By Andrea Falcone, RD
Have you ever headed out for a good training session, mentally prepared to give your best for whatever you’re training that day, hit your circuit, and then poof – not as much juice in your muscles as you had originally thought? You may want to think about how you replenished following your last training routine before getting too hard on yourself, as recovery is just as important as mental capacity in order for you to give your best.
No, it’s not technically a “food,” but as the main constituent of the body you better believe it is critical in how you recover so you’re ready for your next workout. Whether you’re a profuse sweater or not, circulation, chemical reactions, energy metabolism, detoxification, body temperature, and plasma volume are all balanced through hydration status, and these all play a critical role for enhancing recovery.
Yup, find your closest oyster bar, because not only do oysters enhance athletic performance, they are loaded with zinc, which is a key player in the growth and repair of muscle tissue – all critical aspects that need to be addressed following a burst of physical activity.
Your body can’t recover without a little R&R. Potassium and magnesium, both of which can be found in bananas, are natural muscle relaxants, and the vitamin B6 in this fruit helps your body make melatonin, a sleep-inducing hormone.
Oxidative stress, a sign of inflammation, is common with high-intensity physical activity. Blueberries’ levels of anthocyanins, an antioxidant, have been shown to reduce this oxidative stress, allowing your body to recover more efficiently.
5. Fruit-Based Smoothie
Make your own within 30 minutes of working out. It’s the broken-down sugars from the fruit that reach your muscle glycogen stores faster, refilling the energy stores that were used up during your workout. Also, you can add a teaspoon of real, natural sugars in the form of honey for an extra boost.