, avoiding them as your post-workout meal is highly recommended. It’s not raw veggies’ nutritional value that’s an issue, but it can be a fulfilling meal that won’t allow you to eat other meals rich in carbs, protein, and a bit of calories that your body needs after a tough workout session.

raw vegetables Best Post Workout Meal
Image Courtesy:

12. Foods High In Fiber

Food high in fiber as your post workout meal can lead to cramping & bloating. Examples include salads with flax seeds or kale. 

13. Plum Juice

Plum juice serves as a laxative: Something you would not want to have after your workout. When you exercise, it has the same effect. Like they say, anything excess is bad. Noted? 

14. Candies

A small candy full of refined sugar would do no harm. Right? Even a small candy can ruin your workout. 

15. Black Beans

The worst first. If you eat beans after your workout, it can make you gassy. Therefore, avoid eating black beans in any form as it’s rich in fiber that can slow down your digestion process. 

16. Sugary Drinks

These drinks like fruit punch have fructose in high levels that’s slow to digest. Additionally, sugary drinks minimize fat burning effects of workout that could lead to unwanted fat storage. 

sugary drinks minimize fat
Image Courtesy:

17. Egg Fry

To fulfill your protein intake post workout, eggs are a great option when boiled or raw. But after a sweaty gym session, your egg dripping in saturated fats is to be avoided. 

18. Booze

If you drink after an intense workout, it might dehydrate you along with reducing protein synthesis. 

19. Meal Replacements

The market today has endless meal replacement options claiming to provide all the nutrients you need after you workout. The reality is, they can hinder your workout success. They can have artificial flavors, preservatives, colors, etc., that is totally unnecessary for your body.  

Meal replacements Post Workout

20. Eat and Not Just Hydrate

You must recharge your body with meals that aid in muscle building. If not done the right way, your body might start eating the muscles that’s in the process of building. Feed your body with what it needs & not just what you’ve heard. 

Some Words From Stay Strong And Fit

There’s no meal after workout plan that fits all. The right way to find the best food to eat after a workout is a process of trial and error. Keep trying multiple nutritional diets to create a successful plan that compliments your workout regimen the way you want. 

A pro tip in the end would be to not skip any of your meals and drink water as much as possible. 

We have got the list of perfect post workout meal that will help you the best to your interests.For daily health tips, amazing recipes & fitness articles, subscribe to Stay Fit And Strong via Email, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter.

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