Foods That Help Muscle Recovery

by | Jul 3, 2014 | 37 comments

It is noFoods That Help Muscle Recovery image secret that millions of people struggle with their weight. Having a neuromuscular disease like Charcot-Marie-Tooth syndrome can pose some unique challenges to weight loss, especially when designing an exercise and diet routine. If you have Charcot-Marie-Tooth syndrome, moderate exercise is usually best, especially when combined with a healthy diet.

One of the challenges facing people with CMT is fact that CMT muscles can take longer to recover from exercise. Because a person with CMT cant exercise as hard as someone without CMT, it is important to watch your diet. The foods that you eat need to do more than just fill you up. Everything you put into your body needs to do double duty, whether it is increasing metabolism, lowering cholesterol, or helping your muscles recover faster after a workout.

We are not doctors, so we urge you to consult a doctor before beginning an exercise plan. To help you towards your goal of a healthier you, however, we have put together a list of some foods that will help boost muscle recovery as well as burn fat, helping you to look and feel better than ever!


It turns out that Popeye has been right all along! A recent study found that a compound in spinach increase protein synthesis, which helps your muscles repair faster after you work out. So when you finish your walk around the block, trade out the iceberg lettuce in your evening salad for some spinach and give your muscles a helping hand.


Who knew that something so delicious would also help with muscle recovery? Pineapples are packed with bromelain and papain, two enzymes that have anti-inflammatory properties, which is great for recovering muscles. One slice contains 27 calories, 0 grams of fat, and 7 grams of carbs. Pair it with a cup of low fat cottage cheese and you will have a nutritious snack that is low in fat and high in protein perfect for weight loss!


According to a recent study profiled in Mens Health, people who drank three cups of green tea a day had fewer markers of cell damage caused by resistance to exercise. While it is not known if that finding can be applied to CMT muscles, it is hopeful news. Also, green tea is loaded with antioxidants called catechins, which help speed up your metabolism. That will help you lose weight even when you are not exercising!


Recent studies have confirmed what five year olds have been telling us for years chocolate milk is a health drink. Actually, they might be right. Because milk has more potassium and electrolytes than water, it does a better job at rehydrating the body after exercise. The added chocolate helps with muscle recovery by balancing the carbs, protein, and fat. Eight ounces of lowfat chocolate milk has 158 calories, 2.5 grams of fat, 26 grams of carbs, 425 grams of potassium, and 8 grams of protein. Got milk?


Even though eggs have suffered from a bad reputation for a long time, they have finally started to make a comeback. Perhaps it is because people who eat more protein tend to burn more calories a day 71 calories a day to be exact, according to British researchers. We recommend a heart-healthy version of scrambled eggs 1 whole egg and 1 egg white, scrambled together with oz of lowfat cheese. Eat it within an hour of getting up and you will jumpstart your metabolism for the day. In fact, eating anything within 1 hour of getting up will rev up your metabolism, so think twice before skipping breakfast.

We should note that these studies were done on non-CMT muscles, so we can’t offer any guarantees as to how it will work for CMT muscles. However, a healthy diet is always good and this list of foods may help you optimize your exercise sessions while also helping you lose weight. Enjoy!

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  1. Heather

    My 7 year old granddaughter was diagnosed with CMT in the spring. I am trying to find info to learn more about CMT any advice? She has been to Neurologist, orthopediac surgeon Physio and ot and have some guidance but the disease is progressing more rapidly than they thought.

    • Daniel Edward Bollen

      There is a support group on Facebook that is so very helpful. I have learned more from this group than from any doctor. On Facebook look for CMTUS place for us.

  2. Lindsey Sisk

    Yes! Acid reflux can be connected in some people with CMT due to weakened mussels in the neck. I often have this problem. Even as a child I could taste what I thought was pennies or copper. It’s terrible!

  3. Richard Wiede

    Pineapples do not contain Papain, that´s from Papayas.

    • Bob

      While papaya has papain so does pineapple. A simple google search would of told you this.

  4. Sandeep

    I’m looking for solution. Please advise for food, medicine, alternative treatments, stemming cell therapy etc

  5. Tim

    No gluten, no sugar or high fructose corn syrup. Try eating a diet rich in healthy fats and fiber. Avoid all processed foods. Take 5,000 IU vitamin D3 daily or get ample sun. Take multivitamin, alpha-lipoic acid and co-enzyme Q10 daily. Low impact, moderate exercise is very helpful. Consultation with a physical therapist is best. Get plenty of sleep! Good luck fellow CMT sufferers. Tim

  6. Barry Varcoe

    Dose C.M.T affect your ability to eat normally thank you.

  7. Regenex Cream

    Very efficiently written story. It will be helpful to anyone who employess it, as well as me.
    Keep up the good work – i will definitely read more posts.

  8. Oscar Alvarado

    Would like some help from others relating to my problem with C.M.T , food advice to diminish the pain. I am over fifty, and feel very down at times. Thanks, Oscar

  9. Grant Redman

    Hi im 34 and have cmt type 1A, iv read alot of bad things how people end up life wise that have cmt but there must be people out there that life a long an able life, i would love to hear from people, regards Grant

    • bsbowman

      I understand your fear after reading many varying posts, but don’t let this fear for your future affect your outlook on life. In fact, don’t let it keep you from doing anything you want to do. I am 67 and was just diagnosed this last week. I have had symptoms all my life and have always told my family that my body “doesn’t work right”. It doesn’t do what my brain tells it to do and it’s surprisingly a relief now to know why I always felt that way. Not knowing allowed me to live life as I wanted and never stopped me. I noticed a decline in the last few years, but I attributed everything to the aging process. I knew that walking was getting harder and harder as a form of exercise and I’m grateful that I’ve found other forms of exercise that help me be a stronger person and keep my stamina up. The good thing for you is that now, if you get especially tired after doing something taxing, you’ll allow yourself to get fully rested before doing the next job without punishing yourself by trying to do too much. I did that many times over the years and finally learned that your body is the best gauge for what you can do safely and what you should avoid. Find an exercise program that you enjoy, whether it be biking or swimming or the gym. Be good to yourself and try not to stress. You will live a long life. Enjoy it.

