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20 Post-Workout Meals That You Will Savor to the Last Bite

Epic food is especially enjoyable after you hit it hard at the gym. Make the most out of your post-workout meals with these 20 recipes.

 

You’ve just finished your last set of deadlifts and you’re hungry. Seriously hungry.

Your muscles demand nutrients  and your mind is screaming at you to pick up the nearest piece of food you can find.

Well, don’t waste the calories on protein bars, dextrose-laden shakes, or other junk calories.

Instead, try any of these 20 post-workout meals, from Orange Mango Recovery Smoothies to Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Shakes.

Enjoy!

French Toast Protein Shake

Serves 1

Enjoy brunch on-the-go with this healthy protein shake that tastes like French toast.

Starting with a base of cottage cheese makes it rich and creamy. Then cinnamon, maple, and nutmeg turn it into a sippable French toast. If you have pumpkin pie spice in your pantry, you can use that instead to add the right balance of fall flavors.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

546

Calories

43 g

Protein

59 g

Carbs

16 g

Fat

Ingredients

1 cup low-fat milk (or almond milk)

1 medium banana

1 scoop WHEY+ vanilla protein isolate

2 Tbsp. walnuts

2 Tbsp. ground flaxseed

1 Tbsp. pure maple syrup

1/4 tsp. ground allspice

1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon

Ice as needed

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Baked Banana Walnut Oatmeal

Serves 4

After a morning run in the crisp, cool air, there’s nothing like a comforting bowl of oatmeal to warm you up and refuel you for the rest of the day.

Unfortunately, it’s hard to take hot oatmeal on the go, but you can bake it into bars using protein powder. These can be taken out on the trail, packed in a gym bag, or eaten as a filling alternative to a protein shake.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

340

Calories

30 g

Protein

37 g

Carbs

9 g

Fat

Ingredients

3 scoops WHEY+ vanilla protein isolate

1 1/4 cups water

2 large eggs

2 very ripe bananas

1 tsp. baking powder

3 cups old-fashioned oats

1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/4 cup walnuts, chopped (optional)

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Shake

Serves 1

Chocolate milk is good for post-workout recovery because it offers a balance of carbohydrates and protein. So why not boost it with even more protein in the form of peanuts and whey and call it a day?

This peanut butter chocolate shake has 50 grams of protein – that’s more than enough to help you recover from muscle fatigue. And if you use PB2 powdered peanut butter, you can cut 100 calories and 13 grams of fat while still getting the nutrients you need.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

419

Calories

50 g

Protein

20 g

Carbs

19 g

Fat

Ingredients

3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk

1 1/2 scoops WHEY+ chocolate protein isolate

2 Tbsp. peanut butter

Handful of ice

1 Tbsp. cocoa powder

1 Tbsp. sugar-free chocolate syrup

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Baked Honey Curry Chicken with Green Beans

Serves 6

Don’t want to stand in front of the stove to make dinner? You don’t have to.

With this curry chicken recipe, you can prep it all and toss it in the oven on a baking sheet. The only prep work is to cut and marinate the chicken before it goes in the oven. As it bakes, whisk together the glaze so it’s ready to pour over the curried chicken and green beans.

Serve with white rice or your favorite grains.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

443

Calories

40 g

Protein

29 g

Carbs

20 g

Fat

Ingredients

Chicken:

1 1/2 lb. chicken breast, cut into 1” cubes

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 tsp. garlic powder

1/8 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

1/2 tsp. salt

1 lb. fresh or frozen green beans

Glaze:

5 Tbsp. pure honey

1 Tbsp. + 1 tsp. lemon juice

1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted

2 tsp. curry powder

3 green onion, thinly sliced

1/2 tsp. garlic powder

2 Tbsp. soy sauce

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

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Peanut Butter Protein French Toast

Serves 1

At the end of a hectic week, you deserve a hearty breakfast of French toast, bacon, and eggs.

However, once you see the nutrition of the sugary breakfast favorite, you might think again. A plate of French toast at IHOP has 700 calories, 30 grams of fat, and 28 grams of sugar – before loading it up with syrup.

Instead if you dip the bread in a mixture of egg whites, protein powder, and peanut flour, French toast can be transformed to have 50 grams of protein with only 7 grams of fat and 2 grams of sugar.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

409

Calories

51 g

Protein

36 g

Carbs

7 g

Fat

Ingredients

2 slices Ezekiel sprouted bread

1 large egg

2 egg whites

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

1 Tbsp. PB2

1 scoop WHEY+ vanilla protein isolate

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High-Protein Oreo Shake

Serves 1

You don’t have to cut all guilty pleasure foods out of your diet, but you can balance the nutrition a bit better by integrating wholesome ingredients like cottage cheese.

