If you’re exercising regularly, you’re putting a strain on your muscles – and that’s okay. That’s the point. But it’s also vitally important that you allow your body to recover, and support that recovery through the fuel you’re giving to your system. So, what are the best foods for muscle recovery? Whether you’re working out in the gym or going running, try these foods after your next exercise session:
Eggs are nutrient-dense and therefore good for muscle recovery after a workout. The yolk is chock-full of vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids like vitamin A and zinc. And the egg white is packed with protein to help build and recover muscles. Of course, since eggs are so versatile, you can enjoy them however you like – scrambled, sunny-side up, poached, hard-boiled, or as part of a salad or healthy sandwich.
Salmon, trout, sardines, and other fish with a high healthy-fat content are full of omega-3 fatty acids, which boost muscle growth and fight inflammation. Fatty fish also contains lots of protein, which facilitates muscle repair. The experts recommend about 1.8 to 3 grams of omega-3 fatty acids after exercise in order to promote good muscle recovery – you can easily achieve this by eating some cooked salmon or trout after a workout.
Cherry and Pomegranate Juice
Tart cherry juice contains a lot of plant compounds called anthocyanins. These nutrients have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, which can reduce soreness after a workout. In this way, cherry juice can aid in muscle recovery and help you feel less sore a day or two after you’ve worked out. Pomegranate juice is similar – it contains polyphenols, which also have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
Vigorous exercise depletes your body’s glycogen, which is the stored form of glucose. Since this compound is important for athletic performance, replenishing it through food is always a good idea. Starchy veggies like potatoes or butternut squash have lots of healthy carbohydrates, so they work well for this purpose. Combining these veggies with a fatty fish or some eggs is a good way to get both the protein and carbohydrates your body needs post-exercise.
Recover The Right Way
After your next workout or run, give these foods a try. It’s so important to provide your body with what it needs, even after your exercise is over!