Post workout nutrition

There is a huge library of research into post workout nutrition, this could potentially be a very long article but that is not how I like to write them. I know the majority of people want short snippets that they can apply easily so I’ll try keep it succinct.

I’m going to keep this post for an individual looking to maximally increase muscle building. Otherwise it would go on too long if I were to look at all the various performance and athletic goals.

With the majority of nutrition questions the answer starts “it depends”, post workout nutrition is the same but hopefully these simple guidelines and advice will help you.

First point I’m making.. You DO NOT have to take on board a protein shake within 30 seconds of your final set before your muscles fall off. 

Second point I’m making…  just incase people are expecting me to list my top 10 supplements..

Post workout nutrition does not have to be in the form of a supplement.


Supplements are convenient and fast acting

Plus; if you choose the right companies they can be very cheap.


There are two main reasons for post workout nutrition (notice I said main not exclusively)

  1. Replenish glycogen stores
  2. Increase protein synthesis

Goals vary but the majority of people would be looking to intake good post workout nutrition to

  1. recover well
  2. increase muscle size/strength/quality
  3. reduced muscle soreness
  4. re-hydrate

Your post workout nutrition should reflect your goals and specific workout to a certain extent.

If adequate nutrition is not provided post workout soon after, even if you leave it a couple of hours you decrease protein synthesis and muscle glycogen storage.

My recommended supplements..

PROTEIN: If you are looking to build muscle then a whey protein shake is a simple, research proven way to increase protein synthesis after a workout. The amount may vary based on your weight/goals. But 35-40g of whey will give you around 4g of Leucine. This amount of leucine has been shown to maximally stimulate protein synthesis. This may be a good dose for someone looking to maximise muscle gain. Research has shown that smaller doses of 20g of whey can have a positive impact.

CREATINE: Creatine is the most researched sport supplement and has shown time and time again its effectiveness. There are many creatines out there but be sure to buy CREAPURE creatine monohydrate (the creapure “stamp” is a trade mark to show production of creatine at a “gold standard”). I’d recommend doses from 5g to 10g based on how big you are. 100kg individuals would want around 9-10g. I’m 85kg and I take 7g PWO. If you are looking to build muscle then take creatine… SIMPLE.

CARBOHYDRATE: Alongside creatine and protein I would recommend a carb powder, not only will the carb powder replenish glycogen stores it will also cause an insulin response. This basically means that the glucose in the blood stream from the carb powder can help transport the nutrients to cells e.g. amino acids, creatine). A very common powder is dextrose but my preferred carb powder is Maltodextrin, I find dextrose very sweet. But they both do a similar job. The amount you take should be based on your goals, I take 2 scoops of maltodextrin PWO which gives me close to 50g of carbohydrate.

So my recommended PWO shake is protein, maltodextrin and creatine… Followed by food within 2 hours.

The only company I recommend is MYPROTEIN.COM

Links are as follows

Impact Whey Protein

CREAPURE creatine monohydrate


I bet some of you are thinking nothing new there.. Why? Because it has proved to be effective.

Supplement companies wouldn’t make as much money if they only sold this. They like to use big words and big claims to get people to believe that they’re supplement will make them ripped in 4 weeks or gain 10lbs of muscle in 6 weeks.

Post workout nutrition is essential, if you train and then do not have adequate nutrition then you are minimizing results, under-recovering and starving your body of the nutrients it needs. I don’t think a supplement is enough, you require food after your shake (within 2 hours).

Fat for a long time it has been said to avoid fat post workout due to it’s effect on slowing down digestion, however some recent research is suggesting otherwise.

But I still would recommend avoiding it post workout so opt for a meal low in fat, high in protein and carbohydrates.

I build my meals around a protein source, then I pick a veg source and I complete my meal with a carbohydrate source. The amount of carbohydrate is highly individual but I opt for 150-200g post workout (includes carb powder and banana).

My typical PWO meals

Chicken, roast veg and jasmine rice

Chilli, salad and jasmine rice (Extra lean mince used)

Steak, spinach, kale and sweet potatoes

Oats, whey, honey, frozen berries made with water

If you have worked hard in the gym and you are not-refueling well then you are simply minimizing your results.

My guidelines for basic muscle building.

Supplements (5 minutes after): Protein, carb powder, creatine.

Food (within 2 hours after): Protein, veg, carb source.

All questions to @bencullen_


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