We’ve all experienced it: After a hard workout, you take your shower, sit down and relax, maybe binge-watch something on Netflix and go to bed. The next morning you wake up and your muscles are tight, and it seems that every movement hurts. So you try to stretch out your muscles and power through the day, hoping that your body will bounce back quickly from paying the high price of staying healthy.
But here is the thing: you don’t have to wait so long after a good workout to feel great again. There are a ton of inexpensive, amazing tasting foods out there that can help you recover quickly.
Here are five of the many foods you can eat for quick workout recovery to help you get back to enjoying your mornings again!
Avocado toast gets a bad rap these days. Blasted in the media as the preferred brunch food for the millennial generation, the health benefits of a good slice of avocado toast are often overlooked. Avocado toast isn’t hurting millennials’ chances of buying homes, but it is battling their post-workout aches.
This tasty snack is packed with the carbohydrates your body needs in order to balance your glycogen levels and healthy fats that can help build muscle. Adding an egg into the mix gives you protein that will help to build muscle even further. However, it is important to note that while avocado is high in healthy fats, they are still fats and should be consumed in moderation to avoid weight gain that can lead to deadly blood clots and other lifelong health issues.
Cottage Cheese and Orange Slices
A mixture of cottage cheese and orange slices is a tasty way to get some much needed protein into your system after your workout. In addition to the protein found in cottage cheese, it also has a high concentration of nutrients like selenium and vitamin B12 that will help with your overall health, not just post-workout recovery.
The orange slices provide vitamin C, fiber, and potassium, which can help your body maintain regular hydration. A whole host of other fruits also taste great when paired with cottage cheese, so don’t be afraid to mix things up and try your favourite fruits!
Protein Shake with a Banana
Protein shakes are like the chameleon of the work-out food world. You can add just about anything on this list to a protein shake for an easy way to sneak healthier foods into your system.
The protein powder itself is what makes these shakes so important for a quick recovery. Both whey-based protein powders and specialized, keto-friendly low-carb protein powders allow your body to quickly absorb the protein which helps your muscles to rebound and grow. Studies have shown that whey protein can actually help reduce swelling in muscles, which is one of the factors that contribute to that next-day soreness.
Adding a banana gives your body potassium, an important electrolyte that helps with overall heart health. The fibre in the banana will help your body to quickly absorb the other nutrients in the protein shake as well.
Spinach and Kale
While most of the other foods on this list satisfy your macro nutritional requirements like protein, carbohydrates, and fat, micronutrients are just as important to your workout recovery. Foods like spinach and kale are chock-full of these micronutrients that allow your body to properly function. You don’t need a whole lot of micronutrients (hence the name), but they can be hard to track without the aid of a fitness tracker.
Dark, leafy greens are a great addition to any diet, and are especially useful for fast workout recovery. This is due to their high concentration of B vitamins as well as high levels of fiber and carotenoid-antioxidants. Combine this with the fact that these greens are incredibly low-calorie foods, and you have a delicious post-workout treat that not only aids in recovery, but also allows you to meet your micro-nutrient goals!
Yogurt, Berries, and Granola
The trifecta of post-workout goodness, yogurt, berries, and granola are a powerhouse when it comes to recovery. Containing a perfect blend of protein, carbohydrates, and fats, this combination has cemented its spot in history as a fantastic and delicious post-workout meal.
Not only does it contain all the necessities for a speedy recovery, but the options for customizing this food to your tastes are endless. Any berry or fruit you enjoy can be put into this combination and it will be a taste and textural sensation. Using unsweetened Greek yogurt pumps up the protein intake even further, and cuts down on the sugar as well. If granola isn’t your favourite, it can be easily swapped out with oats which are high in fibre, calcium, and protein.
Taking care of your body is important, as you well know, and eating these foods after a good workout will set you well on your way to a happier and healthier life. If you find that making any of these items after a workout is tedious or not worth it, consider making prepared meals beforehand to encourage healthy eating and prevent you from having that congratulatory fast-food cheeseburger. If you stick with the plan, you won’t be groaning as you get out of bed the next morning after leg day anymore!