What to Eat After a Workout to Build Muscle and Burn Fat

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In this video you’ll learn exactly what to eat after a workout to build muscle and burn fat.

This is question I get asked a lot of guys who just started training and they’re just not sure what type of food to aim for after a workout. On top of that there’s a lot of marketing out there trying to sell you all sorts of weird supplements and things you “need” to eat after your workouts.

So with this video I decided to clear things up and give you clear examples of what my meals look like, what are the macro nutrients to aim for and to what extent does this even matter when you’re trying to gain muscle and burn fat.

Related videos:
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Key Points:
The goal of the post-workout meal is to provide your body with protein to aim muscle hypertrophy and with carbohydrates to replenish glycogen that you’ve used up with training.

To burn fat one has to be in a caloric deficit and “fat burning food” is simply another marketing trick. Save your money.

Your best bet as far as “fat burning food” goes is to be on a high protein diet which is something you have to be on anyway if your goal is optimize muscle gain.

Your body will spend about 10% of your total caloric intake as Dietary Induced Thermogensis. If you eat 2000 kcal about 200 kcal will be used to process that food.

This isn’t something you should be concerned with. Fat loss is about the caloric deficit on a weekly basis.
As far as muscle building it’s important to understand that your body is in a constant process of building and re-building tissue.

In the past guys used to rush to get protein instantly after the workout is done. Now we know the window is much longer that just 30 minutes.

– Protein is the priority after workout. What about carbohydrates? Carbohydrates serve to replenish our glycogen reserves. In a scenario where you do multiple workouts per day or an evening workout followed by a morning workout the next day it’s critical to replenish these reserves.

– The glycogen replenishment process can last up to 24 hours.

– Typically the way diets for performance are setup are moderate protein, moderate to high carbs and low to moderate fats. Fats are usually not the present in large amounts.

– Your post-workout meal, the meal after a workout will be high in protein, moderate-high in carbs and low to moderate in fat. For specific food choices go with the unprocessed whole foods you like to eat.

Examples for protein:
Leaner sources are your best option since the fat intake isn’t very high. So chicken and turkey breast are great.

Cottage cheese and eggs as well (controlling how many yolks you eat)

Then on top of that leaner cuts of beef, seafood and fish are good as well. And lastly if you’re struggling to hit the daily protein just get Whey Protein.

Examples for carbohydrates:
Things like Rice, Potato, Bread, Oats, Pasta and Fruits are great options.

Carbs will easily shot up if you’re not careful with the amount of processed food you get.

Examples for Fat:
Omega 3 (couple of grams a day), yolks, meat and cooking Oil.

As you get your protein you’ll inevitably get a lot of fat with it.

If you need extra fat you can always get some nuts or dark chocolate.

Where to get Fiber from:
This is what most people struggle with and it is the key to good health and less hunger.

Fiber comes from starchy carbs such as oats, brown rice, sweet potato. Lentils like green peas, beans. And veggies and fruits.

Your diet should include a variety of veggies and fruits.

Veggies are your tool to increase food volume without adding extra calories. The most what you see on your plate should be veggies.

For meal frequency anywhere between 3-6 will be fine. Do what you can consistently hit your daily macros with.

A lot of guys focus on what to eat after a workout without even knowing their total daily macros and calories.

Your daily calories, macro-nutrients, fiber and water intake will yield 90% of the results. All the other things like meal frequency, timing and supplements combined make very little difference.

Let me know in the comments if you have any questions.

Talk soon, Mario

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Music Used:
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  • I liked this video but anyway i have a Question. i wanna los weight, i am overweight but not obese. i am 1,80m tall and i have about 100kg. i want to build muscle and lose weight, and reduce my bodyfat. Whats the best way? to cut the carbs or to cut the fat and why? if i eat carbs i often feel really tierd and flat in the Morning, i dont know for sure that it is because of the carbs but i have a feeling it is….a week ago the doctor told me i have a gluten incompatibility. how does that fit in?

  • Mario – Do you think it's generally better to have your carbs daily after an evening workout? (Obviously still fitting within my calorie totals for the day)

    Or do you suggest eating just meat and veggies all week and eating all heavy carbs in a short weekly window (Every Sunday for instance)?

    I've been saving all my heavy carbs (rice, bread, pizza, chipotle burrito, etc.) for only Sundays and had really good cutting success for the past 3 months.

    I feel like I remember you endorsing carb cycling in the past…what's your take now?

  • Your videos are good although I think for more people to watch try and be more specific, stick to the topic and all parts of video should work better with the title. Might help make shorter videos when people are busy meaning more happy people 😀 (In other words try and not go off topic, all parts of video should closely relate to the title.

    e.g you didn't say for the first minute what to eat just things people think which doesn't answer the question. This is quite a bit of criticism from me although I think it can help you in the long run.

