Muscle for life

These 20 Post-Workout Meals Will Hit the Spot Every Time

These 20 Post-Workout Meals Will Hit the Spot Every Time

A good post-workout meal is the ultimate guilt-free feast, and with these delicious recipes, you’ll have plenty of new ways to enjoyably indulge.

If you’re working for your dream body, then you already know how post-workout nutrition helps.

Namely, eating a high-protein and high-carb meal after a workout can boost recovery and muscle growth by raising insulin levels and stimulating protein synthesis.

Sure, you could whip up a protein shake after a workout but that’s not nearly as satisfying as as diving into a big pile of food.

So, if you’re not in the habit of eating after you train, let these hearty and delicious recipes serve as your inspiration. Same goes for if you’re sick of drinking that shake every day.

Whether you opt for the Citrus Avocado Salmon Salad or the Steak & Sweet Potato Hash, you’ll appease your appetite while doing your body good.


Barbecue Chicken Flatbread

BBQ Chicken flatbread post workout meal Picture courtesy of Skinny Mom

Don’t order a pizza or reach for the cardboard box once you get home from the gym.

It’s easy to make a protein-packed pizza at home in under a half hour when you use flatbread as the crust, and with barbecue chicken on top, you’ll wind up with equal amounts of carbs and protein.

For the salsa, you can use ready-made if that’s easier. If you feel like dicing an onion and opening up a couple cans, it’ll come together quickly, and you’ll have a cup of leftover black bean and corn salsa to enjoy as a snack or topping for another meal.

Serves 4


Barbecue Flatbread:

1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breast

4 light flatbreads

1 cup low-sugar barbecue sauce

1 cup reduced-fat shredded cheddar

2 cups black bean and corn salsa


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

1 can (15 oz.) corn, drained and rinsed

1/2 cup diced red onion

2 Tbsp. lime juice

1 tsp. chili powder

1/4 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

Calories: 451

Protein: 46 grams

Carbs: 48 grams

Fat: 12 grams


Cheesy Buffalo Chicken French Bread

Buffalo Chicken post workout meal Picture courtesy of The Creative Bite

Instead of stopping by a restaurant on the way home from the gym – or relying on whatever convenience food is in your freezer – grab a rotisserie chicken at the grocery store.

From there, you have countless options for turning it into a quick dinner, whether you just chow down with a side of quinoa and roasted vegetables, or use the meat as protein for another meal.

This quick Buffalo chicken pizza requires little prep work, just shredding the chicken and chopping some celery, so you can be wolfing one down in less than 20 minutes.

Serves 4


2 cups shredded chicken breast

1/2 cup buffalo wing sauce

1 1/2 cups shredded reduced-fat Italian cheese blend

1/2 French baguette

1/3 cup green onions, chopped

1/3 cup celery, thinly sliced

1/3 cup blue cheese

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

Calories: 415

Protein: 42 grams

Carbs: 28 grams

Fat: 15 grams


Shrimp Po Boy Fries

Po Boy Fries post workout meals Picture courtesy of Wicked Spatula

French fries don’t seem like a healthy post-workout snack. They’re said to be empty calories because of the potato starch and of course the grease factor.

Add protein on top, though, and those French fries gain a lot better nutrition, especially if you use sweet potatoes for a Paleo-style post-workout treat.

No matter what kind of potatoes you choose, they can be roasted in the oven with just enough olive oil to make them crispy. And the shrimp can be made in the oven too, if you prefer, at 425 degrees for about 15 minutes, flipping halfway.

Serves 4



2 lbs. potatoes

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil



1 lb. shrimp, peeled and deveined

1 cup tapioca starch

1 Tbsp. coconut flour

1 large egg

1/4 cup sparkling water

1 tsp. paprika

1/4 tsp. salt

Pinch of cayenne

Coconut oil, for frying


1/2 cup avocado mayonnaise

1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard

1 tsp. prepared horseradish

1 tsp. fresh parsley, minced

1 clove garlic, minced

1/2 Tbsp. paprika

1/2 tsp. dill pickle juice

1/2 tsp. capers, minced

1/2 tsp. lemon juice

Hot sauce to taste

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

Calories: 687

Protein: 32 grams

Carbs: 74 grams

Fat: 30 grams


Edamame Mac & Cheese

mac and cheese post workout meal Picture courtesy of Healthy Seasonal Recipes

This high-protein recipe for mac and cheese is a healthy meal, and it’s almost as easy to make as the processed stuff in the blue box.

