Fat-torching, energy-restoring protein, plus lactoferrin for immune support.Those Six Pack ABS muscles aren’t going to build themselves—especially not after a hard gym session, when proteins degrade faster than ever. That’s where whey comes in. Powdered, one scoop contains almost as much protein as a whole chicken breast。Ingested after exercise, whey produces an insulin spike, encouraging muscles to absorb glucose and replenish energy stores, while naturally occurring lactoferrin gives your immune system a boost. The best part? Research shows that people who supplement with whey burn nearly twice as much body fat as those who don’t.
A complete protein source, including branched-chain amino acids for faster recovery.Trendy foods come and go—but “an egg is the gold standard,” says dietitian Leah Mark, M.S., C.D.N., C.P.T. Though they weigh in at just 70 calories a piece, eggs contain all nine essential amino acids (the building blocks of protein), plus branched-chain amino acids, which help reduce muscle damage in the body. And if you’re after the most nutritional bang for your buck, don’t even think about throwing away the yolk: That golden center is home to half the protein, not to mention all of the egg’s vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids.
Monounsaturated fat for muscle repair and B vitamins to jump-start your metabolism.“An ideal recovery meal should also include good fat, which is needed for healing Six Pack ABS muscles and joints,” says sports nutritionist Cynthia Sass, M.P.H., M.A., R.D., C.S.S.D. and author of Slim Down Now. Avocado is a no-brainer: In addition to healthy fats, which are crucial for absorbing vitamins A and E, it contains a suite of B vitamins that help your body metabolize all those healthy carbohydrates and proteins you’ve been packing away. To top it off, studies show avocado may even reduce your risk of prostate cancer, too 。
An arsenal of antioxidants to fight off muscle damage.You already know that cherries are good for your sex life, right? Luckily, the same antioxidants that get things going in the bedroom will help you out at the gym, too: A study in the British Journal of Sports Medicine found that subjects who drank 24 ounces of tart cherry juice every day (the equivalent of about 120 whole cherries) experienced less Six Pack ABS muscle soreness and just a fraction of the usual strength loss after exercise.
An energy boost when you need it most, together with fat-burning, free-radical-fighting compounds.Green tea is the new green juice. More than just a caffeinated pick-me-up, green tea contains powerful antioxidants that help metabolize fat and fight exercise-induced free radicals that would otherwise cause inflammation and muscle soreness. The real kicker? Green tea is good for you well beyond the gym, Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), one of its key compounds, has been shown to help treat a number of chronic inflammatory conditions, from cancer to Alzheimer’s and heart disease.