Foods That Reduce Post-Workout Pains

May 18, 2017  |  
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Being in pain after a workout feels a bit insulting. You dragged your butt out of bed, put on your (overpriced) workout clothes, drove to the gym and endured the heavy breathing of that one guy who always uses the treadmill next to yours to be in pain after? That doesn’t seem fair. Shouldn’t you be rewarded with a foot rub and a smoothie after every workout? Fine, maybe that’s overdoing it. But it doesn’t seem right that you can barely move for two days after your workout. And it isn’t right. The aches and pains you feel after hitting the gym hard could be the result of nutritional imbalances happening in your body. Remember, your body needs very different things when you’re exercising versus when you’re just sedentary. Here are foods that reduce post-workout aches.

Cruciferous veggies

If you’re heading back to the kitchen after hitting the gym, cook up some broccoli, spinach, celery or chard. These cruciferous veggies eliminate free radicals in the body that can hinder the healing process. They also boost metabolism.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Watermelon

Not only is it hydrating, which you need after a workout, but watermelon also restores muscle glycogen—which your body converts into energy for your entire body, including your central nervous system. This fruit also boosts nitric oxide which helps repair damaged tissue.

 

 

Soy nuts

If you cram your workout in between meetings and picking up the kids from school, you need a food that won’t go bad in your gym bag. Soy nuts fit the bill, and a small handful contains a ton of protein that helps build muscle.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

White rice

While you usually want brown rice for its high fiber content, you want fast-digesting carbohydrates after working out. You’ll find that in white rice. Pair it with a protein like chicken for a complete post-workout meal.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Whey protein

Branched-chain amino acids (otherwise known as BCAAs) encourage protein synthesis and can minimize muscle damage. BCAAs are found in high quantities in whey protein, which is why it’s such a popular ingredient in fitness drinks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Potatoes

Potatoes may not be fancy but they’re quite nutritionally complete. They have carbs and several other nutrients your body craves after a workout. If white potatoes aren’t your thing, you can have sweet potatoes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Quinoa

Quinoa provides a burst of protein and carbs. It’s also loaded with tons of amino acids, magnesium, potassium and calcium. Don’t let this ancient food fool you; it’s powerful.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kiwi and pineapple

Both of these tropical fruits improve your blood antioxidant levels and can greatly relieve pain. They’re also hydrating and boast vitamin C—your body needs a little immunity boost after a workout.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eggs

If your stomach doesn’t respond well to weigh protein don’t worry because eggs also contain plenty of BCAAS. They also take minutes to whip up, so you can get them in your post-workout system fast.

 

 

 

 

Cherry juice

Tart cherry juice contains anti-inflammatory compounds that act like painkillers. They can cut back on your Ibuprofen use.

 

 

 

 

 

Chocolate milk

Good news! You have an excuse to return to this favorite childhood treat. Chocolate milk contains protein, calcium, and carbs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bananas

Being in pain after a workout feels a bit insulting. You dragged your butt out of bed, put on your (overpriced) workout clothes, drove to the gym and endured the heavy breathing of that one guy who always uses the treadmill next to yours to be in pain after? That doesn’t seem fair. Shouldn’t you be rewarded with a foot rub and a smoothie after every workout? Fine, maybe that’s overdoing it. But it doesn’t seem right that you can barely move for two days after your workout. And it isn’t right. The aches and pains you feel after hitting the gym hard could be the result of nutritional imbalances happening in your body. Remember, your body needs very different things when you’re exercising versus when you’re just sedentary. Here are foods that reduce post-workout aches.

 

Orange juice

Orange juice also has potassium—a little secret many people don’t realize. Rather than drinking your OJ first thing in the morning, save it for after your workout.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Salmon

The healthy fats found in salmon, and most fish, reduce muscle soreness. If you’re in a hurry, keep canned salmon and crackers on hand.

 

 

 

 

Chicken

Lean protein is the perfect post-workout dinner. It helps repair the muscle proteins broken during your workout, without putting your body through the work of digesting fattier meats like steak.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nut butter

Nut butter has healthy fats, which, as we already know, can treat muscle soreness. It also has protein to repair damaged muscles and is easy to travel to the gym and work with.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Coffee

Coffee has the obvious benefit of giving you an energy kick after a workout. But coffee can also block specific receptors in your body that cause an inflammatory response.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Salty crackers

The sodium in salty crackers replenishes the electrolytes you lost through sweating. If ever you wanted an excuse to have this otherwise not-so-healthy snack, this is it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Milk (if tolerated)

If chocolate milk is too sweet for you, you can also drink plain milk. It has water, protein, and sodium—all of which your muscles crave after a workout.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Berries

The darker the berry, the better. Think blackberries and blueberries. These contain high amounts of antioxidants, which can repair damaged muscles.

 

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