What to Eat After a Calisthenics Workout? [Top 3 Easy Meals]

If you are looking for the simplest and most informative answer you are in the right place. 

If you read the entire article you are going to learn what exactly to eat after a calisthenic workout, where to find it and how to prepare it in order to get the maximum benefits from your workout. 

The short answer to this question is the best option for is to simply have a post recovery drink, homemade shake or a good old proper meal. 

If you want to find out how exactly to find and prepare them step by step keep reading our awesome article. 

So without any further ado before we go into the real deal I want to quickly answer this common question most of you probably have…

Does it really matter what you eat after a calisthenic workout?

Actually it really does and here’s why.

As you have probably heard the saying “eating properly is 80% of the results” and unfortunately, it’s true.

I have seen many people fail their goals and dreams because of the lack of proper and regular healthy eating habits.

I want to add that the two most important meals you have to not ignore are the ones you have to eat right before and after your workouts. 

Because I don’t want to write the next LOTR book I will try keeping it as simple as possible and will share all my knowledge and experience only about the post workout meal for calisthenics. 

I really believe it’s really important to have a proper meal/drink after a good workout because of a few things.

After a proper workout, your body is going to be depleted, your energy levels are going to be low, you are going to feel exhausted and hungry. 

Science has proven that after your workout you have a 45-minute window in which it’s recommended to have a proper recovery meal or drink.

If you skip it you are missing a lot and you won’t get the best possible results you could from your workouts. 

Imagine this: 

All your hard work and sweat are wasted for nothing. You don’t want, right? 

Here is a short list of some of the great benefits a good meal can bring you:

  • It provides you with a good amount of energy.
  • It helps restore glycogen – Fight exhaustion and help your body prepare for the next workout.
  • Improve protein synthesis – during your workout, your muscles get damaged and you have to fill them up so they become bigger and stronger.
  • Improve the overall recovery of your body.
  • Get better results – more muscle, strength, and stamina.

Quick Summary:

Eating or drinking a proper meal after a calisthenic workout does bring great benefits that science has proven and it’s worth the time, money and effort!

What is the best food or drink I can eat after a heavy calisthenic workout?

So after you know why it’s good for you to eat something healthy as a post workout meal you may have this next question on your mind. 

As you have read from the beginning of the article our 3 food/drink recommendations are:

  • 1) Post recovery drink + a Snack
  • 2) Homemade shake 
  • 3) A good old proper meal

I personally don’t believe there is “the best” option out of them because each one has different pros and cons. One may bring good benefits which are missing from the other two and vise versa. 

At the end of the day go for the choice you feel most comfortable eating and preparing.

In order to help you make that decision, I’m going to show you the main differences so you can go for the one you enjoy the most or even better – go for all of them if you can!

What is the main difference between them?

The main difference we have found is the time needed for preparing them. 

Of course, this is not the only important difference there is. There are plenty of things to look for in a proper post workout calisthenic meal and we are going to try to share with you the bulk of them. 

That’s why we are going to review each option’s pros and cons starting from the fastest prepping time and going to the slowest.

Option #1 (The Fastest) – The Recovery Drink

We are going to start with the simplest and quickest option you can have as a good post recovery meal. 

Even with its cons I still believe this is the most convenient way to deliver your body what it needs.

Pros
  • The easiest and quickest way to have a ready to go drink
  • Can be a lot cheaper than a traditional meal
  • Lightweight and easy portable because of its powder form
  • Save time because you will need only a few seconds to prepare it
  • No cooking or washing extra utensils
  • No spoiling or getting bad
  • Can be used year-round – no seasonal ingredients
  • Can be mixed on the spot – you can carry a separate water bottle and dose of powder
  • No need for electricity and kitchen appliances to be created
Cons
  • Because of its way of production it may contain harmful ingredients
  • Because you don’t make it yourself you can’t be 100% sure what’s really inside
  • Depending on who you buy it from it may be very expensive per dose
  • Many models are lacking recovery essentials such as protein and carbs
  • May cause stomach cramps, bloat or pain
  • Not recommended for people with a weak stomach or severe allergies
  • It won’t keep you full and you will need to add a snack

Option #2 – The Homemade Shake

It takes little more time than the recovery drink but I still very much like it because as you will see it has some awesome benefits to stand behind it. 

And it taste absolutely fantastic! 

Pros
  • Everything is made from real natural foods
  • You really know what’s inside because you are creating it
  • Because of the raw foods, you are getting all additional vitamins and minerals
  • When you get into it it can take a very short time to create an awesome shake
  • You choose what ingredients to add or not
  • If you buy everything in bulk it can get quite cheap per shake
  • In the hotter months, you can add some ice and make it a cold smoothie
  • You can get all the essential macronutrients and substances for proper recovery
Cons
  • You need to have a powerful blender
  • You have to pre-made it at home
  • Depending on what’s inside it won’t last too long
  • It takes more time to prepare and clean everything afterward
  • It’s not the most convenient way to eat after a calisthenics workout
  • Preparing process can be very loud (the blender)
  • It won’t keep you full for a very long time

Option #3 – The Normal Meal 

Finally, we are going to finish this list with a meal that takes a longer time to prepare.

