· By FitFoodz Kitchen

Lean Protein Sources for Muscle Recovery

Did you know the food you eat after a workout is highly important? Your body and key muscle groups are stressed and depleted after an intense workout. You need the right recovery foods to help your muscles recuperate and maximize the benefits of your workout. Specifically, you must add lean protein sources to your post-workout meal to speed up muscle recovery and replenish your body with essential nutrients. 

Best Food for Muscle Recovery

Here is a list of the top lean protein sources you should add to your post-workout meal to facilitate muscle recovery and restore essential nutrients. 


Salmon is high in protein content to promote muscle growth and recovery. Aside from being a lean protein source, it offers other essential nutrients, such as omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin B, potassium, and selenium. Hands down, salmon is among the healthiest fish you can add to your diet.

A 2019 research study on omega-3 fatty acids revealed that it can also lower inflammation. Meanwhile, potassium found in salmon can replenish the electrolytes in your body, which aids in rehydrating your body after a workout. 

Salmon is high in protein to promote muscle growth and recovery.

Leafy Greens

Dark and leafy green vegetables are another great food to add to your post-workout meal because they are a good source of lean protein. In addition, leafy greens are abundant in vitamins and micronutrients essential for a balanced diet, especially among those with an active lifestyle.

Aside from protein, dark and leafy greens provide vital nutrients that support muscle repair and bone strength, like calcium and iron. You can add various leafy greens to your balanced diet, including spinach, kale, and arugula. 


Quinoa is a complex whole grain that offers proteins and carbohydrates to facilitate faster post-workout muscle recovery. Quinoa is among the healthiest grains to add to your daily diet, whether or not you like working out. 

Quinoa is also a gluten-free grain, making it a suitable alternative for anyone with gluten intolerance or celiac disease. Adding quinoa to your diet is easy because it is highly versatile. You can use it to make a protein-packed bowl with any lean protein and leafy greens. It will surely give a boost to the nutritional value of your diet. 


Eggs are an excellent source of protein, especially lean protein. There are many ways to incorporate eggs into your diet for a post-workout meal. You can boil, scramble, or fry your eggs. How you cook them does not matter because a medium-sized egg offers up to six grams of protein. Due to the nutritional benefits of eggs, it is recommended that you have at least one serving of eggs per day. 


Bananas are one of the essential food items to add to your post-workout dietary plan to help your muscles recover faster. They are a good source of protein, carbohydrates, fiber, potassium, vitamin C, and vitamin B6. You can eat a banana for that extra energy boost before and after a workout. You can enjoy bananas alone or eat them with peanut butter to boost your body's ability to repair its muscles. 

As a bonus, the potassium in bananas can help replenish the lost electrolytes to prevent dehydration. 


Chicken is one of the best lean protein sources for muscle recovery. A three-ounce portion of chicken contains 28 grams of protein! It joins salmon as the lean food source that packs a lot of protein, making it an ideal choice for your post-workout diet. 

The good thing about incorporating chicken into your post-workout meal is its versatility. You can bake it, roast it, or stir-fry it. It’s a nutrition and training staple because of its adaptable flavor and high protein content.

Incorporate chicken into your post-workout meal.

Nuts and Seeds

Incorporating nuts and seeds into your post-workout meal is a good idea to infuse your body with essential proteins and nutrients. The best nuts and seeds for protein include walnuts, almonds, pecans, chia seeds, and flax seeds. They are a suitable option for snacking on the go, or you can add them to your post-workout salad or smoothie. You have endless options to enjoy flavorful meals that equip your body with protein for faster recovery. 

Cheese or Yoghurt

If you’re not allergic or sensitive to dairy, add cheese or yogurt to your post-workout diet. Specifically, cottage cheese is known for its high protein content (14 grams of protein per half a cup of cottage cheese). 

On the other hand, Greek yogurt is also rich in protein. But get the plain yogurt and avoid the flavored variety, as they are high in refined sugar! You can boost the benefits of yogurt for a post-workout recovery by adding healthy ingredients like berries.