These Four Super Foods Combat Post-Workout Muscle Pain February 16, 2016
These Four Super Foods Combat Post-Workout Muscle Pain February 16, 2016

Many of us have a love/hate relationship with post-workout muscle pain and stiffness. On one hand, that soreness makes you feel as if you’ve really made an impact on your body. On the other hand, it hurts.

The causes of delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) are not well understood. According to the American Academy of Sports Medicine, it is widely believed that DOMS results from tiny tears in muscle tissue. Whatever the cause, some wholly natural super-foods provide relief from its symptoms. The best part? These options don’t call for any special lifting techniques or stretching routines; all you have to do is eat and drink:

Remedy #1: Watercress is more than just a boring finger-sandwich garnish. The green leafy vegetable can also help prevent and relieve muscle soreness. As part of a study conducted at the Edinburgh Napier University and the University of Ulster, researchers drew blood from study participants before and after exercise. The watercress-eating group had less post-exercise damage to their DNA than the control group. Why? It’s possible that higher levels of important antioxidants and vitamins provided by the greens help protect the cells from destructive free radicals.

Remedy #2: Ginger’s anti-inflammatory properties are no secret to many athletes–and plenty of studies prove it. The root, which has been a staple of Eastern and Middle Eastern medical and culinary traditions for centuries, contains potent antioxidants—a benefit it shares with watercress. These antioxidants counteract the free radicals produced by inflammatory and tissue-damaging nitric oxide, a byproduct of exercise. They also inhibit the production of pro-inflammatory compounds in your joints, such as lipoxygenase.

Remedy #3: Watermelon probably isn’t the first food that comes to mind when you think about nutritional eating. However, according to a report from the American Chemical Society, an amino acid found in watermelon juice called L-citrulline makes it a great post-workout drink. Available as a standalone supplement for many years, L-citrulline boosts blood flow to your muscles. This, of course, provides them with more oxygen, which promotes faster healing.

Remedy #4: Cherry Juice has been shown to reduce muscle soreness in athletes, according to a study by Oregon Health & Science University and data published by the National Library of Medicine. The studies suggest that chemicals known as flavonoids and anthocyanins – with strong anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties – help counteract DOMS symptoms.

As you get into the thick of your fitness goals for the new year, try one or more of these sore-muscle solutions—and let us know how it goes!

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