      • Nancy Jacobs

        When I started reading your post I thought it could have been mine. I’m 67 and was just diagnosed with CMT. I haven’t seen my neurologist yet to receive “instructions.” I’m trying to do a lot of exercises in the water. I spent part of a day walking around soccer fields to watch my Grandaughter play in a tournament. Temps were in the mid/90’s. By the end of the day I was wiped out. Next day I went to exercise in the pool and felt so bad afterwards. The next day I felt horrible and my legs were so weak I thought they were going to collapse under me. Do you know if this is normal with CMT?

        • Melissa

          How was the diagnosis process? I think I may have this disease? Neurologist? Podiatrist?

        • Daniel Edward Bollen

          For me it seems to be normal for CMT. I will be 65 in May. I was diagnosed after some strange more pronounced symptoms. I have had symptoms for years. When they got worse I saw my doctor and specialist. Then about 6 months later they did genetic testing and I have the gene for the disease. I get tired to easily. I start something and i have to stop because i get so tired. Sometimes i have to nap. Other times just lying down for a while then i have more energy to get back to whatever i started. I get little pains all over my body, they are very quick like someone is sticking me with something running off. They hurt but are so quick that its not a bother. I just look silly when i jump from the quick pains. I started cleaning my oven. I had to stop and then next day my hand and arm were aching. I need to get back to it but I’m afraid that i will be in pain again. I know someday I am going to need help with some things. There is so much to know. I guess we learn as we go along.

  10. Liska

    Avoiding alcohol, Fluoride, coffee and eating organic has helped me

    • Steve

      You mentioned fluoride? Can this diseases cause a metallic taste in mouth?

      • Lindsey Sisk

        Yes! Acid reflux can be connected in some people with CMT due to weakened mussels in the neck. I often have this problem. Even as a child I could taste what I thought was pennies or copper. It’s terrible!

  11. Linda

    I’ve been trying to go vegan. Is that unwise for a wheelchair-bound person with CMT? (I am normal weight, but concerned about getting enough protein.) How many calories, and how much protein do you recommend?

    • Wendy Rainbow

      Hello Linda, I am 44 and I have been vegan for 15 years. It is tough trying to be vegan and then being told that you need milk and eggs to get/ strong.

    • katherine Drabek

      More information about diet

    • Ann West

      I have been vegan almost 3 years. I feel better than I ever have!

  12. Suzanne Culley

    I’ve CMT & a Pilates instructor. I found Reformer Pilates really strengthened my lower legs & feet, has helped enormously with balancing also, eclipse machines, excercise bike & swimming using a kids paddle board & just kicking your legs will help…… takes nearly 8 months to really start noticing the difference but when you do it’s a huge confidence boost.


    I use an elliptical since I cannot run, I also use kettle bells and body weight to keep off the extra weight right now I’m stuck fighting to loose at least 50 pounds…

    • courtney

      Hi Danielle,

      Keep up the good work. Exercise is so important.

  14. ida

    What exercising can I do I,am weak using cane

    • Gordon Lundene

      See a Physical Therapist. I was evaluated at a high risk of falling and a PT gave me a series of exercises. They helped me.


      Consider joining your local YMCA and take their water aerobics classes. They are low impact and even if you don’t swim, you can safely exercise because floatation belts are provided. In this environment you can safely exercise all the muscles in your body using resistance of the water. I enjoy the deep water exercises because my feet don’t touch the bottom and I love being suspended in the water. it usually includes some muscle strengthening as well as aerobic exercises to get the heart rate up. Can’t say enough about how much it has helped me. Even if you are somewhat imobilized, many have chair lifts to get you into and out of the pool. Climbing the stairs is not required. Ours also has a ramp down into the shallow end for people that can’t use regular ladders.

    • Doug

      Swimming or any water type exercise (water aerobics etc…)because of the low impact nature of such exercise rotines.

  15. ida johnston

    What are all foods to eat wth cmt and what avoid

    • ida johnston

      Trying to learn more on cmt what to eat and what not to having weight gain and in lot of pain

      • Donald Greene

        Try a modified keto diet! I am 48 years old and have CMT since I was 6 years old. Keto has proven to work for me. I have not checked with my doctor before starting the diet I did the experimentation myself. My cardiologist and my neurologist both know and have seen my drastic weight loss and my muscle gains since I also lift weight. Everybody’s different I’m just trying to remain ambulatory And I’m doing very well at it.

      • Samantha


        My name is Samantha. I am 43 years old and have CMT. 4 years ago due to some food allergies that my husband has I switched to a whole food plant based/healthy vegan way of eating. I weighed 230lbs and I am now down to 166lbs. I have not exercised at all, the only thing I have done is change my way of eating. I don’t have swelling in my legs since cutting out dairy, I don’t have pain anymore, I have more energy and I just feel so much better in general. I am attaching a copy of the link to my Facebook page. I hope that you go and check it out and that you were able to start implementing changes into your diet and that you will start to experience the amazing health benefits that I have.

      • Samyak

        We just came to know about CMT in our son.

    • Donald R Greene Jr

      Grains! Avoid if you can! And limiting dairy consumption. This has proven successful for me personally. I’ve had CMT for 45 years and I’m only 48 so I have a little experience. Keto has helped me stabilize my body and I train 6 days a week in the gym with no ill side effects except growth in muscle.

    • Angela thurman

      Witch foods are you speaking of


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