muscle building foods

best post-workout meal for muscle gain

It’s important that we consume pre-workout foods before working out because they will help to increase blood circulation and improve performance.

Also for better muscle recovery, post-workout foods are also essential.

Another way to build muscle is by doing strength training workouts. The body needs ample protein to break down muscle tissue, so protein-rich foods after strength training are vital as well.

The best post-workout meal for muscle gain is a combination of two carbohydrates and protein.

Benefits of Post-Workout Meal

Eating healthy post-workout foods helps in workout recovery as well & supports muscle gains.

  1. Restore glycogen
  2. Reduce muscles tissue breakdown
  3. Boost recovery
  4. Repair muscles
  5. Supports muscles building

Best Carbohydrate and Protein Food Source for Post-Workout

One of the food choices that carry high-quality protein and carbohydrates is important for muscle growth. Of course, easily digestible foods are faster nutrient absorption foods.

List of Carbohydrate Foods for Muscle Gain

White Rice

White rice can be a part of a balanced diet. White rice is light on the stomach and gives instant energy.

White rice is part of the carbohydrate family and contains 4.3 grams of protein and minimal fat per serving. It’s also a source of vitamins B and antioxidants.

White Rice Nutrition Facts

  • Calories – 242
  • Fat – 0.4 gram
  • Protein – 4.3 gram
  • Carbohydrates – 53.4 gram
  • Fiber – 0.6 gram

Carbs in white rice help restore muscles glycogen after a training session.

  1. Powerhouse of energy
  2. Produce muscles glycogen
  3. Aids heart health
  4. Easy to digest

Also Read: Best Ab Building Foods

Sweet Potatoes

best post-workout meal for muscle gain Sweet potato
Sweet potato

Sweet potatoes are a very good source of complex carbohydrates and are low in glycemic index and the best low-in calorie food, which has less of an effect on blood sugar levels and helps with weight loss.

Sweet potatoes contain vitamin C, which helps prevent muscle tissue breakdown. They also contain copper, which helps restore energy and maintain healthy muscle tissue.

Benefits of Sweet Potatoes

  1. Restore energy
  2. Maintain muscles tissue
  3. Boost muscles building process

Banana – Best Post-Workout Meal for Muscle Gain

Banana is high-quality fast digestive food. Banana is very healthy, and eating them post-workout can give tremendous results.

Bananas are rich in potassium and magnesium, which are good for muscle recovery. The fast-digesting carbs help replenish muscle glycogen.

1 Banana Nutrition Facts

  1. Carbohydrate – 23 gram
  2. Calories – 89 calories
  3. Fiber – 2.5 gram

Benefits of Banana

  1. Helps restore glycogen
  2. Reduce inflammation
  3. Reduce muscle cramp
  4. Promote muscles

According to a study, Eating bananas after a workout helps reduce inflammation and promote a speedy recovery.1

Also Read: Worst Fruits For Weight Loss

Green Vegetables

Green vegetables are packed with lots of vitamins and minerals, so they’re an important component of a healthy diet!

Vegetable such as lettuce, spinach, and kale carries ample dietary fiber, magnesium, calcium, and potassium.

The green vegetable also helps replenish glycogen levels and support weight loss.

Benefits of Green Vegetables

  1. Promote weight loss
  2. Restore glycogen
  3. Loaded with micronutrients

Also Read: Foods That Burn Fat Like Crazy

List of High-Quality Protein Sources

Chicken Breast

Chicken is the top most known high-quality lean protein. Especially chicken breast is completely packed with protein and has very less fat.

It holds important vitamins and mineral that helps post-workout muscle recovery.

best post-workout meal for muscle gain  - A plate of chicken breast

Lean protein has essential amino acids: leucine, isoleucine, and valine; these amino acids help muscle recovery and promote muscle growth.

  1. Helps in weight loss
  2. Good source of protein
  3. Promote muscles repair and muscle growth


Fish is a lean protein food source and also a good post-workout meal for muscle growth.

Fish is a quick, simple, and nutritious meal. Fish contain omega 3s which are perfect for post-workout muscle recovery and reduce symptoms of arthritis.

Consuming fish improves muscle mass and body function in middle age and older adults.