Aside from cooking the pasta – and throwing in cauliflower, peas, and edamame in the last couple minutes – all you have to do is whisk together a cheese sauce.

You’ll need two cups of cheese, and you can go with all cheddar or mix together two kinds like fontina and gruyere.

Serves 6


8 oz. whole-wheat macaroni

1/2 head (about 2 cups) chopped cauliflower florets

1 cup peas, thawed if frozen

1 cup shelled edamame, thawed if frozen

2 3/4 cups low-fat milk, divided

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

2 tsp. Dijon mustard

1 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. granulated garlic

1/4 tsp. ground white pepper

2 cups (about 8 oz.) shredded sharp cheddar

1/4 cup chopped fresh chives

2 Tbsp. whole-wheat bread crumbs

1 tsp. canola or avocado oil

1/2 tsp. paprika

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

Calories: 423

Protein: 23 grams

Carbs: 47 grams

Fat: 16 grams


Want to know how to build muscle and lose fat eating delicious foods like these?"Dieting" doesn't have to suck. You CAN eat foods you like and have the body you want!

Beef and Mushroom Stew

Beef Stew post workout meal Picture courtesy of McCormick

Not only is this beef stew easy to make, but it can be ready ahead of time – in the fridge or the freezer – so you’ll have a homemade post-workout meal anytime.

This one has beef, although any kind of meat stew will be an awesome source of protein. And mushrooms are great to have after hitting the gym because they’re loaded with vitamins and minerals, which will be easily absorbed when your metabolism has been boosted by exercise.

Serves 6


1 medium onion, chopped

2 cups baby carrots

16 oz. baby Portobello mushrooms, sliced

1 can (15 oz.) no-salt-added diced tomatoes with juice

1 1/2 cups reduced-sodium beef broth

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. dried marjoram

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

1 lb. chuck stew beef, cut into 1/2” pieces

1 cup peas, fresh or frozen

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

Calories: 327

Protein: 27 grams

Carbs: 21 grams

Fat: 5 grams


Quinoa Fried Rice

quinoa fried rice post workout meal Picture courtesy of Cooking for Keeps

If you pick up fried rice from somewhere like Panda Express, it’s not going to do you many favors as a post-workout bite. Let’s face it: The best part is the egg.

Using brown rice instead is a great way to increase the nutrition, but since you’ll need more time to make it, quinoa is an awesome alternative. For more protein, simply add some tofu or ground chicken to the stir fry.

Serves 4


1 cup dry quinoa

1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken stock (or water)

1/4 small onion, chopped

2 carrots, peeled and chopped

3 scallions, chopped and divided

3 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 tsp. minced fresh ginger

1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

2 large eggs, lightly scrambled

1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed

1 1/2 Tbsp. teriyaki sauce

2 1/2 Tbsp. soy sauce

3/4 tsp. sesame oil

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

Calories: 282

Protein: 12 grams

Carbs: 38 grams

Fat: 10 grams


Crab & Avocado Hand Rolls

crab post workout meal Picture courtesy of the Kitchn

When you want sushi as a snack but don’t want to assemble everything, don’t worry about it. Just wrap up the ingredients you want in a sheet of nori, and enjoy.

Be sure to make these hand rolls right before eating because otherwise the seaweed will get soggy.

For more recipes that are easy and delicious, get The Kitchn Cookbook, winner of the James Beard Award for General Cooking.

It includes other great post-workout meals like Middle Eastern turkey burgers, mini quiche in prosciutto cups, and cold peanut sesame noodles with pan-seared chicken.

the kitchn cookbook

Serves 16


2 Tbsp. Paleo mayonnaise

2 scallions, thinly sliced

1 lb. cooked lump crab meat

1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes (optional)

Juice of 1/2 lime

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

8 sheets toasted nori, cut in half width-wise

1 avocado, thinly sliced

2 small cucumbers, cut into matchsticks

Handful of radish sprouts

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

Calories: 69

Protein: 5 grams

Carbs: 3 grams

Fat: 6 grams


Healthy BBQ Shepherd’s Pie

shepard's pie post workout meal Picture courtesy of Fit Men Cook

For a post-workout meal, you’ll need a lot of protein, plus a mix of quick-to-digest and complex carbs. That makes a classic casserole like shepherd’s pie perfect.

