Top Muscle Recovery Foods for Athletes

After a good workout, the food you choose to eat is crucial to your recovery and can mean the difference between success and failure. Eating healthy is fun and delicious, and a focus on muscle recovery foods will help you fight fatigue and keep your energy level up.

Recovering quickly after a workout isn’t just important so you can exercise more. A fast recovery minimizes muscle soreness and makes it easier for you to enjoy your life. When you’re having fun and eating well, you’re also more likely to keep on top of your diet and exercise plans.

At the end of a good exercise routine, a low-sugar protein bar is an excellent way to get a jump on your recovery. But a snack is just the beginning. Keep reading to find out my favorite foods for post-workout snacks and meals.

My Top Ten List of Natural Foods for Muscle Recovery

  1. Water
  2. Salmon or oily fish
  3. Nuts
  4. Cottage cheese
  5. Bananas
  6. Eggs
  7. Blueberries
  8. Tart cherries
  9. Chicken
  10. Yogurt

Let’s explore these options.

1. Water

Staying hydrated is the most important part of nutrition, and it will help you avoid cramps and muscle knots. Sports drinks, sodas, and other liquids are good, but nothing is as good as the original thirst buster. Water also tastes better when you’re working out, so skip the sugary and flavored drinks and rediscover how delicious water can be.

Glass of water to keep you hydrated as part of your muscle recovery foods.
Nothing Is As Good As Water In Staying Hydrated (Image Source: Unsplash)

But don’t forget that salt is necessary for proper hydration, so pair your water with a healthy source of sodium.

2. Salmon or oily fish

Salmon is not just for grizzly bears. Chock full of omega 3 fatty acids and protein, salmon is one of the best meats you can eat, and it’s delicious, too. Salmon is so good for you that many nutritionists consider it a superfood, and it’s no wonder oily fishes are on the top of the list of lean protein foods.

Raw Salmon
Salmon The Superfood With Lots Of Omega 3 And Protein (Image Source: Unsplash)

3. Nuts

The high level of protein and healthy fats found in nuts will help you recover without going overboard or feeling bloated. While peanuts aren’t real nuts, they are a really good muscle recovery food, so don’t forget to mix in some peanuts.

A jar of nuts.
Nuts Is A Good Source Of Fiber For Your Muscle (Image Source: Unsplash)

4. Cottage cheese

Cottage cheese is an excellent source of whey protein, with fewer carbs than a glass of milk. It is a great way to rebuild fatigued muscles and get you ready for your next strength training routine.

Bowl of Cottage Cheese.
Cottage Cheese Helps With Rebuilding Fatigued Muscles (Image Source: Shutterstock)

And cottage cheese pairs well with many other healthy and delicious foods. When you add cottage cheese to your diet, you are taking a big step on the fast track to health and wellness.

5. Bananas

Potassium helps relieve cramps and sore muscles, and bananas are a powerhouse of nutrition. This is why bananas are a great natural food for muscle recovery. Bananas are delicious, too, and this may be why mothers have made them the most popular fruit in the world.

Three pieces of ripe banana on white background.
Bananas Are A Powerhouse Nutrition Source (Image Source: Unsplash)

6. Eggs

Eggs are a great food for muscle repair because they are one of the best sources for high-quality protein. The humble egg is rightly regarded as a superfood, but only if you eat the yolk, too. Don’t be afraid of the cholesterol unless you are under a doctor’s orders to limit your cholesterol intake. And eggs are so versatile you can eat them a different way every day for a month. You can even supplement your diet with egg protein powder.

A tray of eggs on a black table.
Eggs Are A Good Source Of Protein That Helps Muscle Repair (Image Source: Unsplash)

7. Blueberries

Packed with antioxidants, blueberries are a delicious snack to boost your muscles through recovery. Combine multiple entries on this list of superfoods by adding blueberries to yogurt.

Blueberries in a bowl.
Blueberries Are A Great Snack With Lots Of Antioxidants (Image Source: Unsplash)

8. Tart Cherries

If you work your muscles to failure, chances are you have to deal with inflammation. Tart cherries are a great food for muscle soreness that will help you fight inflammation and reduce muscle pain. If you suffer from excessive joint pain or are focusing on muscle growth, you might want to consider collagen supplements for better results.

Bowl of cherries on a table.
Tart Cherries Are Best Known To Fight Muscle Inflammation And Muscle Pain (Image Source: Unsplash)

9. Chicken

With 28 grams of protein per 3 oz serving, chicken is an amazing source of lean protein. It’s no wonder chicken is a favorite food for muscle growth.

Grilled chicken and tomatoes.
Best Source Of Lean Protein Is Chicken (Image Source: Pexels)

10. Yogurt

Low in carbs and fat but high in protein, yogurt is a delicious way to replenish your energy and muscles at the end of a workout. Furthermore, it contains many probiotics. So, in addition to good macronutrients, yogurt can boost the good bacteria in your gut. Compare different varieties, like Greek and Icelandic yogurt, to see what works best for you. It is versatile and can be used in many recipes, eaten plain, or mixed with berries, fruit, or nuts, making it an easy food to add to your existing diet.

Yogurt in a glass on top of a book.
Yogurt Is A Delicious Way To Replenish Your Energy And Muscle (Image Source: Unsplash)

Find Your Best Foods For Muscle Recovery

Eating the right foods before and after a workout is a crucial part of your overall wellness, but it’s important to remember that everyone is different. The foods on this list are delicious and good for almost everyone (barring allergies), whether they are looking to boost muscle recovery or are pursuing a weight loss diet. They are especially helpful for people who play sports or exercise hard and need a fast recovery time.

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You can and should consult the best resources when you build or adjust your diet. In addition to muscle recovery foods, you can also add a recovery supplement like UPGRAID. There is no single plan that is right for everyone, so when it comes to nutrition it’s important to listen to your body. Notice how you feel after eating different foods and find the things that make you feel your absolute best. Only you can make the right decisions that will optimize your health.

A Focus on Food for Muscle

I love exploring new foods. Good health and nutrition are probably as important to you as they are to me. No matter what you want for your long-term goals, using muscle recovery tips for a quick turn-around will help you along your way.

How can you boost your workouts by changing the foods you eat? Review your diet today and see how easy it is to make positive change and improve your results.