All Women's Talk

7 Foods to Eat after Your Next Workout to Improve Muscle Pain ...

By Heather

If you’re an athlete, or just exercise daily, I’ve got some tasty and healthy foods that improve pain for your post workout benefit! It is so important to take care of your muscles after working out. For starters, doing so helps relieve inflammation, which can damage your ligaments, tendons, muscles, and cause injury if you exercise on sore muscles the next day. Also, if proper recovery isn’t given to your muscles, you’ll be able to accomplish less during your next workout session. Working out is so great for you, and a great way to build and sculpt lean muscle, plus increase your metabolism. Just be sure you take care of your muscles in the meantime and give them recovery foods such as these below. They’re versatile, whole foods instead of processed recovery energy drinks, bars and shakes. To take care of your gorgeous and fit body, feed your muscles these tasty foods that improve pain. You'll not only look great, but feel it too!

1 Maca

MacaMaca root is hands down one of the best recovery foods that improve pain of all foods. Even though this butterscotch flavored superfood powder is thought of as a luxury product, it is in fact a necessity to anyone who works out and wants to give their body the cleanest recover aids possible. Put away the Gatorade and turn to maca powder! Use 1 tsp. of this powder in a smoothie after your workout. It improves your recovery rate, reduces inflammation and stress, and also gives you sustained energy so you don’t crash later in the day. Maca also relieves pain in the nerve endings of the body, and provides your muscles with key amino acids needed during recovery. As a bonus, it boosts your libido and balances your hormones associated with PMS.

2 Salmon

SalmonWild Alaskan salmon is a great food to eat after a workout. High in omega 3 fats, lean protein and an array of B vitamins and magnesium, salmon is a great anti-inflammatory food. With just 20 grams of protein in 4 ounces, it also helps to build and sculpt lean muscle to prevent your metabolism from sagging. It will keep you lean, clean and satisfied, plus I always notice my energy levels are higher when eating salmon. Eat it over a bed of steamed greens or a raw salad after a workout with a small baked sweet potato. This is an awesome meal for recovery, full of anti-inflammatory properties. You’ll have stronger workouts after eating fish, and almost everyone I’ve recommended this to has reaped the benefits and said they have less pain, more energy, and great muscle strength with salmon than without it.

3 Cacao

CacaoI’m sure you all know by now I love cacao if you read my articles on a regular basis, but if not, you'll soon understand why. Cacao has so many health benefits that it truly is a wonderful food. There’s not much cacao can’t do, if you ask me, except maybe save the world or make you rich! But seriously, cacao is a great post workout food to enjoy. First, cacao helps post workout pain because it is a natural stimulant that relieves pain in all areas of the body, especially your muscles. Use about 2 tbsp. raw cacao powder and 1 tsp. maca powder in a smoothie for a crazy tasty, and powerful pain-reducing shake. Cacao is also rich in magnesium, which helps relieve tension, stress, and aids in bone and nervous system function, which are all important to remember after a workout when all areas of your body are stressed. Cacao also boosts your mood and energy, which is great when you’re tired and maybe a little fatigued after a killer workout.

4 Acai

AcaiAcai berries are very popular in the superfood world, but are one of my favorite recommendations to give people to relieve muscle pain, aid in reducing inflammation, and providing a tiny, potent source of antioxidants and omega 3 fats. Acai also has no sugar, unlike other fruits, plus it tastes great. The fats and antioxidants in acai make it great for post workout exercise, and you’ll have a stronger recovery with acai than without. It even serves as a wonderful gastrointestinal agent because of its anti-inflammatory properties as well, which is an added bonus if you suffer digestive stress at all. Acai also promotes lean muscle mass since it is full of amino acids, which are key to rebuilding muscles. Use 1 tsp.-1 tbsp. of the powder in smoothies or homemade treats, or use the frozen fruit pulp however you like, such as in a smoothie.

5 Spirulina

SpirulinaI love spirulina! High in Vitamin B12, iron, Vitamin A, protein, zinc, and other B vitamins, spirulina is also a top source of chlorophyll, the most anti-inflammatory nutrient of all. Chlorophyll immediately relieves stress, tension, muscle pain, weakness, removes toxins and cleanses and rebuilds our cells. Spirulina is a deep sea algae and one of the top sources of chlorophyll on the planet. It has no sugar, no fat, and contains more protein than any other food of animal or plant origin, per serving. You just need 1 tbsp. a day to get 12 grams of protein, 800% of your daily Vitamin B12 content, over 300% your daily iron content and almost 1000% of your daily vitamin A content. Use spirulina in your post workout smoothie or shake. You’ll feel great, think clearly, and your muscles will feel like a dream!

6 Hemp Protein

Hemp ProteinI’ve been using hemp protein for years, and I’ll never look back. Hemp protein is full of all the amino acids your body needs, contains anti-inflammatory omega 3 fats, B vitamins, magnesium, iron, zinc and fiber. Plus, it is also full of chlorophyll so it keeps the body alkaline. I use about 12 grams of hemp protein powder in a smoothie with some of these other ingredients post workout. I feel great, my mood is out of this world, and my body is clean with none of those acidic whey products with additives, sugars or scary ingredients!

7 Chia Seeds

Chia SeedsOh, how I love chia! Chia seeds go in my post workout smoothies as well. Chia seeds are fantastic sources of omega 3 fats to nourish your muscles, brain and heart. They also contain magnesium, antioxidants, fiber and skin-friendly nutrients like B vitamins, Vitamin E and they contain large amounts of potassium. Potassium is important for reducing extra fluid in the body post workout, which can make you feel bloated, and it can also cause your electrolytes to become imbalanced. Yet, chia doesn’t expel water from the body like some diuretics do, which can harm your kidneys. Instead, chia uses just what water it needs, and holds fluids in your body, while releasing those it doesn’t. This keeps bloating at bay, and keeps you hydrated at the same time due to chia’s hydrophilic properties. As a bonus, it keeps your digestive tract healthy and prevents depression. Add chia wherever you like, such as smoothies, oatmeal, yogurt, shakes, puddings, or anything else you can think of!

What’s your favorite anti-inflammatory food to eat after a workout?

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