Any kind of ground meat can go in the filling, including lean turkey or chicken. Then make a vegetable mash to go on top, whether that’s mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, or cauliflower.

Shepherd’s pie is also great for sneaking in other nutritious ingredients like peas and beans, both excellent sources of plant-based protein.

Serves 5



3 medium sweet potatoes

1/4 cup low-fat plain Greek yogurt

1 tsp. ground cinnamon


1 1/2 lbs. extra-lean ground turkey

2/3 cup red onion, diced

2 Roma tomatoes, diced

1 tsp. minced garlic

1 can (15 oz.) low-sodium black beans, drained

1 cup frozen peas

1 cup frozen corn

1 cup shredded carrots

To Serve:

1 cup low-sodium barbecue sauce

2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard

1 Tbsp. smoked paprika

1 1/2 tsp. chili powder

1 tsp. ground cayenne

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp. (about 3 oz.) reduced-fat shredded cheddar

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

Calories: 621

Protein: 42 grams

Carbs: 82 grams

Fat: 15 grams


Citrus Avocado Salmon Salad

salmon salad post workout meal Picture courtesy of Café Johnsonia

Even though you don’t necessarily need to fill up on fats after a workout, a combo of salmon and avocado is still great nutrition to reach for.

The salmon has protein plus omega-3 fatty acids, which acts as an anti-inflammatory to support muscle recovery. Then, avocado has monounsaturated fats that help with post-workout muscle growth and joint health.

Serves 4



2 salmon fillets (about 6 oz. each)

1 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil

Juice of 1 lemon

Salt and freshly ground black pepper


4 cups baby spinach

1 large pink grapefruit, peeled and sectioned

2 medium oranges, peeled and sectioned

1 avocado, thinly sliced

1/2 cup sliced almonds

1/4 cup green onions, sliced

Juice of 1 lemon

2 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

Calories: 397

Protein: 24 grams

Carbs: 23 grams

Fat: 24 grams


Steak & Sweet Potato Hash

Steak and Sweet Potato Hash post workout meal Picture courtesy of The Novice Chef

Sometimes it’s nice to just go back to basics. A choice cut of steak – like sirloin or flank steak – with a sweet potato on the side is a comforting post-workout meal.

It’s also packed with all the protein, vitamins, and just enough fat to fuel your body for recovery. This is a quick dinner whether you have leftover steak to use up, or prefer to pan-sear one and finish in the oven with the French fries.

Serves 1


2 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil

1 clove garlic, minced

1/4 cup chopped yellow onion

1 serving frozen sweet potato fries

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1/4 cup (about 1 oz.) shredded mozzarella

4 oz. leftover steak, chopped

1 large egg, fried

Fresh cilantro (optional garnish)

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

Calories: 580

Protein: 48 grams

Carbs: 29 grams

Fat: 29 grams


Sweet Potato & Berries Breakfast Bowl

Sweet Potato post workout meal Picture courtesy of Nourish Everyday

Sweet potatoes aren’t just for a side dish. With berries and seeds, this is an awesome breakfast to replace oatmeal or cereal.

And it’s great for a post-workout snack too, especially when you mix protein powder into the yogurt on top. The macros on this are high in complex carbs because of the sweet potato, but you can also split one potato between both servings for a lighter meal.

Serves 2


2 sweet potatoes (about 1/2 lb. each)

2/3 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt

1/2 scoop WHEY+ vanilla protein isolate (optional)

1/4 cup mixed seeds (pumpkin, flax, sunflower, or chia)

1 cup mixed berries

1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

Calories: 487

Protein: 22 grams

Carbs: 83 grams

Fat: 9 grams


Peanut Butter & Jelly Smoothie

Healthy Peanut Butter post workout meal Picture courtesy of Best of This Life

Rather than reaching for the usual PB&J sandwich, upgrade it to a smoothie with whole fruit.

All the sweetness you need is in the grapes, berries, and bananas. And unlike a sandwich, post-workout smoothies are an easy way to enjoy a serving of whey protein powder.

