Listen to this article
There’ s no denying the fact that the only way to build and preserve healthy muscle mass is by working out and lifting weights at least twice a week—or so, says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
But, have you ever considered the fact that all your hard work can go down the drain if you don’t fuel up with the right kind of food just after that rigorous training session?
After all, there’s a high probability of you straining a muscle or two while exercising since your body may start breaking down muscle to derive energy for you to carry on that workout after a certain point.
For the uninitiated, muscle mass refers to the weight of the muscle in your body—the same muscle that can turn your body into a fat and calorie burning machine. Hence, it is imperative that you do everything in your control to prevent its loss.
Surely, resistance and weight training along with a high-protein diet is the way to go. However, eating these foods right after a workout can help your body kickstart the muscle-recovery process almost immediately and can preserve your muscle mass:
All this time, you’ve probably taken your daadi’s advice of drinking up haldi doodh for granted. Turns out, she has been right all this while. According to a study published in the European Journal of Applied Physiology, consuming turmeric post-workout can reduce muscle damage and promote muscle repair which will enable you to perform better in your next workout session. And, that’s not all! The anti-inflammatory properties of this wonderful spice can also help ease any inflammation or swelling in your muscles.
So, you can add this spice in a cup of hot water or simply drink it up the old-school way—as haldi milk, a.k.a. turmeric latte.
Popeye, the sailor man, had a spinach can and enviable dolas. So can you if you eat your greens right. According to a study conducted at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, spinach is a rich source of magnesium, which can help boost muscle function and regulate blood pressure. The result? A faster muscle recovery. Therefore, don’t shy away from loading your post-workout salad bowl with spinach or drinking up a glass of spinach smoothie after your gym class.
3. Sweet potatoes
Well, they may be sweet in taste, but are super-sweet for your muscles as well. As per a study published in the Asian Journal of Sports Medicine, eating sweet potatoes post workout can help replenish the electrolytes lost in sweat while working out and help in muscle recovery as well due to the presence of a high potassium content in the vegetable. In fact, ‘the king of slow carbs’ takes time to get digested and evokes a slow insulin response from your body, keeping you satiated and energetic for a long time.
A study conducted at the University of Illinois found that eating three whole eggs after a workout could help replenish muscles and thus, ensure a speedy muscle recovery—all thanks to high protein content. Hard-boiled eggs or raw eggs added to a smoothie can be your best bet in this case. But, if you can’t seem to gulp them down, you can definitely make yourself a healthy omelette too.
5. Cottage cheese
Cottage cheese is every vegetarian’s go-to source of protein. It can also be everyone’s go-to source of muscle recovery post-workout. Being a rich source of whey protein, it can help in the muscle recovery process while its casein content can make sure that the recovery process is on through the day and even while you’re sleeping as casein takes time to break down and releases protein slowly.
So, ladies, make sure you’re not just working out but also eating the right things right after it!