Alright, so you just crushed a workout and you are starving. As you get in your car and decide whether to hit Chipotle, eat ice cream or just drive home and cook yourself a meal - it’s important that you know what macronutrients you need to consume in your post workout window to see the fastest recovery and growth from your workouts.
This article is going to change your perception of what is the best post workout meal for muscle gain - especially when you hear WHY I will sometimes eat donuts during my post workout meals! More on this 🙂
If you are crushing your balloon method workouts I know you are training really hard and creating a demand for nutrition that will fuel fast growth, so the goal of this article is to share with you the best post workout meal options for muscle gains.
The good news is you will soon find out this is the BEST time of the day to consume the carbohydrates you crave, as you create a demand for glycogen and insulin following a hard workout! Let’s first dive into the science of what macros are ideal.
Why carbs and protein are essential
According to one of my favorite nutrition books of all time “Nutrient Timing” by 2 leading PHD’s and nutritionists - insulin is the most anabolic hormone in your body following a workout.
This is fancy talk to say that the best post workout meal options for muscle growth ALWAYS include carbohydrates along with protein.
Fat is not needed in your post workout meal, but carbohydrates and protein are 100% essential for muscle growth and fast recovery.
In the SuperHuman Programs, we all follow what is called the “Crave Diet” where regardless of what your exact physique goal is, the post workout window is when you can enjoy the carbohydrates you crave as the insulin spike won’t hurt you but rather help you increase your body’s most anabolic hormone and replenish lost glycogen from your training.
How much protein and carbohydrates are needed?
Now that we know the best post workout meal options need to include carbohydrates and protein - the question is how much? This will be different for everybody depending on how much you weigh and your exact goal, but assuming you are here and you want to build muscle fast here is what I recommend.
Your overall daily intake is approximately 1 gram of protein and 2 grams of carbs per lb of bodyweight. Let’s say that you weigh 200 lbs. This comes out to about 200 grams of protein and 400 grams of carbohydrates.
Ideally your post workout meal should be about 25% of your daily intake of protein and carbs, so in this example that would come out to 50 grams of protein and 100 grams of carbs. This may seem like a lot, but when you factor in that you can have some of your carbs coming from the foods you crave, it’s really quite easy.
Now we want to keep our fat intake as low as possible, but it’s pretty hard to keep fat to zero as there will be some fat in your protein choices, cooking oil, and also in the sweets that you choose if you are feeling crazy!
Just focus on hitting those protein and carb ratios above and keeping the fat intake as low as possible - like under 15-20 total grams at the most!
For example a bowl of chicken and rice with teriyaki sauce only has about 5 grams of fat, and if you paired this with fat free frozen yoghurt you would be consuming a ton of carbs and protein with minimal fat. Make sense?
Best post workout meal options & eating what you crave
Now that we know carbohydrates and protein are most important during our post workout meals, let me show you a few real life post workout meals i’ve consumed during a muscle building phase. I encourage you to have fun with this because there are just so many options and I always go back to reminding you that you just crushed a workout, and you should enjoy the food you truly love and crave. Just set some rules and try to keep these meals fairly low in fat and high in protein and carbs. The sky is truly the limit as you will see with some of my post workout meal options below.
Here is a good post workout meal for building muscle. It’s fish and white potatoes. Pretty boring but it gets the job done, and it’s almost 100% pure protein and carbohydrates.
To me this is a pretty boring bodybuilder like post workout meal. If you are competing something like chicken or fish paired with rice and potatoes is a staple post workout meal.
Let’s go to the extreme now and show you one of my favorite post workout meals below that consists of about 1,300 total calories and well over 50 grams of protein and 100 grams of carbs. Although this has some fat from the donuts, it isn’t the end of the world as I would just make sure my fat intake the rest of the day is lower.
Besides the donuts the meal is almost fat free. This is grilled chicken with potatoes cut up into the shape of fries and drizzled with honey mustard sauce. This meal by itself only has 3-4 grams of fat and is loaded with carbs and protein from the chicken and potatoes. It is also extremely delicious and is a great post workout treat!
Some of my other post workout meal options are me just satisfying my cravings while getting in protein and carbohydrates. I love sushi, poke bowls and ramen so I will treat myself to them a few times per month during my post workout meals.
When I order the sushi I remove all the fattening sauces like spicy mayo and tempura so I can keep it high in protein and carbs.
Hopefully this gave you some great ideas for post workout meals for muscle gain! Tag me on instagram @Troy.Adashun and use #CraveDiet with your meals!