This one has similar nutrition to a glass of post-workout chocolate milk, and you have the option to go fat-free by using PB2 instead of natural peanut butter.

Serves 4


Grape Smoothie:

1 1/2 cups mixed berries, frozen

1 cup purple grapes, frozen

1 1/2 cups unsweetened almond milk

1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

Peanut Butter Smoothie:

1/3 cup crunchy peanut butter

2 bananas, frozen

1 1/2 cups unsweetened cashew milk

6 ice cubes

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

Calories: 249

Protein: 7 grams

Carbs: 29 grams

Fat: 13 grams


Veggie & Egg White Sandwich

breakfast sandwich post workout meal Picture courtesy of Get Off Your Tush and Cook

Eggs on their own can contain great post-workout nutrition, but they’re even better when upgraded. This sandwich combines whole grains, eggs, and your favorite veggies.

The slice of cheese isn’t necessary if you would rather add pesto or hot sauce for flavor. You could also mix a crumbly cheese like feta into the eggs before making it in the microwave or, if you don’t mind waiting, baking it in the oven.

Serves 1


3 egg whites

1/2 cup vegetables, raw or cooked

1 slice reduced-fat cheddar cheese

1 whole-grain English muffin (or sandwich thin)

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

Calories: 317

Protein: 25 grams

Carbs: 35 grams

Fat: 7 grams


Sausage Kale Strata

kale omelete post workout meal Picture courtesy of The Pioneer Woman

There are a lot of great ways to enjoy eggs as a meal – omelettes, frittatas, and the ubiquitous Benedict – but the all-American strata has all the makings of a hearty dinner: eggs, meat, bread, and fresh produce.

Essentially a cross between bread pudding and casserole, it’s indulgent but can be made healthfully – or nutrition enough, at any rate. Choose a lean sausage, load the dish with mushrooms and kale, and use either half-and-half or milk.

Serves 12


12 large eggs

2 1/2 cups half and half

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

4 Tbsp. minced fresh herbs (oregano, parsley, or basil)

1 loaf crusty French or Italian bread, cubed

2 lbs. lean pork breakfast sausage patties

1 bunch kale, torn into pieces

Olive oil, for frying

16 oz. white mushrooms, halved

2 1/2 cups (about 10 oz.) grated Monterey Jack cheese

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

Calories: 499

Protein: 34 grams

Carbs: 27 grams

Fat: 29 grams


Apple Carrot Beet Ginger Juice

post workout meal juice Picture courtesy of Minimalist Baker

Even if you don’t have a fancy juicer, you can enjoy a refreshing glass without overpaying at the store. Blend up the whole fruit and vegetables that you want to use, and then a mesh strainer can remove the pulp before pouring the juice into a glass.

Juice is a great way to load up on nutrients that support any kind of fitness plan. An ingredient like beets, for example, can enhance muscle power if you drink it pre-workout, and it helps the cardiovascular system by lowering blood pressure post-workout.

Serves 1


1 beet, rinsed, lightly peeled, and quartered

1 apple, peeled, cored, and quartered

1 Tbsp. fresh ginger, peeled

3 carrots, rinsed and peeled

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

Calories: 136

Protein: 4 grams

Carbs: 42 grams

Fat: 1 gram


Lemon Protein Cake

protein cake post workout meal Picture courtesy of Andrea’s Protein Cakery

Are you a night owl who loves a late workout? If so, you might have already eaten dinner and want a post-workout dessert instead.

Everyone with a serious sweet tooth should check out Andrea’s Protein Cakery for nutritious recipes like this.

She’s got a lot of practice in the kitchen to figure out which kind of protein powder to use where, for example mixing vegan vanilla protein in the cake to keep it soft, while using whey powder in the frosting to help it thicken up.

