So you just worked out like a beast in the gym. Great job! The question is, how do you keep that positive momentum going even after you have finished working out? Below are some of the best foods to eat after a tough workout to minimize muscle soreness and maximize muscle recovery so you can keep seeing results both during and after your workouts.
To Rehydrate: Water
This should be a given, but you need to be drinking plenty of water both during and after your workout in order to speed up your recovery time and prevent symptoms related to dehydration such as fatigue, muscle cramps, and dizziness.
To Repair Muscle Fibers: Antioxidants
Another ingredient that can help your muscles repair themselves is antioxidants. Antioxidants help keep you healthy by preventing free radicals from wreaking havoc on your body. Some antioxidant-rich foods are berries, particularly blueberries. Reach for a cup of blueberries or serve yourself a blueberry smoothie and your muscles will thank you.
To Prevent Muscle Cramps: Potassium
When you sweat, your body loses a lot of important minerals such as potassium, which causes muscle cramps. Instead of downing a sports drink which is high in calories and sugar, opt for healthier sources such as bananas, watermelon, and leafy greens.
To Reduce Inflammation: Cherries
A lot of muscle soreness is also caused by inflammation, which comes from repetitive stress on the body. One ingredient that has been demonstrated to reduce inflammation in the muscles is cherries. The more you reduce the inflammation in your muscles, the sooner you will be ready for another tough workout.
To Build Muscle: Protein
To rebuild muscle fibers after an intense workout session, protein is the key. Lean meats like chicken and vegetarian protein sources like legumes are great resources because they are low in saturated fats, though if you want an extra bonus, reach for salmon. The omega-3 fatty acids present in salmon double as an anti-inflammatory agent.
To Boost Energy Levels: Carbohydrates
Our bodies need carbohydrates to give us energy. After an intense session in the gym, those resources are depleted. Consuming starchy carbs just a few minutes after a workout can help you replenish those energy levels so you can continue burning calories for the rest of your day.