Having a good post workout meal is essential to build muscle and it is the most important meal of a workout day. The main goal of a post workout meal is to get a lot of carbs and protein while limiting the amount of fat.
The protein you intake for a post workout meal should come from a whey protein shake. If you don’t have any and want to eat things like eggs or meat, it will not be as effective because post workout you need protein that is digested quickly and liquid protein is quicker than solid food.
The carbs you are eating should be complex carbohydrates. These include foods like whole grains, beans, fruits and vegetables. Complex carbs do a better job of sustaining energy while simple carbs cause a spike in blood sugar and quickly dissipate.
With all this being said, for this post workout meal to be most effective, you have to eat as soon after your workout as you can. Think about when you’re near the end of a workout and the muscle group you are targeting feels just dead. You need to be getting nutrients into your body as soon as possible. I recommend getting your post workout meal within 30 minutes after your workout and absolutely no later than 45 minutes. Basically, the sooner the better.