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Foods That Help With Sore Muscles

Foods That Help With Sore Muscles

May 16, 2020 / Patrick Zavorskas

There’s nothing better than the way you feel after a killer workout. Think about it - just a little bit of sweat and a whole lot of endorphins later, don't you feel like you are ready to take on anything? You are on top of the world! However, sometimes this feeling doesn't last - and one enemy seems to conquer it all: muscle soreness. 

It is true that fatigue can be a sign of progress when it comes to working out, but that doesn't mean it provides any inconveniences when it comes to our routines. The good news is, there are some things you can do to decrease these issues and be sure to get the most out of your workout. For starters, you can consider taking the time to warm up before you work out and even consider the way you eat. That’s right: The way you fuel your body before, during, even after a workout can have a direct impact on recovery.

According to Maya Feller, RD, CDN, based in New York City, "There are a lot of variables that can and should be considered after an intense workout."  She generally asks those who workout regularly to consider the following: How often and how long are the intense sessions of your routine? How much of a rest period are you giving yourself during your routine? And even, are you getting the nutrients you need in order to stay healthy and remain stable after your workout? She recommends that most athletes or fitness enthusiast actually do benefit from having a balanced snack that delivers protein pared with carbohydrate and fat within one hour of working out. Others, however, may be looking for something more substantial — like a whole meal. Working with a nutritionist or registered dietitian on your goals can help you determine how much food you could need after your typical fitness sessions.

There are foods that help sore muscles. Make those “ugh, I can’t move” complaints a thing of the past by stocking your fridge with these essential eats:

Oatmeal

Oatmeal is actually one of the best foods to eat for sore muscles. It actually serves as an amazing post-sweat and workout option for a multitude of reasons, including that it’s easy to make and it’s filling. Eating 33 grams of whole grains daily — equivalent to a bowl of oatmeal — could cut your risk of premature death by 9% compared to those who barely ate whole grains at all, according to research from Harvard University. Oatmeal also contains a ton of complex carbohydrates, which digest slowly so you receive a steady release of sugar into the bloodstream. This allows for a consistent level of energy (meaning you won't quickly crash and burn). Sports nutritionist Josh Hingst says that complex carbs are ideal fuel for high-intensity training, because they can be used during anaerobic activity. Oatmeal is also  rich in iron, a nutrient that red blood cells need to carry oxygen from the lungs to your cells and muscles. A proper iron balance allows your cardiovascular system to work at optimal levels to fuel muscles with oxygen during strenuous training and competition. If you are looking for an amazing oatmeal recipe for your after-workout cool-down, consider the following:

Athlete Oatmeal Recipe

Serves : One Bowl

Gather Together:

  • 1/2 Cup of 100% Whole Grain Oats
  • 1 Tablespoon of Vanilla Whey Protein Powder
  • 1 Tablespoon of Ground Flaxseed
  • 1/2 Teaspoon of Cinnamon 
  • 1 Cup of Milk or a Non-Dairy Milk Substitute of Choice (Such as Almond Or Coconut)
  • 1 Tablespoon of Honey or Maple Syrup

Directions:

Mix dry ingredients in a microwave safe bowl. Add milk and mix well with a wire whisk to avoid lumps. Microwave on high power for two and a half minutes. Mix again with whisk then stir in honey.

Feel free to modify this recipe according to your preferences. You can get even more benefits from the oatmeal by adding a half-cup of blueberries or other fruit for vitamins and antioxidants.

Oatmeal Nutrition Information

  • Calories: 400
  • Carbohydrates: 50 grams
  • Protein: 25 grams

Cherry Juice

When it comes to cherries, it has been found that tart cherries are a good source of phenolic compounds, known to be antioxidant-rich and have anti-inflammatory capabilities which have been linked to a protective post-workout effect. According to research and studies conducted on post-workout routines, cherry juice — specifically made with tart cherries — may intervene and augment the secondary response that produces muscle soreness, allowing you to ease yourself out of a workout and not feel tense. 

In 2011, researchers at the Sports and Exercise Science Research Center at London South Bank University had studied the effects of tart cherry juice had on the recovery of 10 trained athletes after an intense strength training session. Athletes were told to drink 1 ounce of tart cherry juice concentrate twice daily for seven days prior to and two days after their workout. Within just 24 hours of their workout, athletes who consumed cherry juice returned to 90 percent of normal muscle force, which was about 5 percent higher than the results were when the athletes did not consume cherry juice.

With this being said, the tart cherry juice and muscle recovery research adds to the pile of evidence that says cherries can almost be seen as some form of a superfood! Cherries are low in calories, a source for dietary fiber and vitamin C, and contain a ton of antioxidants that are important to the body and your physical health. 

Spinach

Spinach, as well as arugula and other green, leafy vegetables, is jam-packed with nutrients including vitamins B, C and A which help stave off inflammation. It also packs 5 grams of protein per cup. Easily slip a handful or two into your post-workout protein smoothie without altering the taste.

When it comes to choosing a post-workout food, choose smartly and choose what works for you! Share with us your favorite post workout meals by tagging us on Instagram @itouchwearables and Facebook @itouchwearables. Also, be sure to check out our new articles published daily!

-Patrick


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