How often do you tell yourself you’re going to work out every day only to wake up the next day in pain and quit? I know that’s happened to me a couple of times. Was it because I worked out too hard? Or maybe it’s because I’m a noob? Probably. But turns out this after workout soreness could’ve been prevented or at least significantly reduced by eating the right foods after a workout. Sounds too good to be true, right? However science backs this up. The reason your muscles are so sore the next day is because they’ve been damaged a little and are now repairing themselves and growing bigger and stronger. Certain foods can help you do that faster and therefore make your muscles feel less sore after a workout.
1. Sweet Potato
If you love sweet potatoes we’ve got good news for you – you can definitely have them after a workout and not worry about them ruining your results. In fact they’re going to help you restore your glycogen levels, which can get depleted after a heavy workout, and provide you with a good amount of beta carotene and vitamin C. But make sure you bake them with some coconut oil instead of deep frying them, ok?
2. Coconut Water
Everyone knows that hydration is very important. But it’s especially important if you work out a lot. If you’re dehydrated you’re much more likely to get muscle cramps and no one wants to deal with that so drink up. Coconut water is especially good for your muscles because not only is it hydrating, and good at quenching your thirst, but it also provides a healthy dose of magnesium and potassium which will help your muscles recover faster.
Who doesn’t love pineapples? They’re delicious, sweet and tangy at the same time, and they basically make you think of summer. They’re also a great thing to eat to relieve muscle soreness. Pineapples actually have anti-inflammatory and pain relieving properties, so next time you feel sore after a workout – treat yourself to a nice pineapple.
4. Chia Seeds
Chia seeds are great at reducing inflammation and are of great help when you’re dealing with sore muscles. They’re also pretty easy to incorporate into almost every meal. If you like post workout smoothies, just add some chia seeds to them, you can also add them to your muffins, pancakes or you can whip up some delicious chia pudding for a dessert.
Eggs are a great source of protein and are a perfect meal to have after a workout. They will help your muscles grow and recover faster. Boiled eggs are probably the best and healthiest to eat, but if you wanna make an omelette with some veggies we’re not gonna stop you.
Ginger has a very potent anti-inflammatory effect. Think about it, you have ginger tea when your tummy is acting up, you drink ginger tea when you have a sore throat and it makes you feel better. Well it works the same way with sore muscles. So drink some ginger tea or better put some ginger into your smoothie or sneak it into your meal to help your muscles feel better.
Salmon is a great source of protein which we’ve already established is good for your muscles, it also is full of omega-3 fatty acids that help reduce inflammation and it’s got a whole bunch of antioxidants that are good for you too. So basically it looks like salmon is a great dinner option for the days you work out on. Now when you think about it, sushi with salmon and some ginger on the side might be a great combo.
Nuts are the best snack to have after a workout. They keep you full for long, you only need a small handful, they’re full of anti-inflammatory omega-3 and they’re a good source of protein you can have on the go, right after your gym session.
Tart cherries are scientifically proven to reduce muscle soreness so they’re a great after workout snack to have. However if cherries are not available to you year round you can just get tart cherry juice, because that’s actually what matters. It’s tart cherry juice that makes your muscles feel better, so just have a glass of it after your workout.