If you’re eating to build muscle, protein is king, which is why we’ve got recipes for three delicious, muscle-building high-protein meals below – Mediterranean-style stuffed lamb loin, herb-crusted pork tenderloin and roast beef.
But we’re duty bound to tell you that just because protein is the muscle-building monarch, it doesn’t mean simply eating as much as possible. There’s a limit to how much dietary protein your body can use at a time, which is around 30g, and you also need to pair it with just enough carbs to avoid breaking down muscle protein while repairing damaged tissue to stimulate new growth. More specifically, that means complex carbs to help restore glycogen levels and shuttle protein quickly and efficiently to depleted muscle cells.
Timing is crucial, too. Studies show that getting about 20g of protein and 20g of carbs an hour before and after training (based on 45 minutes of resistance training and moderate cardio, four days a week) is the perfect formula for improving your body composition. So how do you put it all together? After the recipes, you’ll find a sample three-day nutrition plan, which you can adapt to create your own long-term muscle-building meal plan, featuring these high-protein meals, of course.
Nutrition per serving: 360 calories, 45g protein, 19g fat, 2g carbs
Nutrition per serving: 310 calories, 45g protein, 13g fat, 1g carbs
Nutrition per serving: 409 calories, 55g protein, 20g fat, 0g carbs
It’s, very specifically, for a 35-year-old active man who weighs 175 lbs and is 5'8" tall. Adjust as required for your circumstances.
Calories 2,600-2,800 Protein 1.7g/2.2 lbs bodyweight = 135g protein daily, 27g per meal (20% of total calories) Carbohydrates 357–385g (55% of total calories) Fat 72–77g (25% of total calories)
Porridge (made with 65g dry oats) topped with 1tbsp raisins and 110g blueberries
2 whole eggs and 2 egg whites (hard-boiled, scrambled or omelette – cook with 1tsp olive oil) topped with ¼ avocado
160g low-fat cottage cheese topped with 1tbsp slivered almonds
1 medium apple
4.2ozs grilled chicken topped with 2.8oz hummus
1 whole baked sweet potato topped with 2tsp whipped butter and a sprinkle of cinnamon
2 portions of non-starchy veg (asparagus, peppers, spinach)
1 whole banana with 2tbsp natural nut butter (or whole almonds or walnuts)
Herb-crusted pork tenderloin
Serving of fresh green veg (broccoli, kale)
Fresh salad greens with 2tbsp vinaigrette dressing
1 wholemeal muffin or bagel topped with 2tbsp natural peanut butter1 whole banana
8ozs skimmed milk
1.7ozs carrot sticks with 2.8ozs hummus
2 hard-boiled eggs
4ozs salmon cooked with fresh herbs and citrus
3.5ozs wholegrain pasta or brown rice
Serving of fresh green veg
1 whole baked sweet potato
2 servings of non-starchy veg (sautéed kale, red peppers, snap peas)
Smoothie made with 170g Greek yogurt , 150g mixed berries, 1 whole banana, 50g spinach or 70g kale, 20g protein powder and 8ozs unsweetened coconut water
2 hard-boiled eggs
1 low-sugar cereal bar
1oz mixed nuts
3.5ozs turkey burger on a wholemeal bun topped with 70g kimchi and ¼ avocado
3.5ozs black rice
2 servings of raw veg (carrots, peppers, celery)
3ozs turkey breast rolled up with provolone or manchego cheese
1 medium apple
Mediterranean-style stuffed lamb loin
5.2ozs farro mixed with sautéed onions
Tomatoes dressed with olive oil, salt and pepper
Written by Jim White for Coach and legally licensed through the Matcha publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to email@example.com.