30 Post-Workout High Protein Foods to help you get fit
Post-workout high protein foods are vital to helping your body recover quickly while helping to gain muscle after your workout. Check out our list of 30 Post-workout high protein foods to keep you in the best condition to meet your health and fitness goals.
It’s no surprise that eating a balanced diet leads to a healthier lifestyle. It’s suggested that an average human’s diet should be around to 15% fat, 35% carbohydrates and 50% protein.
By maintaining a diet which follows these guidelines, we are providing our bodies with the nutritional requirements (minerals, vitamins and fibre) to stay fit and healthy.
Alongside portion sizes, hydration and a wide selection of greens (fruit and vegetables) it’s also important to consider exercise and how your diet can needs to be altered if you are particularly active.
The ‘2017 State of the UK Fitness Industry Report’ claims that there are now 6,728 fitness facilities and 1 in 7 people in Britain are a member of a gym.
A growing awareness of living a healthy lifestyle and an increase in people at the gym has led to a broader understanding of the food groups and a growing interest in post-workout high protein’ fuelled diets.
What is Protein?
Protein is supposed to make up half of our dietary requirements and is often seen as the ‘building blocks of life’. Protein is used by our bodies to build and repair bone, muscle, tissue, cartilage and skin.
It is also essential for healthy hair and nails! A high-protein diet is essential for active men who want to build muscle following an intense work-out and our guide to ‘Post-Workout High Protein Foods to help you get fit’ will explore the muscle-building foods and healthy protein snacks, which will help you on your journey to maximising muscle and getting ripped.
How much Protein should I eat?
As mentioned, Protein makes up 50% of a balanced diet. Historically, bodybuilders have always worked on the rule that you should match 1 gram of protein for each pound of body-weight.
There is no correct amount of protein to be eaten for every person but unlike carbs and fat, which can be stored in the body, protein cannot be stored or tapped into after it has worked it’s magic.
It is suggested that the average person can only absorb around 40 grams of protein from one meal and any additional protein taken from that post-gym snack or work-out food will be disposed of.
Which Post-Workout High Protein Foods should I eat?
Our high protein post-workout foods will help you build muscle and recover faster after a trip to the gym…Bear in mind, that these are a selection of protein snacks and high-protein meals which should be consumed as part of a healthy and balanced diet.
Love it or hate it, Peanut Butter is one of the best high-protein snacks you can have following a training session.
With approximately 8g per serving, Peanut Butter is a versatile food which combines fibre, a multitude of vitamins, antioxidants, magnesium and muscle-building potassium to help you get in shape.
Try Peanut Butter in smoothies, protein shakes, on rice cakes or with chicken for an authentic Chinese Chicken Satay recipe.
Dried fruits like apricots and dates make a great high-protein food for anyone the move. Dried Apricots pack 1g of protein for every 34 calories – a quick protein hit to refuel on the go!
Eggs are one of the cheapest post-workout high protein foods and can be incorporated into breakfast, lunch and dinner. Scrambled, boiled, poached or fried, the amount of protein in eggs can differ on the preparation.
We recommend boiled eggs for a quick snack (13g of protein per 100 grams), fried eggs for a high-protein breakfast (14g of protein per 100 grams) and an egg omelette for a high-protein lunch or dinner (11g or protein per 100 grams).
You will see a range of different fish crop up on our Post-Workout High Protein Food guide, each fish having their own unique nutritional properties to help you get lean.
Salmon is an oily fish which not only has 20g of protein per 100 grams but also contains a lot of vitamin B6 and B12 – the vitamins which support you to release energy from other foods you eat. Pair salmon with a healthy carb like brown rice for heaps of energy and stronger muscles!
As far as vegetables go, Broccoli is a super green! If you’re looking for high-protein vegetables, Broccoli is your first stop.
Broccoli is a fundamental ingredient in a bodybuilders diet as It contains 2.8g of protein per 100 grams as well as nutrients, vitamins and minerals like Iron, Magnesium, Calcium and Vitamin C to get you fighting fit!
Looking for a high-protein breakfast or high-protein snack on the go? Oats and Oatmeal contain on average 17g of protein per 100 grams. Oats contain both soluble and insoluble fibre to lower cholesterol and stabilise blood sugar (preventing that dreaded 11am sugar crash).
