Foods For Muscle Recovery

The act of biking demands an enormous amount of strength and energy. It’s no surprise that your muscles would need to recuperate after such an intense workout. 

The Vital Role of Nutrition in Muscle Recovery Post-Biking

If you’re an avid cyclist keen to understand muscle recovery, you’re in the right place. This article will guide you through the top ten foods that are essential in your diet for optimal energy replenishment, both pre and post-cycling. 

How about a tasty treat that aids your recovery? We have a delightful vegan chocolate brownie recipe lined up, which is a treat to your palate and contributes to muscle recovery. Additionally, we’ll share our author’s personal, favourite post-ride recovery recipe. 

Contents Included in the Article

  • A list of the top 10 foods to consume before a bike ride for optimal muscle preparation.
  • A list of the top 10 foods for muscle recovery after a biking session.
  • A featured vegan chocolate brownie recipe that aids in muscle recovery.
  • A personal recipe by the author for muscle restoration post-biking.
  • Discussion on the importance of fuelling your body before a bike ride.

Top 10 foods for muscle recovery pre-biking 

1 Oats: A remarkable resource of complex carbohydrates, oats provide the energy your muscles require for your biking journey and play a pivotal role in muscle recovery post-workout. Don’t overlook the essential role of this unassuming breakfast staple.

2. Spinach: Rich in iron and calcium, spinach can help improve muscle function and recovery. Toss it in a salad or include it in a smoothie. 

3. Cottage Cheese: A terrific source of lean protein and casein, cottage cheese aids muscle repair and keeps hunger at bay. It’s a delicious and versatile per-ride snacking option. 

4. Chicken: As a high-quality protein source, chicken aids in muscle recovery and growth, preparing your body for a strenuous bike ride. 

5. Salmon: Full of anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids, salmon is great for muscle recovery. Plus, its high protein content supports muscle growth and repair. 

6. Watermelon: Refreshing and rehydrating, watermelon is ideal for per-biking hydration and post-workout muscle soreness reduction. 

7. Blueberries: High in antioxidants, blueberries can help reduce muscle fatigue and inflammation, priming your muscles for recovery. 

8. Turmeric: Known for its anti-inflammatory properties, incorporating turmeric into your meals can accelerate recovery and reduce discomfort. 

9. Beetroot: Great at boosting blood flow and endurance, beetroot is an excellent muscle recovery food to consume when biking. 

10. Chi Seeds: As tiny as they are, chia seeds pack a real nutritional punch! With a balance of protein, fats, and fibre, they help to regulate energy and support muscle recovery.

Top 10 best foods for Post-Cycling Muscle Recovery

  1. Bananas: Chock-full of fast-absorbing carbohydrates, bananas replenish muscle glycogen levels, boosting recuperation.
  2. Chicken Breast: Packed with lean protein, it aids in muscle repair and keeps hunger at bay post-biking.
  3. Dark Chocolate: Yes, you read that right! The antioxidants contained within promote muscle recovery and inflammation reduction.
  4. Eggs: Known for their high protein and amino acid content, eggs scaffold muscle repair, especially if consumed soon after cycling.
  5. Quinoa: A potent plant protein source churning out all essential amino acids, quinoa is perfect for your muscle repair and regrowth.
  6. Greek Yogurt: Filled with protein, it beautifully complements the carbs you are having, rescuing your muscles from late-onset muscle soreness.
  7. Turmeric: Known for its medicinal properties, turmeric’s active component, curcumin, minimises inflammation and soothes muscle discomfort, making it an excellent choice for muscle recovery after biking.
  8. Salmon: Its omega-3 fatty acids cannot be overlooked when you crave expedited muscle recovery post cycling.
  9. Tart Cherries: Not just for the pies, tart cherries have marked anti-inflammatory properties, facilitating muscle recovery.
  10. Almonds: These tiny nuts brim with protein and healthy fats that not only speed up recovery but also keep your heart healthy.

Vegan Chocolate Brownies Recipe for Muscle Recovery

After a tough bike ride, I often reach for a homemade protein bar. Packed with plant protein, these bars are great for quick muscle recovery. 

At the end of an intense cycle, my favourite recovery food is my special protein bars. Full of natural protein, they aid in swift muscle recovery. 

Aside from protein, these bars come with other health perks like fibre, B vitamins, vitamin E, calcium, and magnesium. This fab recipe, courtesy of famed nutritionist Anita Bean(1) , can be tweaked to match your taste. Trust me, these protein-rich snack bars will definitely help you recover after working out.

