These 5 foods are better post-workout fuel than a protein shake | Men's Health Magazine Australia

5 Foods That Are Better Than A Protein Shake

Protein shakes are a means to an end.

After a particularly gruelling workout, where you’ve barely been able to crawl into the sheds, the last thing you want to do is rustle up a #cleaneating-packed plate of food. So, like the majority of us, you drop in a scoop of powder, shake it up, and away you go. Easy.

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But, is it the best thing for your muscles?

Are you giving your body enough protein? For those who work out to eat (and, conversely, eat to work out), the best part of a regular gym routine is the post-workout hunger that comes with it, so it pays to do it right.

Here, we digests the five foods that out-perform your protein shake – in taste and in numbers.


Alongside their sweeter cousins, potatoes are the real MVP of muscle food. Just one potato packs a cool 10% of your protein RDA – that could be up to 8g of protein per potato. Double up for the perfect partner to your shake. Throw a tin of tuna on top for a 25g hit of protein, or – for a dose of healthy fats – a scoop of cottage cheese, topped with a splash of chilli sauce. 

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Tuna rules when it comes to seafood – the cream of the crop. When endless Tupperware-housed chicken breasts get boring (trust us, they will), tuna is there to save the day.

A single 160g tin of tuna contains around 25g of protein a hit. Serve with a boiled egg and you’ll be nearing 30g. What’s more, tuna can help reduce blood pressure and any associated risk of heart disease, while the omega-3 content boosts your immune system and energy levels.

A muscle-fuel must-have.

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Think you can’t enjoy a sweet dessert when you’re training? Think again. 200g of greek yoghurt can pack up to 20g of protein, while the plain variety also contains a third of the sugar you’d find in flavoured types.

Throw in some blueberries for their cancer-busting properties and a dollop of peanut butter for even more muscle fuel.

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If, quite rightly, you don’t particularly fancy chowing down on a handful of cold, hard-boiled eggs first thing in the morning, then oats are your likely savour.

Around 100g of oats contain 17g of protein, with half a cup of oats packing around 30g of carbs – the perfect pre-workout fuel. After a workout, it won’t quite match your turbo-gains-mega-muscle shake, but once you slop on a tablespoon of peanut butter and a handful of pistachios, you’ll be hitting your mid-twenties.


Rice is boring. Fact. Pasta is boring. Double fact. Quinoa, the hipster go-to, is anything but.

Not only will it bring a welcome change to your lunchtime palate — with a splash of chilli to fire-up your metabolism — it also offers far more protein (and significantly less sugar) than its carby cousins. A single serving of quinoa packs half of your protein RDA, so you can make your grains work for your gains.

A version of this story originally appeared on

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