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The #1 Best Post-Workout Snack for Bigger Muscles

Fast-track muscle growth by adding this tasty snack to your routine.

When it comes to building bigger muscles, strength training and lifting weights are obvious parts of the equation. Another crucial aspect is pre and post-workout nutrition. Grabbing a snack that replenishes and hydrates your body, for instance, is something to be at the top of mind. But which snack reigns supreme among all others? We spoke with Amy Goodson, MS, RD, CSSD, LD, a registered dietitian and certified specialist in sports dietetics who sits on our Medical Expert Board, to find out the best post-workout snack for bigger muscles.

Continue reading to learn more, and before you head to the store, be sure to check out these 10 Strength Training 'Rules' to Follow for the Best Results.

What is the #1 best post-workout snack for bigger muscles?

banana berry and spinach smoothie

Drumroll, please! According to Goodson, the best post-workout snack for bigger muscles is a high-calorie smoothie. It's her top-recommended pick for a few reasons.

First off, the post-workout recovery process has 3 "Rs": replenish, rebuild, and rehydrate.

  • Replenish with carbs for energy: The honey and fruit in a high-calorie smoothie provide carbs, which restock glycogen stores that are depleted from working out. "Carbohydrates also stimulate the release of insulin, which helps shuttle amino acids into muscle cells for repair and growth," Goodson shares.
  • Rebuild with top-quality protein: Protein is crucial in post-workout nutrition to help your muscles repair themselves and grow. "Greek yogurt and milk are both rich sources of protein, providing the amino acids necessary for muscle recovery," says Goodson.
  • Rehydrate: A fresh fruit smoothie gives your body the proper nutrition it requires after exercise while helping with rehydration. "Milk is approximately 90% water, making it an ideal liquid for a post-workout smoothie," explains Goodson.

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Additionally, incorporating peanut butter into your smoothie introduces healthy fats, which deliver a rich source of calories and help absorb fat-soluble vitamins. "Fats can help to slow down the digestion of carbohydrates, providing a steady release of energy," Goodson adds.

Last but not least, a smoothie is a nutrient-dense post-workout snack. "The combination of ingredients in the smoothie provides a wide array of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, which support overall health and recovery," says Goodson.

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A high-calorie smoothie recipe for post-workout muscle growth:

woman pouring smoothie into glass


  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1/2 cup frozen mixed berries
  • 1 tablespoon natural peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • Ice cubes (optional)

"This smoothie provides a balance of protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fats, making it an ideal post-workout snack for promoting muscle growth and recovery," Goodson tells us. "Additionally, it's delicious and easy to customize based on individual preferences or dietary restrictions."

Alexa Mellardo
Alexa is the Mind + Body Deputy Editor of Eat This, Not That!, overseeing the M+B channel and delivering compelling fitness, wellness, and self-care topics to readers. Read more about Alexa