Exercise has innumerable physical, emotional, and psychological benefits. It lowers blood sugars, improves our moods, helps us lose weight, and helps us sleep better. However, you might be left feeling terrible after a workout if you do not allow your muscles to recover. There are indeed certain foods and drinks that can help with this recovery, and we will look at the best ones below.
Chocolate milk is a great recovery drink because of the two main ingredients it contains; cacao used to make the chocolate and milk.
Cacao has high amounts of antioxidants, B vitamins, and magnesium that help with the stress caused by exercise, increase energy levels and balance electrolytes. Chocolate milk contains about 9 grams of protein due to the milk in it.
Protein is the main building block of our muscles and taking it after exercise can help with muscle repair. The carbohydrates found in milk work together with the protein to aid in muscle growth.
Taro root is related to the sweet potato, although it is purple. Taro is a great source of both fiber and carbohydrates. Paired with natural protein, taro as a whole or as a powder can help recovery after workouts. Taro provides the raw materials the body needs for repair (carbohydrates), which makes you stronger and fitter as you increase the intensity of your exercise.
Watermelon is great for increasing blood flow before, during, and after exercise. Its actions are due to its high amounts of arginine precursor L-citrulline. Watermelon also contains antioxidants that reduce the stress caused by various oxidative states.
Bananas and spinach are in two different categories because one is a leafy vegetable and the other is a fruit. However, what they have in common is that they contain a lot of helpful minerals that can help with muscle recovery. Spinach contains lots of antioxidants that help the muscle rebound faster from strenuous exercise in addition to other health benefits. Spinach is also great for the general strengthening of the muscles because it contains nitrates.
Bananas, on the other hand, are loaded with carbohydrates and potassium, the latter having the ability to replenish electrolytes lost during exercise.
The reason we have placed bananas and spinach together is that they are both rich sources of magnesium. Magnesium is important for healthy nerve and muscle function.
Magnesium also helps you get better and enjoy longer sleep, which is crucial for muscle recovery. If your diet is not rich in magnesium, you can try supplements that contain magnesium such as Impossible Sleep, which is a great sleep drink that only contains magnesium and L-Theanine and is specifically designed to help you sleep better.
In a study done in 2018, men who drank a cup of green tea infused with 500 mg of its extract showed fewer markers for muscle damage after working out. These results have been attributed to the high levels of polyphenols and antioxidants in green tea, which reduce the oxidative damage that occurs as one exercises.
Turmeric contains curcumin. This is an anti-inflammatory antioxidant that decreases the severity of delayed onset muscle soreness. By reducing muscle damage, reducing inflammation, and promoting muscle repair, turmeric helps with recovery and can aid athletic performances in some people.
Curcumin also blocks the effects of enzymes involved in inflammation and pain chemical messengers. Both of these actions help reduce pain, helping you get back to training sooner.
Recovery does not only mean rest, but it also includes knowing which foods and drinks will help while reducing inflammation and pain. These foods and drinks should also prevent or reverse muscle damage.