Notching massive workouts is the secret to forging that ultra-strong physique. However, those gruelling sessions can put you on the bench for days after your final rep as your muscles embark on the painstaking process of putting themselves back together. Yep, muscle recovery can be hard work.
But if you want to show up at the gym day in and day out, you can’t afford to be spending time on the sidelines. Fortunately, with the right foods, you can ramp up your recovery to ensure you’re ready to tackle your next session in record time.
Before you tuck in, it’d be remiss of us not to preach the virtues of getting adequate shuteye. While these meals will help you recover faster, a full eight or nine hours in the “Land of Nod” will do wonders for your repair times.
Feeling fully rested? It’s time to feast.
Your average large egg packs around 7 grams of protein, but its nutrient chops don’t stop there. Snack on these and you’ll also snag a host of nutrients and minerals; just make sure you don’t skip the yolks. One study found that regular weightlifters who consumed whole eggs (including the yolks) after a hard workout were able to tap into higher levels of muscle repair than those who steered clear of this gooey, yellow centre.
2. Cherry Juice
While this tart juice might not be your first choice after a workout, turns out it could be one of your best repair tools after a gruelling sesh. Research has found that cherry extract might not only expedite recovery but could also curb post-session fatigue. Bottom’s up.
Fish isn’t just good for your heart seafood could also help see you through those post-workout pains. Studies have found that omega-3s (which you can find in abundance in salmon) might be able to help curb exercise-induced damage and any resulting inflammation.
4. Whey Protein Powder
In one 5-day study, a group of 92 men with obesity were asked to take whey protein in a series of three doses per day before completing physical fitness tests. The result? They presented significantly fewer signs of muscle damage than those not on this protein prescription.
While plant milk has its benefits, dairy still reigns supreme when it comes to ramping up your muscle recovery. One study found that consuming cow’s milk might not only help expedite your post-workout rehab, but it could also improve your exercise performance during sessions. Got milk? Get to work.
While you might already know that a dose of caffeine can boost your exercise performance, there’s some research that suggests your daily cuppa might dial down the pain after your workouts, too.
7. Wholewheat Bread
High-quality carbs are like premium unleaded fuel for your muscles. Tuck into the good stuff and you’ll ramp up your recovery times.
After a gruelling workout, your body demands a payload of protein. Biltong is a dose of dehydrated protein that’ll supply your muscles with this vital macronutrient in the space of just a few chews.