Nutrition

Recover the Natural Way

Shrink your recovery time and bounce back faster with these proven natural anti-inflammatories.

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Robert Irvine's Seared Wild Salmon Recipe

The fatty acids found in fish ilke salmon can keep muscle soreness to a minimum.

OMEGA-3 FATTY ACIDS

There are two types of health-boosting omega-3 fatty acids: EPA and DHA. EPA is known primarily for its anti-inflammatory benefits, while DHA helps improve brain function. Together they also work to reduce triglyceride levels and balance hormones, says Jamieson. Research shows female athletes who took just one week of DHA supplements had a 23% drop in training-induced muscle soreness. Key sources include fish like salmon, tuna, herring, and sardines as well as avocado, flaxseed, chia seed, egg yolks, and nuts or seeds, says Sigornie Pfefferle, R.D., a sports dietitian at St. Vincent Sports Performance in Indianapolis, IN. Depending on your diet, you might consider a supplement to top off your intake: Look for one that contains mostly EPA and DHA versus other omega-3s (the label should say).

 

How much: You’ll get about 1,000mg from 4 oz of canned tuna or 2 to 3.5oz of wild salmon. For supplements, up to 3,000mg a day is considered safe by the FDA.

SEE ALSO: Eat Clean, Get Lean Meal Plan

ARNICA

A plant-based natural remedy used for nearly five centuries to heal bruising and sprains, arnica salve massaged into the quads every four hours spelled less soreness when research subjects were tested three days after downhill running workouts.

 

How much: There are no standardized recommendations but look for topical creams or a pure arnica extract, which you can mix with water and apply with a cloth. You can also take homeopathic pills with a 30x dilution. Note that ingesting any other form of arnica can be toxic, so you should never apply it to broken skin.

MAGNESIUM

More than 70% of adults don’t reach the RDA for magnesium in their diets. But a 2014 study shows magnesium intake (found in foods like whole grains, leafy green vegetables, legumes, and nuts) reduces inflammation in the body. Try sipping magnesium citrate powder mixed with water throughout the day, or especially after a workout or just before bed, recommends Carolyn Dean, M.D., N.D., medical advisory board member at the Nutritional Magnesium Association. For generations, people have also sworn by Epsom salt baths (made from magnesium sulfate crystals). Magnesium is readily absorbed through skin, so a soothing Epsom salt bath after a hard session can feel good while boosting magnesium levels in the body.

 

How much: 320mg for adult women, though more may be beneficial during intense training. For baths, pour 1–2 cups of Epsom salts into the water.

 

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