We've all experienced those sore muscles after a challenging workout. When we hit the gym, our muscles use up glycogen stores for fuel. We end up with depleted stores, and some proteins in our muscles may also get broken down.
The good news is you can do more than stretch and hydrate to soothe your aching muscles. You can also turn to muscle recovery foods packed with nutrients to help your body rebuild its glycogen stores and repair your muscles. Here's where to start.
1) Sweet Potatoes
Natural, healthy carbs can also help restore glycogen stores. Reach for delicious sweet potatoes for power-packed potassium. They'll also help boost your immunity to protect your muscles long after your workout.
Oatmeal is both comforting and filled with nutrients that help replenish your muscles. You'll also end up with long-lasting energy to beat your afternoon fatigue.
Steel-cut oats are digested slower than many other types of oatmeal and create a slower rise in glucose. In other words, you're less likely to crash from eating a good bowl of oatmeal post-workout.
Rehydrate after a workout with a sweet treat like pineapple. It's rich in potassium to help with muscle function and is roughly 86% water. Fruit based muscle recovery foods help restore your glycogen stores with this powerful snack.
4) Leafy Green Vegetables
Leafy green veggies are packed with nitrates that your body then converts into nitric oxide. Your blood vessels start to relax and widen and allow more oxygen to your muscles. Leafy greens like spinach are also rich in potassium and magnesium, providing essential electrolytes and preventing muscle cramps.
You can also pack in a whole serving of organic vegetables with our Organic Greens supplements. It's rich in antioxidants and supports your body's natural detox process.
You probably already know that eggs are an incredible source of protein. However, these muscle recovery foods rebuild through protein synthesis. Eggs also have nine essential amino acids, which are also known as the building blocks of protein.
Despite all of the health benefits of working out, it can cause muscle inflammation. Salmon helps lower the amount of prostaglandin, or inflammation, with the help of omega-3 fatty acids. Pair it with leafy greens and anything else on this list for a satisfying meal.
7) Greek Yogurt
Meat and eggs aren't the only protein-rich muscle recovery foods. Greek yogurt also helps build muscle mass and is beneficial for people doing resistance training. In addition to high-quality protein, you'll also get carbohydrates to replenish your glycogen stores.
Avocado is filled with good monosaturated fats that help repair muscles. These quality fats are also necessary for joint recovery. They also contain B vitamins that help kickstart your metabolism.
Watermelon is a game changer to soothe aching muscles. Watermelon contains citrulline, which helps reduce muscle soreness, and Studies also show that watermelon's amino acids help athletes recover faster.
10) Cottage Cheese
Cottage cheese is among the more surprising muscle recovery foods. Its whey protein helps replenish your muscles quickly after a challenging workout. It also boasts casein protein that slowly helps your muscles continue recovery while you're asleep.
Pre-workouts and supplements aren't necessarily muscle recovery foods but are still powerful to supercharge your workout. Pre-workouts help fuel your body so you can push through plateaus and crush your fitness goals. Pair our pre-workouts with your favorite muscle recovery foods for a winning combination.
Still not sure where to start? Contact us today for free nutrition and fitness coaching. We are here to help.