Having one of those days where every. single. muscle hurts? We know the feeling, sis.
You may have had an awesome sweat session, but now your body needs a little TLC and time to recover. Stretching, low-intensity workouts and staying hydrated can work to promote muscle recovery and repair, so can eating the right food.
While no single food or nutrient will prevent muscle soreness, eating a well-balanced diet, including some of the following foods, may help with muscle recovery after your next gym workout. Try digging into these…
More than a juicy thirst quencher, watermelon has some surprising nutrition credentials. Watermelon is sweet, hydrating, and loaded with nutrients that promote exercise performance and recovery, including carbs, amino acids such as L-citrulline, and antioxidants.
- Fatty fish
Fatty fish like sardines, salmon, and trout are excellent sources of nutrients that your body needs for muscle recovery. Mainly, fish is a highly bioavailable source of protein, a macronutrient that facilitates muscle repair, plus it contains omega-3 fats, which may help reduce DOMS, fight inflammation, and boost muscle growth. Try whipping up this yummy Teriyaki Salmon Poke Bowl after your next sweat sesh and reap the benefits!
Eggs are known as a nutrient-dense food and favored by athletes for their high content of bioavailable protein. Eating them after a workout helps stimulate muscle recovery.
Milk and milk products like yogurt and cottage cheese are frequently used as post-exercise fuel, and for good reason. Because milk is high in protein, it provides your body the nutrients necessary for muscle repair. Milk and dairy products also contain carbs. Eating carbs and protein together supports muscle growth and helps your muscles refill their stores of glycogen — the stored form of glucose, or sugar. Milk also contains sodium, which is important for rehydration
- Sweet potato
Carbs are your friend, especially post-exercise. Exercise can deplete your body’s glycogen stores, so it’s important to eat carbs afterwards to rebuild them! Sweet potatoes are high in complex carbohydrates, as well as providing a range of other important nutrients, including vitamin A and potassium. Try loading up your spuds with this Stuffed Sweet Potato recipe.
Bananas are an incredible source of carbohydrate, potassium, vitamin B6, vitamin C, magnesium and fibre. Plus, they’re a quick source of energy and are thought to reduce exercise-related muscle cramps and soreness, due to their high potassium content. Add them into your pancakes, smoothies, chocolate mousse, or even ice cream!
These little morsels are loaded with goodness and provide your body with protein as well as nutrients like magnesium, which helps create new proteins to repair muscles and supports normal muscle function.
Legumes are high in zinc, which is known for its healing properties. As well as helping your body repair wounds, zinc supports protein synthesis and breaks down carbohydrates to make it easier for your body to replenish fuel stores. They’re a versatile food that can be added to a number of dishes, including soups, curries, burgers and salads!
Flax seeds, hemp seeds and chia seeds are all plant sources of omega-3, known as α-linolenic acid. This fatty-acid is a building block your body uses to create hormones that regulate a wide range of functions, including controlling inflammation and muscle contraction and relaxation. Combine your chia seeds with water or milk for a breakfast pudding or use as an egg substitute in recipes.
Try incorporating these foods into your pre or post workout meals from THE BOD App, or even as a snack at other times of day. With so many tasty and nutritious options, it’s easy to include some in your diet to aid muscle recovery.
Do you have any go-to foods or recipes that you eat to help with your muscle recovery? Let us know in the comments below!