Even with this small flaw, this is something we eat at least 3 times every day. 

Let’s check it’s pros and cons so you could have the complete picture over your 3 choices so you can pick what you looking to eat. 

Pros
  • It may take a lot longer to prepare a proper meal
  • Depending on what you are cooking it may be more expensive compared to the previous 2 models
  • You are eating whole and raw natural foods
  • It will take significantly longer the food to be digested meaning you are going to have a full stomach
  • With proper foods, you could have a massive and healthy meal
  • It’s also recommended to consume real food instead of supplements if you have the option. The even better solution is to simply combine them.
Cons
  • It may take quite a lot of time to prepare (I recommend to do it in bulk)
  • It may not be the most affordable solution per serving
  • You will have to use additional food storage boxes and carry them with you wherever you go
  • Because of the raw foods, it will take longer for your body to consume the nutrients it needs
  • It can go bad for a very short period of time

The Recipes and Preparing Steps

So at this point, you know why you should eat after a calisthenics workout, what are the best options you have and what are their individual cons and pros. 

Now it’s time to see the most important part and that is how to prepare them. 

Even if you are a terrible cook and don’t know what you are doing don’t worry, everything is beginner-friendly!

So let’s hop on!

Meal #1 – Post Workout Calisthenics Recovery Drink + a Snack

Before we start I want to be sure you have a good recovery drink powder at your disposal. Don’t worry if you don’t. In one of our latest articles, we are reviewing the top 5 recovery drinks for p90x. 

I know calisthenics and p90x are not the same but at the end of the day the benefits a recovery drink can brink is absolutely the same no matter what is the style of your training. 

Click Here to check out the article.

 In there you will find in dept all important features you should care about for a good recovery drink and what to stay away from.

So after you have your hands on a good recovery drink product it’s time to get dirty.

Needed Ingredients & utensils:

  • 1 big glass or a shaker bottle
  • 1 dose of the recovery drink of your choice
  • 1 dose of additional protein powder, creatine or BCAAs (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon of honey (optional if prepared outside)
  • 1 medium-sized banana or a protein bar 
  • 300-400 ml of liquid of your choice – water, milk or juice

Time Required: 2-3 minutes

How to do it?

Depending on where you are going to drink it use a big glass or a shaker.

 Put a dose of the recovery drink. It’s preferable to use the included spoon for exact measures but if that’s not the case you can place one regular a spoon without a top. 

After that optionally you can include a daily dose of your other supplements such as protein powder, creatine or BCAAs. 

Then add the tablespoon of honey for extra taste and very helpful ingredients. 

Finally, fill the container with some sort of liquid (preferably about 300-400 ml). I really prefer to add simple milk but if you are a vegan you can go after almond milk. 

Simple water can be just fine. After everything was added mix everything with the spoon or by shaking it furiously. 

After a few seconds of mixing you are done. Drink the mixture slowly while enjoying bites of your favorite snack. I have 

Quick Tip:

If you are using a shaker you can always try adding some cool bartender moves (just please try not to drop everything on the floor – it’s going to end up in one messy situation

I have decided to include a snack because most recovery drinks are lacking the necessary fast carbs necessary for proper glycogen restoring process. And it will also keep your belly full for some extra time.

Meal #2 – Delicious Homemade Healthy Shake (My special recipe)

I don’t really know if you have tried something like this but if you have a blender and all the needed ingredients at your disposal I would highly recommend you to give it a try. 

You will instantly fell in love with the amazing taste and great benefits it brings you. 

Because it uses raw blended foods it’s going to keep your belly full a little longer compared to the previous recipe. 

Before you go I want to mention that this shake is a calorie bomb. If you use exactly the same ingredients with the same quantity you are going to end up with nearly 1000 calories. So be careful and feel free to play around and test new things!

Roll up your sleeves and get ready to work!

Needed Ingredients & utensils:

  • 1 medium-size banana
  • 1 medium apple (optional)
  • 100 grams of oats
  • 1 spoon of protein powder and creatine (optional)
  • 300 grams of milk or water
  • 70 grams of homemade peanut butter (you can also use from the store)
  • 100 grams of baked peanuts (with or without shell)
  • a blender (something with at least 1000 W of power – if it’s less it will still do the job right)
  • 1 big glass or a shaker bottle

Time Required: 10 minutes

How to do it?

Before we start I want to give you an optional choice if you want to really have a healthy post workout meal. 

From a fact, I know that all the peanut butter found in the store is filled with all sorts of dangerous additives and oils so that’s why we are going to make our own.

In order to be able to do it, you are going to need a powerful blender of at least 1000 W and a lot of peanuts (at least 500 grams or more). 

If you have those 2 ingredients on hand please go and read the extra optional little chapter below. If not you can skip it and use regular peanut butter from the store instead. 

So to create the shake add the water or milk at the bottom of the filling department. Then put a scoop of the optional protein powder, creatine or BCAAs (if you do you will get better recovery). 

After that it’s time for the peanut butter (homemade or not), the baked peanuts and the oats. Finally, finish the mixture by adding the banana and apple. Blend everything until you get a good shake like drinkable liquid. 

