Finding time to workout everyday can be difficult in its own right, but do you ever stop to think about what your recovery needs are? Exercise recovery by definition is “to return to the pre-exercise state of athletic ability – free from pain, stiffness and weakness.” While it may come as a surprise, recovery is largely in our control! Aside from the exercise variables like frequency, intensity, time and type – sleep quality and nutrition are major factors in helping our bodies feel right again.
Here, Dr. Kellen Scantlebury, founder and CEO of Fit Club NY, breaks down the five best foods for recovery. “The better you recover, the more often you can train,” he explains. Follow his recommendations, and make sure to visit any of their three locations around Manhattan and Brooklyn if you’re in need of more than just recovery food.
These berries have insane amounts of antioxidants which neutralize free radicals and decrease oxidative stress. They also have a few different phytochemicals, which help with anti-inflammatory, decrease cell vulnerability and increase cell wall strength. Basically they keep your body strong and resilient to sickness and breakdown!
If you’ve ever had dark chocolate, which you probably have, you know it as a bittersweet taste. That is the taste of Cacao. Cacao helps with recovery as it contains magnesium, which helps with muscle relaxation and decreases muscle cramps. Added bonus – it’s a healthy fat. Chocolate never looked so good!
The best protein for recovery is wild caught salmon! It’s highly bioavailable and a good source of Amino Acids, which are the building blocks for muscles. Salmon is filled with omega 3s, wild caught specifically have even higher levels compared to farm raised salmon.
While they don’t look like bread, beets are the carbs you need! They are endurance boosting, with increased Nitric oxide, and have been proven to increase VO2 max (also known as maximal oxygen uptake, the maximum amount of oxygen a person can utilize during intense exercise).
Wondering why avocado toast is all the rage? It is the fat that fuels you. Avocados have high levels of Polyunsaturated fat and Monounsaturated fat, which increase the absorption of soluble vitamins. They’re also a great source of B vitamins, which increase energy and metabolize protein and carbs. Lastly, they have growth hormones, which boost the body’s ability to build muscle.