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Sore Muscles? Let These Foods Heal You

How many times have you skipped leg day while you’re still sore from working on your chest and biceps yesterday? We understand, we all trim down our workouts sometime or the other, especially when our overworked muscles don’t feel up to it.

Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness or DOMS is to blame as you feel even worse after a work out, when you squat on the toilet, bend to pick up your bag or hunch over to dress up in the morning. This happens because as you work out, your muscles develop tiny micro tears in the muscle tissue, which then repair themselves to gain mass and strength. And while sore muscles are a regular part and parcel of this building process, there are a few foods which you can consume, and those which you should avoid, to help those poor muscles of yours.

Foods That Soothe Sore Muscle

Tart Cherries

Through research, it is now known that tart cherries (or its juice) helps to improve muscle recovery time, reduce pain and decrease muscle damage. When compared to any other beverage. Throw some in into your smoothie or gulp down a glass of this red juice once you finish your work out.

Cottage Cheese

Packed with 27 grams of protein in every cup, good ‘ol cottage cheese is a great post-workout snack for anyone who is into fitness. It is a good source of casein protein, which is a slow-digesting fuel for your body that helps you heal as you sleep and rest. An amino acid called leucine in this food is known to aid speedy recovery and pain management.

Baking Spices

Nope, we don’t mean you have to grab gingerbread cookies or Cinnabons after your work out, but just a little sprinkle of spice may calm your muscles. Cinnamon or ginger is usually known to lessen muscle soreness after you have worked out. Use a sprinkle on your toast, morning oats or latte, for a flavor boost.

Turmeric

This powered gold substance is a godsend and can cure just about anything, as it contains ‘curcumin’ which reduces pain (associated with DOMS), improves recovery and reduces chances of injury.

Coffee

Coffee lovers rejoice, for it is suggested by research that moderate doses of caffeine (2 cups of coffee) could reduce post exercise stress on the body by 48%. As if we needed another reason to enjoy our cuppa!

Salmon

With plenty of antioxidants, omega-3 and protein, this fish is a great anti-inflammatory agent, which also helps, build muscle. Salmon is a perfect food for people who wish to improve and build muscle while preventing DOMS, soreness and inflammation. Grilled, baked, or skillet fried… it’s your choice!

Watermelon

After sweating it out at the gym, nothing is more satisfying than biting into some juicy cold slices of watermelon. What’s even better to know is that l-citrulline, an amino acid present in watermelon (more so in the rind), helps sore muscles after 24 hours. Additionally, the natural sugars from the fruit guide protein towards your muscles and refill the low glycogen count. And not to forget, this juicy fruit also keeps dehydration as bay.

Eggs

Protein is easily the building block for muscles and that’s probably why we weren’t surprised to know that research says that a rich source of protein, such as eggs, after or during a high intensity training routine, could reduce DOMS substantially. Just like cottage cheese, these eggs are full of leucine that helps in recovery. Each egg has about 70 calories with about 6 grams of protein and they are best consumed hard-boiled with just a little bit of pepper and salt. A great post work out snack, indeed!

Foods to steer clear Of when you have sore muscles

As you are now away of what foods are good for those aching muscles, let’s get down to the ones which really don’t do you any good. And these items won’t even surprise you much, as we are told time and again to cut down on it’s consumption.

Sugar

Muscle soreness is a sort of inflammation in your body, so naturally, one must avoid those foods which can induce inflammation, especially on the days you work our or hit the gym. Take the refined carbohydrate sugar, for instance. It was found that a calorie and sugar laden soda could increase inflammatory markers, and that’s not all, white bread (again, a refined carb), does the same! Of course, natural forms of sugar from whole grains, milk, fruits and vegetables do not have the same effect and can be a great substitute when your body craves sugar.

Alcohol

Even small doses of booze post-workout can heighten pain and increase risk of injury. Because alcohol is known to dehydrate cells, the resulting effect could be that of debilitating cramps, strains and even more soreness. Researchers found out that it could even limit the way our bodies break down lactic acid, which in turn, makes us feel more in pain.

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