Great Post-Workout Foods
By Sara Butler
You may not be training for the Olympics when you work out, but you’re still looking to perform at your very best. The difference between a person who meets their fitness goals and a person who doesn’t is often decided during recovery. Elite athletes understand how to get fitter and faster by working their recovery the right way – and part of that is eating right! Here are some great foods that will make your recovery after a workout work for you!
Why Recovery is Important
Studies have found that the most important aspects of recovery are rehydrating and replenishing depleted stores of carbohydrates in your muscles. This helps to build muscle and help your body heal after the stress of a workout. The American College of Sports Medicine suggests carbohydrates within the first 30 minutes after the end of a workout.
Beets are your post-workout recovery friend. They are filled with antioxidants and compounds called betalains and nitrates (naturally-occurring nitrates, not the kind found in processed foods) that help the body to get oxygen to muscle tissue easier. They also help the muscles to contract and blood pressure to lower.
You can enjoy beets juiced or cooked and eat them for benefits before and after exercise. Try roasting them, baking them, pickling them, or grating them on top of your favorite salad. They go well in smoothies, too!
Eggs are a great food anytime, but especially after a workout. They’re considered a nearly perfect protein by providing all nine essential amino acids. The protein in eggs also helps to promote an increase in muscle strength. They’re low in calories but packed with many important vitamins and minerals.
Watermelon is over 90 percent water, so it makes a great choice to help you rehydrate after a workout. Two cups of watermelon has only 80 calories and also offers your body lycopene, Vitamin C, Vitamin A, and potassium. It may even help with muscle soreness the next day, so give it a whirl!
Berries contain a ton of disease-fighting, immune-boosting antioxidants that can help your body deal with stress after a tough workout. A serving of berries after a workout can also help your body fight inflammation caused by muscle damage inflicted during exercise. Pair them with Greek yogurt, string cheese, cottage cheese, or nuts for a powerful recovery snack!
No workout is complete without proper nutrition!
To learn more about your health and wellness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Mesa, Ariz.