The Best Foods to Eat to Refuel Your Muscles

Whenever it’s possible, Team LC likes to take our meetings from the office to the great outdoors. It’s a wonderful way to feel refreshed during the slow moments of the workday, and it gets our hearts pumping and our blood flowing. Recently, we were able to take one very special meeting with our friend and nutritionist Kelly LeVeque outdoors in the form of an early morning hike before the emails started flooding in. And during the hike we got to talking about what we should start our day with, post-workout. Kelly had some amazing recommendations for what to eat to refuel our muscles, and we were so inspired that we decided to put our newfound knowledge into a blog post (after getting a healthy breakfast that day, of course).

So, the next time you finish a hard workout, remember to come back to these tips for a healthy, refueling post-workout meal options…

The Be Well Smoothie.

1. #BeWellSmoothie
Get your workout in bright and early? If so, aim to refuel muscles and also bridge the gap between breakfast and lunch. You want to feed sore muscles while feeling balanced and calm. The #bewellsmoothie formula will allow you to make any flavor and tailor your shake to your individual needs. For example, on a leg day add a little extra fat and protein and on an intense cardio day add fruit to refuel glycogen stores.

2. Chocolate Protein Mocha
A great mid-morning pick me up post workout is the chocolate protein mocha. Grab an iced coffee or unsweetened almond milk latte (you can snag a clean one at wholefoods) and shake it up over ice in a blender bottle with a serving of chocolate protein powder. The protein will satiate you until lunch and feed sore glutes in one quick grab-and-go drink.

3. Paleo Chicken Nuggets
If you plan on getting in the kitchen this weekend for a little Sunday prep, consider making a batch of Paleo Chicken Nuggets. These are easy on-the-go protein snacks that can be enjoyed directly from your fridge. They satisfy strong hunger and deliver a large amount of amino acids to help repair muscles. Chia and Flax add fiber, while gluten free breadcrumbs will spike glucose just enough to induce an insulin helping to deliver amino acids into your muscles.

Saucy Paleo Meatballs.

4. Lean Meatballs
Like nuggets, quick protein bites like these Saucy Paleo Meatballs can help you from grabbing for fast junk food like chips or crackers. Avoid snacks that are full of refined carbohydrates and instead reach for snacks with all three macronutriens—protein, fat and carbohydrates. If you are vegetarian, consider whipping up some white bean or garbanzo falafel balls.

Homemade Trail Mix.

5. Homemade Trial Mix
Build your base with protein-rich almonds, cashews or walnuts and elevate the mix by adding seeds or dried fruit. Rich in zinc, pumpkin seeds help squelch inflammation. For a sweet twist, add a few dried black cherries or blueberries. These dark-pigmented foods are packed with anthocyanins that work to speed oxygen via the blood, reducing muscle inflammation, minimizing post-workout pain, and boosting recovery. Another quick bite would be Coconutty Cereal.

6. Tahini Dressed Veggies
When we workout, we lose lots of water and minerals. Reaching for water-packed veggies and mineral-dense tahini dressing made with a little olive oil, lemon juice and Himalayan pink salt ensures you are rehydrating and balancing cells. Not to mention you still get those fatty and amino acids.

7. Hard-Boiled Eggs or Egg Muffins
Boil up a dozen of hard-boiled eggs or make a large batch of egg muffins for brunch this weekend. Save the extras for post workout snacks that can be enjoyed at room temperature.

Something-Salad by Be Well By Kelly.

8. Something-Salad
Are you a crunchy cracker person? Not to worry… Just whip up a large container of salmon salad, chicken salad, egg salad or tuna salad for the week. This protein packed dip will pair perfectly a few high fiber crackers like Mary’s and not only hit the spot but also deliver post-workout nutrition. Feeling inflamed? Opt for the omega-3-rich salmon salad. My mayo pick: Primal Mayo. It’s the best!

9. Greens or a Green Juice
Inflammation and stress response are normal post workout, and since antioxidants can help manage inflammation, it’s the perfect time to grab a green juice. Even better, shake your green juice up with a little collagen or plain powder.

10. Protein Bars
We definitely don’t condone grabbing processed food after a good sweat sesh… However, if you are in a pinch post workout, here is a short list of my easy, on-the-go recommendations; Bulletproof Bar, Quest, Aloha and Exo.

Thanks again to Kelly for mapping out these refueling foods for us!

Which of the meals above will you eat after your next workout?

And, do you have any health or fitness topics you’d like us to cover in our next blog?

Leave your two cents below.

Team LC

Photos: BeWell by Kelly