Plant-Based Foods That Supercharge Exercise Recovery:
The modern world tells people – especially gym-goers – that the only way to build muscle and get fit is to eat a lot of meat. Athletes spend all day preparing chicken breasts and lean beef to get their quotas.
But what if you want to get fit and tone up on a plant-based diet? What then?
It turns out that you still have plenty of options. It’s a common misconception that plant foods are low in protein. In fact, it is from plants that the animals that people get to build their muscles in the first place!
Furthermore, it is also wrong to assume that the body needs only protein following exercise. It actually needs a whole host of nutrients, ideally packaged in their natural form.
In this post, we take a look at some plant-based foods that supercharge your recovery. Try combining them with free supplements for a synergistic effect.
Hemp protein or simple hemp comes from the seeds of the hemp plant. Hemp is a kind of miracle food because it is extremely rich in protein and fat – but not any ordinary types of fat. Hemp is high in fats that actually help to reduce inflammation throughout the body, which sets it aside from many other high-fat foods.
Please be warned that hemp can have a strong taste, so it’s best to mix it into your smoothies (or other ways that you get your veggies). You can also add it as a salad topper, though you’ll need quite a bit of it. Its inflammation-fighting properties help your body to recover faster, allowing you to get back in the gym quickly.
You wouldn’t think that sweet potatoes would be top of the list of foods that supercharge recovery, but they are. The great thing about these potatoes is that even though they are sweet, they don’t spike blood sugar levels. What’s more, they have high levels of potassium in them which helps to blunt blood cortisol levels. So after you eat them, you may find yourself feeling strangely relaxed.
Critically, sweet potatoes contain electrolytes. So eating them as part of a regular meal with a source of protein can help restore the ion balance in your body. This is great if you’ve just done a lot of exercise that makes you sweat.
Lentils have been described as a miracle of nutrition. And it’s not surprising. Not only are they extremely rich in fiber, vitamins and minerals, but, pound for pound, they also contain more protein than steak. What’s more, all that protein is plant-based, so it may also support your long-term health.
Lentils are easy to make into sauces and stews. And you can use them as a topping for a variety of other foods, including baked potatoes and salad. Some daring people also add lentils to smoothies. However, if you do this, be sure to follow a recipe that makes it taste good. Otherwise, you may be disappointed.
Berries don’t contain much protein. But they are still a wonderful food to take after exercise. That’s because they help to reduce the amount of damage done to your muscles during exercise without compromising adaptation.
Berry smoothies are easy to make. Just blend some frozen berries with a banana and a source of fat and you’ll get a rich creamy smoothie you’ll want to drink all day. If berries are a little too tart for you, you can add a healthy sweetener, such as dates, inulin syrup or erythritol.
Almonds And Dates
Speaking of which, making your own trail mix can be a great way to recover from a long and arduous workout. Both almonds and dates contain factors that support your recovery. For instance, they contain a range of B vitamins, magnesium, and a whole host of amino acids. Dates are also exceptionally high in potassium, which is great for restoring your electrolyte balance.
Oats are perhaps the most overlooked nutrients in all of nutrition. This wonderful grain contains both high levels of protein and fiber which makes it an excellent post work-out recovery meal.
If you’re not keen on oats but still want plenty of protein, you can eat quinoa with fruit and honey. Quinoa is famous for being a complete plant protein. In truth, all plant proteins contain all essential amino acids. But quinoa’s profile is more similar to animal foods than virtually any other grain. So people refer to it as being “complete.”
So there you have it: some plant-based foods that could supercharge exercise recovery. Which will you use?