What you eat post-training impacts how well you recover, that’s why it’s important to include these recovery foods.
With the City 2 Surf just around the corner, people are pounding the pavement all over the place training for Heart Break Hill. As addictive as running is, there is no hiding the fact that its highly repetitive nature puts a lot of strain on the body. Tired feet, tight hips and aching hamstrings can make simple daily activities liking sitting down and climbing stairs painful events. Inadequate recovery over the long-term can lead to fatigue, illness, injury and poor performance. That’s why it’s essential to make sure you are recovering properly after your training session, and certain foods will ensure you do. So make sure your post-training recovery meal includes the following foods:
Milk: Perhaps the most perfect recovery fuel, milk provides all the essential nutrients to have your body ready for you next training session. It contains carbohydrates to replace your glycogen stores. Glycogen is the storage form of glucose, your body’s number one fuel source during exercise. Protein is another component of milk, which is essential for allowing the muscles to repair and adapt to the demands being made on them. Finally, milk contains fluid and electrolytes like potassium that helps with rehydrating.
Green-Lipped Mussel Oil: Who hasn’t pulled up sore following a workout? Well you may be able to reduce post-exercise muscle soreness and inflammation with green-lipped mussel oil. According to research published in the International Society of Sports Nutrition journal, green-lipped mussel oil has positive effects on how the body reacts to muscle damage in untrained people. According to lead researcher and Olympic triathlete Professor Tim Mickleborough, participants taking green-lipped mussel oil (which is marketed as Lyprinol in Australia) for weeks experienced a delayed onset of muscle soreness, reduced muscle inflammation, less perceived pain after exercise, less strength loss and less loss of range of motion. The unique combination of omega-3 fatty acids found in green-lipped mussel oil is believed to provide these desirable benefits post exercise.
Almonds: Almonds are rich in vitamin E and according to research from Boston may help ease muscle soreness after a rigorous workout. Vitamin E acts as an antioxidant protecting cells from free radicals generated during a workout, reducing muscle soreness and inflammation. Enjoying foods rich in vitamin E like almonds is a better way to get your vitamin E than taking supplements, as supplements may negate the adaptations of training. Pair the almonds with dried fruit and you have a perfect balance of protein and carbohydrates.
Ginger: In 2010, two studies looked at how ginger affected muscle pain and inflammation after exercise. Both studies found that people who consumed ginger after exercising had less muscle soreness by the second day. It’s thought that the ginger’s anti-inflammatory compounds and volatile oils – gingerols – may be the reason for these effects. While more research is needed, adding ginger to your post-workout stir-fry is an easy and tasty way to look after your muscles.
Photo Credit: Ingimage
About the author
Caitlin Reid is a unique health professional with qualifications as an accredited nutritionist, accredited exercise physiologist and yoga teacher. Caitlin is passionate about all things health and wellness, and keeps up-to-date with the latest health research, which she uses when contributing expert advice to health, fitness, lifestyle and food companies. She is also the nutrition expert for the Women’s Fitness magazine, the dietitian for the South Sydney Rabbitohs and ambassador for Papaya Australia. Follow Caitlin on Instagram @caitlinareid or visit her website.