Eat your way to recovery

22 August 2017 by
First published: 1 September 2017

Tough session? We help you eat your way to recovery

An effective workout isn’t just about how many calories you’ve burned or the intensity of your workout. The choices you make when your workout ends have as much impact on your results as how hard you’ve pushed yourself during the sweat session itself. Post-workout your body craves specific nutrients to boost your recovery and getting these in will leave you feeling on top form to power through the rest of the day – and your next workout. Certain dietary aids can reduce muscle soreness, replenish electrolytes lost through exercise, and reboot your energy levels, so make the most of your hard work with these top five finds.

1 Coconut Water

Coconut water is the ultimate exercise elixir because of its ability to rehydrate your body effectively after exercise. Dehydration from exercise causes symptoms like dizziness, fatigue and headaches so, while it’s important to take frequent water breaks during your workout, it’s also just as crucial to fuel up on liquids as soon as your workout ends. Coconut water is a good option as it helps to replenish levels of electrolytes like potassium and sodium which are depleted through training, so sip a big glass of the stuff after exercise.

2 Blueberries

Berries like blueberries help to counteract the free radical damage to your body that exercise causes, and they help you recover faster from exercise according to a study by New Zealand’s Massey School of Sport and Exercise. Findings revealed a faster rate in lowering levels of oxidative stress and inflammation in female athletes who consumed blueberry smoothies at various intervals both prior to and after exercise. It’s thought that the antioxidant anthocyanins contained in the berry led to this increased rate of recovery.

3 Tart cherry juice

Research shows that chugging back a glass of tart cherry juice could help to reduce muscle damage, inflammation and oxidative stress in marathon runners after training. In juice form, the cherries have a higher antioxidant profile which is thought to be the secret to the fruit’s superior recovery superpowers.

4 Chicken breast

Protein scores five stars when it comes to exercise recovery macronutrients. Feeding your muscles with a protein source within a 30-minute window after exercise will help to repair muscle tissue. One chicken breast contains around 30g protein while being low in fat, making it a great post-workout option. Combine chicken with a portion of carbs such as brown rice or wholemeal pasta for the perfect muscle-feeding meal.

5 Oats

Who says porridge has to be limited to breakfast? A bowl of oats with a tablespoon of chia seeds and mixed nuts will give you a fibrous, complex carb filled and protein rich meal to refuel your muscles’ energy stores. Add a handful of berries for an extra dose of nutrients and you have an easy post-workout meal.