Eat for Recovery

3 Oct

cherries_may311If you’re an athlete or active individual, at some point you have experienced/will experience post-workout (or post-game) muscle soreness.

And, while there are lots of strategies that help to promote recovery – rest/sleep, stretching, foam rolling, ice bath, acetaminophen/ibuprofen, to name a few – diet and nutrition, as a recovery strategy, is often overlooked.

Since post-workout muscle soreness is inflammation-related, foods with high anti-oxidant properties that fight inflammation should be incorporated into your diet to help with the recovery process.  Here are a handful of examples:

  • Spinach – loaded with vitamin E, as well as anti-inflammatory flavonoids and carotenoids found in plentiful amounts in its leaves.
  • Salmon – particularly the wild, Alaskan variety, is a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids; you can also add other oily fish like anchovies, mackerel and sardines.
  • Walnuts – an excellent source of anti-inflammatory omega-3 essential fatty acids, in the form of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA).
  • Tart cherries – promote faster recovery of muscle strength; researchers also found that tart cherries have the “highest anti-inflammatory content of any food,” even more than other antioxidant-rich foods like blueberries and pomegranates.  (melatonin-rich tart cherries may also improve sleep quality)
  • Olive oil – can reduce inflammation, which may be one of the main reasons for its health benefits; the main anti-inflammatory effects are mediated by the antioxidants; key among them is oleocanthal, which has been shown to work similarly to ibuprofen.

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

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