5 foods to eat after exercising to help soothe sore muscles

Skipping a post-workout meal after exercising can result in fatigue and hindered muscle recovery.

5 foods to eat after exercising to help soothe sore muscles

Exercise is crucial for individuals of all age groups, from children to adults to the elderly. Whether you enjoy rigorous weight lifting sessions or prefer more relaxed activities, incorporating daily movement into your routine is vital. However, exercise alone is not enough. It’s equally important to fuel your body with the right foods, especially after intense workouts, to promote rapid recovery and muscle growth. If you’re unsure about which foods to indulge in post-workout, here are five options that can help expedite your recovery process.

What foods should you consume

The key objective of your post-workout meal is to replenish glycogen stores in your body and prime it for upcoming activities. Including carbohydrates and protein in your post-workout meal is crucial, as protein supports muscle recovery and repair, while carbohydrates offer immediate energy.

Here are some straightforward and protein-rich post-workout food choices.

Protein Smoothie

A protein smoothie, combining carbohydrates and protein, is an ideal choice to accelerate your recovery process. Key components of a protein smoothie typically include fresh fruits, a scoop of protein powder, and either water or milk, adjusted based on your calorie needs. What makes protein smoothies particularly beneficial is their comprehensive supply of vitamins and minerals essential for post-workout replenishment.


Eggs, an economical and natural source of protein, are an excellent choice for post-workout nutrition. A single serving of eggs provides over 7 grams of protein along with essential vitamins and minerals crucial for recovery. Optimal intake typically involves consuming three to four whole eggs, and pairing them with carbohydrates like bread, rice, or oats can significantly enhance their effectiveness in aiding recovery.


Chicken Salad

Including chicken in a salad boosts its protein and fiber content. A typical serving of chicken salad ranges from 250 to 300 calories, influenced by the type of chicken cuts used. One of the advantages of consuming salads is their low calorie count, coupled with their ability to promote satiety, keeping you feeling full for an extended period.

Fresh Juice

Opting for fresh juice as a light post-workout snack is a smart choice. Fruit juice is rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds that support the recovery process. However, since juice primarily provides carbohydrates, it’s advisable to complement it with a source of protein to optimize post-workout nutrition.

Fresh Juice


For morning workouts, starting your day with oatmeal is an excellent choice. Oats are packed with beneficial carbohydrates, protein, and fiber, promoting long-lasting satiety. Additionally, oats are versatile, aiding both weight loss and muscle gain. To further enhance the protein content of your oatmeal, consider cooking them in milk instead of water.

Pro Tip

Timing is crucial for post-workout recovery. Healthline suggests consuming a post-workout meal within 45 minutes of finishing your workout. Delaying carbohydrate consumption by just two hours after exercise can lead to a significant reduction in glycogen synthesis rates, by as much as 50%.