I’m sure we’ve all experienced delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) at some point in our lives, whether it’s from a strenuous workout or even just carrying heavy shopping. Some people love it, whilst some hate it and especially if your workouts are regularly strenuous it’s just one of those things we have to get used to.
DOMS is caused by a combination of factors including muscle inflammation, muscle damage and potentially connective tissue damage and lactic acid build up. However, there are certain nutrients which may reduce the effects of DOMS. Let me explain.
- Curacumin - it’s no secret that turmeric promotes anti-inflammatory properties and the secret is the active ingredient, curacumin. Research has suggested that curacumin may reduce the presence of inflammatory cytokines and promote muscle recovery between 24-48 hours after a workout. You can take this on its own as a supplement or consume turmeric in golden milks, curries or soups and stews.
- Antioxidants - these nutrients pretty much come up in the majority of topics which I write about and this is purely due to the power of these nutrients. Antioxidants, namely vitamin C, Vitamin E, carotenoids and selenium. Antioxidants are well-known for their anti-inflammatory properties. Research has suggested antioxidants reduce muscle and cell damage through the removal of reactive oxygen species. Fruits and vegetables are a great source of a variety of antioxidants.
- Flavanoids - these are phytochemicals which are chemicals produced by plants. Flavanoids are known for their protection against infections and injuries. Flavanoids are poorly absorbed when consumed alone (in supplement form) although, a combination of a variety of flavanoids may increase their absorption. Some research suggests that flavanoids are most beneficial in reducing DOMS when the exercise involves heavy exertion. Key sources of flavanoids include: fruits and vegetables and tea.
- Omega-3 Fatty Acids - this appears to be another commonly referred to nutrient (and well deserved too). Some research has suggested that 2-3g of omega-3 FA after a workout may reduce IL-6 and CRP inflammatory markers consequently reducing the impact of DOMS. 100g of wild salmon contains around 2.5g of omega-3 FA. Other dietary sources include walnuts, chia seeds and flax seeds.
To round up, eating certain foods may help to reduce DOMS the next day. Focus on eating a variety of fruits and vegetables, nuts and oily fish. I also recommend cooking with turmeric to reduce the inflammation caused from strenuous exercise.References:
Drobnic, F., Riera, J., Appendino, G., Togni, S., Franceschi, F., Valle, X., ... & Tur, J. (2014). Reduction of delayed onset muscle soreness by a novel curcumin delivery system (Meriva庐): a randomised, placebo-controlled trial.聽Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition,聽11(1), 31.
Nicol, L. M., Rowlands, D. S., Fazakerly, R., & Kellett, J. (2015). Curcumin supplementation likely attenuates delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). European journal of applied physiology, 115(8), 1769-1777.
Kim, J., & Lee, J. (2014). A review of nutritional intervention on delayed onset muscle soreness. Part I. Journal of exercise rehabilitation, 10(6), 349-356.