6 Perfect Post-Workout Meals

Eating quality food post-workout is crucial! In order to optimize your results, you need to replace the amino acids and glycogen lost during your workout. Starting the muscle building process by increasing protein synthesis and nitrogen retention requires a balance of quality fats, protein, and carbohydrates.

Since I was 19-years old, I have always made it a priority to consume some quality nutrients within 30-90 minutes of a workout, depending on what my day was like. I often use a protein shake or some type of bar when I need to but sometimes that just isn’t enough. I would get hungry pretty quickly and my blood sugar would drop soon after.

So, I realized we can’t always rely on plain protein shakes, bars, or stop at a restaurant. It just gets too boring, can cost more at times, not prepared the way you prefer, and your body also likes a variety of nutrient dense foods after a hard workout.

So, I came up with a list of meals that contain quality nutrients and are easy to prepare and store ahead of time. Try these 6 post-workout muscle-building meals that taste great and get results!

Protein Pancakes screen-shot-2016-10-07-at-12-54-03-pm

Mix 4 egg whites, ½ cup rolled oats, ½ cup cottage cheese, 1/8-teaspoon baking powder, and ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract. Cook on a preheated griddle on medium to low heat until it bubbles. Then flip and cool another 30-60 seconds. Top with fresh berries or banana slices.

These pancakes pack a mean protein punch with not a ton of carbs. Perfect for those looking to retain muscle tissue with less carbs to increase body fat when trying to trim down. The medium and slow digesting proteins help keep a steady stream of amino acids to stay satisfied.

Beef and Squash with Marinara

For those looking to satisfy your post-workout hunger, this one is for you. Cook up 8 ounces of lean grass-fed beef, with salt and pscreen-shot-2016-10-07-at-12-56-55-pmepper to taste. Cook 1 whole spaghetti squash for 30-45 minutes until soft. Mix them together in the pan when done and add 4 ounces of your favorite marinara sauce.

If you are training hard and with more volume than usual, chances are your appetite is up as well. The protein and extra fat from the beef help keep you satisfied and full of needed calories. The starchiness of the squash digests slowly and helps keep hunger at bay.

Tuna and Crackers

Take a can of yellow fin tuna and add a handful (1/2-cup) of crushed up whole grain crackers. For flavor, add pepper, salt, a dab of extra virgin olive oil, mustard, and chopped up pickles. You can even add slivered almonds or any other veggie that you like.

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This one is perfect to utilize on the go for those working out on their lunch break at work. It is simple and also cost effective. The crackers add some needed carbs that traditional are not paired with a can of tuna, helping spike your insulin levels to drive nutrients into your muscles.

High Protein Oats On the Go

This one is perfect for those on the run, but want something with tons of satisfying nutrients. Add 1/2-cup of rolled oats, 1-2 scoops of your favorite whey protein powder, ½ cup of frozen or dried fruit, and slivered almonds. Add ½ cup of water or a milk of your choice and let it sit overnight in the fridge. Add cinnamon or stevia to add more flavors. screen-shot-2016-10-07-at-1-00-59-pm

Another great convenience food but this time for morning workout people. Oats and whey have been a bodybuilding staple forever, but often times are bland and burnt out. By adding some fruit, natural sweetener and almonds, you gain a whole new appreciation for oatmeal.

Egg Scramble

Scrambled 4 whole eggs with 2 added egg whites. Add 1 cup of chopped mixed veggies. My favorites are spinach, onions, mushrooms and red bell peppers. For more protein, add ¼ cup of diced lean ham or bacon. If you need more carbs, add a piece of fresh fruit on the side.  screen-shot-2016-10-07-at-1-02-29-pm

Plain egg whites just get too boring, forcing you to ditch your high protein meal for a Krispy Kreme when you are burned out on plain egg whites. Keep the yolks for the extra omega 3 fats, vitamins and minerals. Make them taste good with some bacon and increase nutrient density and texture with the veggies. Nothing says post-workout breakfast like eggs. This post-workout is perfect for those on low calories and carbs, but need the protein to retain muscle and fat to decrease hunger.

Chicken and Sweet Potato Hash

Grab a large (about 8 ounces) chicken breast that is already cooked and dice it up and throw it in a pan with olive oil. Add ½ cup of diced sweet potato, 1/2 cup diced apples, and add cinnamon, salt and pepper to taste. You can make an even bigger batch to store in the fridge to use through the week! screen-shot-2016-10-07-at-1-07-33-pm

Chicken and sweet potatoes gone not so redundant. Sweet potatoes are the perfect carb that slowly digests to keep your energy levels high and insulin spike just enough to feed the muscles but not the fat stores. Also, if you have time, throw an egg and hot sauce on it. Trust me, it is phenomenal!

I hope you find these meals useful in your quest to eat better. Our lifestyles make it hard to eat well but we always have to keep trying. Give these recipes a shot and let me know how they go!

 


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