Your body is a machine. To get the best from it you need to fuel it with the right food. The good news is that if you’re feeling sore and tired and you want to focus on recovery, then there are certain foods that will help you recover quicker, build muscle and ease DOMS. These are the ten best foods for muscle recovery.
Boost Your Recovery With These Foods
Packed full of protein, healthy fats, amino acids and vitamins, eggs are an excellent post-workout meal. Not only will they help repair and build muscle but they’re also cheap, quick, filling and delicious. Try a poached egg on whole grain toast or add veggies and make an omelette. Don’t be tempted to ditch the yolks though, that golden centre is rich in nutrients like vitamin A, B12 and D.
It’s brunch time. Pair your eggs with smoked salmon for the ultimate recovery meal. Salmon is a great source of protein and omega 3 fats, both of which are vital when it comes to muscle repair. Add into the mix vitamin B6 and niacin, which help the body to convert food into energy, and you’ve got a superfood snack on your plate.
3. Sweet Potatoes
You know you should be eating carbs – it isn’t the nineties. You need high quality carbohydrates after you exercise to rebuild your glycogen stores and replenish your energy and the sweet potato has plenty. Sweet potatoes also contain copper which helps to maintain healthy muscle tissue and vitamin C which prevents muscle breakdown.
4. Nuts and Seeds
The perfect porridge topper or between meal snack, a handful of nuts and seeds is stuffed full of protein. Plus, the omega 3 fatty acids will fight inflammation and improve your bone and joint health. Almonds, walnuts and pumpkin seeds are at the top of our list.
Bring on the smoothies. These berries might be small but they are certainly mighty. Blueberries contain polyphenols, which are a type of antioxidant. This specific kind of antioxidant is known for its ability to protect cells and reduce muscle pain. Research has shown that a handful of blueberries after a workout improves the rate of muscle recovery.
Goodbye muscle cramp. The high levels of potassium and magnesium in spinach (and other leafy greens like kale) reduce these painful spasms. But the benefits don’t stop there (it was Popeye’s favourite for a reason). Spinach is a rich source of nitrates which when consumed increase the amount of calcium released in the body which is obviously great for your muscles, bones and general wellbeing.
The humble banana might not be so humble after all. Grabbing a banana after a workout is going to speed up your glycogen recovery, which in turn will help with muscle growth and beating fatigue. Not to mention the dopamine (yep the happy hormone) and polyphenols which will reduce inflammation and promote a speedier recovery. It even comes with its own eco-friendly wrapper. You can’t ask for more than that.
Add your banana or blueberries to a bowl of natural yoghurt and supercharge your post-workout snack. Yoghurt is the near perfect combination of high quality carbs and protein making it one of the best foods for muscle recovery.
Mix up some guac, we’re having a fiesta. Avocados are jam-packed full of the kind of good fats that your muscles and joints are crying out for during recovery. They’re also full of B vitamins which will give your metabolism a jump start, stimulating muscle recovery and growth.
We’ve saved the best for last, although we’re talking dark chocolate here. Dark chocolate (70% cocoa or more) is full of antioxidants called flavonoids that help to reduce inflammation and boost your immunity. The higher the concentration of cocoa the better impact on cognition, mood and even heart health.
Bon appetit athlete. Add these foods into your diet and particularly into your post-workout meals and reap the benefits. Ready to take your recovery one step further? Find out whether the MyoPro or MyoLite is best suited to you.