Boosting Recovery With A Post-Workout Meal


The best time to consume a big, nutritious meal is right after a very intense workout. This can and should be the biggest meal you consume that day because almost everything that you eat at that moment will contribute to muscle regeneration and, therefore, muscle mass growth.

Your muscles need glycogen to restore energy supplies and all the protein you eat will directly be used for repairing the muscles. That being said, here’s what you should eat after the workout and how it will impact your recovery.


If possible, it’s best to consume carbohydrates in liquid form after working out. They should be high glycemic, simple carbs to boost your insulin levels as insulin has many anabolic and anticatabolic properties that are essential for muscle growth. The more your insulin spikes, the more nutrients your muscles will receive. Grape juice is one of the best sources of carbohydrates post-workout as well as cranberry juice because of the high glucose to fructose ratio.

A general rule is to consume 0.5 g of carbohydrates for every pound of muscle weight, and a single glass of grape juice contains a whole 38 grams of carbohydrates, which is enough for 19 pounds of muscle weight. Any form of fat-free high carb food is also recommended, including potatoes, rice, pasta or sugar.


In addition to carbs, your post-workout meal should include sufficient protein. Whey protein shakes are recommended because of their increased speed of digestion. The synthesis of protein in the muscles increases 3 times after a high-intensity weight training session when you consume the right combination of protein and simple carbs. If you can fashion a shake that is high in carbs and protein, it’s the best thing you can do for your recovery.

A Full Meal

Your main goal after a high-intensity workout is to contribute to muscle recovery and growth, and you should, therefore, consume a full meal after the workout in addition to your protein-carb shake. The protein-based foods should be as lean as possible and with little fat because fat can slow down the absorption of the vital carbohydrates into the bloodstream.

Chicken breasts are a great choice as they are low in fat as well as lean beef or egg whites. Follow this up with some complex carbs such as whole-grain bread and rice and you’re good to go.

RELATED: The Best Foods For Building Muscle And Losing Fat

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