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The Best Workout Recovery Foods

Good nutrition is important — particularly after an intense workout session.  

If you eat the right foods after a workout, you will regain your energy faster, reduce muscle soreness and improve muscle growth.

This article will share some of the best workout recovery foods to help you improve the results of your workouts.  

Let’s get cracking!

Blueberries and cherries

Researchers have discovered that blueberries, cherries and other dark fruits can reduce the amount of inflammation and oxidative stress caused by exercise induced muscle damage (EIMD).  

Consuming berries and dark fruits will reduce the pain you experience after a workout and reduce the amount of recovery time you need before another workout.

Dark fruits are effective because they contain pterostilbene, proanthocyanidins, resveratrol, anthocyanins, flavonols, and tannins — powerful substances that have anti-inflammatory properties.  

Eating these fruits will also reduce your cancer risk and improve your overall health.  

Try putting blueberries and cherries into your post-workout smoothie, it’s delicious!

Chocolate milk

If you have just performed an intense cardio workout that has depleted your body’s energy stores, a cold glass of chocolate milk might be what you need!

Researchers have discovered that chocolate milk is an excellent carbohydrate recovery drink.  

It is packed with the carbohydrates and proteins that your body requires after a hard workout, plus it tastes great.  

If you would prefer to avoid dairy, there are some great chocolate soy milk products that are fantastic for workout recovery.


Bananas are incredibly delicious and nutritious.  

They contain many important nutrients, including potassium, vitamin B6, vitamin C, magnesium, manganese, protein, and fibre.

They are also packed with health-boosting anti-oxidants and carbohydrates to restore your glycogen levels (your body’s energy stores).  

Simply eat a couple of bananas after your workout or throw them into a fruit smoothie, along with your blueberries and cherries!


If you have been performing an intense cardio workout which has depleted your glycogen stores, pasta is an excellent way to restore your energy.  

Pasta is packed with carbohydrates, which will give you an energy boost and help you recover faster.  

The key is to use pasta in moderation and combine it with other foods high in nutrients and protein (tuna, lean chicken, and tofu are great options).  

Rice is also a great option for carbohydrates as it quickly replenishes your glycogen stores.

Turmeric and ginger

Turmeric and ginger have been used by practitioners of Chinese medicine for hundreds of years.  

They both contain Curcumin — a power substance that suppresses the inflammatory response of the human body.  

By suppressing that inflammatory response, your muscles will recover faster and you will feel less pain after a workout.  

Combine these spices with pasta, some lean chicken (or tofu) and some vegetables for the ultimate post-workout meal.


If you sometimes experience cramps after a workout, you may need to eat more foods that replenish electrolytes.  

Coconut is a great choice because it contains a range of electrolytes including potassium, calcium, and sodium.  

A great way to get your coconut fix is by adding coconut water or coconut milk to your post-workout smoothie.


Honey is one of nature’s superfoods.  

In addition to being delicious, it has incredible anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.  

It is also an excellent source of carbohydrates, which is useful after those very long cardio workouts.  

You could dip one of your bananas in honey or use honey in your epic fruit smoothie!


Tuna is an excellent source of protein and omega 3 fatty acids.  

Eating it after a workout helps your body repair any damage to your muscles and it reduces inflammation.  

It also restores energy levels and boosts your immune system.

Try tuna on crackers, tuna sandwiches (wholemeal bread only) or incorporate tuna into a pasta/rice dish.


Lean chicken is an excellent of the proteins that are essential for building your muscles, bones, blood, and skin.  

Add very lean cuts of skinless chicken to your rice or pasta dishes.

Dark, leafy green vegetables

When it comes to nutrient dense foods, it doesn’t get much better than dark leafy green vegetables.  

They are naturally low in salt and fat, high in fibre, high in Vitamins, and contain powerful anti-oxidants to combat inflammation.

Eat kale, spinach, Swiss chard, watercress, red or green lettuce, and romaine.


Eggs are packed with nutrients including vitamin A, vitamin D, Iron, Calcium, Potassium, and Vitamin B.  

They are also an excellent source of protein, which is essential for repairing your muscles after a workout.  

They are also very versatile and can be incorporated into man kinds of meals.  

Eggs on wholemeal toast with avocado with some leafy green vegetables is the ultimate post-workout snack!

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author: Trevor McClintock

Trevor McClintock is one of London's most exciting personal trainers. Combining over 25 years of experience in the fitness sector with exceptional industry knowledge, Trevor is able to offer unequalled fitness services, including online coaching, bespoke plans and one-on-one sessions. Contact Trevor today and start your journey to becoming the very best version of yourself.