What to eat before and after a workout to build muscle

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By robb the singh

What to eat before and after a workout to build muscle

We have survived only by eating cheese. And as the saying goes, you are what you eat. That old saying is especially true when it comes to your pre and post-workout meals. 

How effectively you perform at the gym, how fast you recover, and the outcomes you see in the mirror will all be greatly influenced by what you eat before and after a workout to build muscle. 

If you entirely disregard your before and post-exercise diet, you’ll be at a disadvantage whether you’re attempting to burn fat or gain muscle. 

what to eat before and after a workout to build muscle

Even if many theories about nutrient timing have been disproved, what you eat before and after exercise is still crucial since it can help you advance more quickly than any other meal you consume during the day.


Muscle protein breakdown rates will increase while we exercise. You try to keep protein breakdown rates low and protein synthesis rates high, regardless of whether your objective is to gain weight and grow muscle or burn fat while maintaining muscle. 

Amino acids are vitally necessary for boosting muscle protein synthesis since they are the building blocks of your muscles.

Without those amino acids moving through your circulation, you won’t just be lacking the energy needed for protein synthesis, but your protein breakdown rates will also remain high, putting your body into a more catabolic state where it will tear down muscle, which is not what we want. 

Now, some research indicates that consuming protein before exercise won’t increase muscle development. Other research, however, reveals the exact reverse. 

A pre-workout amino acid and carbohydrate intake may even aid your muscles more than a postworkout intake. And because it depends on what you had eaten the remainder of the day, these studies provide two very different conclusions.


Ingesting more amino acids with something like a protein shake immediately before your workout won’t make much of a difference in reducing the pace of muscle breakdown during your workout if you’ve previously had a sufficient amount of protein a couple of hours prior. 

It’s an idea to eat 20 to 40 grams of protein to get some amino acids into your system if you haven’t had any protein in the three to four hours before your workout. 

If you have an hour or two to digest a regular meal before working exercise, you can do this.

You could eat fish, chicken breast, eggs, turkey, and other lean meats as healthy sources of protein. 

However, since a protein shake will digest much more quickly if you exercise first thing in the morning soon after waking up, you can substitute one for the meal. 

Protein may be a topic of discussion, but pre-workout carbs aren’t as hotly contested. Your body fuels your workouts with glucose obtained from carbs.

The high-carb dieters also had better strength maintenance, recovered from workouts faster, and more in an anabolic muscle-building state, according to a study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology. 

The study compared two groups, one on a very low-carb diet and the other on a high-carb diet. While this study focused on total daily carbohydrate consumption, other studies compare the effects of carbohydrate intake before exercise to a placebo and indicate that consuming carbohydrates before exercise.

That will let you perform more repetitions with more weight, which results in more muscle gain if you’re bulking and less muscle loss if you’re cutting throughout your exercises. 

You should attempt to eat high glycemic carbs like white rice, potatoes, and bananas before your workout if it will be a quick, intensive workout lasting less than an hour.

Go for low glycemic, slower digesting food sources like brown rice, sweet potatoes, and oats for instance training.

I advise consuming at least 30 to 40 grams of carbohydrates before working out, however many bodybuilders advise dividing your daily carbohydrate consumption between your pre and post-workout meals by 50 percent.


While it is still controversial, some research suggests that fasting exercises can increase the amount of fat you burn during the workout. 

However, other studies indicate that you will simply burn more carbohydrates over the rest of the day to make up for the fat you previously burned during your workout. 

It is a truth that while some people do much worse while training while fasting if fasting training will help you burn more fat.

You should take a pre-workout meal if you cannot exercise without getting some energy from food beforehand. 

On the other hand, it can be a better idea for you to exercise while fasting if you take a long time to digest your meals and experience nausea or acid reflux when working out. 

Particularly considering that some studies indicate exercising while fasting makes your body absorb meals more readily after the workout and increase the anabolic reaction to it.

Despite this, you must realize that protein breakdown rates will significantly increase if you work out on an empty stomach. 

You can thus add speedier training if you’re attempting to lose some weight. However, if your main objective is to gain muscle, a pre-workout meal will benefit you far more.

Pre supplementation

We’ll talk about pre-workout supplements last before discussing post-workout nutrition. Pre-workouts may be an excellent tool for breaking through strength barriers and plateaus so you can lift more weight and, eventually, develop more muscle. 

But they have two sides to them. If you use pre-workout supplements too frequently, you’ll develop a tolerance to them, and not only won’t they provide you an energy boost during your exercises, but you’ll also need to take one to get motivated to go to the gym. 

Look for pre-workout pills including caffeine, beta-alanine, citrulline malate, and other stimulants. 

Given that studies demonstrate that males who take a caffeine supplement can bench press and deadlift more than those who take a placebo, caffeine may be the most significant of all of them.


Supplement eat before and after a workout to build muscle will now be the focus of our discussion. The rate of muscle protein breakdown accelerates following exercise. 

If you don’t take action, it will outpace the rate of protein synthesis, and you will begin to lose muscle mass. For this reason, it consumes 20 to 40 grams of protein within a couple of hours following your activity.

You should consume a quick-digesting protein source, such as a whey protein smoothie, for example- Leucine is a potent activator of protein synthesis, and this will swiftly provide leucine to your muscle cells. 

Additionally, it will release more insulin, preventing the breakdown of muscle protein.

In actuality, it depends on when you last consumed protein. The timing of your protein consumption after the workout is less critical if you had protein within three to four hours of beginning your workout, as you would if you ate a pre-workout meal. You’ll be alright as long as you receive it within a few hours.


Let’s now discuss eat before and after a workout to build muscle post-workout carbohydrates. It has long been believed that eating carbohydrates after working out would raise insulin levels. 

That is why following a tailored ketogenic diet without consuming carbohydrates after exercise can still allow you to gain muscle. 

However, if you’re not on a ketogenic diet, adding carbohydrates can still speed up this process since your insulin levels will increase more quickly and stay elevated for a longer period.

Consuming carbohydrates after an exercise also helps to replenish the muscles’ glycogen stores. 

As I just mentioned, having more glycogen in your muscles can help you perform better and lift more weight during your subsequent session. 

After an exercise, your muscles are like sponges, ready to absorb carbs rather than storing them as fat.

Healthy Fat

Regarding dietary fat after exercise, many individuals hold the opinion that you shouldn’t consume any since it will cause your meal or shake to digest more slowly. 

However, one research found that even after eating a very high-fat meal after working resynthesis was not adversely affected. 

So feel free to include some good fats in your post-workout supper. However, it’s not required. 

Additionally, it may be a good idea to limit post-workout fat intake and instead concentrate on consuming protein and carbohydrates if you want to help your muscles absorb nutrients more quickly.


The last thing today is post-workout supplementation. We’ve already gone over how a fast-digesting source of protein, like a whey protein shake, can benefit you after a workout. 

But other than some protein powder, the only other supplement that I recommend after a workout is Creatine. 

Creatine supplementation will boost energy production in muscle cells to improve performance in one meta-analysis, Creatine supplementation led to an 8% increase in one rep max and a 14% increase in reps at a lower percentage of one rep max. 

So taking up to 5 grams of Creatine after a workout can help, although it doesn’t matter as much what time of the day you take Creatine to feel its effects.

I hope this article has helped you out. If you enjoyed it, please put down your comment below.

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