Sometimes it’s worse then others, but we all know the feeling after a tough training: tired and soar muscles. Often it’s not completely clear why a specific training was so hard, it can have many different reasons. Not only the toughness of the training but also temperature, what food you had, if you slept well are all factors that have an impact. Diet is a very important factor and that’s why we we present some tips about faster muscle recovery through food.
Stimulate muscle recovery through Food
There are three nutrients in particular that your body needs after a tough workout and that stimulate a faster recovery: magnesium, vitamine C and offcourse protein. Therefore it’s a very good idea to make sure you consume sufficient amounts of these nutrients.
Magnesium is required for the production of hormones that help in the process of growing muscles and bones. Also it stimulates relaxation and calmness. This mineral you can usually find in whole grain products and nuts. However when you do a lot of sports it makes sence to supplement some additional magnesium. A magnesium defficit is quickly noticeable through muscle stiffness and cramps, tiredness and dizzyness. I take magnesium on a daily basis through pills but you can also take a foot bath as magnesium is very wel absorbed through the skin.
One of the most important processes that vitamin C stimulates is the production of collagen in the body. Collagen stimulates the skin but also supports the rebuild of muscle tissue. Vitamin C you can usually find in citrus fruits (oranges, grapefruit, lemon) and spinach. In my experience eating citrus and spinach on a regular basis – especially after sports – prevents the need for extra supplementation.
And last but not least: protein. Offcourse we don’t have to tell you too much about this one. Proteins stimulate muscle recovery and muscle build as they are the building blocks of our muscles and body. Next to your normal diet there are different proteins supplements you can take to make sure your body gets sufficient amounts of protein. whey, casein and plant based proteins. Just recently we spoke about whey as well as casein protein and their advantages. In terms of quantity a good measure is to use 1,5 to 2 times your body weight in grams of protein (for instance if you weigh 70kg your protein requirement if you do sports is 105 to 140 grams per day). If you don’t exercise then offcourse your protein requirement is lower.
Protein rich food that is essential for sportsmen and women:
- Organic Chicken and low fat beef
Chicken and low fat beef are quite high in protein. If you eat one of those during your meals or dinner you can easily reach 20 gras of protein intake. The big advantage of low fat beef is that it also contains other nutrients like iron, zink and vitamin B.
- Organic Tuna, Salmon and Cod
Just like chicken en low fat beef fish contains a lot of pure protein. Next to that fish is generally low in fat and high in Omega 3 fattyacids. These are essential for athletes as they stimulate fat burn, stimulate the metabolism and prevent infections.
- Cottage Cheese
Like a real athlete offcourse you eat cottage cheese! Cottage cheese contains a high dose of casein – so called slow proteins – and you can eat it throughout the day. I often start and finish the day by eating a bowl..
You have to be able to cope with the bland taste if you ask me, quite dull. So you will have to spice it up a bit with tasty additional ingredients. For instance on a cracker with avocado and pepper or as an inbetween snack with blue berries and raisins. Hüttekäse contains a lot of casein, just like cottage cheese and next to this it contains healthy fats, vitamin B and calcium.
For a long time eggs have been put in a negative spotlight. They were assumes to be unhealthy but these times are over. Eggs are your friend if you do a lot of sports. They contain high quality proteins, healthy fats and vitamin D.
Beans, think of lentils, chickpeas and kidney beans contain a relatively high amount of proteins and iron. They are perfect for vegetarians and vegans but also for other beans are a delight to use in your recipes.
- Protein powder
If you find it difficult to acquire all your proteins through your diet you can use protein supplements like protein powders. A lot of people also use them because they love the taste 🙂 Whey protein is perfectly suited to take directly after training, Casein is good to take just before sleeping in order for your body to to have enough protein throughout the night. My favorite protein is Ekopura, organic, without additives and a delicious taste. They have several whey protein flavors, natural, cocoa and vanilla as well as their newest product organic casein natural.
Jessica started Crossfit 1,5 years ago and is now training 4 to 5 times a week in Amsterdam. Next to that she’s training for her first Olympic distance Triathlon this October in Barcelona. On www.eatrunlove.nl she blogs about her biggest passions, sports and food.