The Muscle Recovery Foods You Should Be Eating

When we exercise, we deplete our stores of glycogen and break down our muscle and red blood cells. The result is that we need to recover. Nutrition plays a tremendous role in the body's recovery processes. In this context, “recovery” can be defined as the return to a healthy state. To help achieve muscle recovery you should consume the foods known to have the desired positive effects. Important muscle recovery foods include:

Foods Rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Excessive exercising causes inflammation. This is unavoidable since inflammation is a part of the body’s healing process; however, it can affect the muscles and joints as well as the immune system. Foods rich in anti-inflammatory omega-3 acids are therefore essential and can help to balance out a diet rich in the fats that encourage inflammation. Muscle recovery foods containing omega-3 fatty acids include wild-caught salmon and sardines along with flax seeds.

Green Leafy and Cruciferous Vegetables

These vegetables are full of nutrients that boost your metabolism. Vegetables like collard greens and rainbow chard have been shown to reduce insulin response and can help to rid your body of free radicals that slow down healing. These vegetables also provide compounds that reduce inflammation and thus help with muscle recovery.

Fruits and Vegetables with a High Glycemic Load

High glycemic fruits and vegetables can help you to restore your muscles' depleted glycogen stores. Your muscles get energy from glycogen, so replenishing glycogen gives you an energy boost. These fruits and vegetables provide other benefits in that many contain various antioxidants that help your body to repair tissue and suppress inflammation. High glycemic fruits include watermelon, pineapple and kiwi. High glycemic vegetables include potatoes, carrots and beets.

Whey Protein

Protein is important for almost all of the chemical reactions that take place within the body. It is also responsible for tissue maintenance, making it one of the more important muscle recovery foods. Whey protein contains all of the amino acids that your body needs and is bio-available. The amino acids help to prevent the breakdown of muscle tissue while also helping to stabilize blood glucose. You should consume about 20 grams of whey protein each day; the easiest way to do it is in shakes or smoothies.


A dose of caffeine after exercise can help to delay the onset of muscle pain and soreness. Note that caffeine has the potential to increase your heart rate and cause insomnia among other negative effects; therefore, you should consume it in moderation.

Fermented Foods

If your digestion is not working properly, your muscles will not recover efficiently.  Your gut is where your body processes the nutrients it needs for tissue repair and where it eliminates waste produced by your metabolism during exercise. The consumption of fermented foods can help your gut to work efficiently. Beneficial fermented foods include fermented dairy products like yogurt as well as pickled vegetables.


Eggs contain a lot of leucine, which is the most important amino acid for building muscle. In addition, a diet rich in eggs can improve protein synthesis and help with your recovery from strenuous exercise.

Coconut Fats

Coconut oil has fats that get absorbed by the body like a carbohydrate. This ability makes it beneficial for stamina as well as for recovery.  Coconut oil is versatile and can be included in many foods in the same ways that butter is used.

Muscle recovery does not have to be complicated or time consuming. With the right muscle recovery foods, you can help the most damaged parts of your body to recover from intense exercise. To learn more, contact us at Chiro-Med today!

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