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TREK’s Guide to Muscle Recovery Foods

March 10, 2022
selection of fruits, nuts and veg good for muscle recovery

Eating healthy foods after a workout can help your body recover faster and build stronger muscle tissue. The best recovery foods have lots of protein, which helps repair damaged muscle tissue, along with carbohydrates to replenish depleted energy stores. This article will look at some of the best muscle recovery foods to include in your plant based diet.

What is the relationship between food and muscle repair?

The harder you push your muscles during a workout, the more you’re going to need to replenish them afterwards. The burns and aches will let you know it’s time to eat some muscle recovery foods.

Muscle recovery is an important part of any fitness program. When we exercise, our bodies break down our muscles’ fibers. Our nutrition choices can either help us recover and grow stronger, or they can delay muscle recovery and hold us back.

When you’re looking for foods to heal sore muscles, there are five key nutrients you want to focus on:

  • Protein – This is the building block of muscle. Luckily there are some great vegan sources of protein to add into your post workout diet.
  • Carbs – They supply energy to support protein synthesis (the creation of new muscle). They also help boost glycogen stores and aid recovery after training. The best sources are complex carbs like whole grains, brown rice and vegetables.
  • Creatine – This amino acid helps supply the energy needed for intense workouts. It is typically obtained from meat and fish, however vegans can incorporate creatine in their diet via nuts, seeds and legumes.
  • Leucine – Another amino acid that helps stimulate protein synthesis. Some vegan sources of leucine include spinach, lentils and kidney beans.
  • Omega-3s – These fatty acids reduce inflammation and help repair muscle tissue after a workout. Although fish is the most well known source of omega 3, you can also get it into your diet through seeds, seaweed and Brussels sprouts.

10 best foods for muscle recovery :

1.Blueberries – These little berries are packed with antioxidants that help reduce inflammation in your muscles after exercise. Blueberries also contain potassium and vitamin C, which promote muscle recovery and strengthen your immune system. Adding blueberries to a smoothie or just eating them alone can do wonders for your body after a workout.

Try our TREK Blueberry & Pumpkin Seed Protein Nut Bar for the ultimate, vegan post workout snack

2. Bananas – Rich in potassium – an electrolyte which helps your muscles contract. Bananas also contain glucose and fructose, which serve as quick energy sources for your body.

3. Broccoli – A favourite amongst bodybuilders, broccoli’s high magnesium content can help prevent muscle spasms, while its calcium and vitamin K content can help your body recover. Broccoli also has a good amount of protein, which helps build muscles.

4. Peanut butter – An excellent source of protein and healthy fats to help your body recover after a workout. Peanut butter is made from ground peanuts, which are one of the best foods for building muscle mass when eaten in moderation.

For the perfect peanut butter hit, try our TREK Peanut Butter Crunch Power Bar which is high in protein – perfect for providing energy before a workout.

5. Pumpkin seeds & almonds – These nuts are loaded with magnesium, which helps your muscles recover from exercise quicker by improving blood flow to your muscles and transporting oxygen throughout your body. Both also contain omega-3 fatty acids and other nutrients that reduce inflammation from an intense workout.

6. Sweet potatoes – A great source of carbs that contains a large amount of vitamin C. This reduces stress hormones in the body and helps in repairing muscles. They also contain a good amount of potassium that helps in balancing electrolyte levels in the body, which is important after an intense workout session.

7. Spinach – With high levels of beta-carotene (which helps repair damaged cells) and vitamin A (which is also important for cell growth), spinach works great as a muscle recovery food. It also contains magnesium, which plays an important role in helping muscles contract correctly.

8. Oats – A great source of complex carbohydrates, which means they give you long-lasting energy. They serve as the perfect base for a post-workout meal because they’re filling and packed with important nutrients. They’re also high in fibre and protein, so they aid in muscle recovery.

For natural oaty goodness try our TREK Original Oat Flapjack – a delicious vegan and gluten-free flapjack that contains natural slow released energy.

9. Pineapples – A good muscle recovery food because they contain bromelain, which is an anti-inflammatory enzyme. Bromelain is also known to reduce swelling and relieve muscle pain.

10. Beans – Kidney beans and black beans contain lots of fibre and protein without a lot of calories or unhealthy fats. That makes them perfect for muscle recovery after aerobic exercise like running or cycling.

TREK Bars : The ultimate post-workout snack

Eating the right foods after a workout can help aid your fitness journey. We burn a lot of energy when we exercise and lose nutrients like electrolytes which need to be replenished. This is where post workout snacks come in.

TREK products are the perfect post-work snack. Our vegan protein flapjacks contain carbohydrates which we know can help muscle recovery, whereas our protein energy bars and power bars can give your body the fuel it needs to re-energise after an intense workout. Better yet, they are snack sized so can fit right into your gym bag. So, what are you waiting for? Buy a TREK bar now!

As you can see, a holistic approach to fitness is one of the most effective methods. For more information on the relationship between exercise and nutrition read our TREK blogs on why protein is important for exercise and what are macronutrients.