Regular physical exercise can do a lot more than just help maintain or lose weight. This could include the benefits of a reduced risk of a variety of diseases including cardiovascular disease and diabetes and also improved cellular function. To fulfill such great responsibilities, your body needs constant refueling, tissue repair and recovery post-workout.
This is why a nutrient-rich superfood is always considered to be especially beneficial for health and well-being. Superfoods are often considered when choosing a pre-workout meal, so why not use them after your workout as well to help speed up your workout recovery time? Here are some superfoods that each play a specific role in the recovery process.
Repair Cell Damage With Berries
The immediate effect of a workout can create an imbalance of oxidant and antioxidant levels in body. This condition is referred to as oxidative stress. This is why getting antioxidants into the body is a first priority. Berries such as strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, acai berries and raspberries all contain antioxidants that can help reduce cellular damage caused during exercise as well as support your body after exercise in the recovery phase. There are also other fruits, vegetables and nuts that contain high amounts of antioxidants which can help you to speed up the recovery time. You can identify their antioxidant content with Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity units (ORAC) and make the most antioxidant-rich foods your new healthy and delicious snack. You can even blend the berries in your protein shake for an added bonus.
Power Up With Plant-Based Protein
Protein from the diet is essential to recover, rebuild and strengthen the strained muscles after exercise. To achieve this you can begin with adding enough protein into your main meals with foods like meat, fish, seafood, eggs, yoghurt, nuts, seeds, sprouted seeds and beans. The next best choice can be protein powders, but only if you choose them carefully. Simple blends that contain pure whey protein, pure rice protein, hemp seed protein or pea protein can give a much-needed boost to your post workout shake. There is a new trend in the market for the superfood Spirulina with 60-70% protein, which is four times more absorbable than the protein found in beef. When reaching for protein to repair and rebuild the muscles after a workout, plant-based sources work better as they are more alkaline-forming, low in saturated fat, contain no cholesterol and have a smaller carbon footprint. The other great source of plant-based protein is Hemp seeds. These are also rich in Omega-3 essential fatty acids which help to reduce the inflammation created during exercise, making it a good choice for athletes.
Boost Immunity With Baobab
Is low immune system getting you down? In that case, the South African Baobab fruit that is brimming with vitamin C, calcium, potassium, B6 and thiamin is the superfood for you. It also has one of the highest antioxidant capacities of any fruit and now that you know the importance of antioxidants for workout recovery, you can use Baobab for both strengthening immunity and preventing cellular damage. You can also enhance weight loss by using Baobab superfruits for fat burning during a workout. On the other hand, its vitamin C content pumps up your immune system to its full capacity and fights off fatigue and the common cold. Vitamin C can even build and maintain collagen, a crucial component of connective tissue that keeps muscles strong and skin healthy. This is how baobab superfood becomes the ultimate pick me up!
Refuel and Rehydrate With Maca
With high carbohydrates, protein and fibre, Maca can work as a 100% natural workout fuel. It is also rich in iron, magnesium and calcium that promotes strong bones, healthy muscle tissue and fight fatigue. You will relish the nutty flavor of this root vegetable which is found only in the high altitudes of South America. But you need not go all that way to consume Maca to increase strength and stamina. There are powder packs to add into your daily diet which ensures your body works to its full potential. There are many modern science studies apart from the age-old practice of having maca to help strengthen the body and maintain stamina and endurance. Simply add a spoonful of maca powder to your smoothie, porridge or add to a pre-workout shake to kick-start the day.
Fuelling your body before or after your workout with superfoods is important for improving your performance. But what you eat after a workout becomes crucial for optimising the recovery process and ensuring your body has the right nutrients to recover. This is why Post Workout Recovery Supplements like Creatine Monohydrate or protein powders are used to pump you again for the rest of the day.