  1. Reduce muscle soreness
  2. Reduce joint inflammation
  3. Helps in muscles recovery
best post-workout meal for muscle gain  - Platter of fish dish


Eggs are an amazingly incredible source of high-quality protein. 1 egg contains about 5.5 grams of protein and 9 other vital amino acids, also known as protein-building blocks.

Eggs are an effective post-workout food option that enhances the repairing and building of muscle tissue.

best post-workout meal for muscle gain  - Eggs
  1. Eggs are good for muscles building
  2. Helps in weight loss
  3. Good source of healthy fats
  4. Rich source of vitamins

Greek Yogurt

One of the best choices to make, especially for vegetarians, yogurt is top off protein requirements

Greek yogurt is an excellent option for high-quality protein. Almost 10 grams of protein per 100 grams of Greek yogurt.

Best post workout meal for muscle gain
Greek Yogurt
  1. Good source of protein
  2. Good for bone health
  3. Support digestive health
  4. Helps in post-workout muscle recovery
  5. Helps in weight loss

A study shows that eating greek yogurt helps lower body mass index, lower body weight, smaller waist circumference, and lower body fat.2

Another 12-week study shows that eating greek yogurt helps in strength building, muscle thickness, and lean body composition.3


Milk is a complete food that has high-quality protein. It has lots of vitamins and minerals and all the important nutrients in it.

Milk also has sodium and potassium, which is good for post-workout rehydration. Milk also contributes to reducing muscle soreness.

Also, milk delivers vitamin D, calcium, and potassium to bones.

  1. Supports post-workout rehydration
  2. Reduce muscles soreness
  3. Repair muscles
  4. Good for bones


Soy is widely known for its high-quality protein content. Although soy milk is considered an excellent source of plant-based protein.

Soy milk is also rich in omega -3 fatty acids, considered healthy fats.

  1. Soy helps tone muscles
  2. Helps burn fat
  3. Helps in the recovery of muscles
best post-workout meal for muscle gain - Soybeans

Types of soy are found in different forms: soy milk, soy protein powder, soyabean oil, and tofu.

Whey Protein

Whey protein is the best post-workout meal for muscle gain and for weight loss.

Whey protein is the best form of protein because it is digested very quickly and the amino acids in whey help repair muscles.

Whey protein is also the best source of amino acid, leucine, which is beneficial for muscle growth.

Type of Whey Protein

  1. Concentrate
  2. Isolate
  3. Hydrolysate

Benefits of Whey Protein

  1. Muscle repair
  2. Muscle building
  3. Fulfill protein requirement

Whey protein gets absorbed quickly, which later goes into the bloodstream and helps repair muscles.

Read More: Creatine – A Strong Source for Muscle Gaining

Protein Bars

Protein bars are the most convenient food that quickly delivers high-quality protein after hard training sessions.

A protein bar not only fulfills the protein requirement but also helps feel full, and it is also beneficial for weight loss and lowers the blood sugar level.

According to the study, protein-rich post-workout meals help recover muscles, build muscles and reduce soreness.

Type of Homemade Protein Bars

  1. Peanut butter protein bar
  2. Almond protein bar
  3. Green tea fudge protein bar

Cottage Cheese

best post-workout meal for muscle gain - A bowl of cottage cheese

Cottage cheese is another good option for protein. Cottage cheese contains a good amount of carbohydrates and protein that are worthwhile for muscle repair after post-workout.

Cottage cheese is not just good for muscle recovery, but it’s also low in saturated fat, which is ideal for weight loss.

  1. Cottage cheese helps in muscles recovery
  2. Good for weight loss
  3. Ideal post-workout meals
  4. Promote bone health

List of Post-Workout Meals

High protein butter chicken quesadilla

High-protein chicken pasta

Low-calorie high protein shake – Post-workout meal for vegetarian/nonvegetarian

High-protein chicken fajitas

High protein low-calorie creamy chicken with rice

List of Post-Workout Snacks

Post-workout snacks are essential to refuel after a hard workout. The best post-workout meal can help you recover from the exercise, build muscle, and stay energized.

