The Best Food To Eat For Muscles
Because working out is so taxing on your body, it opens the floodgates for free radicals and oxidative stress to wreak havoc. “Mangos are bursting with over 20 vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, the latter of which can help protect the body against the production of free radicals and other effects of oxidative stress,” Villacorta says. That means the tropical fruit can help your system and muscles recover faster—and get you back in the gym sooner. Plus, mangos are a source of quick-digesting carbohydrates, he adds, making them perfect for an immediate, rapid energy boost before a workout. Eat them raw, add to smoothies, or use them to top off a bowl of yogurt, Villacorta recommends.
Don’t underestimate these tiny seeds for a second. Chia seeds are packed with omega-3 fatty acids, which means they are a natural anti-inflammatory—great for helping your muscles recover after a workout. And since they hold 10 times their own weight in water, they’re also ideal for hydration, says Dawn Jackson Blatner, RDN, nutrition consultant for the Chicago Cubs and author of the forthcoming book, The Superfood Swap. In fact, researchers at the University of Alabama found that a chia seed drink enhanced endurance in runners just as well as traditional Gatorade—but with far less sugar and more Omega-3s.
With six grams in just one egg, these are a great source of high-quality, muscle-building protein, Villacorta says. “Plus, eggs are a good source of vitamin B12, riboflavin, and folic acid, which provide more energy for a prolonged workout.” Plus, folks who traded bagels for eggs in the a.m. saw the most weight loss, studies have shown (not that you needed a study to tell you that one).