There are a few foods that can boost muscle building and energy levels after you work out. After weight-lifting, muscle tissue depends on protein to repair and grow larger. This protein-fueled repair process, in turn, requires carbohydrate intake to facilitate an adequate insulin delivery of protein to the muscle tissues. The perfect post-workout foods, then, are natural foods which are high in carbs and protein but low in fat. For optimum effect, the following superfoods should be consumed within half an hour of the completion of a workout.
Organic eggs are a cheap source of quickly usable amino acid proteins. Athletes on the run can enjoy a quick hard-boiled egg, while those with a few extra minutes to spare can whip up an egg white omelette with fresh vegetables thrown in. Chicken breasts are also an excellent source of protein and niacin, which facilitates carb breakdown and synthesis. Another great source of animal-origin protein is fish, containing easily assimilated proteins and Omega-3 fatty acids, which can help to lessen the breakdown of muscle proteins post-workout. Tuna and salmon are great examples of low fat fish which are high in protein and Omega-3 fatty acids. Surprisingly, one last source of animal-derived protein superfood is chocolate milk. Drinking a fat-free serving of chocolate milk post-workout helps provide whey proteins to muscle tissue in need of repair while also supplying needed glycogen to help fuel fatigued muscles.
In terms of plant-based, post-workout superfoods, spinach rates highly among weightlifters. In addition to iron, spinach contains phytoecdysteroids which can have an accelerating effect on muscle growth during the muscle tissue repair process. Nuts are another superfood which supply a healthy dose of protein to recuperating muscle tissue, and can be paired with dried fruits for a snack-on-the-go which also supplies simple carbs. Almonds, in particular, are extremely high in protein, fiber and Vitamin E. Also high in protein and fiber are beans and legumes, a superfood on a par with eggs regarding affordability. Yet another inexpensive, plant-based superfood for after the workout is the banana. Bananas don't contain much in the way of protein, but supply potassium to lessen muscle fatigue and natural fruit sugars to increase and maintain energy levels. Lovers of guacamole will be pleased to know that avocados are protein and carbohydrate rich food with muscle fatigue-fighting potassium. Lastly, pineapple and papaya fruits contain enzymes which encourage muscle flexibility and reduce inflammation of repairing muscle tissues.