If you look in the mirror and are unhappy with your body or you constantly feel weak, you probably want to do something about it. You might have already considered strength training and more exercise, but you’re put off by the pain you have previously experienced. We’ve all heard horror stories about the pain and injuries experienced after strenuous exercise. However, with the right foods in your diet, you can prevent or significantly reduce this problem.
Various studies have shown that the right foods will have an impact on DOMS and the recovery of the body. DOMS or delayed onset muscle soreness is the pain and stiffness associated with strenuous exercise. It is enough to put anyone off weight training or even going near a set of dumbbells.
There is plenty of evidence to suggest that eating right is the best way to avoid a problem like this. One study in 2012 provided evidence that antioxidants found in blueberries could have a positive impact on recovery after exercise. Another 2013 research report provided evidence that caffeine could impact the effect of DOMS on the body. Let's look at some of the other foods that you should add to your diet to reduce muscle soreness and aid recovery.
1. Leafy Greens
Free radicals can slow the healing of the body. Both rainbow chard and collards are high in the nutrients that can eliminate these free radicals from your body. Of course, this is not the only benefit of leafy foods. Green veg and leafy plants even have a psychological impact by providing the materials to produce neurotransmitters that boost your mood and impact the power of your will. Remember, if you suffer with an injury or have sore muscles, both your mind and your body have to be in fighting shape to get you up and training.
Studies have shown that dehydration leads to increased muscle soreness and more muscle pain after workouts. Therefore keeping hydrated if one of the easiest ways to reduce DOMS. Particularly if you plan on working out in hot, sweaty environments.
Foods high in protein help to increase the level of protein synthesis in the body. The foods that will help you in this area include different types of fish and eggs. Adding these foods to your diet will reduce the level of inflammation in your body, thus potentially reducing the soreness of your muscles.
Nuts provide a whole source of fat, and this can lead to health benefits such as increased levels of bone repair. If the omega 6 and omega 3 fats are balanced, bones can heal at a more rapid rate which could be beneficial in the event of a serious injury. In fact, eating nuts like almonds can have a positive impact on recovery for the body because balancing fats will reduce oxidative stress during training. Beware, nuts are very high in calories and 8-10 nuts are considered a portion.
Ginger, turmeric and cinnamon have all been shown to have a positive impact on both muscle soreness and recovery. The latter two have interesting anti-inflammatory features and can be used to accelerate recovery times while ensuring that DOMS is reduced. Cinnamon has been seen to have a similar positive impact and decreased DOMS after intense training for professional athletes.
6. Fermented Foods
Eating fermented foods will have various benefits for your health from consuming nutrients crucial for tissue repair to further reduction of inflammation and oxidative stress on the body. Indeed, studies have shown that fermented foods such as indigestible fibre can boost the immune system and reduce inflammation. Both factors are key to reducing the pain experienced during recovery and the time it takes to recover.
There are probably various issues stopping you from getting more active and working on your levels of strength and fitness. However, don’t let the potential pain of working out put you off. With the right food in your diet, you can prevent or significantly reduce this problem.
Would you like to know how we at StudioTwenty3 help our clients to get through DOMS and stay on track with their training? Get in touch today!
Gareth Allen - Personal Trainer and Owner.