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Brief Post-Workout Meal Guide for Muscle Gain

You’ve just crushed your workout, and now it’s time to refuel your body with the right nutrients to optimize muscle recovery and growth. Whilst its not absolutely crucial to get the meal perfect post workout (don't stress if you have to wait a little longer than usual), it certainly helps if you can cover the basics and set yourself up for the next few hours. If this is done consistently then it can definitely make a difference long term. In this post, I'll delve into the essentials of post-workout nutrition, providing you with a short guide on the best meals to fuel your body after exercise.

Why Post-Workout Nutrition Matters

After a workout, your muscles are primed to absorb nutrients like a sponge. Providing your body with the right nutrients post-exercise can help replenish glycogen stores, reduce muscle protein breakdown, and enhance muscle protein synthesis, ultimately leading to muscle growth and improved performance over time.

Further, your appetite will generally peak during this time so make the most of it when your trying to increase calories during a bulking phase.

The Ideal Post-Workout Meal Composition

Protein is the building block of muscle tissue repair and growth. Including a high-quality protein source in your post-workout meal is essential. Choose sources like chicken, beef, pork, turkey, tuna, eggs, salmon. Whole foods are king, use the shakes if need be around meal times not as a replacement.

Carbohydrates are crucial for replenishing glycogen stores that are depleted during exercise. Choose complex carbohydrates like potatoes, sweet potatoes, white or brown rice, cous cous, pasta and good quality bread provide a sustained release of energy to your muscles. Use sauces to make the carbohydrates more moist so that they are easier to eat - especially when bulking. There's nothing worse than overly dry food (unless maybe when your dieting then it stops you over eating :D ).

While protein and carbohydrates take center stage, don’t neglect including healthy fats in your post-workout meal. Most of the fat should come from protein sources, fattier meats and fish, egg yolk, side serving of cottage cheese etc. but you could add in some additional fats like avocados, nuts, olive oils and seeds which are all are great options that can aid in nutrient absorption and support overall health whilst making your food more palatable.

Don’t forget to hydrate! Water is essential for numerous bodily functions, including muscle repair and recovery. Consider adding electrolytes or a little salt to your post-workout beverage to replenish those lost through sweat. This is especially important if your currently using creatine and have had caffeine pre working which will both promote more urination. Make sure that you don't drink so much prior to the meal that it ruins your appetite though.

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Sample Post-Workout Meal Ideas


Low calorie, high protein post workout meal (for dieting)
Tin of tuna, pickles, pickled garloc and olives. I have this with a packet of rice usually when dieting.

  • Grilled Chicken Breast with Quinoa and Roasted Vegetables Protein-packed chicken breast. Complex carbs from quinoa. Nutrient-dense vegetables for added vitamins and minerals. High food volume but lower in calorie which will you leave you feeling full, perfect for fat loss.

  • Tin Tuna With Rice and Accompaniments Tuna is very low in fat, the rice is dense and filling and you can make it more tasty by adding in things like pickles, a handful of olives and spicy sauce. Serve with a side salad for a low calorie flavourful meal.

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  • Steak and Jacket Potato Steak is one of the best protein sources. Choose a more calorific cut when you bulking like sirloin or rib eye! Combine that with a large baked potatoe and some sour cream or butter and your looking at at the perfect post workout meal. Add in some veg like green beans for more nutrients.

  • Scrambled Eggs On Sourdough Eggs are reasonably cheap, versatile and tasty. The texture of scrambled eggs make them very easy to eat. I throw in 6 eggs to a pan with a little butter and maybe some lean bacon or turkey rashers as a high protein addition. Serve on good quality sourdough with chopped herbs like chives and spring onion and salt and pepper.

Post-Workout Meal
When bulking make use of the post workout appetite! It will peajk 30-60 mins after a session.


Optimizing your post-workout nutrition is key to maximizing the benefits of your training efforts. By fuelling your body with the right nutrients after exercise, you support muscle recovery, growth, and overall performance. Remember, consistency is key, so make post-workout nutrition a priority in your muscle building journey.

Don't stress too much if your out and about post workout and cant get your usual food in, especially if your bulking as there's always something you can grab. That being said you want to enforce good habits and try to go into each workout prepared where possible and take something with you - especially when your dieting where its more difficult to find something that will help your fat loss goals.

For more tips on bodybuilding meals and nutrition guides, stay tuned for future posts. If you found this short guide helpful, share it with someone who you think could also benefit. Follow me on social media for regular video content that will help you on your journey towards a better physique as a natural lifter.

Thanks , Ross

Keywords: post workout meal, bodybuilding meals, meals for muscle gain

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