You’re a regular at the gym, pulling all the right moves to build more muscle. But, if you’re not nailing your post-workout nutrition, chances are the time you spend in the gym is partially being wasted. The food you eat after a workout plays an essential role in muscle growth, quicker recovery, reduced muscle soreness, improved immune system functioning and glycogen replenishment. So, it makes complete sense to pop aside some time each week to meal plan for maximum results and recovery.
And, we all dig a good meal. So, let’s find out the top 7 foods that will help you to build muscle and recover faster, keeping in mind that the body is best as using food for muscle growth and recovery in the hours immediately following exercise.
When you exercise, your muscles break down and the best way to rebuild muscles is via the consumption of protein. And, what’s one of the highest-quality sources of protein on the planet? Whole eggs! Whether you enjoy yours scrambled, fried, sunny side up or down, adding eggs into your post workout meal is a great way to recover faster and grow muscle.
Heard of the omega-3 fatty acids? No, they’re not a cult or band. They’re the essential fats found in certain fish that lower your risk of delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) post-exercise. Since your body doesn’t naturally produce omega-3’s, aim to get some salmon on your plate 2-3 times each week and reap the benefits of a toned physique.
Ricotta and Cottage Cheese
When it comes to getting ripped, dairy is one food group you want close by your side. As little as 9-grams of ricotta or cottage cheese can be enough to kickstart the muscle-building momentum in your body. So, while you may have been slamming yoghurt as your protein of choice your entire life was, we’re here to reverse the facts by confirming ricotta and cottage cheese are the true kings of gains.
Just like protein is a necessity to repair broken down muscle, carbohydrates are a necessity to replenish expended energy. Comprende? Now that we’re on the same page, we can let loose on the intel that sweet potatoes are precisely the type of carb you need to boost energy burnt during exercise. Because nobody needs midday fatigue in their life.
The forgotten hero of the post-workout fuel world. When you’re looking for a meal to help replenish your muscles, nothing is more convenient than a wholegrain bread sandwich. It’s super accessible and affordable. Plus, when you fill it with some lean protein and salad, it’s basically a complete meal. Don’t neglect the sando, there’s a reason it was a staple in your childhood lunch box for seven years.
Quinoa is a powerhouse of a grain that goes a long way in providing your body with the protein and fibre it needs post gym session. Best of all, quinoa is a great option for those who follow a gluten-free, vegan or vegetarian diet. So, isn’t it time you got some quinoa on your fork?
Tart Cherry Juice
Not the most common juice to be plucked from supermarket shelves, and we honestly don’t know why. With a nutritional profile loaded with antioxidants and various anti-inflammatory compounds, tart cherry juice can improve recovery of isometric muscle strength after intense workouts. This possibly has something to do with the high levels of polyphenols reducing the oxidative damage caused by exercise.