Sore muscles after a workout? Remember to eat a high protein diet to help your muscles heal!

You did the jabs, the hooks and the crosses. Then you did the knees and the swing kicks too and you get the feeling that in the morning, there are going to be some VERY sore muscles.

There’s good news though, you can help reduce the amount of soreness in your muscles after a work out by eating a diet that’s high in protein.

When you exercise, you do a little damage to your muscles because they are working so hard. While it repairs itself, your muscles tend to feel sore.

Protein is essential to repairing the tissue and helping muscles heal faster. It takes a few days for your body to heal on its own, but recovery time is shortened when high protein foods are eaten. The more protein your body is given, the faster it is able to heal itself.

Ideally, sources of protein should be from whole sources such as meats, beans and dairy, but protein supplements or shakes are also great ways to up your protein intake.

Examples of protein-rich foods include:

  • Fish, such as Tuna, Salmon, Mackerel, Herring and Sardines
  • Soybean-based foods such as soy milk and tofu have the highest protein content of any food
  • Beans including pinto, white, split peas and lentils
  • High-protein lean red meats including ground beef and steak
  • Nonfat dairy products including milk, cheese, cottage cheese and yogurt
  • Poultry without the skin such as chicken breasts and turkey

Remember to include these proteins in your diet, but do not over do it as excess protein is stored as fat. An average adult female requires about 55g of protein per day, which equals about 2-3 servings of protein per day.

Examples of a single serving of protein include:

  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons of peanut butter
  • 2-3 ounces of red meat, poultry, or fish (about the size of a deck of cards)
  • ½ cup of cooked dried beans such as black beans or chickpeas

A diet high in protein may reduce muscle recovery time, but remember to stretch properly before and after a workout and drink lots of water.

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