 Utensils Required for This Muscle Recovery Recipe

  • A decent cutting board for chopping up any ingredients. This kitchen is essential and provides a safe, sturdy surface for all your shopping needs.
  • A reliable, sharp knife to make short work of any chopping and slicing.
  • Measuring cups and spoons to ensure accuracy when following the recipe. A staple in any kitchen, these tools ensure your quantities are spot-on for the best outcomes.
  • A good quality mixing bowl to comfortably mix all your ingredients without spilling or making a mess.
  • Spatula for mixing ingredients and transferring them to your cooking vessel.
  • Cooking pots or a pan, depending on the recipe. You need somewhere to cook all those beautiful ingredients, right?
  • Finally, a durable oven mitt, because safety should never be an afterthought.
22919g (10g total sugars)9g12g (2g saturates)

Ingredients (Makes 12 bars)

125g rolled oats
125g almond butter
50g ground almonds
60g chocolate vegan protein powder
150g maple or golden syrup
3 tbsp mixed seeds
½ teaspoon cinnamon
50g chocolate chips


  1. Start by lining a 20cm square tin with baking paper or foil. This ensures the bars can be easily removed once set.
  2. Take your oats and add them to a food processor, pulsing until ground into a consistency similar to flour. This is the base for your bars.
  3. To the oat flour, add almond butter, ground almonds, your choice of protein powder, a dribble of maple or golden syrup for sweetness, seeds for extra nutrition, and a sprinkle of cinnamon for spice. Process these ingredients until the mixture starts to clump together.
  4. Add chocolate chips to the mixture and pulse briefly until they’re incorporated, for that cheeky chocolatey surprise in your bars.
  5. Finally, transfer the mixture into the prepared tin, pressing down firmly to ensure the mixture sets properly.

Check out this flapjack recipe (3)

 My Personal Recipe for Post-Bike Ride Muscle Recovery 

As an avid bicyclist myself, I’ve developed a unique recipe that aids my muscle restoration after an intense ride. It’s a specially formulated stew packed with nutrient-dense ingredients, aiming to replenish lost energy and aid in muscle repair.

This heartening dish is rich in proteins, complex carbohydrates, and essential minerals which aid in reducing muscle inflammation and soreness. Easy to prepare and wonderfully savoury, this stew is my go-to nourishment after every long bike ride, providing the perfect balance between healing nutrition and comforting taste. 

Utensils needed

  • A large mixing bowl for combining your ingredients
  • A sturdy wooden spoon or spatula for stirring
  • A sharp chef’s knife for fine chopping
  • Cutting board to protect your work surface
  • Measuring cups/spoons to ensure precise ingredient amounts
  • A non-stick baking tray for cooking


Two tablespoons oil ( own preference )

One whole red onion 

3lb of beef shin, cut evenly into cubes ( Feeds 4 to 6 )

Half a bottle of your favourite red wine, Shiraz is recommended ( if desired )

Four cloves of garlic 

Approximately 160 grams of pancetta 

2 cubes of unsalted beef stock (700  cold water) more is needed depending on the size of the dish 

Four large carrots, roughly chopped 

A large loaf of bloomer bread, perfect for dipping

Large glass of ale for drinking whilst cooking ( must needed )


  1. Begin by cooking the pancetta in a pan until it is crispy. After it’s crisped to your liking, dispose of any residual fat and set the pancetta aside for later use.

2. Proceed to brown the meat in the same pan used for the pancetta. This will inevitably infuse the meat with a delightful pancetta-flavoured aroma. Once completed, sprinkle

3. Next, focus on the onions. Continue to heat them until they reach a clear, translucent state. Once that’s achieved, it’s time to toss in the garlic. Give it an additional two minutes to cook before integrating these elements into the larger dish. Now is the time to add in the remaining ingredients. Lastly, ensure every ingredient is thoroughly embraced by the

4. Last but not least, it’s time to roast. Place your dish into the oven for about 2 hours and 30 minutes. You can adjust this timing based on your preferences and the oven’s capabilities. As it cooks, remember to periodically top it up with water. Also, it’s worth mentioning that you should withhold from adding salt. The pancetta has already lent a salty flavour to the dish, eliminating the need for additional seasoning.

tip, add quality stock gravy granules at the end to slightly thicken the juice or add a mixture of cold water and cornflower if instead

Importance of fuelling up before a bike ride

In short, good nutrition before a cycling ride is a hidden gem. It gives the essential energy for demanding rides, helps quick recovery afterwards, and guards against exhaustion. 

When you’re active, your body burns carbohydrates, or glycogen, for energy. By eating enough before heading out on your bike, your performance, stamina, and recovery will significantly improve. 

Alongside, it’s crucial to protect your muscles as well. Tough activities like biking can lead your body to use muscle protein for energy. However, if you have a protein-focused meal before you cycle, your muscles will be well looked after. 

So, it’s key to remember – dining before cycling isn’t an extra to be skipped, but a vital part of your ride prep. Your meal provides the fuel you need for a successful ride and is as vital for thriving on your bike as it is for helping your muscles recover afterwards (2)


It’s essential to include both carbohydrates and proteins in your meal before cycling, based on recent scientific findings. This approach not only enhances your stamina but also minimises muscle harm during your workout, fostering better recovery.