Eating quality food post-workout is crucial…you know, if you expect to make gains and stuff. The science on recovery is a little War-and-Peace-y in its complexity but you can boil it down to a few nutritional musts: 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 quick dose of the right protein and carbohydrates. But we can’t (and shouldn’t) always rely on plain protein shakes, chicken, and rice. It’s boring and an absolute affront to your flavor-deprived palate. Besides, your body prefers a wide variety of nutrient-dense foods. Try these six post-workout muscle-building meals that taste great and get results
How to: Mix four 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.
The perks: These pancakes pack a mean protein punch without a ton of carbs, perfect for those looking to retain muscle tissue when trying to lean up. The medium- and slow-digesting proteins help keep a steady stream of amino acids to stay more anabolic.
Beef and Squash with Marinara
How to: For those looking to satisfy that deep, aching post-workout hunger, this one is for you. Cook up 8oz of lean grass-fed beef with salt and pepper to taste. Cook one whole butternut squash for 30-45 minutes until soft. Mix them together in the pan when done and add 4oz of your favorite marinara sauce.
The perks: If you are training hard and with more volume than usual, chances are your appetite is up as well. The creatine replenishes your explosive energy stores and extra fat from the beef helps keep you satisfied and full of calories. The starchiness of the squash digests slowly and helps keep hunger at bay.