It’s also proven that Oats make you feel fuller for longer with slow-releasing energy to stop you from snacking between breakfast at lunch. For a cheap high-protein food, grab an oat bar or snack on some porridge to restore yourself following a work-out at the gym.
A little more expensive than most high-protein foods, lean beef steak makes for a great post-workout high protein dinner. With 25g of protein per 100 grams, steak also contains high amounts of muscle-loving minerals like Magnesium, Potassium and Iron.
We recommend that you keep the red meat to a minimum and reserve this high-protein food for your weekend work-out.
Cottage Cheese is not only a high-protein food but a favourite amongst athletes and weight-loss advocates alike. Cottage Cheese is especially interesting as it packs a specific type of protein, called ‘casein protein’.
Casein Protein is a long-lasting protein which lasts longer in your system and provides you with a steady flow of amino acids to strengthen your muscles and bones whilst you work-out and after the training is done.
Chicken & Turkey
We’re guessing you saw this one coming? But there’s no hiding from the fact that white meats like Chicken and Turkey are a great lean source of protein.
A post-workout high protein food loved by many, Chicken Breast and Turkey Breast are sustainable meats to chuck in salads, wraps and other high-protein meals that keep you trim after a trip to the gym.
If you’re struggling to get some additional protein into your diet, it may be worth looking at Whey Protein and other Protein supplements which help re-build muscles, repair tissue and enhance work-out performance.
Whey Protein can be used in Protein Shakes, Smoothies and Powder Milkshakes to be consumed quickly and pack protein without that full, bloated feeling.
At 2.9g of protein per 100 grams, Spinach is a great leaf for a high-protein diet. Spinach makes a great side for meat and fish in a post-gym meal or as a primary ingredient in a curry or stir-fry.
Spinach also contains super-high amounts of Vitamin A – a vitamin which supports our immune systems as well as keeping our hearts, lungs, kidneys and other organs functioning properly – important for active athletes!
Tofu & Soy Protein
As a vegan or vegetarian, there’s always concerns around getting enough protein into a meat-free diet.
Today, a high-protein vegan diet can be easily attained with more awareness over high-protein, meat-free foods to keep the body healthy and our bodies looking lean.
Tofu has 8g of protein per 100 grams and provides us with other nutritional requirements like Calcium, Iron and Magnesium. Soy Protein foods make a great substitute for meat in any high-protein meal and as a low-fat alternative for meat and cheese, it makes an ideal post-workout, protein food!
Looking for a high-protein snack for after a heavy work-out? Popcorn is surprisingly low-fat and full of protein! At 11g of protein per 100 grams, Popcorn makes a great on-the-go snack for fitness freaks.
Why not substitute an afternoon snack with a small bag of popcorn to curb hunger and fuel those muscles?
Beans are a cheap and easy high-protein food which can be worked into any meal or act as a quick snack! Beans are packed with a wealth of vitamins and minerals and weigh in at approximately 20g of protein per 100 grams.
A bean salad or Mexican bean chilli are easy alternatives for gym-goers who like to ‘food prep’ throughout the week. Try a post-workout high protein bean feast to repair those muscles and stop fatigue following a work-out.
You might not realise it but plenty of dairy products are packed with a natural protein to build muscles. Greeks Yoghurt is a tasty alternative for many high-fat and sugary deserts.
Pour Greek Yoghurt on oats and berries or freeze for a Frozen Yoghurt treat. For every 100 grams of Greek Yoghurt your body is fuelled with 10g of protein to help you build those abs.
For people building muscle and getting into shape, Quinoa has become the essential post-workout protein food. Quinoa is a seed, rather than a grain and includes all nine amino acids that your body needs to aid muscle repair and restoration.
Quinoa is now available in handy microwavable packs for a quick and healthy post-gym protein fix.
Hummus / Houmous
It’s quite surprising but Hummus is a high-protein food which makes a great post-workout snack. Hummus is made from chickpeas (another high-protein food), soybeans and oil.
For a quick protein fix, Hummus makes a great dip for vegetables (carrot, celery, cucumber) but do be careful because although it’s great for muscle-building, it’s also high in calories.
Cured meat snacks like Beef Jerky are now available in most supermarkets and health food retailers. Jerky has an astonishing protein count and for ever 100 grams you can take in 33g of protein from lean Jerky. Beef jerky is also high in Iron and Magnesium.
As mentioned previously, most dairy is naturally high in protein and can help repair muscles and keep you feeling lean after training. For a great source of calcium and protein, mix milk with whey protein powder for a post-workout protein shake.
