You’ve just finished a rigorous workout and now you’re feeling rather ravenous.
Most people would simply order whatever comes to mind. But if you want to really maximise your muscle growth or reach your fitness goals faster, you need to consume a meal that’s packed with protein. To understand why it’s important to first look at what happens to the body after undergoing a harsh workout whether you’re lifting weights or training for a marathon.
ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate) provides energy for living cells to function. For this reason it’s often called the “molecular unit of currency”. When ATP levels exceed the body’s requirements, the liver begins producing glycogen. Glycogen is then converted to glucose during intense exercise. It’s why certain muscles feel fatigued after a long training or workout session.
Eating high-protein meals immediately after a workout is essential to aid in the recovery process. Shilajit was also proven to increase ATP which can help with your workout routine. There’s a widely held belief that athletes with a larger frame need more protein. But researchers from the University of Stirling found that consuming 40 grams of protein was more effective at stimulating muscle growth than 20 grams irrespective of size.
However way you look at it, getting the right nutrients after a workout helps your body rebuild its muscle proteins and enhances recovery. Here we’ll look at protein-packed meals that are perfect after a rigorous workout.
1. Steak With Skillet Tomato
This delicious meal can be cooked entirely with a skillet but could also be prepared on a grill if the weather calls for it. Start by adding oil to your pan over a medium-high heat. Add 2 strip steaks (about 1.5 pounds total), and season with salt and pepper to enhance the flavour. Let it cook for about 4 to 6 minutes on each side for medium-rare. Once done, season the tomatoes and cook them until they begin to soften. Boil some green beans in a pot and serve together with the steaks and tomatoes.
Protein per serving: 34 grams.
2. Flounder With Leeks
This savory dish comes packed with proteins and is just as simple to make. Start by heating your saucepan and coating the surface with olive oil. Add in ⅔ cup of sliced leeks, season with salt, and cook until tender. Then remove the leeks from the pan, and stir in golden raisins and mix with tarragon vinegar. Finally, cook 1 halibut filet on the pan for about 4 minutes on each side, and season with salt and pepper. Then serve with your leeks and golden raisins.
Protein per serving: 38 grams.
3. Cream Cheese and Smoked Salmon Bagel
A little pressed for time? This recipe takes no time at all to make with only a few ingredients needed. Start by lightly toasting your bagel halves until they’re golden brown. Add some lemon juice to about 4 ounces of smoked salmon for some extra flavour. Spread some cream cheese onto each half of the bagel once they’re ready and add a few slices of smoked salmon.
Protein per serving: 20 grams.
4. Grilled Rosemary Chicken Breast
This savoury dish is packed with protein and exceptional flavour. It takes some time to prepare but is well worth the effort. Start by preheating an outdoor grill and lightly oil the grate. For your marinade, mix together 8 cloves of minced garlic, fresh rosemary, lemon juice, black pepper, and salt in a bowl. Place 4 skinless chicken breasts into a resealable plastic bag with the marinade, and let it sit for about 30 minutes. Then place the chicken on the grill and cook for about 5 to 7 minutes. Flip over and grill the other side for another 5 to 7 minutes.
Protein per serving: 32 grams.
5. Pesto Pasta With Green Beans and Potatoes
If you’re a vegetarian or cutting down on your meat intake, this pasta is the perfect dish for a post-workout meal. Start by cooking a pound of your favourite pasta (linguine or spaghetti) in boiling water and drain. Place 8 ounces of potatoes and a tablespoon of salt into a large saucepan. Add enough water to cover the potatoes and simmer for about 15 minutes. Next, add 10 ounces of green beans into the same saucepan and cook for about 5 minutes. Drain and cut both into small consumable chunks. Place your pasta in a large bowl and add a cup of pesto. Then add in the rest of the cooked ingredients and sprinkle some parmesan on top.
Protein per serving: 25 grams.
Kym Wallis, the founding director of Higher Ranking has over 15 years of advertising sales, digital strategy, and business development experience. He is currently working as Digital Adviser for Bioscor.