After a long workout, it can be tempting to reach for a big slice of pizza and a tub of ice cream. After all, you’re probably starving, and you may be in the mood to reward yourself.
However, the food you eat immediately after you eat can have an impact on your muscles, so it’s important you choose the right foods that not only will help your body look good, but that will help it feel good as well.
Your muscles rely on the right nutrients to repair and grow, so it’s important to feed yourself a good balance of protein and carbohydrates to refuel your muscles.
Contrary to popular belief, loading up on a huge amount of protein isn’t necessary, and most people only need 10 to 20 grams to replenish their muscles, according to WebMD.
If you’re trying to figure out the best foods to eat after a workout, try eating the below six foods, which can help with your post-workout recovery to repair muscles and ease soreness.
Eggs are not only a wonderful source of protein, but they contain a variety of nutrients such as leucine, an amino acid that can help you burn fat while retaining muscle mass.
A study from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that eating 20 grams of egg protein facilitated the most favorable amount of muscle synthesis.
2. Tart Cherry Juice
If you’re one to get uncomfortably sore after a workout, tart cherry juice may be the drink for you. Consuming a glass of the drink after a workout can help reduce muscle pain and inflammation, and it can help with faster muscle strength recovery.
Nuts are a good source of protein, and walnuts especially can help encourage muscle growth. People who eat a diet high in walnuts are more likely to have more developed muscles and less body fat, as walnuts contain polyunsaturated fats rather than saturated fat, which accumulates around the abdomen.
4. Greek Yogurt
Unlike regular yogurt, Greek yogurt is high in protein, making it a great choice for an after-workout snack. Combine it with some berries for additional antioxidants, which can help repair damaged muscle tissue.
5. Green Tea
Green tea contains antioxidants called polyphenols, which improves the repair and recovery of muscles, especially after injury of the nerve, according a study published in the journal Naunyn-Schmiedeberg’s Archives of Pharmacology.
6. Whole Grains
Whole grains are the healthiest source of carbohydrates following a workout, and they contain fiber, protein and other nutrients necessary for muscle repair. Opt for a piece of whole wheat toast, some quinoa, or some brown rice to help balance out your post-workout meal.