  • great video!

  • Last one month I workout everyday without rest, my strengths also improved & getting good result, I don't feel tired. Is it necessary to take rest if everything is going smooth ?

  • Great point bro…ppl just want it so easy. Big ups man…buy whole food guys.

  • Nice and clear explanations. Cheers!

  • Hey Mario. Great video like always. My son who frequents the gym, eats well, plus has tons of energy told me that he will have his protein shake before his workout. He has always been lean, ripped and tight. I assumed that he was recommending that I do the same, regarding the macros. What is the difference if any of hitting the macros before or after the workout? Is there a best way of doing this? Thanks.

  • This obsession with protein is ridiculous ….

  • hey im 16 years old i realy need a program for workout i dont kn what should i do full body or half body everyone tell me this is good and another says no this better so can you suggest me a program for a 16 years old tiny boy 🙂 thanks

  • Any views on Creatine & Aminos? Take em before, after or during workout? new sub here 🙂

  • what product do you put in your hair? looks so fluffy

  • Hey, I'm 22 yrs old 65kg and I want to build muscle faster. How many eggs (white or yolk) should I eat after I work out?

  • You shouldn't the spend your time and effort on the typical sit up and crunches since they never do anything to improve your body stats fast and easily.

  • Hi Mario 🙂 The way you respond to these comments is incredible, i haven't seen anything like it on any other fitness channel. Hopefully you see mine and can answer it: i'm curious if i should change my post workout meal during a cut. I'm finishing up a bulk right now, and i've been mainly getting noodles, rice, potatoes, or a fat bready sandwich (with enriched flour, so it's fast acting and absorbs quickly)… and a good bit of meat to go along with it (in addition to a 60g protien 40g sugar protein shake). So yeah haha I worry that may be too much for a post workout meal during a cut. I mean, i never stuff myself silly with this meal, i just strike that perfect full so i don't feel lethargic, but am very satisfied. Do you recommend i change this meal for the cut? I'm definitely changing my other meals, but i fear to lose the strength and size that i've worked so hard for… so i'm wondering if keeping my post workout meal (and shake) this heavy is a good way to help keep as much muscle as possible, or if it will really inhibit my overall fat loss goal? (Lean starting in two weeks, hopefully for no longer than 20 weeks to get from 18-19% body fat to 9-10%) Not necesarrily going for a slow cut, but I'm willing to cut for that long if that's what it takes to retain the muscle.

  • love ur videos. Glad i found ur channel.

  • Hey Mario, how long after workout should I take a protein shake and eat a meal? There's some information out there saying that you should not consume anything at least an hour after workout so you are maximizing your HGH production, I'd like to hear your opinion on that subject. Thx 😀

  • So clear!

  • Hi, Mario. Great video. I want to know about BCAA . Is it good to have it for a person who is doing the workout for almost a year ? If yes how much in a day and when to take it?

  • Can u please add some info on female content as well thank you

  • Thanks for the reply ok I thought so but I do appreciate it

  • But nice u mention ur 10 present of ladies once in a while

  • You keep it simple! Thank you for that 🙂

  • Hey Mario, great Vid. You are one of the few genuine guys whose advice really helps.
    I'm a vegetarian and I have a problem replenishing my daily need for protein. I haven't taken any supplements till now, but I'm planning to do so. Please help me out in deciding how and what supplements to take.

  • Nice videos man! New subscriber here.

  • Hi Mario!!! I'm from Brazil and I liked so much your videos. I have learned a lot with it. Congratulations brother!!!!

  • Such a great video , thanks for everything helps a lot . Subbing and liking for sure brother!

  • Cool tips! I am becoming more conscious of macros now thanks to ur suggestion. I am doing a workshop about nutrition about it in few days so now will be more in sync with ur tips:-) cool stuff!!!!

  • #AskMario can you please talk a bit more about thermogenic pills? Do all these caffeine mix actually help?
    Arash from Madrid

  • broscience shit

  • This guy works out?? WTF

  • The points you make can be said in a much briefer way… a lot of unnecessary blabbing

  • i am staring to work out and i weight 235 it been about a week today i am 229 it very hard but i like watching your video thank you

  • Love the quality of your video! What camera and lens do you use?

  • I heard you answer every comment!

  • i like pizza

  • Do you use an app to count macros

  • Lot of blabbing

  • so much talking which was out of the subject….

  • Babo super video

  • Wait so what food should you at after you workout? I just want a simple answer.

  • Will eating McNuggets and IceCream build up muscles

  • can we take mass gainer right after a workout??