One of the worst (or most satisfying) feelings after a long week of exercise, is the feeling of muscle soreness. Some people feel like soreness after a workout is a sense of accomplishment. Others can find it to be uncomfortable. For whatever reason, being able to recover from a workout is essential. Adding these foods into your post workout meals can be a great way to reduce soreness so you’re ready to go for your next workout.
Interesting enough, tart cherries are number one when it comes to foods that reduce muscle soreness. Tart cherries provide phenolic compounds that contain anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Soreness after exercise is often caused by an inflammatory response to oxidative tissue damage; and by consuming tart cherries, the antioxidants will significantly reduce this adverse effect. Not only are tart cherries delicious, but will reduce the need to ingest NSAIDS or over the counter painkillers.
Dark Leafy Greens
Besides being incredibly nutritious and loaded with nutrients, dark leafy greens are great to speed up your recovery from sore muscles. In additional to having anti-inflammatory properties, dark leafy greens help get rid of free radicals in the body that impair the muscle healing process. Incorporating this food into your daily life can be easy and quick – toss a handful of greens in your smoothie or replace an iceberg or romaine lettuce with kale or spinach.
Salmon is Dr. Goglia’s favorite protein due to it being a high quality source of protein, as well as the anti-inflammatory properties it contains. In addition, salmon contains omega-3 (a healthy fat) that helps rebuild and repairs muscles by increasing blood flow. This increase of blood flow can help reduce soreness and swelling. Ideally, eating salmon for dinnertime is a great option to boost recovery and build muscle. Try one (or all!) of these incredibly delicious salmon recipes.
Of course water isn’t food, but it is too important to omit from this list. Dehydration can be a huge toll on the body regardless if you’re exercising or not. However, when it comes to exercising, not drinking enough water can lead to muscle pain and increased soreness. Water will help flush out toxins and provide the necessary hydration your body needs to recuperate. Ideally, drinking at least half your body weight in ounces is recommended to maintain hydration.