Feeling a little sore after that last class? The satisfying soreness that follows a well-done workout is a common indicator of increased muscle size and strength. And while “gains” are encouraging to experience, muscle soreness can also suspend our schedule to attend all of our favorite classes regularly. Moreover, sore muscles disturb our day-to-day activities (think climbing the stairs or getting out of bed after Nicole's leg day!). But rather than simply suffering through post-workout pain, we can alleviate these aches by adding effective recovery meals to our nutritional arsenal!
Check out these feel-good foods and take note on which varieties work best for you:
Blueberries – Their high antioxidant content fights off those free radicals that build up during exercise.
Pomegranates and cherries – These tart-but-tasty foods have anti-inflammatory properties that reduce muscle swelling – providing much-needed relief.
Low-fat cottage cheese – It’s full of vitamin D to protect our joints, and protein to help with muscle repair.
Spices like turmeric and ginger – These inflammation-fighting compounds are soreness-fighting superstars.
Bell peppers – They’re chock-full of Vitamin C to help prevent the soreness before it starts.
Protein – Should be consumed before and after every workout – it helps to prevent and treat soreness by triggering muscle repair and growth.
Water – Should be consumed before, during, and after every workout – it’s essential in keeping your muscles strong and soreness-free. Aim for half of your body weight in daily ounces (and even more if you live in a hot environment or exercise more than usual!).
Feeling a little sore is a good thing – it means that our muscles are in the process of growing and becoming stronger. But to help the soreness go away more quickly (and get us back to our routines), it’s important to replenish, rehydrate, and rest!