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In order to get the best results from your training sessions, you need to pay close attention to post workout nutrition.
It’s all very well and good training hard in the gym, but if your nutrition’s not up to scratch, your progress will be limited. While it’s absolutely vital to have a well-balanced all round meal plan, one of the most important aspects of your diet to place special emphasis on is your post workout meal.


The oats, protein powder, milk and berries combination is good, because the oats are loaded with slow release carbs, along with a good amount of fiber, and the berries contain fructose, a quicker digesting carb that will replenish muscle and liver glycogen. Whey protein powder is an excellent source of protein after a workout, as it digests quickly. Milk on the other hand is made up of around 80% casein protein – a slower digesting protein that will help you maintain protein synthesis for longer.

Eating whole eggs is similar to consuming both whey and casein protein. The egg whites are very low in fat, and digest quickly. The yolks are higher in fat, and digest more slowly, so again, you’re getting the benefits of both. Whole eggs are also full of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, and have one of the best protein bio availabilities of any food. This means that nearly all of the protein in an egg can be used by your body, and little is wasted. Toast is your carb source here.

Chocolate milk contains the same three to one ratio of carbs to protein as most off the shelf sports drinks. However, it tastes much better and is a lot cheaper. The high sugar fruit will give you a further carb hit. This is a great bulking post workout meal, but you may want to avoid it if you’re trying to get lean, as it is fairly high in both carbs and calories.

Chicken, rice and vegetables is a post workout staple in the bodybuilding world, and it’s great for you too. Chicken is a fantastic source of lean protein while rice is carbohydrate dense, and vegetables ensure you get a good hit of antioxidants.

Finally, rice cakes with jelly and cottage cheese are a good on the go choice if you’re in a rush after your workout. The rice cakes and the jelly are both fast acting carbs which help your insulin spike, and the low fat cottage cheese delivers the all-important protein.

If you don’t like the sound of any of these meals, don’t worry, there are plenty of alternatives.

Oats can be swapped for any other good quality wholegrain cereal, and you don’t have to have the protein powder – any protein from whole food will do.

If eggs aren’t your thing, then turkey thigh mince, or 90 percent lean beef or pork both contain protein and fat in a similar ratio to eggs, and provide you with plenty of amino acids.

Any other flavored milk is fine if you don’t like chocolate, or you can just choose plain skim milk along with your piece of fruit.


Chicken can be exchanged for any other meat, or a lean fish such as cod, trout or tuna, and rice for bread, pasta, white potatoes or sweet potatoes.

Greek yoghurt is a good alternative to cottage cheese, crackers can replace rice cakes, and real fruit can be used in place of jelly.

As a final pointer, you want to aim to consume your post workout meal within an hour of finishing your workout. If for any reason you can’t eat for a while after the gym, then the best thing to do is to have a small serving of protein powder, along with a piece of fruit, or a readymade sports drinks immediately after you finish, and then consume one of the post workout meals as soon as you can after that.

Your post workout meal is the most important one of the day, so pay attention to it, and make it count.

  • “Slide show: 10 great health foods for eating well” By Mayo Clinic Staff. Published on April 7, 2010. Accessed on February 29, 2012. Retrieved from: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/health-foods/MY01108&slide=2
  • “Poliquin's Top 10 Carb Intake Rules For Optimal Body Composition” ByCharles Poliquin. Published April 13, 2009. Accessed on February 29, 2012. Retrieved from: http://www.ppcchicago.com/articles/carbintake.php
  • Photo courtesy of elanaspantry on Flickr: www.flickr.com/photos/elanaspantry/5983116894
  • Photo courtesy of avlxyz on Flickr: www.flickr.com/photos/avlxyz/5106361404