By Tena Daniel, MS RDN CSSD LD CDE
Whether you’re a bride-to-be trying to get in shape for your wedding, a weekend warrior or an athlete, exercise can make you sore. Remember the “No Pain No Gain” ads? We were led to believe that a good workout should make us sore. However, muscle soreness is not necessarily a good thing because it increases inflammation and may indicate inadequate nutrition instead of a great workout.
Here are some good nutrition tips that can help you SOAR towards recovery instead of being SORE:
One of the most important things you can do is to eat the right amount of calories, carbohydrates and proteins for YOU (everyone has different needs). If you are deficient in any of these, you will begin to break down muscles as an energy source (which is not healthy).
People are usually surprised and happy when I tell them the amount of calories they need to eat to prevent muscle loss.
Timing is everything!
Eating a snack of carbohydrates and protein (leucine-rich) 15 to 30 minutes after a workout (stops muscle breakdown and begins muscle growth and repair.
Also, foods rich in whey protein (such as chocolate milk) are great post workout snacks.
Studies show that Omega-3 Fats can increase blood flow during exercise, may lessen inflammation, and decrease muscle stiffness and joint pain. Omega-3 fats can be found in fish oils, olive oil, avocados and walnuts.
Vitamins C and E
Increasing levels of both vitamin C and E can assist with recovery from exercise. They work as antioxidants and minimize damage to the cell membranes and cell proteins They are a TEAM and work better together than when acting alone.
Eat foods rich in potassium (after exercise)
Potassium is an electrolyte that regulates nerves, muscle control and blood pressure. During exercise, potassium is lost in sweat and, if not replaced, it can lead to muscle weakness, cramps and soreness.
Pistachio nuts are a great source of potassium, and a one-ounce serving (49 shelled nuts) of pistachios actually has as much potassium as half of a large banana.
Other anti-inflammatory nutrition strategies:
Eating 7-10 servings of fruits and vegetables each day
Avoiding trans fats and limiting saturated fats
Eat foods rich in antioxidants A few examples are: tart cherry juice, ginger, turmeric, pistachios
For athletes participating in consistent intense workouts: other supplements that have shown to reduce inflammation include beta-alanine, creatine, Branched-Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs), Beta-hydroxy Beta-methylbutyrate (HMB) and caffeine.
Whether you’re overweight, or a high school athlete trying to earn a college scholarship , you will benefit tremendously from the right kind of nutritional coaching.
So what does a coach do? Well, a great coach guides you to reach your full potential and is there for you to ensure your long-term success. They begin by analyzing your current nutritional status and help you set achievable goals. They will measure you, track your progress and, most importantly, offer accountability , feedback and support.
The hardest thing about losing weight is maintaining instead of regaining. A nutrition and wellness dietitian coach has the credentials and experience to help you lose weight and keep it off!
Once we have given YOU your individual calorie and nutrient needs we would love to be YOUR coaches!