  1. Apple with peanut butter – Apple with peanut butter is a great snack for when you are on the go to the gym or you need something sweet to satisfy your cravings without many calories.
  2. Chocolate milk – Chocolate milk is a popular post-workout snack option. It can help to replenish lost nutrients, is also important for recovery, and good for refueling after a long workout.
  3. Protein Popcorn – Popcorn is an excellent source of fiber, carbohydrates, and protein. It also contains polyphenols antioxidants which are good for your cardiovascular health and give you the nutrients you need for recovery.
  4. Banana shake smoothies – Bananas contain carbohydrates and protein, which can help in building muscles. Also, a banana shake smoothie is a good post-workout snack as it contains nutrients that needed for recovery
  5. Yogurt with berries – A yogurt with berries snack is a healthy snack for post-workout as it contains protein, carbs, and fiber, and these ingredients make the perfect post-workout snack options!


These are the best post-workout meal for muscle gain. Muscle building is a part of a healthy balanced diet. Where a combination of carbohydrate and protein play a vital part.

Combining these two micronutrients is essential for muscle gaining and muscle recovery after the workout. The ratio is about 3:1, where 3 is the carbohydrate and 1 is protein.

3:1 is the ratio of consuming carbohydrates and protein means the quantity of carbohydrates is 3 times the protein.

Protein supplements or protein-rich foods are excellent for building muscle, aiding weight loss, and promoting a lean physique.

However, many people tend to choose food based on their cravings rather than its nutritional value. This may not be the best approach for a healthy lifestyle.

I have observed that some people prefer protein supplements instead of focusing on their regular eating habits. While protein supplements are beneficial for meeting protein needs and maintaining a healthy lifestyle, their prices can be quite high. Fortunately, there are plenty of alternative protein sources that offer the same benefits as a scoop of protein supplement.

In this guide, I have highlighted some of the high protein foods for muscle building that can support weight loss, and contribute to overall well-being.

Let’s get started,

high-protein foods for muscle building
Protein Rich Food

11 High Protein Food for Muscle Building

1. Eggs

High-protein food for muscle building

Eggs are a great food because they have lots of protein and not many calories. Eating eggs can help you lose weight or build muscles.

Boiled eggs are especially good for weight loss because they are high in protein. The protein in eggs makes you feel full and less hungry, which can be helpful when trying to lose weight.

Egg nutrition value per 1

  • Protein: 7 gram
  • Fat: 5 gram
  • Calories: 78 grams

Including eggs in your diet can be very beneficial for weight loss and muscle building. For example, if you are eating five boiled eggs, try to avoid eating the yellow part from four of them. The same rule applies when making scrambled eggs or omelets.

2. Chicken Breast

Chicken breast is a very popular food that is rich in protein. If you have 100 grams of chicken breast, it’s about the same amount of protein as one scoop of protein supplement.

Many people like to eat chicken breast when they are trying to lose weight or build muscle.

Additionally, chicken breast is a great source of amino acids, which are important for our bodies.

Some of the benefits of amino acid

  • Growth of muscle
  • Maintain muscle tone
  • Healing and repairing muscle tissues

Chicken breast nutrition value per 100 gram

  • Protein 31
  • Calorie 165
  • Fats 3.6

Cooking boiled chicken breast is highly beneficial, and the process is also very easy. Moreover, it becomes even more delicious when you pair it with your favorite low-calorie sauce while eating.

3. Salmon

Salmon fish is like strong support for people who want to lose weight and build muscles. It can help speed up your metabolism and keep your appetite in check. Salmon is also packed with healthy omega-3 fatty acids.

Benefits of salmon

  • Great source of protein
  • Benefits of weight control
  • Great in muscle building

Salmon nutrition value per 100 gram

  • Protein 26
  • Calorie 170
  • Fats 6

When we talk about the healthiest foods on the planet, salmon is at the top of the list. Salmon is a great source of muscle-building protein and is even better for this purpose compared to other low-fat fishes.

4. Oats

Oats are super healthy, high protein high fiber food that’s perfect for breakfast. They are easy to prepare and cost-effective. Oats are low in calories but packed with essential nutrients like proteins, carbohydrates, fibers, minerals, and vitamins.

Eating oats can provide various health benefits, such as aiding in weight loss and supporting muscle building.

Oats Nutrition value per 100 gram

  • Protein 13.15
  • Calorie 389
  • Fats 6.52

Eating plain oatmeal for breakfast can be really good for your health, and it also keeps you feeling full. Flavored oats may not be as healthy, so it’s better to choose raw oats instead. Raw oats are nutritious and safe to eat.

5. Tofu

Tofu is an excellent choice as a high-protein food for muscle building since it contains all nine essential amino acids. It provides our body with the protein and calcium it needs to support muscle growth.

