You just completed a vigorous workout. You didn’t eat much before working out, so your body’s starving for fuel. Your muscles need sustenance to rebuild, and you’ve got to recharge your body before the next workout. What to feed it? Read on for some suggestions.
This stuff burns fat, builds muscles and includes lactoferrin to support your immune system. Taken after a strenuous workout, whey boosts your insulin to spur your muscles to absorb glucose and revitalize your energy. The Mayo Clinic reports that ingesting whey protein after exercise may improve protein oxidation and blood levels of essential amino acids. They add that short-term studies have suggested whey protein increases muscle mass and strength. They also note that studies have shown whey protein can be an inexpensive source of high-quality protein and that it may reduce short-term food intake. Powdered whey can easily be added to high carb foods like juices and shakes.
Cooked, not raw (a la “Rocky Balboa”). Eggs contain the nine essential amino acids (protein building blocks) and branched-chain amino acids to help limit muscle damage. Down the yolk, too. It’s packed with half the protein, vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids. Eat with toast.
3. Sweet Potatoes
You’ll get lots of nutritious plant-based carbs from these potatoes, which is something you’ll need to recharge for your next workout. Sweet potatoes are high in vitamin A, vitamin B5, B6, thiamin, niacin, riboflavin and carotenoids. They also contain a healthy dose of fiber, keeping you full enough to avoid those fat building energy bars and other sugary drinks. Dietitians suggest eating half your metric body weight in grams of carbohydrates after your workout (about one potato for most people).
Avocados are a great source of monounsaturated fat to repair those muscles after a strenuous workout, plus some needed B vitamins to boost your metabolism. Some people avoid avocados for their fat content but your body needs these healthy fats to heal muscles and joints. The best way to eat them is with a spoon and a little salt, or add them to your fruit smoothie.
5. Cherry Juice
Another great source of antioxidants to fend off muscle damage, cherry juice has a number of post workout benefits. A study in the British Journal of Sports Medicine revealed that people who drank 24 ounces of tart cherry juice every day (about 120 whole cherries) experienced less muscle soreness and reduced strength loss after exercise. Stay away from concentrates and anything with added sugar.