Working out has great benefits, but it also has a few downsides, one of which is sore muscles. When you work out you do a little damage to the fiber of the muscles, and that causes them to feel sore when they heal. There are, however, things you can do to help lessen the effects or prevent sore muscles, such as eating very specific types of foods to help strengthen your body’s ability to heal.
Proteins are the building blocks of your muscles. Your muscles will use a lot of protein to heal themselves after a tough workout, and the more protein you can get into your system before and after a workout the better. Not only will it help with building up your muscles, those proteins will increase the healing process. The speed at which the muscles recover from damage, is directly related to how much protein is available to them.
Easting foods which are high in protein is the most consistent way to do this. If you work out on a regular basis, using a protein supplement or shake would help out a lot as well, by giving your body concentrated amounts of proteins when you need them most. Foods you want to eat include:
- Chicken breasts
- Red meat
- Protein bars
Whether or not you work out on a regular basis, not having enough potassium in your system can cause you to get sore muscles from normal, everyday activities. When the muscles are worked, they build up lactic acid and this can cause cramping and sore muscles. For those of you who work out or are athletes, you will need to have more potassium in your system to prevent soreness than a non-athlete.
There are many sports drinks which help replace electrolytes, but they’re not an adequate source of potassium for the level of activity from a workout. Essentially, you need about one banana per hour of exercise, as this will provide enough potassium to prevent sore muscles and cramping. Foods to eat for potassium include:
- Oranges or orange juice
Lots of Water
This may sound like a no-brainer, but you would be surprised how often we’re dehydrated and don’t even know it. The human body is about 75% water, with your muscles at 80% water. When you work out, you burn through that water pretty quickly. Water is essential to every single cell in your body and without enough, your cells are less protected and more prone to soreness after a workout. Dehydration is the most common ailment in the human race, and it is easily prevented.
Because the muscles are so high in water percentage, when they don’t have enough they are prone to becoming sore just by doing common activities such as walking up the stairs. The question is, how much water do you need to make sure you are properly hydrated at all times? Doctors and trainers recommend at least 8-8 oz. cups of water per day.