For individuals who want to gain weight, exercise is a fundamental part. In addition to consuming a consistent caloric surplus where you are eating more calories than you burn off, your workouts are going to allow you to further increase your overall body weight by toning and building muscle mass. With any workout, what you eat before and / or afterwards can have a significant effect on your performance and results. The same applies for what to eat after a workout to gain weight. To help give you some ideas, we have compiled a list of healthful post-workout meal recommendations that can aid in healthy weight gain.
** Before making any significant changes to your diet and / or lifestyle, make sure to get into contact with your health practitioner to make sure you are in the right state of health.
What to Eat After a Workout to Gain Weight: Protein
Protein is an essential in our diet and is a highly beneficial source of nutrition when trying to gain weight as well. Protein contains certain amino acids that we need to regulate and maintain various body processes. When it comes to your workouts, protein aids in muscle tissue repair and growth through the delivery of these amino acids.
This feature is useful to you after exercising as your muscles will receive key nutrients they need to build and grow, thus increasing your overall body mass to gain weight.
Post-workout high-protein meal ideas for weight gain:
- Fulfilling protein shake – An easy way to get a tasty delivery of necessary amino acids to replenish your muscles is with a protein shake taken after your workout. Mix a protein powder in with your beverage and blend. Add a few nutrient-dense edibles to your shake for extra calories!
- A side of lean-cut meat – Protein sourced from meat is one of the more convenient options of what to eat after a workout to gain weight as there are so many recipes to choose from. Try a savory vegetable and chicken stir fry!
- Greek yogurt – Greek yogurt is a flavorful, protein-dense snack with some brands containing as much as 15 grams of protein per cup. Top it with a fresh fruit for even more benefit.
What to Eat After a Workout to Gain Weight: Healthy Carbohydrates
Another essential nutrient we need in our diet are carbohydrates. Carbohydrates provide your body with energy among other functions. They are especially needed to help fuel your workouts. It is important that you are aiming for the healthy types of carbohydrates though, and not the refined ones that contain added sugars like junk foods.
Post-workout healthy carbohydrate meal ideas for weight gain:
- Quinoa – Quinoa can be used in a variety of dishes. It is a healthy source of carbohydrates and is also a complete protein food – it contains all of the nine essential amino acids we must get from our diet.
- Potatoes – Potatoes are a healthy carbohydrate food that are also good for gaining weight as you can get a decent number of calories out of them with the right toppings.
- Whole wheat pasta – Pasta can be turned into a calorie-dense and nutrient-dense meal with the right toppings as well. Opting for whole wheat pasta shells as opposed to white pasta shells can be a healthier alternative.
More Post-Workout Meal Ideas for Weight Gain:
Any form of exercise is going to burn off calories. To gain weight, you need to be maintaining a caloric surplus where you are consuming more calories than you burn off. So, after your workout a high-calorie yet healthy food option can serve much benefit. Here are a few more ideas:
- Whole wheat sandwich – Prepare your own sandwich with different toppings and whole wheat bread for a healthy, fulfilling meal.
- Milk – Creating your own shakes and smoothies with the addition of milk can help to add extra calories for weight gain. Milk has also been found to benefit muscle recovery post-workout as well.
- Avocados – This fruit can be prepared in various ways, making it easy to get a decent number of calories. Avocados additionally contain a good source of healthy fats.
- Boiled Eggs – Eggs are an easy-to-prepare choice of protein-dense foods that are great to eat after a workout to replenish your muscles.
Don’t Forget to Stay Hydrated
While protein and carbohydrates are two key nutrients that aid in post-workout recovery and support muscle growth, there are other sources of nutrition that are beneficial to consume after a workout.
Whether you are trying to gain weight or not, water is a vital nutrient. It is especially necessary when exercising. Drinking water during your workouts and afterwards helps to replenish the water lost from your body via sweat. Water also helps to lubricate the joints and transport nutrients. If we do not drink enough water, it can lead to dehydration, muscle cramps, and more.
With what to eat after a workout to gain weight in mind, here are some helpful exercises you can do that can help to increase your body mass as well:
1 “Post-Workout Nutrition: What To Eat After A Workout”. Healthline, 2019, https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/eat-after-workout#section3. Accessed 2 Jan 2019.
2 Nutrition, Dairy. “Effects Of Drinking Milk Following Exercise | Dairy Nutrition”. Dairynutrition.Ca, 2019, https://www.dairynutrition.ca/scientific-evidence/experts-summaries/effects-of-drinking-milk-following-exercise. Accessed 2 Jan 2019.