A high-calorie diet provides the energy the body needs for muscle growth and weight gain. Eating certain foods after your workout can help enhance your efforts to bulk up through exercise. Look for foods that are naturally high in protein and carbohydrates and have some unsaturated fats to promote muscle retention, energy and hormone production. Adding 500 calories per day above your daily calorie burn will result in a 1 lb. per week weight gain.
A post-workout smoothie can include a number of ingredients to help you recover from your exercise as well as add calories. Blend together a banana, 2 tbsp. peanut butter, 1/4 cup dry oatmeal, 1 scoop whey protein, and 1 1/2 cups low-fat milk. This smoothie contains about 725 calories with about 42g of protein and 68g of carbohydrates to help muscle synthesis.
A sandwich is a portable and simple way to fit in protein and carbohydrates. Top two large slices of whole grain bread with 4 oz. of grilled chicken, 2 tbsp. hummus and sliced tomato. This sandwich provides 40g of carbohydrates and 40g of protein with 450 calories.
Grilled salmon is a source of protein, with 6g per ounce. It is also rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which enhance testosterone production, to support muscle growth, and impede muscle breakdown. Have a 5 oz. fillet with 2 cups of brown rice and 1 cup steamed broccoli for 750 calories and 104g of carbohydrates. This post-workout meal also provides 40g of protein.
Sirloin Stir Fry
A study in the “Journal of the American Dietetic Association” found that consuming 220 calories of lean beef, containing about 30g of protein, increased muscle protein synthesis by 50 percent. Make a post-workout stir fry with 4 oz. of sliced, trimmed sirloin steak, asparagus, peppers and mushrooms. Serve over 1 cup quinoa, which provides 39g of carbohydrates and 8g of protein.