Tofu benefits related to fitness

  • Promote weight loss
  • Prevent obesity
  • Promote bone health
  • It may help in building muscles

Tofu Nutrition per 100 gram

  • Protein 8
  • Calorie 76
  • Fats 4

Eating tofu every day is safe and can be beneficial for people of all ages, including children and adults. By incorporating tofu regularly into your diet, you may even say goodbye to excess belly fat.

Also Read: Worst Fruits for Weight Loss

6. Regular milk or Soy Milk

Milk contains the most calcium and protein and is considered a high-protein fast food option.

Calcium is important for developing strong bones, and protein helps in building muscles. Drinking milk can make you feel energetic, cheerful, stronger, and more lively.

Whether you choose regular milk or soy milk, they can both boost metabolism, support healthier weight loss, and make you feel fuller after meals.

Benefits of milk

  • Promote weight loss
  • Building muscle
  • Low-calorie drink
  • Fill your appetite for hours

Milk nutrition per 100ml

  • Protein 7.7
  • Calorie 149
  • Fats 8

Research indicates that if your goal is to lose weight or build muscles, the ideal time to drink milk is after your workout.

Alternatively, you can also have milk at night, as it may help you sleep better.

7. Low-fat Yogurt – High Protein Food for Muscle Building

Low-fat yogurt is an excellent high-protein food for muscle building that also helps reduce your hunger. It contains protein that makes you feel full, boosts your metabolism, and supports muscle growth.

If you’re trying to lose weight, adding yogurt to your breakfast is a good idea.

Benefits of yogurt

  • Protect your bones and teeth
  • Encourage weight loss
  • Boost immune system

Yogurt nutrition per 100 gram

  • Protein 3.5
  • Calorie 59
  • Fats 3.3

Plain yogurt is a healthy food that has lots of protein but not many calories. Eating it can help you lose weight more quickly.

If you don’t enjoy plain yogurt, you can make it tastier by adding fruits such as berries, grapes, or cherries.

8. Legumes

Legumes are a type of food that can be a great substitute for other options. They are rich in protein and fiber, which are good for building muscles and losing weight.

What’s great about legumes is that they are affordable, simple to prepare, and can keep you feeling full for a long time.

Some legumes example:

  • Beans
  • Peas
  • Lentils
  • Chickpeas

Chickpeas nutrition per 100 gram

  • Protein 14.1
  • Calorie 269
  • Fats 2.59

They are also easy to find, so you can easily include them in your diet.

9. Beef

Beef is an excellent source of high-quality protein.

This meat has nine important amino acids that are good for building muscles. Beef provides a lot of high-quality protein, minerals, and several nutrients. Red meat, like beef, can help improve muscle growth and enhance exercise performance.

Benefits of beef

  • Improve muscle mass
  • Rich source of L-carnitine

Beef nutrition per 100 gram

  • Protein 26.1
  • Calorie 217
  • Fats 11.8

It’s a great option for building muscles and a perfect post-workout meal, so you won’t have to worry about what to eat.

10. Cheese

Cheese is a food that contains a lot of protein and is good for everyone. It has calcium, protein, and healthy fats.

Athletes and people who exercise like to eat cheese because it can help them with weight loss and building muscles.

Cheese Nutrition per 100 gram

  • Protein 6
  • Calorie 85
  • Fats 34.9

It’s best to avoid fake cheese and choose cottage cheese or low-fat mozzarella instead.

After exercising, eating cheese is a good idea.

11. Whey Protein – High Protein Food for Muscle Building

High-protein food for muscle building

The easiest and most high-quality source of protein is Whey protein. It’s easily found in stores, simple to digest, and drinking a protein shake is beneficial for weight loss and building muscles.

Whey protein benefits

  • Quality & easily absorbed
  • Improved muscle growth
  • Reduce inflammation
  • Excellent source of high-quality protein

People with kidney disease should be cautious about consuming whey protein.


There are a lot more food that contains high protein food for muscle building:-

  • Peanut Butter
  • Broccoli
  • Soybeans
  • Lamb
  • Cheese

These foods can assist in weight loss by speeding up your metabolism and encouraging muscle growth. Eating protein can reduce feelings of hunger and appetite.

Including some protein in every meal can be very beneficial for you.

Always remember to eat mindfully.

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