Serves 8


Lemon Protein Cake:

8 large egg whites

Zest of 1 lemon

1/4 cup lemon juice

1/3 cup low-fat plain Greek yogurt

1 cup vegan vanilla protein powder (such as SunWarrior)

1/4 cup almond meal

1 tsp. baking powder

Vanilla Protein Frosting:

1 1/2 cups nonfat plain Greek yogurt

3/4 cup (about 3 scoops) WHEY+ vanilla protein isolate

2 tsp. vanilla extract

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

Calories: 154

Protein: 26 grams

Carbs: 7 grams

Fat: 3 grams


Tuna Salad, Hummus & Honey Mustard Lettuce Cups

Tuna Salad post workout meal Picture courtesy of Lean It Up

Open a can of tuna, and you’re on your way to having an awesome post-workout snack. You can just eat it out of the can with a squeeze of lemon juice and pinch of salt, but that gets old fast once you’re out of a dorm room.

Luckily you don’t have to do much more to turn tuna into a grown-up grub that’s loaded with protein and flavor.

Mix in hummus and honey mustard, and grab some big lettuce leaves to serve. Or, make it a substantial post-workout meal by spreading the tuna salad between whole-wheat bread instead.

Serves 1


1 can (5 oz.) tuna packed in water, drained

1/4 cup hummus

1 tsp. honey mustard (or more to taste)

1/4 cup chopped celery


Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

Calories: 244

Protein: 33 grams

Carbs: 12 grams

Fat: 7 grams


Cottage Cheese Taco Dip

Cottage Cheese post workout meal Picture courtesy of Yummy Healthy Easy

Upgrade from chips and salsa as a snack with this cottage cheese dip. It has even better nutrition than guacamole – and you’ll still get to enjoy avocado, if you want to dice one up and mix it in.

If you leave it out, this taco dip only contains two grams of fat per serving. Enjoy it with tortilla chips or a high-protein alternative like SimplyProtien spicy chili chips.

Serves 8


1 container (16 oz.) low-fat cottage cheese

1 can (4 oz.) green chilies, drained

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

1 avocado, chopped

4 green onions, chopped

2 small tomatoes, chopped

1/2–1 tsp. Tabasco sauce

Salt to taste

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

Calories: 192

Protein: 13 grams

Carbs: 22 grams

Fat: 7 grams


Grilled Chicken Pita

greek pita bread wrap post workout meal Picture courtesy of Cooking with Sugar

When you need a quick meal, nothing beats a good sandwich. With grilled chicken and Greek yogurt in a whole-wheat pita, this has almost as much protein as carbs and less than 20 grams of fat.

And since putting this together takes only a few minutes more than stopping by a restaurant to order a pita sandwich, you may as well make it from scratch. If you don’t want to prepare tzatziki too, serve with plain yogurt and hummus.

Serves 6


Chicken Pita:

3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 tsp. garlic powder

1/2 tsp. onion powder

1 tsp. dried basil

1 tsp. dried oregano

1 tsp. dried parsley

1/4 tsp. paprika

1 Tbsp. lemon juice

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

3 Tbsp. butter

2 lbs. chicken breast, sliced 1” thick

6 whole-wheat pita breads


1 small cucumber, deseeded and diced

5 cloves garlic, chopped

1 Tbsp. chopped fresh mint

2 Tbsp. chopped fresh dill

1 container (8 oz.) nonfat plain Greek yogurt

1 Tbsp. Lemon juice

1 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

Calories: 482

Protein: 48 grams

Carbs: 40 grams

Fat: 17 grams


Thai Cucumber Salad with Roast Duck

duck salad post workout meal Picture courtesy of Taste.com.au

Duck is delicious but hard to cook, so skip the work and pick up a whole one already roasted. Then simply slice off the meat for an easy post-workout salad.

When you’re not worried about prepping the protein, it’s doesn’t take much time to assemble a protein-packed salad and make dressing from scratch, either by hand with a mortar and pestle or in a food processor.

Serves 4



1 cup chopped Chinese roast duck (or roast pork or chicken breast)

2 cucumbers, thinly sliced

1 cup fresh cilantro

1 cup fresh mint

1 cup fresh Thai basil

4 purple shallots, thinly sliced

1 long red chili, thinly sliced

1/2 cup peanuts, coarsely chopped


1 stalk lemongrass, white parts finely chopped

2 tsp. fresh cilantro, finely chopped

2 Tbsp. lime juice

2 Tbsp. fish sauce

1 Tbsp. granulated sugar

1 tsp. sesame oil

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

Calories: 376

Protein: 30 grams

Carbs: 19 grams

Fat: 22 grams


What did you think of these post-workout recipes? Have anything else to share? Let me know in the comments below!

