July 20, 2017

As you go about your workout program, one thing that you’re going to need to ensure you are prioritizing is your recovery capacity. Too many people take recovery for granted.

Remember, if you go into a workout session and you aren’t fully recovered, you’re essentially breaking your body down further, which will mean you fail to see results going forward. Good recovery is a must!

While some individuals are simply born with great natural recovery abilities, if you aren’t one of those people, all hope is not lost. There are definitely steps you can take that will help enhance your overall recovery and get you feeling your best for each workout you do.

Nutrition is a vital component. Eating the right foods at the right times will help catapult your recovery forward. Let’s look at five great recovery-boosting foods you’ll want to get into your diet plan.

Bananas

Bananas are the first must-have food if you want to optimize your recovery capacity. The great thing about bananas is they are a combination of complex and simple carbs, giving your body that fast glucose to restore muscle glycogen and then a source of more sustained energy from the complex carbs.

And, they’re also rich in potassium, which is a key mineral that is needed to support optimal muscle contractions. Your potassium levels may be depleted after your workout, so a banana will help you replenish those stores.

Protein Powder

Next, make sure you have a good whey protein powder on hand. A quality protein powder such as Stacked Protein is a great way to jumpstart your natural recovery as this form of protein powder has been specially to include fast and slow release protein.

The end result? You rebuild your muscle tissues back up faster than ever before, leading you to greater overall lean muscle mass progress.

Serve this within minutes after your workout session for best results.

Sweet Potatoes

Another great source of carb to add to your diet for great recovery is the sweet potato. These are also a rich source of carbohydrates and will supply a nice dose of potassium as well. They’re also rich in antioxidants, which will help to combat free radical damage that may have took place during exercise.

This helps reduce inflammation and improve your overall state of recovery. Try serving your sweet potatoes about an hour after the workout session after you’ve finished your post-workout shake. Serve them with a lean protein source for best results.

Egg Whites

Moving along, the next quality protein source you’ll want to get into your diet plan are egg whites. Egg whites are nice as they’re rapidly digested in the body, so again, will get those amino acids that your body needs to the tissues as quickly as possible.

They are digested faster than say a piece of steak would be, so a better protein option at this time of day. Just be sure to prepare them using lower fat cooking techniques as added dietary fat will slow down the digestion process.

Salmon

Finally, while not an ideal option immediately post workout as it is higher in total fat content, salmon is important to get into your diet plan at some point during the day. Salmon provides a great blend of protein along with omega-3 fatty acids, which are a particular fat that is critical for reducing inflammation and speeding the healing process.

It’ll also help to increase insulin sensitivity, so may help your body shuttle more of the carbohydrates that you do eat after your workout to the muscle cells where they are needed.

So keep these five foods in mind and be sure that you aren’t missing out on them in your diet plan. If you hope to take your results and recovery to the next level, they are a must to be included in your plan.

-Shannon Clark

Shannon Clark holds a degree in Exercise Science, is a certified personal trainer, and has been working in the fitness and nutrition field for the last 15 years. She's written for countless online websites and print magazines including Oxygen Magazine, Muscle & Fitness Hers,   Bodybuilding.com  and   T-Nation.com. When she's not in the gym, she loves trying out new healthy recipes (and desserts!) in the kitchen as well as reading up on the latest trends in the fitness industry.