Post-workout nutrition plays a key role in muscle growth and repair. After exercise, the body needs a steady supply of protein and fast-digesting carbs to recover and build new tissues.
Lean meat, fish, poultry, eggs, and other high-protein foods help reduce muscle loss and boost physical performance. Rice, quinoa, pasta, and vegetables are rich in both complex and simple carbs, leading to faster recovery from training.
So, here are the 10 best foods to eat after a workout:
One medium egg boasts over six grams of protein and just 70 calories. It’s also an excellent source of vitamin A, vitamin D, B-complex vitamins, and selenium.
Omega-3 enriched eggs lower high cholesterol and triglycerides, which helps reduce heart disease risk (1, 2, 3). De to their high protein content, eggs support fat loss, increase muscular strength, and prevent catabolism.
Athletes and bodybuilders eat poultry for a good reason. Loaded with protein, chicken helps build lean muscle, speeds up recovery, and suppresses appetite.
It’s one of the best dietary sources of protein, offering a lot of nutrition per serving. Research indicates that chicken consumption may help control blood pressure, increase satiety, and boost metabolic rate.
Bananas deliver fast and slow-digesting carbs, which aids in muscle repair. They also contain potassium, a mineral that balances electrolyte levels in the body and promotes cardiovascular health.
Magnesium, one of the key nutrients in these fruits, lowers the risk of heart disease and metabolic syndrome.
Rich in carbs and antioxidants, berries are a favorite choice for many athletes. These tiny fruits provide fast-acting carbs that help replenish muscle and liver glycogen stores after training.
The antioxidants in berries slow the aging berries and protect body cells from oxidative stress.
5. Sweet Potatoes
The human body uses stored glycogen for fuel. Exercise depletes glycogen stores, which may slow down recovery from training.
Sweet potatoes offer optimum amounts of simple and complex carbs as well as vitamin A, zinc, magnesium, and dietary fiber. When consumed post-workout, they help restore glycogen levels and increase energy.
Quinoa packs more fiber and protein than brown rice, offering all the essential amino acids needed for muscle growth.
Also referred as “the mother of all grains,” it provides large amounts of magnesium, calcium, potassium, and vitamin B3. These nutrients speed up muscle repair, support brain function, and protect against heart disease.
7. Orange Juice
Orange juice is best known for its high levels of vitamin C. However, this delicious beverage also contains more potassium that most sports drinks out there.
Potassium restores fluid levels in the body and helps prevent electrolyte imbalances.
8. Black Beans
Studies indicate that black beans regulate blood sugar levels, lower bad cholesterol, and support muscle growth.
These legumes are chock-full of protein, carbs, and fiber, providing the muscles with lasting energy. In the long run, they may help prevent several types of cancer due to their high content of flavonoids.
Both white and whole rice are an excellent choice after training. Loaded with carbs, this grain is easy to digest and fuels the muscles into growth.
It’s a perfect choice for those who want to pack on lean mass, replenish muscle glycogen stores, and work out harder without feeling tired or sluggish.
10. Dried Fruit
Raisins, dates, and other dried fruits contain fast-digesting carbs that are quickly absorbed into the bloodstream. Thus, they replenish your muscle glycogen stores faster than complex carb do.
Mix them with raw nuts and seeds to get more protein. Homemade trail mixes are a healthier choice than those found in stores. Depending on the ingredients used, one cup serving deliver over 11 grams of protein and 27 grams of carbs.