There is something that is just so incredibly satisfying about that delicious soreness we all get in our muscles in the day or two following a challenging workout. That little bit of “hurts-so-good” feeling in our triceps, glutes, and hamstrings tells us that we owned that workout! There was no “phoning it in” as Jillian would say.
We put in the effort and expect to see results, right?
Well, results come with consistency, and consistency is only going to happen if we can make it to our next workout. We don’t want to be so sore that we can’t get out of bed…or lower ourselves onto the toilet seat. Yeah, you ever been there? I know I have! Squats, baby! You gotta love ‘em.
One way to prevent being quite that sore is to pay close attention to what you eat immediately following a workout. What goes into your body can significantly reduce inflammation, repair cells and tissue damage, build muscle and guide protein synthesis. It’s pretty amazing!
Here are top 10 post-workout food choices and what each will do for your awesome bod:
1. Berries, Cherries & Dark Colored Fruits
Antioxidant rich foods like berries, cherries, and darker colored fruits help reduce inflammation and decrease muscle soreness. You can drink tart cherry juice, or go for the whole fruit, like these freshly picked muscadine grapes, or black raspberries. When possible, organic is best.
Whole fruit provides fiber and keeps you feeling fuller longer, but juice is great if you’re on the go and trying to rehydrate quickly.
2. Fruits & Starches with a High-Glycemic Index
Right after your workout, your muscles are going to be dehydrated and depleted of energy (or glycogen). Eating starches or high-sugar fruit 10-15 minutes after your workout will help your muscles bounce back and also provide the following:
An increase in insulin which will reduce inflammation.
A rise in blood antioxidant status, which can help with pain and inflammation.
Bonus: The antioxidant factor in many of these foods can aid in tissue repair and cell recovery, getting you back in the game faster.
3. Eat Your Greens!
Dark, leafy greens and cruciferous veggies like broccoli and Brussels sprouts help rid the body of an overabundance of estrogen, which can slow down the recovery process. These veggies are also full of water, so they’ll help improve your hydration right away. Foods like collard greens will eradicate free radicals that can slow down healing. Potassium can be easily found in protein-rich foods and leafy greens; consumption of these foods should be seen as a preventative measure for muscle cramps…