Many people start the new year off with more exercise, but if you’ve jumped back into a fitness regimen and your muscles are protesting, then you might be interested to know that some foods can help alleviate muscle soreness.†
While you may feel the initial “burn” during exercise due to lactic acid buildup in your muscles, the “after effect’ of muscle soreness is most likely due to inflammation caused by muscle cell damage, or little tears in the muscle, as well as other causes.
In that case, here are some muscle-soothing foods to know about—all organic, of course.
First off is protein. In short, proper, adequate and complete protein intake can help to repair muscle because protein provides the amino acids—or building blocks—your body needs for healthy muscles and tissues.†
In fact, protein can help your body repair cells and build new ones,† especially if you have sore muscles that need some help. The Harvard School of Public Health suggests 46 grams of protein for women and 56 grams of protein for men, on average, each day. However, if you exercise rigorously or are an athlete, then you most likely will need even more protein.
Next, are blueberries. Yes. Blueberries. Packed with powerful antioxidants, blueberries have been found to help prevent muscle damage,† according to a 2010 study published in the journal Molecular Nutrition and Food Research. The research in the study points to the fact that blueberries are brimming with high levels of anthocyanins that can help to protect skeletal muscles from damage that can occur during strenuous physical activity.†
You can also “juice it up” with cherry juice, which can have protective and healthy effects on muscles.† According to research in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, individuals who drank 12 ounces of a cherry juice blend daily for eight days had less muscle soreness and pain due to damage resulting from exercise.†
Additionally, those who did not drink the cherry juice blend had a 22 percent loss in strength, while those who did enjoy the cherry juice blend saw only a 4 percent loss of strength following exercise.† Be sure to choose cherry juice that is naturally sweet with no added sugar.
Don’t forget about healthy carbs, either. Good-for-you carbs are important for energy levels and for your muscles—both before and after activity. Nuts, veggies, seeds and legumes are some carbs that can be beneficial—all organic, remember.
So, don’t let muscle soreness sideline you. Eat foods that can help soothe your muscles.
†These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.