What should I eat or drink after a workout to build muscle?

It is important to replenish lost energy stores after exercise. Protein is used to rebuild tissue and should be included into a post-workout meal. Research suggests having a small meal following workouts that have both protein and carbohydrates. The primary focus should be carbohydrates, but protein is also important. A 2-to-1 or a 4-to-1 of carbohydrate to protein ratio is recommended. The post-workout meal should be small and be free of excessive fat. A good idea is to have a shake or smoothie, as the liquid helps increase speed of nutrient absorption. It is best to have this supplemental drink or meal 15-45 minutes after exercise.


Neal Spruce
Neal Spruce on behalf of dotFIT
Following a good workout, in order to maximize exercise-induced results, you want to consume a formula containing 10-20 g of protein, 20-50 g of carbs and less than 5 g of fat. The ranges are determined by your day’s total calories allowed, size and length of workout. The smaller you are the fewer calories you need so you would be at the lower end of the range and vice-versa. The pre/post snack is usually in liquid form but you may substitute equivalently formulated nutrition bars (i.e. carbohydrates higher than protein and low fat). See below for ideal workout formulas.

Pre- and post-workout meal timing instructions:
  • Pre-workout formula (same formula as the post): consume 10-40 minutes before activity
  • Post-snack: immediately after workout
  • Pre-training/event food meal should to consumed 2-3 hours before your major activity
  • Post-training/event food meal should to consumed 1-2 hours post training
dotFIT First String or Pre/Post Meal Replacement & Workout Formula
  • Take 2 scoops 10-30 minutes before workout or use favorite dotFIT® bar for convenience
  • Take 2 scoops immediately post workout
  • Use anytime throughout the day to add calories as necessary to maintain muscle gain
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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.