Protein isn’t the only thing you need to gain muscle mass; carbs are a necessity, too. Yes, we’re encouraging you to eat carbs—in case you haven’t gotten the memo by now, there’s nothing to fear when it comes to this macronutrient (sorry keto enthusiasts).
Protein intake after a rigorous workout is essential so muscles can be repaired, making us ready for another session the next day. But carbohydrate intake is just as crucial. As you probably know, our body’s main and preferred source of energy is carbs. When we workout, whether through lifting weights or running, we deplete those energy stores and have to replace them. More importantly for bodybuilders, eating carbs is vital toward glycogen replenishment.
You’re not likely to get the pump you’re after if all you focus on is protein. But before you reach for a loaf of bread, let’s remember that just about every macronutrient has to come from a quality source. Although it’s important to eat dietary fats you shouldn’t be reaching for the lard or palm oil—same goes for protein and carbs.
Odds are you’re probably eating most of these foods already, but it’s good to know that these can be added to your post-workout diet to maximize your gains. We’ll also dispel some myths that certain foods, such as pork tenderloins, don’t belong in a bodybuilder’s diet. Spoiler alert: they do.
Here are seven nutrient-packed foods that give you the dose of protein and carbs that you need to get big. And they’re all readily accessible at your local supermarket.