10 Best Post-Workout Meals

10 Best Post-Workout MealsThere are many elements that go into a good workout.  You need to be able to lift weights, do some cardio, and you need to eat in a way to where you can perform at high levels.  After all, if you don’t have any energy, how can you possibly exercise at such a high level day-in and day-out?


Having sufficient energy involves more than just consuming tons of calories.  With the amount of research we have on energy consumption, we know that the type of calories you take in is important.  For example, you would not typically load your body up on half a dozen donuts for breakfast, a double cheeseburger and fries for lunch, only to follow that up with an hour workout at the gym and expect high performance.  Well, maybe you do and maybe it works for you right now, but if you are looking to stay lean and keep your lipid panel profile, blood pressure, and blood sugar in check, you should watch what you eat and how much.


In addition to the type of calories you take in, your timing of food is important, especially after your workout.  It is mighty tempting to engorge in a large meal after sweating for an hour, but this is a trap.  Following your workout, you should look to eat delicious, nutritious, and energizing foods to allow your body to recover and replenish lost glycogen.  Listed below are 10 options you should try for a post-workout meal.

10 Great Post-Workout Meals

  1. Lean Chicken Stir Fry. A stir fry is a fast and easy way to get your veggies in your dinner.  Add in about one piece of lean chicken breast and you have yourself quite the post-workout meal.  This stir fry will give you 10 grams of fat, 17 grams of lean complete protein, only 6 total carbs, and all for under 200 calories.
  2. Protein Pancakes. If you are like most people, you probably workout in the morning before your day unravels.  If this is you, consider having some wholesome pancakes after your workout.  Follow along with this recipe for a serious protein packed treat that will provide around 400 calories, 51 grams of protein, and only 39 carbs (split the servings in half if this is too much).
  3. Whole Wheat Bagel and Almond Butter. This follows with the breakfast theme.  Need something quick and easy after working out in the morning?  Consider having a whole wheat bagel with a nice layer of almond butter to give you energy and keep you from crashing mid-morning.
  4. Tuna with Crushed Crackers. Tuna is a flavorful fish that will fill you up and provide ample protein with little calories.  This recipe is great for any post-workout meal regardless if you lifted weights or did an hour of cardio.
  5. Sandwich Wraps. A wrap composed of whole grains and a lean meat is great for a meal that comes after working out mid-morning.  If you like to workout later in the morning, consider a post-workout wrap with tuna, salmon, or chicken as your protein, quinoa inside the wrap with a little mustard and light mayo, lettuce, tomato, and a whole wheat wrap for a great post-workout meal.
  6. Steak and Sweet Potatoes. This is actually one of the best post-workout meals you can have.  The steak is great for protein and the sweet potatoes offer great fiber, vitamins, and energy to restore your glycogen levels.  This recipe is a great option for dinner and make sure to select the leanest cut of steak you can find.  Have this meal after a long run day or if you had a heavy day.
  7. Tuna, Rice, and Beans. Make this a southwest treat by adding avocado and lime for a tasty dinner after your workout.  Add in some green peppers, onions, kidney or black beans, and some cilantro and your meal will not only give you macronutrients for recovery, but it will provide potassium, fiber, vitamins, and minerals for healing.  Combine what you desire, but make sure to at least add in four ounces of tuna, a seving of rice, and ample beans.
  8. Thai Lean Curry. Follow along with this healthy Thai recipe if you are looking to mix it up a bit for dinner.  Choose your favorite fish for this hearty, healthy dinner.  Have some coconut water to help hydrate with this meal as well.
  9. Pasta Salad. Get your favorite pasta, tomatoes, onion, egg whites, olives, green onion, and maybe garbanzos to make a great carb loaded treat.  The egg whites will give the meal generous protein and this will be a perfect post-workout meal for runners and anyone after cardio day.
  10. Shredded Beef and Vegetables. Finely shred some beef in small strips and slice peppers, avocado, bok choy or cabbage, tomatoes, and any other vegetable you enjoy.  Mix them together on a low heat and add just a drizzle of olive oil for a light stir fry.



[1] http://www.askmen.com/top_10/fitness/top-10-post-workout-foods_10.html

[2] http://www.muscleandfitness.com/nutrition/meal-plans/6-perfect-post-workout-meals/slide/2

[3] http://www.muscleandfitness.com/nutrition/meal-plans/6-perfect-post-workout-meals/slide/5

[4] http://www.menshealth.co.uk/food-nutrition/muscle-foods/get-ripped-steak-323446



About the Author

, Celebrity Personal Trainer and Fitness & Nutrition Expert headquartered in Scottsdale, AZ. He specializes in helping men and women achieve weight loss, muscle building, toning and other customized fitness & nutrition programs to create a Healthy Lifestyle. James offers private luxury personal training, 12-week custom workout plans, and personalized nutrition meal plans. Follow on Google+.

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