Sports scientists love to disagree over just about everything, but they have come to a consensus about one topic: recovery meals. Namely, that no matter what type of exercise you’re doing, in order to rebuild your muscles and get ready for another bout of exercise, you need to eat 0.2 to 0.4 grams of protein combined with 0.8 grams of carbohydrates for every 2.2 pounds you weigh, per hour you’ve exercised. The experts are still fighting over when you should eat, but most nutritionists agree that you should eat a recovery meal no longer than 30 to 45 minutes after exercising. Wait longer and it’s too late to stop the body from producing cortisol, a hormone created during exercise that causes muscles to atrophy. That may sound complicated, but it’s not. Even a bottle of Gatorade and a protein bar will get your muscles on the road to recovery. Recovery meals, however, need not be so processed. A slew of fresh options can do a whole lot more for your body. Presenting our list of the ten best recovery foods, with complementary recipes from our favorite athletes, nutritionists, and chefs.
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