Instead of sitting down with a bag of Oreos and going to town, crush them up in a cookies and cream milkshake to get all the flavor plus the protein you need.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

467

Calories

44 g

Protein

43 g

Carbs

11 g

Fat

Ingredients

8 oz. fat-free cottage cheese

1 cup skim milk

3 Oreo cookies

1 packet Truvia

1 tsp. vanilla extract

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Chinese Chicken Pasta Salad

Serves 8

After a workout, your body needs two things: protein and carbs. And that’s why a meaty pasta salad is awesome to eat post-workout.

Make it at the beginning of the week, and it’ll keep in the fridge up for up 3 days. Then it’s ready to inhale as soon as your workout is over. You can even take it to-go in an insulated bag.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

478

Calories

34 g

Protein

36 g

Carbs

22 g

Fat

Ingredients

8 oz. rotini pasta, cooked

1/3 cup pure honey

1/4 cup rice wine vinegar

1/4 cup sesame oil, divided

3 Tbsp. soy sauce

2 Tbsp. lemon juice

2 tsp. ground ginger

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 6 oz. each), diced

1 cup purple cabbage, thinly sliced

1 cup sugar snap peas

1/2 cup edamame, cooked and shelled

1/2 cup carrots, shredded

1/2 cup diced bell peppers

1/2 cup chow mein noodles

1/2 cup sliced almonds

1/4 cup peanuts

1/2 cup green onions, thinly sliced

2 Tbsp. sesame seeds

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Green Egg Scramble

Serves 1

An egg scramble often has potatoes, diced tomatoes, salt, and pepper. A Western-style breakfast is tasty, but you can fill it out with more nutritious ingredients for a power-packed plate.

In this dish, Brussels sprouts and kale contribute a ton of fiber and vitamins. Cottage cheese, pepitas, and bacon bits add a little protein. And cranberries are known to ward off infections and boost cardiovascular health.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

286

Calories

27 g

Protein

24 g

Carbs

10 g

Fat

Ingredients

1 cup shredded Brussels sprouts

1 cup chopped kale

1 large egg

2 large egg whites

2 Tbsp. fat-free cottage cheese

1 wedge creamy garlic and herb cheese

1/2 Tbsp. basil pesto

1/2 Tbsp. light bacon bits

1/2 Tbsp. dried unsweetened cranberries

1/2 Tbsp. unsalted pepitas

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PB2 Banana Greek Yogurt Parfait

Serves 1

When you buy flavored yogurt, chances are you’re buying ingredients you don’t want, including added sugar, often in the form of high-fructose corn syrup. This homemade yogurt parfait has more flavor than the packaged stuff, and yet all the sugars are natural from the banana and dairy.

This is so good you’ll want to eat it all the time for breakfast, a post-workout snack, and a healthy dessert.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

381

Calories

32 g

Protein

53 g

Carbs

8 g

Fat

Ingredients

1 banana

1 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt

2 Tbsp. PB2

1 Tbsp. peanuts

1 graham cracker

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Protein-Packed Breakfast Burritos

Serves 12

Burritos are an easy way to cook up a bunch of ingredients to either enjoy immediately or freeze for later.

Starting with the ground turkey, the filling is made in one pan on the stove. And including the prep work, they’ll be done within a half hour.

The macros are for one burrito, so if you have a big appetite after an intense workout, you’ll want to grab two.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

314

Calories

26 g

Protein

30 g

Carbs

11 g

Fat

Ingredients

1 1/2 lb. ground turkey

1 packet taco seasoning

1 can (15 oz.) black beans, drained and rinsed

1 can (10 oz.) diced tomatoes

2 cups spinach

5 eggs, beaten

5 egg whites

1/4 cup milk

1 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

1 cup (4 oz.) shredded cheddar

12 whole-wheat tortillas

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Grilled Fish Tacos

Serves 4

Tacos are great anytime, but they’re especially awesome to eat post-workout because you can pile on the toppings to meet your nutritional goals.

Start with a lean meat like fish, which takes about 10 minutes to cook on the stove. Cut up the cooked meat, serve with corn tortillas, and then load up those low-fat fish tacos with veggies like shredded cabbage.

Avocado or guacamole is good too since it boosts energy levels and has potassium to regulate blood pressure.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

417

Calories

39 g

Protein

32 g

Carbs

17 g

Fat

Ingredients

Fish Tacos:

1 tsp. garlic powder

1 tsp. onion powder

1 tsp. ground cumin

1 tsp. dried cilantro

1 tsp. paprika

1/4 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper

1 1/2 lbs. tilapia

Olive oil spray

8 corn tortillas

1 cup shredded cabbage

1 avocado, sliced

1 lime, cut into wedges

Baja Sauce:

1/2 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt

2 Tbsp. light mayonnaise

1 chipotle pepper + 1 Tbsp. adobo sauce

Juice of 1/2 lime

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Orange Mango Recovery Smoothie

Serves 1

It’s easy to make a protein-packed fruit smoothie. Add a cup or so of fruit to a blender, preferably frozen if you like a thick texture. Then add protein powder, flavors like cinnamon, and enough liquid to make it drinkable.

