The foods that will help you get the most out of exercise - and help your body recover afterwards
Forget expensive, sugar-packed sports drinks and specialist supplements – you can find all the nutrients your body needs to recover from exercise in your kitchen!
From boosting blood flow to your hard-working muscles, to easing stiffness the day after exercise, it’s amazing the effect a few smart menu choices can have – and you’ll love our delicious recipe ideas…
From the cocktail that replaces lost electrolytes to antioxidant-packed chocolate (and a few healthier main meal ideas!) click through and discover your menu to get the most out of every Zumba class or Pink Ribbonwalk training walk!
Tomato juice is full of lycopene, which helps with muscle recovery. For a super booster, mix up a Virgin Mary cocktail! As well as the tomato juice, the lemon and celery replace your lost salts and electrolytes while the hot tabasco boosts metabolism to help you burn more calories.
Foods made from soya, like edamame beans and tofu, are perfect for a post-gym boost. They’re packed with protein to help build lean muscle, healthy unsaturated fat to boost blood flow to hard-working muscles and naturally anti-inflammatory isoflavones to ease aching joints.
The omega-3 in fish like salmon, mackerel and herring works to reduce joint pain, and will ease the stiffness you can suffer after a hard workout.
Forget expensive sports drinks – you can find the balance of protein and carbohydrate your body needs after exercise in a glass of milk!
Boost your bone strength – especially important after the menopause – with a little help from the polyphenols found in blueberries.
Iron in broccoli – also found in lentils, spinach and red meat – helps supply muscles with oxygen.
To help your body absorb the iron, add Vitamin C-packed orange or kiwi to your meal.
With nearly 100% of your RDA of Vitamin C, kiwis are a real superfruit! Tuck into oranges, strawberries, peppers and tomatoes too – they all have over 50% of your RDA.
Vitamin C is a one-stop shop for recovery from exercise, protecting your body from oxidative damage caused by exercise, air pollution and passive smoking; boosting the immune system and helping to repair connective tissue and cartilage.
Yes, we are giving you the green light to tuck into chocolate! But only the dark kind – it contains more antioxidants than any fruit except apples, which your body needs to fight the oxidative damage caused by exercise.
The magnesium in nuts – also found in whole grains, pumpkin seeds and dark green leafy veg – helps with muscle contractions and energy metabolism.
Snacking on nuts before you work out will boost the supply of oxygen to muscles.
Tart cherry juice has been proven to reduce the muscle damage caused by exercise – and in season, the fresh fruit tastes delicious too!