Most people love the feeling of an intense workout. Few things can rival the special rush you get when you’re filled with endorphins. However, what follows after is post-fitness soreness. Not all muscle soreness causes discomfort, but it may affect your daily activities.
Fortunately, a recovery strategy exists in the form of fruits and vegetables. This article discusses 10 fruits and veggies to help you minimize muscle soreness and ensure speedy muscle recovery.
You should consider eating watermelon after participating in draining physical activities. This sweet, hydrating fruit is packed with nutrients and supports muscle recovery. Watermelon is loaded with L-citrulline, an amino acid that increases the production of nitric oxide (NO). NO promotes blood flow to muscles and increases cellular energy.
A 2013 study found that drinking watermelon juice reduced muscle soreness 24 hours after exercise. The juicy fruit also contains other vital nutrients that improve exercise performance and recovery.
Carbs are your friend when it comes to post-workout recovery. Experts believe starchy root vegetables like sweet potatoes can help you after a workout. A report filed in the Journal of Applied Physiology found that consuming carb-rich foods can limit the drop in your immune system after vigorous exercise.
Carb consumption is also unlikely to contribute to your body fat. Carbohydrates eaten after training are likely to be used as energy. Make yourself a meal of mashed potatoes after a workout to access its benefits.
After a workout, most experts recommend a protein shake for energy recovery. However, protein powder alone cannot provide all the required nutrients, especially for muscle soreness. You can add blueberries to your protein shake for energy recovery.
Blueberries are packed with antioxidants, which prevent damage to your muscles from free radicals. A report from the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition indicated that ingesting a blueberry shake before and after a workout promotes muscle recovery.
When it comes to muscle recovery, few foods can rival spinach’s ability. This vegetable is nutrient-dense, containing vitamin A & C, iron, calcium, potassium, and magnesium.
When you partake in strenuous physical activities, you sweat a lot, leading to the loss of electrolytes. Spinach is rich in key electrolytes such as potassium and magnesium; therefore, it can help your body recover. Spinach can be incorporated into various foods, but you can consider blending it into a smoothie.
One of everyone’s favorite fruits, banana, could be key to muscle recovery post-workout. Bananas are packed with carbs, which help restore glycogen levels and prevent muscle breakdown.
What’s more, bananas are an excellent source of potassium, an electrolyte required for proper muscular contraction. You can start your day with a banana right before workout or enjoy the fruit immediately after your exercise session.
Antioxidants can help manage inflammation following a workout. Although inflammation is the body’s natural response following workout, it can cause stiffness and soreness, preventing optimum performance the following day.
Kale is rich in antioxidants that can reduce inflammation, making it an important post-workout food. You can incorporate a kale salad into your post-workout meal to manage inflammation . An alternative is to add a handful of the leafy green into your smoothie.
Avocado is loaded with healthy fat, which makes it a great choice for athletes on a low-carb diet. One avocado is packed with around 18.5 grams of fat. The high-fat content takes longer to digest, keeping you fuller for longer.
Furthermore, this large berry fruit is packed with potassium, vitamins and minerals. Its high antioxidant content helps limit inflammation.
Pumpkin may indirectly support muscle recovery after workouts. The seed of this orange vegetable is a good source of BCAAs and Zinc, key nutrients for recovery. Zinc helps build, grow, and repair muscle tissue while supporting your immune system.
In addition, dried or roasted pumpkin seeds are extremely high in protein, which helps your muscles recover after exercise. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) nutrition chart shows that there are around 23.33 grams of protein in a 100-gram serving of pumpkin.
Cherries are worth a look if a muscle recovery fruit is what you want. This ruby stone fruit comes in various varieties; however, the tart cherry variety possesses the characteristics you want. Various studies have shown that the juice from tart cherries reduces oxidative damage and muscle soreness.
The only drawback of this fruit is that they are hard to come by unless you live in a region where they are grown. You may, however, buy ready-made tart cherry juice or concentrate.
Every athlete knows how important hydration is to their performance. In addition to drinking water, you can mix in foods with high water content to improve hydration. This is what cucumber offers.
Cucumbers are 96% water, making them great for hydration. They also contain minerals and vitamins that can provide relief to your achy muscles.
Nutrition plays a key role in muscle recovery. Although your overall diet matters the most, you may add these fruits and vegetables to speed up recovery and reduce soreness after workouts. Don’t also forget to get enough sleep after a tough day.