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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.

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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?

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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.

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Leave a Comment!
  • The Swiss Miss

    Just finished my workout, I had planned to have a nice salmon steak, salad and a piece of sourdough bread….. now I want steak and I want it bloody!! Lol

    • Michael Matthews

      Haha enjoy! 🙂

  • Steve

    What brand do you recommend for the whole wheat pita for the Grilled Chicken Pita?

    • Michael Matthews

      Personally I like Ezekiel.

  • Enriq

    Hi Mike! I have a few questions and I’ll like a little help because I’m a little dissapointed with my knowledges. It will be great to have some clear answers.

    – A difference of high glycemic index between nutrients for example Dates (103) and Honey (60), will that value gap of 43 make a big big difference on your results if you take honey or banana instead of dates or another higher? Or what it only matters is to stick above GI 50 no matter if you take a higher or lower nutrient?

    – In my country we have a traditional corn toasted flour where corn is first toasted and then the flour is created very thin, perfect to mix with the whey protein shake since its also very soluble. Its nutrition fact per 100gr is: 8Prot 83CH (1gr sugar) 4Fat 0.5fiber. Will this be a good PWO carb source? I think it has a similar GI as white wheat flour (85) or corn flour (70), but I’m afraid because since it is toasted it could have a very low GI. Also I don’t know if that fat quantity will slow down the digesting process of the PWO meal. How much fat will be OK in PWO meal in order not to arrive to a very slow digestion?

    – And last question. According to protein digestion velocity, whey is very fast. However I don’t want to stick so much in whey, so post fasted cardio I take little of whey and the rest in egg white omelette. Is egg white a fast protein? What other fast proteins will you recommend? And for pre bed meal with no supps, is there another protein source as cottage cheese we could take, or is it the best? I’m afraid of CH in cottage cheese, since to arrive to at least 24grs Prot we must take 10.5 CH too and I don’t know if that is a lot or a bad ratio Protein:CH.

    Thak you very much Mike and sorry for the big text!!! 😀

    • Michael Matthews


      I like high-GI carbs for pre and post-workout carbs but otherwise I stick to lower GI choices.

      Yeah the corn product sounds great.

      Totally fine on the protein. Egg is slow burning but that’s not a big deal.

      So long as you hit your numbers, you will do well. You don’t have to worry too much about fast- and slow-digesting foods.

      • Enriq

        Thank you very much Michael!!! I have one more last question.

        -If you increase cardio duration very fast or you do 45-50min twice a day, is the body going to adapt to that cardio and not burn fat as a defense mechanism? Should we increase it progressively to always be surprising our body as it happens when hitting the weights?

        • Michael Matthews


          That’s too much cardio. You’ll burn out and lose muscle doing 2+ hours of cardio per day.

          • Enriq

            I’ve noticed that I think! I have been losing fat at the begining from 22% till 19% but then I started to do cardio 45 min twice a day (fasted and after weights) and I saw that my fat loss and weight stalled a lot! I couldn’t keep on going burning fat even doing more cardio. I’ll try doing 40min fasted and only 15min after weights. How much cardio a day do you think should be the maximum? I’ve seen people saying they do cardio twice a day, but I don’t know why and if they obtain results. Also, the day after a cheat meal I have an increase in my weight and body fat %. Do you think we should do one more cardio session that day in order to burn that excess of kcal gained and try to be near to our previous weight or shall we continue our stablished program as usual? Great tips Michael, thank you very much!!!

          • Michael Matthews

            Yeah, it’s going to cause you to retain more water too (higher cortisol levels).

            You’re not gaining fat by having a cheat meal. Unless you’re eating like 7,000 calories in that meal, haha.

          • Enriq

            Perfect answers!! So I will try to continue in my line with the cheat meal and I will decrease cardio for 40-45 min fasted and 15 min after weights. With how many Kcal difference from cardio do you think we will start burning muscle and how many Kcals do you think its ok to burn from cardio per day or week in definition? Thank you very much Michael, all this tips are helping me so much. The day I reach my goal I’ll send you some photos if I can. Thank you!!!!!!

          • Michael Matthews

            I would reduce cardio to 20 to 30 minutes of HIIT per session and do 3 to 4 sessions per week. That plus lifting plus a proper diet is all you need.

