Protein is a big part of muscle building, but it’s not the whole story. Muscles need accessible energy from glycogen (stored carbohydrates), as well as a smattering of vitamins and minerals to keep everything ticking over. Read more on when to refuel and what to eat after a workout.
With 23g of protein, this tasty lunch option is ideal if you’re looking to pack in more protein with a muscle building diet (you could double the amount of prawns for a higher protein content). It also works if you’re following Coach’s weight loss meal plan for women or a weight loss diet plan for men – just swap it for a meal of similar calorific value.
Prawn And Avocado Sandwich
Ingredients (Serves One)
- 2 thick slices seeded bread
- 2tsp Butter or low fat spread
- 50g fresh cooked prawns
- 1tbsp of cottage cheese
- ½ an avocado
- 1 tomato
- Handful of spinach leaves
Spread the bread thinly with butter or low-fat spread. Mix the prawns with the cottage cheese and season. Thinly slice half an avocado and one tomato. Add a handful of spinach leaves and top with the prawn mixture.
We entered all the ingredients into Myfitnesspal, one of the best weight-loss apps for calorie counting, to estimate the nutritional content of this sandwich. It comes out at 487 calories, with 59g of carbohydrates, 23g of protein, 20g of fat and 13g of fibre.
This is a rich source of vitamin E – half an avocado provides 4mg, the minimum amount recommended daily for men. Avocados also provide vitamin B6, important in the synthesis of protein, and fat-soluble vitamin K.
A tablespoon of this should provide you with at least 10g of lean protein, which your body will digest slowly to repair and maintain muscles. The high calcium content keeps bones strong and healthy too.
This has fibre, antioxidants such as vitamin E and selenium, iron, magnesium, zinc and B vitamins, which help the body process protein. Digestion converts it to sugars that provide energy for your workout.
Intense training can put a strain on the immune system because it depletes supplies of some important vitamins and minerals. Spinach is a good source of vitamins A, C and K, as well as essential iron.
These provide protein to help repair and build muscle. They’re also a good source of magnesium (100g provides 49mg, which is higher than most shellfish), which aids the development of muscles.
A great source of the antioxidant lycopene, which helps protect your body’s cells from damage, and also helps prevent heart disease. Tomatoes also have natural anti-inflammatory properties, helping soothe your sore muscles after a tough workout.
More About Nutrition and Healthy Eating
- If you’d rather drink your post-gym protein, head over to our protein shake recipes.
- Everyone agrees antioxidants are important, so here are 45 antioxidant-rich foods to eat
- Here’s why you should eat healthy seeds and kernels, and what foods to add them to
- These high protein foods are essential for building muscle and aiding recovery
- Take the hassle out of eating healthily with the UK’s best healthy meal delivery services
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Lucy Miller is an experienced journalist who has worked across a range of health and fitness titles. She was the fitness and nutrition editor at Men’s Fitness UK, and has also been fitness editor of both Health & Fitness UK and Women’s Fitness UK. Lucy qualified as a NASM-certified personal trainer and nutritionist in 2008.
- Camilla ArtaultContent editor