In the video “What Should I Eat After a Workout?” by Magnus Method, you will learn all about the importance of eating after a workout and what types of meals are best for fueling your body. Magnus, a trainer and nutritionist with over 20 years of experience, shares his favorite post-workout meals and explains the benefits of eating protein for muscle repair and recovery. He also discusses whether carbs and fats are necessary in a post-workout meal and provides some insight on timing. So, if you’re looking to optimize your post-workout nutrition and take your fitness goals to the next level, this video is a must-watch!

Magnus also has a special offer with Son of a Barista, where if you purchase their starter kit, you’ll receive the machine for free. He shares his love for their coffee and how it’s personally blown him away with its flavor. With Magnus’s expertise and guidance, you’ll gain valuable knowledge on post-workout meals, protein intake, and the importance of fueling your body properly. So, get ready to learn and make your workouts count with the right nutrition!

Importance of Eating After a Workout

Catabolic state after workout

After you finish a workout, your body enters a catabolic state. This means that your muscles are breaking down as a result of the intense physical activity. This breakdown of muscle tissue is necessary for muscle growth and strength gain in the long run. However, it is important to initiate the recovery process by fueling your body with the right nutrients.

Anabolic state from eating protein

To shift from the catabolic state to the anabolic state, it is crucial to consume protein after your workout. Protein serves as the building blocks for muscle and tissue repair. When you eat protein after a workout, it helps repair the damaged muscle fibers and aids in the recovery process. This promotes muscle growth, reduces muscle soreness, and improves overall muscle function.

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Recommended protein intake

The recommended protein intake for individuals who engage in regular workouts is around 1 gram per pound of body weight, or 2 grams per kilogram of body weight. For example, if you weigh 150 pounds, you should aim to consume around 150 grams of protein per day. It is important to spread out your protein intake across multiple meals to maximize its absorption and utilization by the body.

Benefits of splitting protein intake

Splitting your protein intake throughout the day has several advantages. First, it allows for a steady and consistent supply of amino acids, which are the building blocks of protein, to your muscles. This helps promote muscle repair and growth. Second, depending on your lean body mass and the protein source, your body can only uptake a limited amount of protein per meal, typically around 30 to 50 grams. By splitting your protein intake, you ensure that your body is able to utilize and absorb the protein effectively.

Role of carbs and fats

While protein is essential for muscle recovery and growth, the role of carbohydrates and fats in your post-workout meal is a bit more nuanced. Traditionally, it was believed that consuming carbs after a workout was necessary to replenish glycogen stores and aid in muscle recovery. However, recent research suggests that for strength training sessions, where glycogen depletion is not significant, consuming carbohydrates immediately after a workout may not be necessary.

On the other hand, dietary fats play a crucial role in hormone regulation and overall health. Including healthy fats in your post-workout meal can help support hormone production, reduce inflammation, and provide sustained energy. However, it is important to note that fats should be consumed in moderation, as they are calorie-dense.

Depletion of glycogen

Glycogen is the stored form of glucose in your muscles and liver. During intense physical activity, your body depletes its glycogen stores. However, for strength training sessions, this glycogen depletion is not as significant as it is for endurance activities like long-distance running. Therefore, the need for immediate carbohydrate consumption after a strength training session may not be as crucial.

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Window of eating after workout

The concept of a post-workout “window” refers to the timeframe immediately after your workout when your body is most primed to absorb and utilize nutrients. While there is conflicting information regarding the duration of this window, it is generally believed that the timing of your post-workout meal within 1 to 2 hours after exercise can benefit muscle recovery and growth.

Considerations for different workout types

The nutritional needs after a workout can vary depending on the type of exercise you engage in. Endurance activities, such as long-distance running or cycling, typically result in significant glycogen depletion. In such cases, consuming carbohydrates after your workout becomes more important to replenish energy stores. On the other hand, for strength training workouts, where the focus is on building muscle and strength, protein intake is crucial for muscle repair and growth.

Carb and protein intake for muscle mass gain

If your goal is to gain muscle mass, it may be beneficial to consume both carbohydrates and protein after your workout. This combination provides the necessary fuel for muscle recovery and growth. Including carbohydrates alongside protein can help replenish glycogen stores and support muscle protein synthesis.

Protein intake for lean muscle

If your goal is to lean out and reduce body fat while maintaining muscle mass, it may be more effective to focus primarily on protein intake in your post-workout meal. Protein helps with muscle repair and recovery, while minimizing the intake of additional carbohydrates and fats can help create a calorie deficit necessary for fat loss.

Favorite Post-Workout Meals

Sushi or sashimi

Sushi or sashimi can be a delicious and healthy post-workout meal option. Sushi is often made with raw fish, which is a good source of high-quality protein. It also provides essential omega-3 fatty acids, which have anti-inflammatory properties and support overall health.

Chicken salad

A chicken salad is a simple yet nutritious post-workout option. Grilled chicken is a lean source of protein that supports muscle repair and growth. Pair it with a variety of vegetables for added nutrients and fiber. You can also use a light dressing or vinaigrette to add flavor.

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Bean and quinoa salad

A bean and quinoa salad is an excellent vegetarian or vegan post-workout meal option. Both beans and quinoa are rich in protein and essential amino acids, making them a complete source of plant-based protein. Adding hemp seeds to the salad can further boost the protein content and provide essential omega-3 fatty acids.

Convenient protein shake

If you are always on the go or don’t have time to prepare a full meal after your workout, a protein shake can be a convenient option. Choose a protein powder that suits your dietary needs and preferences. Whey protein, egg white protein, or vegan protein powders can all be great choices. Make sure to mix it with your preferred liquid, such as water or plant-based milk, for a quick and easy post-workout meal.

Choosing the right protein powder

When selecting a protein powder, it is essential to consider factors such as taste, nutritional profile, and availability. Different brands and types of protein powders may vary in taste and texture. It is also important to ensure that the protein powder you choose meets your dietary requirements, whether it is whey protein, plant-based protein, or other options. Do some research and read reviews to find the protein powder that best suits your needs.

Protein sources for vegans

For those following a vegan or plant-based diet, there are plenty of protein sources available to support post-workout recovery. Quinoa, buckwheat, hemp seeds, chia seeds, spirulina, and spinach are just a few examples of vegan protein sources that contain all nine essential amino acids. Incorporating a variety of these plant-based protein sources into your meals can help meet your protein needs.


Eating after a workout plays a vital role in muscle recovery, growth, and overall fitness. Consuming protein after a workout helps repair and rebuild muscle tissues, while carbohydrates and fats provide energy and support overall health. The timing and composition of your post-workout meals can vary depending on your goals and the type of exercise you engage in. Incorporating a mix of lean protein, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains into your post-workout meals can help optimize your recovery and support your fitness journey. Remember to listen to your body and make choices that align with your individual needs and preferences.