          • Enriq

            Great, I’ll do that!! Thank you Michael for all your tips! You share really good and helpful information! Thanx!!

          • Michael Matthews

            My pleasure! 🙂 Thanks!

  • t werner

    Could you write the recipes listing the ingredients and then steps out to make it easier to read and cook as you go along?

    • Michael Matthews


  • rdunn

    love the recipes, did I miss something?? – there was no sausage in the sausage-kale strata????

    • Michael Matthews

      Doh! What the hell? Not sure what happened there. I think I started out with sausage but didn’t like the macros haha.

  • aprilj

    When I’m in a hurry, I love Trader Joe’s Low-Fat (frozen) Chicken Chow Mein with extra broccoli and chicken!

    • Michael Matthews


  • Ashley Ward Buchmiller

    I know this is unrelated, but I just wanted to say how much i appreciate that u don’t require everyone to log in every time they want to read an article. It sounds bad, but I’ve honestly stopped visiting sites before just because I got sick of wasting my time logging in constantly. Its great that I can just click the link in my email or on Facebook and go straight to where I want. Love your articles btw!

    • Michael Matthews

      Thanks Ashley! I really appreciate it. 🙂

  • Adel-Alexander

    Mike I wanted to ask ya, I know that raw meat and cooked meat has different weight etc etc. And I saw on some website that you had to multiply the weight of the cooked meat by 1.4,1.5 depending how cooked it is. And I can see that you have to do that with meat that you didn’t get to calculate the macros and stuff before it was cooked.

    But what about pre-cooked food like meatballs that comes in a box, already cooked? The nutritional label that is on the box of pre-cooked meat, does it show how many macros there are within the meat when it’s cooked or before it was cooked?

    • Michael Matthews

      Yeah I measure everything raw for that reason and I don’t eat packaged meats so I’m not sure. I’d probably just go with the numbers on the box though and see how my body responds.

  • John Gan

    I’ve begun counting calories and found out that my daily intake is below TDEE. So it’s time to up it! Just one question, I should weigh my all my food after cooking? The carbs, protein and fat are different for cooked and raw food.
    For example, raw chicken breast has 21g proteins/100g but stewed chicken breast has 27g protein/100g.
    So there’s no use to weigh raw food if it’s going to be cooked?

  • Sindre

    Hey Man! Do you weigh your chicken before or after cooking. I tried both. I started cooking around 1100 gram, but ended up cooking 740 gram! Thats over 400 calories difference. How do you do it?

    • Michael Matthews

      I always weigh food raw.

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  • Phillip Dwyer

    Hi Mike

    I love your sweet potato pancake recipe and wanted to adapt it to a sort of “post workout version” by swapping out the sweet ‘taters for bananas and use quick oats instead of old fashioned to get a higher GI carb in right after weights (I read in your book this is good for building muscle) .
    I aso read in bigger leaner stronger that a faster-digesting protien is beneficial as post workout nutrition. Are egg whites too slowly processed to be of benefit if eaten about 30 minutes after a weight training session?

    • Thanks man! Yup that will work. Banana in basically anything is delicious, haha.

      A faster digesting protein high in leucine is optimal but if you prefer eggs don’t sweat it. You’ll be fine.

  • Katie

    Hi Mike!
    I’m a bit unsure if It’s best to stay away from high GI foods or not. I’m clear that they are not good for your body, and you even have a section about this in Shredded Chef and state that you don’t recommend even eating them pre or post work outs.
    But… I’m seeing you do lots of banana, GI of 62. Ok, great, only 2 points higher than what’s recommended not to go over, but white rice is 64. So why is white rice such a poor choice health wise, but banana is not?
    Also, I see you have a salad as a post workout. That’s awesome! I love great salads- So does that mean it doesn’t matter what kind of carbs you eat post work out, just eat them?
    Thank you for all you do. Your site and pod casts are REALLY helping me and clearing a lot up.
    I’ve purchased a meal plan and can’t wait to get going on it!


  • Ahmed

    Hey Mike!
    Can I eat chicken chowmein noodles 1-2 hrs after workout. Chicken has protein but noodles has carbs , is it good after workout if i am looking for muscle gain and dont use protein shake?

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