- Intense exercise can cause muscle soreness, which can take days to cease.
- Sufficient rest, proper hydration and good post-workout nutrition can help ease muscle soreness and promote muscle recovery.
- We’ve listed eight of the best recovery foods you can consume to speed up the healing process.
Muscle soreness is normal when you’re working out. Strenuous physical activities can cause micro-tears in your muscle fibers. Your body adapts by repairing the micro-tears and then building up the muscles. This results in muscle growth and a stronger physique. It’s how we build a tougher frame!
It doesn’t, however, mean you have to endure the pain for days. Proper hydration, spending sufficient time for rest and recovery and consuming the right foods can help ease muscle soreness. Ultimately, you’ll speed up the healing process. Here are eight muscle recovery foods that you can eat after training to promote muscle recovery.
8 Muscle Recovery Foods to Incorporate Into Your Nutrition
Blueberries are rich in antioxidants, which help prevent muscle free radical damage. They can help reduce inflammation and speed up the recovery process. Blueberries are also delicious and are great for smoothies and protein shakes. Pour a shake into a tumbler and bring it with you to the gym for a refreshing post-workout drink.
If you love cherries, then you’ll be happy about this fact. Cherry juice reduces inflammation and muscle soreness, increases your body’s antioxidative capacity and helps aid the muscle recovery function. In short, it speeds up the healing process while easing the pain caused by strenuous activities. This is due to their polyphenol content, which are powerful antioxidants with anti-inflammatory properties.
3. Manuka Honey
Manuka honey is a type of honey produced with the flowers of the Manuka tree, a tree that grows in New Zealand. Compared to raw honey, Manuka honey contains an enzyme called methylglyoxal. This is known to enhance wound healing as well as tissue regeneration. To get the benefits of Manuka honey, take one or two tablespoons straight or add it to tea or yogurt.
Turmeric has been receiving a lot of attention lately because of its many health benefits. One of these benefits is aiding in the management of post-exercise muscle soreness and inflammation. This is all thanks to curcumin, an active substance that is present in turmeric. You can add this to your smoothie or your meal and consume it after training. Don’t forget to check out this turmeric sauerkraut recipe, too.
Popeye is proof that one can learn great things while watching cartoons. Spinach — Popeye’s power food — is another one of the muscle recovery foods you can consume after an intense workout. It’s an excellent source of chlorophyll, which is effective in reducing inflammation. Furthermore, this superfood is also rich in protein and vitamins A, C and B. This can help boost metabolism and provide your body with energy.
Blend it with your smoothie (you won’t even taste it) or incorporate it into your post-workout meal.
6. Nuts and Seeds
Nuts and seeds are great snacks. They’re an excellent source of healthy fats and protein, which help satisfy hunger and make you feel full for longer. Plus, they contain anti-inflammatory compounds, which are great for easing muscle soreness.
It’s easy to add nuts and seeds to your smoothies, sprinkle them onto yogurt or oatmeal or even eat them plain.
Protein and healthy fats play an important role in repairing muscles. One of the muscle recovery foods that’s rich in both is salmon. This healthy food is an excellent source of omega-3, which is effective in fighting inflammation, muscle soreness and swelling. Delicious and easy to prepare, salmon is an ideal post-workout meal that you can eat after gym.
8. Sweet Potatoes
One of the muscle recovery foods that’s great for restoring your body’s glycogen level is sweet potatoes. They contain healthy carbohydrates, which provide your body with energy and are rich in vitamin A, beta carotene and antioxidants. They also rank low on the GI scale. This means they take longer to digest and are absorbed slowly by the body, resulting in a slower rise in blood glucose levels.
There are countless ways to enjoy sweet potatoes. Slice them up and bake them in the oven for a healthier version of fries. Cook them in the microwave or even prepare them mashed.
Some muscle soreness is indeed normal. It’s a sign that you’re challenging your muscles in new and unfamiliar ways, which is a good thing. However, you don’t have to put up with the pain for days on end. Simple adjustments can make a big difference. Try adding these foods into your nutrition plan. Also, program active rest days as needed and make time for mobility and foam rolling. You can feel better faster and get back to the gym sooner.
Train hard, recover harder!