Usually you look for certain foods in hopes of losing your love handles or packing on slabs of muscle. But you can just as easily fuel your body with foods and drinks that can do those things—plus boostrecovery. You don't have to hobble around for days after you hammer your legs if you choose the right post-workout eats. Here, nutritionist Kristen Carlucci, RD, highlights a range of foods you can eat at every meal of the day so you can enhance your workout recovery whether you like to exercise first thing in the morning, in the afternoon, or at night. Stock your fridge and pantry with these ingredients, and start feeling the difference.
1. COTTAGE CHEESE
"Cottage cheese provides two different types of protein: whey and casein," Carlucci says. "While whey protein is most known for its role in replenishing muscles quickly post-workout, casein is a much slower-acting protein, making cottage cheese an ideal snack before [you work out] because it allows your muscles to continue recovering even as you sleep." Cottage cheese is also packed with live cultures (good bacteria) that helps break down and absorb nutrients that can help make you bigger and stronger. Eat it plain or topped with fruit for breakfast or a midday snack.
2. TART CHERRIES
Research from Journalof the International Society of Sports Nutrition and more published in Antioxidants in Sport Nutrition suggests tart cherry juice can minimize post-run muscle pain, delay time to fatigue, and promote muscle recovery for runners; it also has the potential to improve performance and reduce post-exercise recovery time for lifters. You can also snack on the dried fruit. "Eating dried tart cherries after workouts can dramatically reduce muscle breakdown, pain, and inflammation within the body," Carlucci says. Eat them plain, or add some to post-workout oatmeal or salads.
3. MĀNUKA HONEY
Mānuka honey isn't the same sticky stuff you have in your pantry. It's a monofloral honey, meaning it predominantly comes from the nectar of one plant species called the Mānuka bush in New Zealand. Mānuka honey has a distinctive flavor that's milder than typical honey; it's also much thicker. It's considered one of the most beneficial forms of honey in the world. "Mānuka honey is a potent anti-inflammatory that helps to suppress exercise-induced inflammation in the body," Carlucci says. "It’s also rich in carbohydrates, which are needed to refill glycogen stores and deliver protein to your muscles." Try drizzling some onto yogurt, or into tea.
4. NUTS & SEEDS
"Nuts and seeds provide essential Omega-3 fatty acids to fight inflammation, protein for muscle synthesis and growth, electrolytes for adequate hydration, and zinc to boost immunity (just to name a few)," Carlucci says. Not only are nuts and seeds a great source of protein and fiber for vegans and vegetarians, they're also the perfect plant-based snack for meat-eaters on the go.
Turmeric is full of the inflammation-fighting antioxidant curcumin, which has been shown to decrease what’s called delayed onset muscle soreness, according to research published in the European Journal of Applied Physiology. "Compounds in this spice help reduce muscle damage and inflammation, and promote muscle repair, guaranteeing a higher level of athletic performance" Carlucci explains. Carlucci suggests adding turmeric into soups or making a turmeric latte (also called “golden milk”) by combining 2 cups heated cow or almond milk + 1 teaspoon turmeric + 1 teaspoon ginger.
姜黄富含抗炎症和抗氧化剂的姜黄素，通常用来减轻迟发性肌肉痛，根据发表在《欧洲应用生理学》杂志上面的研究“这种植物成分能够狗帮助减轻肌肉损伤和炎症，促进肌肉修复，确保运动员有高水准的表现。” Carlucci 解释道。(推荐)在汤里加入姜黄素，或者做姜黄拿铁(也叫“黄金牛奶”)，即在热牛奶或者热杏仁奶中加入一茶匙姜黄粉，和一茶匙生姜粉。
"Spinach is one of the most popular superfoods out there, and for good reason: This antioxidant powerhouse fights free radicals in your body to not only prevent serious diseases like cancer and heart disease, but also quickly rebound from strenuous exercise," Carlucci says. It's also an excellent diet staple for promoting good health and strengthening your muscles (it has to do with its nitrates), according to this study from the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm. Make it the base of your salads, a side to your dinner, or toss a handful in your smoothie.
"Salmon contains inflammation-fighting omega-3 fatty acids, plus it's packed with lean protein—a key component for muscle restoration and building," Carlucci says. If you're working out in the early or late afternoon, cook up some salmon for lunch or dinner. "Just make sure to always eat protein within 45 minutes after your workout for adequate recovery and strength," Carlucci advises.
三文鱼富含欧米伽3不饱和脂肪酸，而且还有丰富的瘦肉蛋白——是肌肉的恢复和生长的重要部分。如果你在下午的早些时候或是晚些时候锻炼的话，可以在午餐或是晚餐的时候做些三文鱼来吃。“要保证在运动后的45分钟内摄入蛋白质，帮助身体得到充分的补充和力量的恢复。” Carlucci 建议道。
8. SWEET POTATOES
Add sweet potatoes to your post-workout meal and you can say goodbye to sore muscles. "The starchy vegetable replenishes glycogen stores, which become depleted after a tough workout, and are a great source of beta carotene and vitamin C to keep your body healthy and strong," Carlucci says. Bake them on the grill or slice them up and cook in the oven with olive oil and spices. Experiment with lots of salt and pepper, garlic, paprika, chili powder, garlic powder, and/or cinnamon. 在运动后的饮食中加入红薯，告别肌肉酸痛。
“这种富含淀粉的蔬菜，能够为剧烈运动后的身体消耗，补充糖元存储，富含贝塔胡萝卜素和维他命C,保持身体健康强壮。” Carlucci 说。(推荐)直接烤着吃，或者将它们切片加入橄榄油和调料放置在烤箱中烘培。可以尝试用大量的盐、胡椒、大蒜、红辣椒、辣椒粉、大蒜粉、加入或者只加肉桂粉。
9. GREEN TEA
"Green tea is abundant in anti-inflammatory antioxidants making it the ideal pre- or post-workout drink to prevent muscle and cell damage related to exercise," Carlucci says. "It also helps athletes stay hydrated, which is vital for training and recovery." Drink it hot or cold.
“绿茶含有大量的抗炎症和抗氧化剂，是运动前后最理想的饮料，用来防止由于运动造成的肌肉和细胞的损伤，” Carlucci 说，“绿茶能够使运动员不脱水，这对于训练和恢复是非常重要的。”(推荐)冷热饮用皆可。
"Cacao has high levels of antioxidants, magnesium, and B-vitamins to reduce stress in our bodies related to exercise, balance electrolytes, and boost energy levels," Carlucci says. Those antioxidants, called flavanols, are even able to boost the production of nitrous oxide in your body, causing your blood vessel walls to relax and open—lowering blood pressure and promoting overall health. Add some cacao nibs to your smoothie, or add a scoop of cacao powder into a glass of milk post-workout.
“可可的抗氧化剂、镁、维他命B群的含量很高，减轻锻炼后带来的压力，平衡电解质，提升能量” Carlucci 说，这些抗氧化剂叫黄烷醇，刺激你体内的一氧化二氮生成，让血管壁舒张放松，降低血压促进整体健康。(推荐)运动后，可以加一些可可豆瓣到你的奶昔，或者在牛奶中加一勺可可粉来食用。