Muscle Building Foods To Eat Before And After Workout

There can nothing be more disastrous than your muscles giving up while working out. The reason could be depletion in glycogen stores or body devoid of the essential nutrients. The primary reason in 9 out of 10 cases is not taking the right meals at the right time. Yes , that’s right. You must know exactly what to eat and when to eat in order to get the most out of your workout.

Muscle Building Foods To Eat Before And After Workout

Here is a list of all the muscle building foods to help you in making the best choice.

Pre Workout Muscle Building Foods

Why is it important?

If you are looking at losing fat, then exercising on an empty stomach may help you, but it can result in muscle loss when done regularly. This can affect the metabolism and make it difficult for you to lose weight.


There is nothing that can beat the nutritional value of bananas in keeping your body functioning well all day long. It is rich in potassium, manganese and potassium, besides giving your body the required carbohydrates. These nutrients help avert body cramps, aid in healing any injuries or wounds and boost up your bone strength and endurance. Wanna eat it as a pre workout meal, try it with a cup of yogurt. Yum, isn’t it!


We all know that eggs are one of the richest sources of protein. Have them before working out. They can be made easily and are delicious too. Eat them scrambled or hard boiled. Even yolk is useful when eaten before workout. It lowers the HDL level in the blood and therefore protects your heart.

Fruit Smoothies

They are just the best pre workout meal and do not require much preparation time. Make one using fruits with high glycemic index like banana, mango, watermelon and pineapple. How does it help? The carbohydrates in them break down to provide energy during the workout. The proteins check muscle damage.

Whole Grain Bread

If there is one mess free source of carbohydrate, which needs very less time in preparation, then it is none other than whole grain bread. It can be combined with some good protein sources like turkey slices, honey and hard boiled eggs.

Greek Yogurt

The protein content in Greek yogurt is two times more than the regular yogurt. It keeps the muscles ready and energized for a workout. It is easily digestible and hence good for those too with sensitive stomach. Carbohydrates present in it is what you need for building muscles.

Sprouts and Legumes

One of the richest sources of Vitamin C and K, minerals and fibers. Since they have complex carbohydrates, the body takes more time to break them down and keep releasing energy for a long time. Eat them 1-2 hours prior to working out.

Post Workout Muscle Building Foods

Why is it so important?

Your muscles utilize the glycogen stores in the body while working out. When you finish exercising, your muscles are depleted of the glycogen and needs replenishment. To fill these stores again, one must eat 30 minutes to 1 hour after working out. The food should be a good source of proteins and carbohydrates. Some studies suggest that eating 2 hours after working out decreases the ability of the body to refill reserves by half. Therefore the sooner, the better.


Your muscles are in dire need of some proteins and nutrients after pumping iron. Salmon is a complete food in itself – rich in nutrients like omega 3 fatty acids and proteins in abundance. The former is an antioxidant. Salmon has anti inflammatory properties to reduce muscle inflammation caused while exercising. The blood flow to the muscles is enhanced which in return helps in soothing muscle soreness, increases fat burn and slows down muscle loss. Combine it with veggies, they will aid in restoring glycogen system.

Sweet Potatoes

These fuel your body with carbohydrates and antioxidants such as beta carotene. The latter is the one that saves the body from free radical damage that takes place while working out. It is rich in Vitamin D and potassium. These two boost the energy levels and provide relief from any injuries or cramps that may take place during the workout.

Dried Fruits and Nuts

On those busy days, when there is no time to have food, grab its alternative. I am talking about the crunchy pack of mixed dried fruits and nuts. Nuts are a good source of proteins and the dried fruits will provide your body with easily digestible simple carbohydrates. These are the best when it comes to supplying glycogen to the muscles.


The best source of lean protein and other essential nutrients like Vitamin B and carbohydrate. A body needs fluids and energy after a hard workout. Chicken (grilled) and veggies make an amazing combo to replenish your body with the right amount of carbohydrates and proteins. You can pick a glycemic index food to make it a little more wholesome. Try white rice instead of brown for its high GI. Steamed veggies too can be eaten alongside.


Whole grain cereal is considered better than sports drinks by many and has become a preferred choice as after workout food. They are full of carbohydrates, proteins, fiber, calcium and many important vitamins and minerals. Taking milk with it will fulfill the need of fluids in the body besides providing whey protein and casein. Cereals are good as snacks too.


It is one of the best alternatives to meat. Since it is made using chick peas, it is the best source of carbohydrates and proteins. Want some wholesomeness, eat whole grain pita bread with it. Suggested by food journalists and health enthusiasts alike, there is nothing better than this.

Do you think we missed out on some really good muscle building food? Do share with us.


Author: Evie Dawson