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Balanced protein and carb meal plan

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Protein and carbs are crucial to growing muscle. But if you want to maximise your gains, you need to eat the right amounts at the right times. This meal plan staggers hits of both through the day to help fuel your gym efforts and build lean muscle tissue, including a recipe provided by Michelin-starred chef and duathlon champion Alan Murchison. 

‘Pulled pork quesadillas offer a great combination of protein and healthy carbs,’ says Murchison. ‘Enjoy one after a tough training session to aid recovery and enhance muscle growth.’ 

Pork is rich in magnesium, which helps to keep muscles strong.

Tomatoes contribute to amino acid metabolism, which helps build muscle.

Shallots contain quercetin, which soothes aching muscles after a tough workout.


Five-egg chicken and spinach omelette provides plenty of iron, which fuels exercise by supplying muscles with oxygen.


Jacket sweet potato with tuna and kale contains phytochemicals that aid the production of testosterone  to promote muscle growth.


Pulled pork quesadillas (serves 4)

2-3 wholemeal tortilla wraps per person / 1 medium-sized pork shoulder / 3tbsp sea salt / 3tbsp muscovado sugar / 3tbsp smoked paprika / 1tbsp crushed black pepper / 100g cheddar or other cheese, grated 


1 onion, finely sliced / 1 small chilli, finely diced / 1 small bunch of coriander, chopped / 1tsp 
smoked paprika

Tomato salsa

6 tomatoes, chopped / 1 shallot, finely chopped / Dash of Tabasco sauce / Dash of Worcestershire sauce / Pinch of salt / Pinch of sugar

To make

  • Heat the oven to 220°C/gas mark 7.
  • Mix the salt, sugar, paprika and pepper and rub half into the pork. Place the pork in a roasting dish and cook it in the oven for 20 minutes.
  • Reduce the temperature to 125°C/gas mark 2 and cook for 5-6 hours, then 20 more minutes at 220°C. Allow it to rest for 60 minutes. 
  • Pull the meat off the bone using two forks and mix with the remaining seasoning.  
  • Mix the garnish ingredients. Add pulled pork, cheese and garnish to each wrap, roll up and place under a hot grill until warmed.
  • Mix the salsa ingredients and serve with the quesadillas alongside a green salad.


Beef jerky and brazil nuts offer muscle-building creatine and BCAAs to preserve muscle mass and help you work harder in training.

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