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Best Foods To Repair Muscle After Workout

Most men who hit the gym are familiar with plateaus. You know, when you just can’t seem to gain any more muscle mass? While your weightlifting routine is partially to blame, a lot of men overlook another important factor: nutrition.

During a workout, your body breaks down muscle glycogen as well as muscle protein structures. Therefore, following exercise, your body needs to replenish its energy stores and repair muscle tissue to allow for new growth. In order to do this, you'll need to consume enough carbs to promote substantial insulin release. That’s because it's your body's insulin that is responsible for shuttling carbs and amino acids back into the muscles.

So, how exactly can we give our bodies the carb and protein it needs?

The key to building muscle and increasing lean muscle mass is to repair damaged muscle fibers following exercise. Your body’s ability to repair muscle and maintain muscle mass is dependent partly upon what you eat after you work out. These post-workout foods can help.

Repair Muscle With Protein

As you read on, you will notice that protein is a key part of each post-workout snack or meal recommendation. This is because, as you work out, your muscles begin to break down.

What you eat after your muscles start to go through this process is important, as you need to do what you can to help your muscle fibers repair and grow stronger. Protein aids in this repair and supports muscle growth as you train your muscles to adapt to more resistance. Consume a 2:1 ratio of carbs to protein by eating snacks and meals like the following.

 Spinach Omelette

The egg portion of this meal is obvious: eggs are a healthy protein source. So why toss in some vegetables, like spinach? One word: potassium. It’s a nutrient found in a lot of foods, but leafy greens like spinach are a worthwhile potassium source because you can easily combine it with other protein-rich foods (like eggs) to prevent muscle cramps and aid muscle repair.

 Cereal With Blueberries And Milk

Whole-grain cereals contain the kind of carbs you want to digest after a workout. Adding blueberries to the mix provides your body with antioxidants, which basically help prevent your muscles from suffering even more damage from free radicals. Milk – skim milk, to avoid consuming unnecessary post-workout fat – is an excellent source of whey protein.

Dried Fruit And Nuts

Not everyone has time to whip up a full meal within the window of opportunity. For men on the go, dried fruits and nuts are a simple solution. Try filling a plastic baggy with this healthy pairing to store in your gym bag for immediate access after your workout. You’ll get a healthy dose of protein from your nuts, plus you'll get a quick injection of simple carbohydrates from your dried fruits. Simple carbs are easy to digest and will replenish your muscle glycogen more quickly than complex carbs, making this simple snack a top post-workout food.

Hummus on a whole-grain pita

Most major food guides tell us to substitute meat for alternatives from time to time. Hummus is just one example of a great alternative to meat. Made from chick-peas, hummus is an excellent source of both protein and carbs. Combine with a whole-grain pita for a complete post-workout punch.

Tuna or Salmon

Inflammation, which is often what’s going on beneath the surface when you have sore muscles, is common, but you can combat it and help your muscles recover by eating fish. Tuna and salmon are both fish containing protein and omega-3 fatty acids. Fatty acids work to reduce inflammation, which allows for your muscles to repair and grow stronger.

Repair and grow your muscles by eating the right foods after you exercise so you can get more out of your training. A variety of foods high in protein and both simple and complex carbs after an intense workout is one of the best things you can do to continue progressing toward your mass and weight goals.