Best Foods for Workout Recovery

A lot time, energy and efforts goes in staying fit and working out regularly, but what about afterward? How do you start restoring the nutrients you’ve just used?

Workouts deplete the glycogen stored in your body. Your muscles used much of what you had as fuel and now they need more to begin repairing the damage they sustained.

So, let’s be smart about workout recovery. Not only rest but post Workout Meals are also Important.

Post-Workout Nutrition

You’ll want to focus on a right balance of protein and carbohydrates. Majority of athletes depend on post workout Protien shakes or smoothie.

Protein is what delivers the necessary amino acids your body needs to rebuild muscle protein. General recommendations suggest consuming 0.14-.23 gram per pound of body weight post-workout.1

Carbs will help you restore those glycogen stores. On average, aim for 0.5-0.7 grams per pound of body weight shortly after your workout.

Keep in mind that a tough workout will require more replenishment and recovery than an easier day, so adjust your protein and carb consumption as necessary.

Here are nine of my favorite foods to consume post-workout.

1. Bananas
Dehydration and sweating can deplete your potassium levels. Low levels of potassium can trigger muscle cramps. You may add a bit of peanut butter to get a nice ratio of carbs and protein Or simply blend it with your Protien shake.

2. Sweet potatoes
These are the carbohydrates you want to consume—complex and packed with extra nutrients. You can cut some of the sweetness by adding a variety of spices: salt and pepper, chili powder, cinnamon, garlic powder, or paprika.

3. Almonds
And a variety of other nuts and seeds. They supply essential omega-3 fatty acids that reduce inflammation and protein to boost muscle repair and growth. They’re also a great plant-based protein option. Plus, they’re easy to take anywhere, so your clients have no excuse to skip a snack after their workout.

4. Cottage cheese (Paneer)
For a snack that packs a protein punch, bring along some cottage cheese. With 28 grams of protein per cup, depending on the level of milk fat, cottage cheese knows how to deliver. Its also contains a good variety of other nutrients to benefit your overall wellness, such as B vitamins, calcium, iron, and magnesium.

5. Tart cherries
Or tart cherry juice. Cherries themselves aren’t always in season, but you can almost always find tart cherry juice somewhere on a grocery store shelf. Sipping some before and after a workout can help with inflammation and muscle soreness.3

6. Salmon
This is another option for omega-3 fatty acids and protein. Salmon is easy to cook for a fresh meal and it makes great leftover as a salad topping. Add some cold, chopped salmon to a bed of spinach with kalamata olives, red bell peppers, mushrooms, and a vinaigrette for an easy, healthy salad.

7. Eggs
Whether you’re bringing along hard-boiled eggs for a snack or going home to cook an omelet, eggs are a great option to boost recovery. Eggs deliver loads of protein in a compact package.

8. Whole-grain bread
Bread doesn’t have to be the enemy if you take the time to find options using whole grains with plenty of fiber and limited artificial preservatives. Whole-grain bread will give you the carbs needed to boost those glycogen levels. Add cottage cheese with some spices to make it a whole some sandwich.

Bonus: Water

We probably don’t have to list this one because we know you know the importance of hydration, but another reminder can’t hurt. Drink more water. Pre-workout. During your workout. And post-workout. Hydration is important for optimal performance in and out of the gym.

REFERENCES

1.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18834505

2.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25795285

“Good health is not something we can buy. However, it can be an extremely valuable savings account.”

Anne Wilson Schaef

-Apurva

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