No Pain, No Gain: Foods to Reduce Muscle Soreness
Warmer weather hovers on the horizon. That means we're out and about, moving some muscle to clean up the yard, get in shape for short sleeves and for our Bermudas. Chances are, unless you're careful, you'll overdo it and end up sore.
Most muscle pain is caused by tension, overuse or an injury from exercise. Soreness usually comes a day or two after you "push it." That soreness is caused by tiny tears in the muscle that becomes inflamed. Warm up and stretch before you work out, pace yourself to your abilities, rest and try some of these foods which may help ease the "ouch."
- Tart cherries - Several studies suggest tart cherries and the juice from tart cherries are anti-inflammatory. That action, plus the cherries' antioxidants may help heal muscle cells.
- Caffeine - A moderate amount of caffeine, roughly equivalent to two cups of coffee, cut post-workout muscle pain by up to 48 percent in a small sample of volunteers. Caffeine may block a chemical in your body that causes inflammation and pain.
- Green Tea - Antioxidants to the rescue. Comparatively, green tea wins over black and various herbal teas such as rose hip and chamomile. But many teas (not sugary-ones) have helpful nutrients in them.
- Vitamin D-rich foods - That would be fortified milk and yogurt, fish, ready-to-eat cereals (check nutrition label) and fortified juices (check label). Being deficient in vitamin D is linked with muscle weakness and according to a recent study, higher levels of fat in muscle tissue.
- Kiwi, strawberries, mango, red peppers and other vitamin C-rich foods - Their antioxidant nutrients reduce inflammation. Vitamin C helps repair injured tissue too. It helps keep blood vessels strong which will supply nutrients to damaged muscles.
Don't forget the Apples, a great Malic Acid source
Malic acid, found in apples, can assist in muscle recovery by decreasing the amount of acid build up in the joints. It is helpful in ATP derivation therefore assisting in the body's energy production. Malic acid is also beneficial in Muscle recovery, strength and performance and not least removing the buildup (through chelation) of aluminum in the body.