The Top Foods For Reducing Muscle Soreness
Muscle soreness can be a pain to deal with. After a tough and hard workout, most of us will feel at least a little of muscle soreness, but what most people don’t know is that there are actually a lot of foods that can help with reducing muscle soreness.
A lot of people tend to go for painkillers or supplements to try to reduce muscle soreness. Even though those do work, it’s not the best way to reduce muscle soreness. The most natural and best way to reduce muscle soreness is actually through food.
Let’s go over a list of foods that can help with reducing muscle soreness.
Blueberries, cherries, and other dark color fruits
Blueberries are proven to help with DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness). Delayed onset muscle soreness is common after exercise and usually, means your muscles are getting stronger.
Exercise physiologists refer to the gradually increasing discomfort that occurs between 24 and 48 hours after activity as delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS), and it is perfectly normal.
“Delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) is a common result of physical activity that stresses the muscle tissue beyond what it is accustomed to,” says David O. Draper, professor, and director of the graduate program in sports medicine/athletic training at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah.
Blueberries have been proven to help people reduce DOMS so that you can reduce muscle soreness.
British researchers recently found that people who drank 1 ounce of concentrated cherry juice twice daily for 10 days bounced back faster from their workout (an intensive leg resistance training session on day 8) than those who skipped the juice. The reason: The anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties in tart cherries—and other fruit juices like grape, pomegranate, acai, blueberry, and cranberry—essentially act as natural NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen and aspirin), reducing exercise-induced muscle damage.
I’m personally not a ginger fan, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t good for you! Ginger has long been known to reduce swelling and inflammation. It contains gingerols, which is a very potent anti-inflammatory. Did you know that ginger is used as a painkiller in some parts of the world?
Because of this anti-inflammatory potential, the researchers investigated if ginger supplements could reduce or prevent muscle damage and soreness after exercise.
Two studies done at Georgia College and State University in 2010 looked at how ginger affected muscle pain and inflammation after exercise. One experiment had subjects supplement with two grams of ginger for several days and perform curls in the gym. The next day, their soreness was significantly less than expected. The other study also examined the effects of two grams of ginger on arm training. Participants consumed ginger 24 hours and 48 hours after exercise, and the pain was reduced 13% by the second day.
Nuts are super healthy and contain healthy fats, but it’s very powerful for reducing muscle soreness as well. Mixed nuts usually means a combination of almonds, walnuts, cashews, peanuts, and all the other healthy snacks that you can add to the mix.
Nuts are a good source of Omega-3 fatty acid, protein, zinc, potassium, magnesium, and other vitamins/minerals.
Mixed nuts also contain a decent amount of protein so you can use that to aid your muscle recovery after a long workout.
For those that don’t know, banana is known for curing cramps. The reason is due to the amount of potassium in it. Bananas are rich in vitamin B6 and potassium, which can stop you from retaining water and feeling bloated. Too little potassium can cause muscle cramping — the last thing you want when menstrual cramps loom.
Another thing is that if you don’t have a good potassium and sodium balance, you will end up with a puffy face and might end up with some swelling.
I wrote about what happens if you don’t have enough potassium here.
Potassium, among other nutrients like sodium and calcium, is a key mineral which plays a role in muscular energy. Bananas or potatoes are good potassium sources. Bananas go with nearly everything, but mashed potatoes in your first meal following the workout are also winners.
Protein from fatty fish
When we workout, we’re essentially breaking down our muscles. This is why our muscles get sore and this is how you gain lean muscle. The omega-3 in fatty fish helps a lot with DOMS and muscle recovery.
This is why trainers always recommend fish oil for people who are under intensive training.
Protein-rich foods provide amino acids, the building blocks for your muscles and other body tissues. You must get adequate protein from your daily diet to help your body repair cells and build new ones, particularly if you have sore muscles. The Harvard School of Public Health recommends an average daily intake of 46 grams for adult women and 56 grams for men. If you exercise strenuously or are an athlete, you may need more protein. Ensure that you get at least two to three servings of protein per day. One serving includes 2 to 3 ounces of lean cooked meat, poultry or fish; an egg; an ounce of cheese; or 1/2 cup of cooked dried beans.
Omega-3s are known for fighting inflammation, boosting blood flow to muscles during exercise, and, following exercise, decreasing muscle soreness and reducing swelling.
The Harvard School of Public Health recommends an average daily intake of 46 grams for adult women and 56 grams for men. If you exercise strenuously or are an athlete, you may need more protein. Ensure that you get at least two to three servings of protein per day. One serving includes 2 to 3 ounces of lean cooked meat, poultry or fish; an egg; an ounce of cheese; or 1/2 cup of cooked dried beans.
Protein, in general, is good for muscle recovery because it provides your body with the amino acids that are necessary to repair your muscles.
Having enough protein will also help you maintain your muscles when you are looking to lose weight.
Seeds help with muscle soreness recovery. Most seeds contain a good amount of omega-3 fats, which helps you reduce muscle soreness. Studies have shown that omega-3s can lessen inflammation caused by exercise. Because chia seeds don’t need to be ground before use like flax, another great source of the fatty acid, you can throw them straight into smoothies, oatmeal, and yogurt before your workout to “prefuel your recovery,” says Scritchfield.
You can also have nuts like walnuts or another type of seeds, but I recommend chia seeds.
I bet you would have never guessed this one. That’s right, pepper is great for reducing muscle soreness as well. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant, and a single red pepper actually has more of it than an orange.
My favorite type of pepper is bell pepper and they go well with any salad or side dish.
I love eggs and I’ve never been to a country where I couldn’t find eggs. I consider eggs the perfect food. They can be prepared in a bazillion ways, are easy and portable, and deliver a hefty dose of nutrients in each serving. Plus, the quality of protein delivered from an egg is uniquely suited to combating muscle soreness and promoting muscle growth. With each egg, you get six grams of protein coming from all essential amino acids. You also get important vitamins and minerals, specifically vitamins A, E and K along with B vitamins.
With each egg, you get six grams of protein coming from all essential amino acids. You also get important vitamins and minerals, specifically vitamins A, E and K along with B vitamins.
The only thing is that eggs usually aren’t as filling, so you can combine it with egg whites which are lower in calories and fat, but provide a good amount of protein for it’s portion size.
Chewing on peppermint can freshen your breath, but there’s another reason you should try the herb. The menthol in peppermint helps prevent muscle spasms, one of the reasons peppermint oil effectively treats irritable bowel syndrome. The oil is also useful for relieving headaches. Rub some on your temples or wrists and breathe in the minty scent.
Botanist James A. Duke, PhD, author of The Green Pharmacy Guide to Healing Foods, recommends brewing mint tea for any type of pain. Pour boiling water over peppermint leaves and steep until the tea is as strong as you like. Add wintergreen leaves for an extra pain-fighting boost; a compound in wintergreen called methyl salicylate blocks the enzymes that cause inflammation and pain. “You could call it herbal aspirin,” he says. A final squeeze of lemon will help you extract as many pain-reducing chemicals as possible from the plants.
There you have it! The Top Foods To Help You Reduce Muscle Soreness. Hope this helps everyone! Don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter for more related articles 🙂