Your muscles are constantly in use–from everyday movement to heavy exercise–and aches can occur when they are strained. Muscle strains cause muscle fibers to tear, result in stiffness and may lead to major injuries. Muscles in the lower back, groin and limbs are most susceptible to swelling, bruising or pain. Follow a nutrition plan enriched with essential vitamins and minerals to promote muscle strength and overall well-being.
Wheat Germ: Add wheat germ to cereals and oatmeal for a healthy breakfast meal. Wheat germ is rich in octacosanol, a substance that enhances oxygen flow in the muscles and reduces inflammation. Wheat germ is also high in vitamin E, which is an essential vitamin and antioxidant that promotes healing.
Fatty Acids: Foods that are high in essential fatty oils are beneficial for those suffering from muscle aches and pains. Flaxseed oil, olive oil and certain types of cold-water fish are rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.
They also contain alpha-linolenic acid and linolenic acid, which are all vital for tissue elasticity and muscle flexibility. Incorporating these essential fatty oils into a regular healthy diet can help to improve joint motion and effectively reduce inflammation of the joints and muscles.
Eat Pineapples: This fruit is high in the enzyme Bromelain and the antioxidant vitamin C, both of which play a major role in the body’s healing process. Bromelain is a natural anti-inflammatory that has many health benefits and encourages healing. It is very effective in treating bruises, sprains and strains by reducing swelling, tenderness and pain. This powerful anti-inflammatory effect can also help relieve rheumatoid arthritis symptoms and reduce postoperative swelling.
Plenty of Water: As obvious as it sounds, drinking enough water can play a major role in alleviating muscle soreness after a workout — or after a busy day moving! Dehydration is the most common disease among humans, and it is easily avoidable.
Muscles are made up of 80% water, but if their moisture is not replenished, then chances are they will be sore, fatigued and not apt to operate at full potential. Muscles generate a by-product during activity, and therefore a sufficient amount of water is needed before, during and after activity to help keep the muscles flushed. How much water is enough? Drink as much as you can.
Protein: Muscles need protein to build themselves back up, and so the sooner you get some protein into you after an intense workout the better. Recovery speed depends on the amount of protein the muscle has to work with, the less protein, the longer the recovery and the sorer the muscle. When you use your muscles for physical activity, they are broken down, and that is why they are sore.
In order to grow stronger they repair themselves following each workout. To repair properly and quickly, muscles need amino acids that are found in protein. This will not only repair your muscles, but will help them get stronger. Good sources of protein include all meat: poultry, pork, beef and fish. While nuts, beans, seeds and dairy products re good sources of protein, studies have shown that animal protein helps muscles recover much faster.
Eating carbohydrates along with a protein following a workout will allow your muscles to repair themselves yet even faster.