If you’re vegan or lactose intolerant, Almond milk, Coconut milk and Soy milk, make a great alternative.
Canned Tuna and fresh Tuna is a great source of protein and a healthy substitute for some meats and cheese. Of all the fish, Tuna has the most protein and will help you build muscle with around 30g of protein per 100 grams.
Tuna doesn’t have any carbohydrates so pair it with something to give you energy like grains or vegetables and you’ll be feeling pumped up and ready to go!
Cheese lovers rejoice! Not all cheese is bad. Swiss Cheese is a high-protein cheese which is super tasty in salads. For every 100 grams of Swiss Cheese, you’ll be treating your muscles to 27g of protein and a lovely helping of Calcium for stronger bones too!
Chicken, Turkey and Beef always make the lists for healthy post-workout high protein foods but Pork is a great high-protein food.
At 27g of protein per 100 grams, lean pork cuts can help you step-outside of the popular meat options and are often a cheaper choice for hungry athletes!
Lentils and pulses might sound like a boring option for many but they’re a versatile high-protein superfood with lots of health benefits for active men and guys who are trying to build muscle.
For every 100 grams of Lentils you can benefit from 9g of protein and if you combine them with grains, wheat or rice you have a ‘complete protein’ meal – in other words, a meal or snack which contains all 9 amino acids needed to support healthy muscle, bone and joint development.
Edame Beans or Soy Beans are becoming a trendy snack or starter in many contemporary, eastern restaurants. They’re a great high-protein, post-workout snack that’s low in calories and high in other essential vitamins and minerals.
At 11g of protein per 100 grams, chuck some Edame Beans in your gym-bag for a quick, post-workout pick-up that will keep you looking and feeling strong!
Often regarded as the most hated thing on a classic British Christmas Dinner, Brussel Sprouts are a vegetable you need to learn to love if you want great results from your work-out.
Brussel Sprouts are the original muscle-building green! Low in fat and high in protein, Iron and Vitamin C – make sprouts a clever side dish or post-workout snack for quick muscle definition.
Smoothies are a quick and easy way of getting in your nutritional requirements before a work-out or after a training session. Combine fruit, vegetables and leaves for a high-protein drink that will support muscle development and help with performance.
Popular smoothie ingredients include Spinach, Kale, Cucumber and Greek Yoghurt to get you feeling fresh and energised! P.S – Add some Whey Protein Powder for an extra protein hit.
Seeds & Mixed Nuts
Finding high-protein snacks to eat at work or on the go, is sometimes harder than it sounds! Mixed nuts and seeds are a tasty and moreish high-protein snack, which are ideal for after a workout.
Available in all the supermarkets and wholefood stores, Mixed Nuts, Trail Mix and Seeds can be eaten alone or tossed over salads, noodles and stir-fry’s to up your gains!
Protein Bars may seem like a fad but if you struggle to get in enough protein to meet your dietary requirements, then protein bars are a good high-protein snack to keep in your gym bag.
Lots of healthy food stores now sell a selection of tasty, protein bars with additional supplements to support muscle development and aid work-out performance.
One of my favourites when it comes to protein bars is Grenade‘s selection. They have some pretty funky flavours to choose from in their protein bar selection, and all for a decent price.
Like Spinach, Kale is a versatile leaf that’s high in protein and other essential vitamins and minerals, that your body needs to build muscle and look defined.
Kale works great in smoothies and salads! With the nutritional benefits of Kale now discovered by fitness fans, you can now purchase Kale powder – a longer lasting protein supplement derived from the leaf to chuck in protein shakes and use with, as you please!
It’s also worth mentioning that Kale is an anti-inflammatory that supports bad joints and prevents heart disease!
Sardines are a cheap fish that you can purchase fresh or tinned from most places. Sardines have 25g of protein for every 100 grams you consume and with other health benefits, supported by their high count of essential minerals like Iron and Magnesium, you can build biceps and define your abs on this low-cost, lean fish!
So, there’s ‘30 Post-Workout High Protein Foods to help you get fit’! We hope that our guide to some of the best muscle-building foods will help support you to get super ripped and make the most of your work-out.
Remember, it’s essential to eat these high-protein foods as part of a healthy, balanced diet.
Got a post-workout food you swear by? We’d love to hear from you in the comments.
For more health & fitness tips, check out our Man Wants Weight Training Guide.