The original recipe calls for vegan protein powder, but if dairy is part of your diet, you can get more protein with fewer calories using a whey isolate.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

475

Calories

34 g

Protein

60 g

Carbs

14 g

Fat

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups unsweetened almond milk

1 scoop WHEY+ vanilla protein isolate

1 cup frozen mango chunks

1 orange

2 Tbsp. cashews

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp. ground turmeric

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Sweet Potato Turkey Sandwich

Serves 1

Anybody can make a turkey sandwich as long as there’s bread, meat, and cheese. But a next-level turkey sandwich? That takes a little more ingenuity.

This recipe is so creative that it replaces the bread completely, using spiralized sweet potato noodles to hold the sandwich together. They’re pan-fried into a sweet potato cake, and from there you can make an amazing sandwich.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

391

Calories

28 g

Protein

31 g

Carbs

18 g

Fat

Ingredients

1 medium sweet potato, peeled

1 1/2 Tbsp. oil, divided

1/2 tsp. garlic powder

1/2 tsp. dried thyme

1/2 tsp. salt

1 large egg

2 Tbsp. hummus

2 oz. sliced turkey

2 slices tomato

1/4 cup spinach

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Hummus & Chicken Wraps

Serves 2

These wraps can be made ahead since they’re delicious whether the chicken is hot or cold. If you’re cooking for one, you’ll have a chicken wrap to wolf down right away, plus one to eat after you hit the gym tomorrow.

And this recipe is easy to adapt, so feel free to swap the spices for a seasoning blend, or use whatever vegetables you have on hand.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

292

Calories

29 g

Protein

18 g

Carbs

12 g

Fat

Ingredients

Wrap:

1 chicken breast

1/2 tsp. ground cumin

1/2 tsp. paprika or chili powder

1/2 tsp. garlic or onion powder

1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. oil

2 medium flour tortillas

2 Tbsp. hummus

Toppings:

1 cup Romaine lettuce, chopped

1 small tomato, sliced

1/4 small red onion, sliced

1 Tbsp. feta (optional)

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Chicken & Veggies Stir Fry

Serves 2

Don’t fill up on greasy takeout on your way home from the gym. When you make a lean stir fry at home instead, you can ensure that the macros are on target.

You should get at least 40 grams of protein, plus about 60 grams of carbs. To make a great post-workout stir fry, go light on the oil, add lots of meat, and include heaps of veggies so all the carbohydrates aren’t from the rice.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

555

Calories

56 g

Protein

56 g

Carbs

13 g

Fat

Ingredients

Stir Fry:

2 cups broccoli florets, halved

2 cups diced onions

1 cup diced carrots

5 cups shredded cabbage

2 cups snow peas, halved

1 3/4 cups diced chicken breast, cooked

Cooking spray

1 Tbsp. oil

3 Tbsp. water

Sauce:

1/3 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce

2 Tbsp. brown sugar

2 Tbsp. rice vinegar

3 Tbsp. water

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Coffee Banana Smoothie

Serves 1

When you need a serious jolt to recharge you, a coffee smoothie is a fast and delicious way to grab energy on the go.

If you typically brew a pot of coffee to start off your day, set aside a cup to cool. Then post-workout, blend the iced coffee with a frozen banana, some ice, protein powder, and other supplements like flax and chia seeds. It’ll cool you off while giving you energy and nutrients so you can keep crossing items off your to-do list.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

337

Calories

33 g

Protein

35 g

Carbs

7 g

Fat

Ingredients

1 banana, frozen and cut into chunks

1 cup brewed coffee, cooled

1 1/2 cups crushed ice

1 scoop WHEY+ vanilla protein isolate

1 Tbsp. ground flaxseed

1/2 tsp. chia seeds

1 packet stevia

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Stuffed Pepper Soup

Serves 8

Stuffed peppers are the kind of food that needs to be enjoyed at home. However, if you turn all those ingredients into a soup, it’s suddenly portable and much easier to reheat.

The soup is little more than ground beef, veggies, and rice. Not only does it deliver awesome post-workout nutrition, but stuffed pepper soup only takes 10 minutes to prep in the slow cooker. Then it’ll be hot and ready to eat when you get home from the gym.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

392

Calories

41 g

Protein

37 g

Carbs

9 g

Fat

Ingredients

2 lbs. ground beef

2 green bell peppers, diced

2 cans (15 oz. each) diced tomatoes, undrained

1 can (15 oz.) tomato sauce

4 cups beef broth

1 cup water

1 small onion, diced

2 Tbsp. brown sugar

4 cloves garlic, minced

2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

4 cups cooked brown rice

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Balsamic-Glazed Sirloin with Sweet Potato Mash

Serves 4

After an intense workout, you’ll want to refuel with complex carbs stat. And sweet potatoes are one of the best foods to help restore your glycogen levels – in other words, giving your muscles back the energy you drained.

