Fitness & diet, Health & Fitness

Composing your nutrition plan for muscle recovery

Muscles do not develop during exercise, but afterwards, during the recovery period. By finding out
which foods to eat at what times, you can create an effective nutrition plan to promote muscle
repair and recovery.

Focus on the muscles during and after exercise

strength muscle endurance power training

Physical activity produces micro-lesions in the muscle fibres. This explains the muscle soreness often
felt during exercise. While the muscle fibres are being rebuilt, their connections are strengthened,
enabling them to resist the effort better.
This rebuilding period is the secret to more muscle mass: the muscle mass develops little by little.
The muscles are stronger and require more and more fuel to contract. As a result, you burn more fat
and your figure becomes more defined.
During the recovery phase, the body also evacuates waste products from the chemical processes that
take place during exercise. To facilitate muscle recovery, you must, therefore:
● Replenish your energy reserves
● Promote the repair of muscle fibres
● Rehydrate yourself
● Remineralise your body
● Evacuate toxins and limit the acidity of the body
The body can carry out all these actions by itself, but it is possible to give it a little help to optimise the process with a good diet!

Phase 1: replenish your glycogen stock, rehydrate and avoid acidosis

Women drinking water during outdoor training
Risk of dehydration. Pleasant beautiful woman drinking water while being very thirsty

In the 30 minutes following a training session or competition, focus on carbohydrates to replenish
the glycogen stock that was consumed during the effort:
● Glucose has a double interest: it stimulates the synthesis of glycogen in the muscles and
provokes the secretion of insulin, the hormone responsible for regulating blood sugar levels,
which also helps to prepare for the synthesis of proteins to come.

● Fructose recharges liver glycogen reserves directly, without generating an insulin peak.
At the same time, rehydrate with mineral-rich water to compensate for losses due to perspiration.
You can also restore your acid-base balance by choosing alkaline drinks or foods. Your key post-exercise foods:
● Dried fruits, such as dates, figs, grapes or apricots, a perfect combination of glucose and fructose
● Oil seeds, such as walnuts or almonds, rich in anti-inflammatory fatty acids, antioxidants and a source of vegetable protein
● Banana, alkaline food rich in potassium and magnesium, good source of fructose and glucose
● An electrolyte drink, such as coconut water, rich in potassium, calcium, sodium and magnesium

Phase 2: proteins and lipids to rebuild muscle fibres

food protein lipids muscle health

Recharged with energy, your body is ready to begin the process of repairing the muscle fibres. Cells make proteins with the help of amino acids. Some of these can be metabolised by the body, but others come only from food: they are called essential amino acids. It’s up to you: increase your protein intake in the days following exercise to help your muscles rebuild more quickly.

Animal proteins contain all the essential amino acids. Vegetable proteins do not, but by combining them you can replenish the full spectrum of amino acids. During recovery, combine protein with monounsaturated or polyunsaturated fatty acids. A joint intake of protein and fat in the diet
promotes protein synthesis by the body. To find the right protein dosage during recovery, weigh yourself and include 1.2 to 1.6 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day in your menus. Your key foods for rebuilding muscles:
● Fresh fruit and vegetables, rich in vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant involved in the formation of collagen, for the repair of muscles, tendons and skin.
● Lean meats such as chicken or turkey, or eggs, for an optimised intake of good-quality protein.
● Oily fish rich in omega-3, proteins and minerals: sardines canned in olive oil is ideal, with monounsaturated acids, omega-3 and the presence of bones, which helps strengthen the joints.
● Tofu and legumes (kidney beans, lentils, chickpeas, etc.) are good sources of vegetable
protein: vary these to ensure that your body receives all the essential amino acids.

● Think of spices: ginger and turmeric are as delicious as they are effective in alleviating post-
exertion pain.
Keep well hydrated in the days following training and, above all, get enough sleep: it is during the
night, particularly during deep sleep, that the muscles are rebuilt.

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