Become Your Strongest Self - The Best Foods for Muscle Recovery

Become Your Strongest Self - The Best Foods for Muscle Recovery

Kristin Kennedy-Brown - January 12, 2024

Taking the necessary steps to recover correctly after exercise is crucial for alleviating muscle pain caused by working out or strenuous physical activities. Sore muscles can impact future workouts and day-to-day activities, so planning ahead for post workout meals can be highly beneficial. 

Recovery Nutrition

When you exercise your body recruits glycogen - eating straight after workout helps replenish your glycogen stores, helping your muscles to recover and stabilising your blood glucose levels. 

It is important to keep in mind that the foods you eat can have a direct impact on your recovery. Read on to learn more about the best foods for muscle recovery. 

The Best Muscle Recovery Foods

Cottage cheese - this dairy based cheese contains ‘Casein’ protein which can inhibit muscle breakdown. Milk and dairy products also contain carbs - eating both protein and carbs together helps to refill your muscles stores of glycogen. 

Greek yoghurt - greek yoghurt contains higher protein than traditional yoghurt. Consider adding berries and hemp seeds on top for added flavour and nutritional value. You can also blend greek yoghurt into smoothies with your choice of milk and frozen fruit. 

Tart cherry juice - drinking tart cherry juice can benefit high performing athletes and gym goers due to its ability to mitigate delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS). Additionally, antioxidant rich food can reduce side effects of oxidative stress and inflammation, helping to facilitate recovery. 

Watermelon - watermelon is hydrating and loaded with nutrients including amino acids that help to promote muscle recovery after exercise. 

Fatty fish - sardines, salmon, and trout contain all the protein and nutrients that your body needs for muscle recovery. Fatty fish also includes omega-3 fats which help to fight inflammation, promote growth and reduce DOMS. 

Eggs - eggs are widely known to be a nutrient-dense food. Eating eggs soon after workout helps to stimulate muscle recovery. 

Bananas - bananas are a quick snack to grab post workout as they are a great source of carbohydrates, potassium, vitamin B6, magnesium and fibre. What’s more, bananas are known to reduce exercise related muscle cramps due to their high potassium content. 

Starchy vegetables - eating carb rich vegetables such a sweet potato, butternut squash, and potatoes help to promote muscle glycogen replenishment. Having enough available glycogen in your muscles is vital for optimal athletic performance. 


Don’t forget to hydrate

Hydrating after a workout is essential especially if you didn’t consume liquids during your workout. Rehydrating with water and sports drinks that contain electrolytes help to replace electrolytes that were lost when you were sweating. 


Non Dietary tips to relieve sore muscles 

Get enough sleep - failure to get enough sleep can derail your athletic performance and impair recovery. 

Foam rolling - foam rolling is highly effective for reducing post exercise pain and improving performance. 

To conclude, nutrition is essential for muscle recovery, and implementing foods that speed up muscle recovery and reduce soreness are crucial for an effective exercise plan.