If the mix is too thick add some more milk or water and blend again until you have the desired outcome.

Depending on where you are going to drink it fills a portable shaker bottle or a big cup and voila – you are ready! 

Bonus Recipe:

How to make homemade peanut butter? (optional)

Needed essentials for the peanut butter:

  • 500 grams of baked or roasted peanuts (with or without shells)
  • a powerful blender with at least 1000 W of power
  • about 15 minutes of free time

Take a portion of about 200-300 grams of peanuts and add them inside the blender. Then turn it on the highest speed and start chopping them.

Continue to do so until the mixture doesn’t come out with the density and look like the regular peanut butter. 

Make sure to give your blender a break every minute or so so it doesn’t overheat and eventually stop working. We are talking about a period of about 30 sec to 1 minute. 

After the mixture is ready, move it with the help of a tablespoon to a glass jar and you are directly ready for consumption. 

Meal #3 – Quick and Easy High Protein Meal

This is one of my favorite and most delicious recipes. I want to mention that this recipe isn’t going to fit with a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle and if that’s the case you can try some of the other 2 recipes above with some tweaks. 

We are talking about the classic chicken and rice combination. (I know boring right?)

I know it may sound very cliche but I have decided to share it here because it’s somewhat simple to make and it requires basic ingredients you can find in any supermarket. 

Depending on how fast can you cook it may take about 1 hour – 1 hour and a half.

The default portion number is 4 but I recommend you double the ingredients and get 8 portions for the same amount of time. So here’s the delicious recipe.

Needed Ingredients & utensils:

  • 2 chicken legs
  • 600 grams of spinach
  • 1 coffee cup of normal white rice
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 yellow onion 
  • 4 tablespoons of cooking oil
  • 50 grams of butter
  • red pepper and salt by taste

Time Required: Around 1 hour to 1 hour and a half

Macronutrients per portion of 258 grams: 

  • Calories: 287
  • Protein: 12 gr.
  • Carbohydrates: 20 gr.
  • Fats: 19 gr.

How to do it?

Slice both chicken legs at half so you end up with 4 equally sized pieces of meat. Place them in water and let them boil on high heat for about 40 minutes until the meat is boiled and ready.

Remove them from the water using a lattice spoon and keep the boiling water – you are going to need it for the rice later on.

While the legs are cooking chop down the carrot and the yellow onion to very small cubes.

Quick Tip:

If you don’t want your eyes to cry during the chopping, peel the onion before you start dealing with the meat and leave it soaking in water.

After that, you add them to a pot with the cooking oil and you steam them until they become softer. 

When that’s done add the cup of rice and continue mixing up everything until the rice becomes translucent. 

Next, you are going to add the previously washed, chopped and dried spinach. Place the top of the pot and wait for a few minutes until the spinach is steamed and soften up. 

Of course, don’t forget to mix everything up and add the salt and red pepper depending on your specific taste.

After everything is soft and ready, move it from the pan to a big cooking tray and spread it equally on the bottom. 

Add evenly the 4 (or more) pieces of chicken legs into the rice mix and add the boiling water you saved previously in ratio 3:1 towards the amount of rice. 

Bake everything at 180 degrees until the rice absorbs all the water. when that’s done remove it from the oven and leave it to cool down. 

Around 10 minutes before the meal is ready you can add the 50 grams of butter and mix everything up. 

Bonus Tip:

If you want to save time, it’s always a good thing to separate everything into 4 equal portions (or as much as you have prepared) and place them into containers in combination with some veggies so you have a ready to go meal at any time you want.

Which post-meal do you recommend and why?

As I have previously stated all 3 have their pros and cons and at the end of the day whatever one you choose you are still going to make a good choice. 

That being said I have a personal choice but if you don’t agree with me it’s going to be completely fine. 

I prefer to drink a recovery drink after my workouts because I really don’t like cooking and the time it requires to do a proper meal.

And I find it more convenient to carry around some water and a dose of powder around for my outdoor training. 

At the end of the day go for what you feel comfortable eating or drinking. If you haven’t tried similar things give it a try and see if you like it or not.

Final Thoughts

I know that it may take some extra effort, time and money to eat the right thing after every calisthenic workout you do but facts don’t lie. 

If you manage to stick to it on a regular basis for a long period of time you are guaranteed to have positive results if you are doing everything else properly. 

Do you want to have even better results from your training? 

Feel free to check our popular articles about some of the best and affordable calisthenic equipment you should own.

We are talking about things such as weighted vests, parallettes, workout gloves, kettlebells, and much more. 

If you want to check our latest articles and something interesting please Click Here.

Thank you for the time it took you reading this article. I hope it was useful and it gave you exactly what you were looking for.

Don’t forget to comment below what you think and if you have tried the recipes. 

See you again,

– Bozhidar

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on email
Share on print
Bozhidar Karailiev
Bozhidar Karailiev
Hey there, my name is Bozhidar and I have created this site to share with you my experiences and knowledge from over 7 years of training using my home gym, public gym and calisthenics. I have some experience into gymnastics too. Hope my articles are useful to you!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *