Nothing feels better than walking out of the gym after a productive workout. Whether you set a new PR, or pushed yourself extra hard at SoulCycle, or maybe just went on a day when you really didn’t feel like going – you worked hard and you know it.

But the next morning is an entirely different story. When your muscles are sore to the touch and you feel like you can’t even walk, you may think you’re destined for two days of absolute hell, but what you eat afterwards can make those following days a little more bearable.

Dark-colored fruit

after the gym

Photo by Hannah Lin

Blueberries and other dark-colored fruits have nutrients that can help reduce delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) by helping to remove the free radicals that build up in your muscles during training. Tart cherries have anti-inflammatory properties and also raise the melatonin in your body, which will help you sleep better. Try one of these fruit smoothies to switch up your post-workout snack.

Leafy greens and vegetables

after the gym

Photo by Alex Tom

Leafy greens and cruciferous vegetables are packed with nutrients and can help improve your metabolic processes. Green vegetables like broccoli, kale, and Brussels sprouts can also reduce inflammation and provide low-glycemic energy which will hep you recover faster.


after the gym

Photo by Smita Jain

Healthy fats not only make you faster, they also aid in recovery. Almonds are a good source of omege-6 and have been found to improve tissue damage. Walnuts are also rich in nutrients and have anti-fatigue effects by improving energy.


after the gym

Photo by Megan Prendergast

Eggs have the second highest concentration of leucine, which is the most important amino acid for building muscle. They can speed up tissue repair, reduce inflammation, and aid in recovery from intense training. If you’re an avocado lover, try one of these egg and avocado recipes that are way better than plain scrambled eggs.


after the gym

Photo by Kendra Valkema

Ginger can reduce muscle soreness and accelerate recovery because it is rich in anti-inflammatory properties. Turmeric has similar properties, as well as a pain-killing compound called curcumin. If you’re not sure how to peel fresh ginger, we’ve got you covered.

And of course, WATER

after the gym

Photo by Caroline Liu

Water is crucial for recovery. It helps regulate your body temperature, as well as both heart and muscle function. It’s important to drink plenty of water before and during your workout, not just after. If you want to upgrade your water with more than just lemon, try one of these combinations.