Looking for something other than protein to aide with delayed onset muscle soreness? Believe it or not, various plant-based foods help with muscle recovery. Many natural foods have anti-inflammatory properties that relieves muscle soreness after strenuous exercise.
Curious to know which foods are the best? Keep reading to discover the profound research that proves plants have power.
This powerful root contains anti-inflammatory properties similar to nonsteriodal anti-inflammatory drugs. In 2010 the Journal of Pain published the Ginger (Zingiber officinale) Reduces Muscle Pain Caused by Eccentric Exercise study noted that daily doses of ginger are effective for relieving muscle pain post exercise. Ginger contains a compound called gingerols, which are powerful anti-inflammatory properties and known to reduce swelling and pain and increase mobility.
Cinnamon and ginger, for muscle recovery, go hand in hand like peas and carrots. A 2013 study, "Influence of ginger and cinnamon intake on inflammation and muscle soreness endued by exercise in Iranian female athletes" concluded, "administration of ginger and cinnamon in athlete women for six weeks did not show any significant change in the IL-6 level, but showed a decrease in muscle soreness in the cinnamon and ginger groups."
Cinnamon is a powerful spice that has been proven to reduce blood sugar levels, alleviate arthritic symptoms and improves insulin sensitivity.
That favorite summertime fruit contains L-citrulline, an amino acid known to reduce muscle soreness. In 2013, the Watermelon Juice: A Potential Functional Drink for Sore Muscle Relief in Athletes research study tested and concluded, "In the in vivo experiment (maximum effort test in a cycloergometer), seven athletes were supplied with 500 mL of natural watermelon juice (1.17 g of L-citrulline), enriched watermelon juice (4.83 g of L-citrulline plus 1.17 g from watermelon) and placebo. Both watermelon juices helped to reduce the recovery heart rate and the muscle soreness after 24 hours."
These root vegetables are known to increase athletic performance, but what about muscle recovery?
According to the 2017 "Beetroot juice is more beneficial than sodium nitrate for attenuating muscle pain after strenuous eccentric-bias exercise" study compared the effects of, "beetroot juice (BTJ) and a nitrate only drink (sodium nitrate; SN) on indices of exercise-induced muscle damage (EIMD)." The study concluded, "These data suggest that BTJ supplementation is more effective than SN for attenuating muscle pain associated with EIMD, and that any analgesic effects are likely due to phytonutrients in BTJ other than nitrate, or interactions between them."
Curcumin is one of the most powerful spices "on the market." The 2007 Curcumin effects on inflammation and performance recovery following eccentric exercise-induced muscle damage study concludes, "these results support the hypothesis that curcumin can reduce inflammation and offset some of the performance deficits associated with eccentric exercise-induced muscle damage."
Do you know of other plant-based foods that aide in muscle recovery? If so, comment below so we can further research it!
Elizabeth Rae Kovar M.A. is Author of her memoir, Finding Om and is a Fitness Trainer, Yogi, Reiki Master, Presenter and Lover of Life. To view her portfolio please visit www.elizabethkovar.com