We know that feeling. We’ve had a great workout but the next day wake up feeling a little sore.
Does just getting dressed, squatting down to go to the toilet or picking up your bag feel worse than the workout itself? Then you are probably dealing with DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness). When you work out you cause little micro-tears in your muscles and when those fibres rebuild, that’s when you gain strength and mass.
After we work out we feel like we can just do a quick stretch and be done. Our lives are so busy that often we are lucky if we have time to grab some food, let alone pay attention to what we are eating. Without noticing what we refuel our body with we can be setting up for lengthy recovery times and increased muscle soreness.
Complementing your workout with the right diet will help you keep moving again the next day.
Salmon is loaded with anti-inflammatory omega-3 fats, antioxidants and muscle-building protein and is a “close-to-perfect” post-workout food. Research on omega-3 consumption suggests that it may specifically help prevent inflammation and muscle soreness after exercising.
Protein is an essential building block of muscles so adding a source of protein, like eggs, during or after an intensive exercise may help reduce the risk of DOMS. Eggs are also an excellent source of leucine, which is linked to muscle recovery.
Research has shown that tart cherry juice can help improve recovery time, decrease muscle pain and reduce muscle damage compared with other drinks. Throw a little into your post-workout smoothie or enjoy a short glass of it as a pre-workout snack.
With about 27 grams of protein per cup, cottage cheese is a great go-to post-workout snack. It is one of the best sources of casein protein, the slow-digesting fuel that is fantastic for rejuvenating sore muscles as you sleep.
Bananas are easy to digest and are a great source of quality carbohydrates. Bananas will help spike your insulin just enough to drive protein into the muscle. This stimulates muscle rebuilding and growth. They are also one of the best sources of the electrolyte potassium which may help reduce muscle soreness post gym.
So after your next workout, take a little time to think about what you are refuelling your body with and it will certainly thank you!