Not only do sweet potatoes offer nutritionally dense complex carbs, but are absolutely packed with vitamin A for strong bones and a healthy immune system.

A serving of this recipe is 3 oz. of steak, the standard for meat, so keep in mind that you’ll probably want to go back for seconds.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

285

Calories

22 g

Protein

25 g

Carbs

9 g

Fat

Ingredients

1/2 cup balsamic vinegar

1/2 cup thinly sliced sweet onion

2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

1 tsp. instant coffee granules (or 1/2 tsp. chile powder)

1/2 tsp. ground allspice

1 lb. boneless sirloin steak, trimmed of fat

1 lb. sweet potatoes, peeled and diced

1/3 cup milk

1/2 tsp. sea salt, divided

1/8 tsp. evaporated cane juice (or sugar to taste)

1 tsp. safflower oil

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Fresh thyme sprigs (optional)

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Creamy Pesto Chicken Pasta

Serves 6

Chicken Alfredo probably sounds awesome post-workout because it’s extremely filling and has protein, but all the fat in that creamy sauce isn’t ideal for recovery.

Instead of relying on heavy cream, this healthier and higher protein chicken pasta dish uses a mix of cottage cheese and Greek yogurt to make a creamy pesto sauce.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

435

Calories

41 g

Protein

28 g

Carbs

18 g

Fat

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups low-fat cottage cheese

1/2 cup low-fat plain Greek yogurt

1/4 cup pine nuts

1 cup fresh basil, packed

2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

8 cloves garlic, minced

4 cups zucchini, chopped

3 cups chopped cooked chicken breast

6 cups (8 oz.) cooked whole-wheat penne

1 cup (4 oz.) pecorino Romano or Parmesan, grated

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

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Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie

Serves 6

A quick trick to infusing new life into a traditional dish like Shepherd’s Pie is to swap your vegetables for something similar but not as common.

Potatoes are an obvious target for being replaced because they don’t contribute much flavor. By using sweet potatoes instead, you’re getting half the starch compared to regular potatoes, which means there are more complex carbs.

Other root vegetables, including parsnips and rutabagas, will work on top of a Shepherd’s Pie too.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

432

Calories

38 g

Protein

37 g

Carbs

14 g

Fat

Ingredients

Mashed Sweet Potato:

2 large sweet potatoes (about 1 1/2 lbs.), peeled and cubed

2 Tbsp. butter

1 tsp. freshly chopped rosemary

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Filling:

1 1/2 lbs. ground beef

1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

1 medium yellow onion, diced

1 stalk celery, chopped

1 medium carrot, sliced

1 cup small cauliflower florets

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 1/4 cups beef broth

1 Tbsp. tomato paste

1 Tbsp. coconut aminos

1 tsp. freshly chopped rosemary

Dash or two of ground cinnamon

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Ground paprika, for garnish

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OVER 100,000 PEOPLE HAVE USED MY COOKBOOK TO GET THE BODY THEY WANT EATING THE FOODS THEY LOVE. WILL YOU BE NEXT?

What if I told you that just about everything magazines and trainers “teach” you about dieting is wrong?

What if you could build muscle and lose fat eating “naughty” foods every week?

What if you didn’t have to suffer through low-carb dieting to get lean? In fact, what if you could eat all the carbs you wanted?

And what if you didn’t have to gorge yourself just to gain muscle and didn’t have to put on pounds and pounds of ugly fat, either?

In short, what if I told you that proper dieting--whether you want to maximize fat loss or muscle growth--is much simpler and more enjoyable than you’ve been led to believe?

Imagine eating delicious, filling meals every day...never feeling starved or stuffed...having great energy levels and workouts...and watching your body respond exactly as you desire, dropping fat or adding muscle each and every week.

And imagine finally understanding how proper dieting really works, never again falling for the BS, tricks, and gimmicks pushed by “gurus” and other shysters.

Well, I have good news.

All these “fantasies” can be a reality...if you know how to do a handful of “little” things correctly.

You see, when you know how to diet properly--and this doesn’t mean learning to eat boiled chicken and raw broccoli six times per day--getting lean and muscular becomes simple, convenient, and dare I say...enjoyable.

And this book will show you the way.

I'm Mike and I'm the creator of Muscle for Life and Legion Athletics, and I believe that EVERYONE can achieve the body of their dreams.

If you like my articles, then you'll love my bestselling books. They'll show you exactly what you need to do to build muscle and lose fat without hating your diet or living in the gym.

If you're a guy, check out Bigger Leaner Stronger, and if you're a girl, Thinner Leaner Stronger is for you.

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