According to supermarket advertising and craftily created labels, you might think that superfoods are literally a magical cure to any and every bodily ailment. While I'm sorry to say you won't grow wings or turn into the Incredible Hulk after a serving of chia seeds, superfoods do have some pretty incredible benefits. These bad boys don't just do wonders for your overall health, but are also perfect for post-workout fuel. So, believe me, your body will thank you for adding a couple of workout recovery superfoods to your post-gym smoothie.
Yes, the classic banana and peanut butter combo will always come in clutch after a hard HIIT circuit, but if you want an extra boost of power and potentially speedier muscle recovery, superfoods are the way to go.
Superfoods are essentially the version of any other whole food, but a lot stronger and more nutrient-dense. They may sound exotic AF (between spirulina and camu camu, someone needs to fetch me a translator ASAP), but they're really just any average food that decided to have a fancy name, while providing a lot more nutrition in a smaller dose.
To get a better idea of their potent powers, a single tablespoon of chia seeds apparently has 15 times the amount of magnesium as broccoli, more potassium than two bananas, and six times more calcium than a glass of milk. OK, chia seeds, I see you.
So, while snorting some maca won't magically give you guns of steel (seriously, don't do that), adding these five superfoods to an already balanced diet is sure to maximize your muscle recovery and make you feel rejuvenated AF after a good workout.
Aside from being a powerful aid in balancing hormones, maca powder is a miracle food for post-workout recovery.
Maca is basically tasteless, aside from a subtle nutty flavor, so you can add it to smoothies or oatmeal as a great source of protein for your muscles.
This bad boy has 20 amino acids in just one tablespoon, which provides long-lasting energy and reduces inflammation and muscle cramps.
If you've ever felt like you were literally going to pass away after making it through a challenging HIIT circuit, taking a glass of beetroot juice to the face might be the #cure your body needs.
A study published in the journal Complete Nutrition revealed that volunteers who consumed beetroot after HIIT exercises performed significantly better overall than participants who didn't consume the superfood.
BRB, going to replace my protein shake with some quality beetroot -- who's with me?
Turmeric is a spice that is rich in curcumin, which is an antioxidant that helps your body manage inflammation. So if your muscles are ever feeling especially sore after a trip to the gym, turmeric is where it's at.
Do what you can to avoid eating this superfood alone, though. Sprinkling it on savory things like eggs, or making a homemade turmeric latte, are optimal ways to treat yourself and your taste buds to this healing spice post-workout.
4. Hemp Seeds
Hemps seeds are an incredible source of plant-based protein, which is important for healing those micro-muscle tears that are created during your time in the gym.
These bad boys are also full of omega-3 fatty acids, which aid in inflammation and further muscular recovery.
If you need me, I'll be over here sprinkling hemp seeds all over my entire life.
5. Acai Berries
If you thought all your acai bowl was good for was a bomb-ass Instagram pic and a tasty treat, you'll be happy to know the superfood berry actually enhances athletic performance, as well.
All the antioxidants in these berries help promote faster recovery times and increase stamina, so you'll be able to go hard AF the next day at your favorite SoulCycle class.