Foods to reduce muscle soreness

Foods to Reduce Muscle Soreness.

Delayed onset muscle soreness, otherwise known as DOMS, is the soreness and tenderness you sometimes feel in your muscles for a few days after a tough workout. DOMS can kick in as soon as six hours after a workout and can last for several days. Almost any strenuous workout can cause muscle soreness, but it’s usually worse when you expose your muscles to something they’re unfamiliar with—new exercises and intense workouts are sure tickets to DOMS central.

There are several things that can help ease DOMS. Ibuprofen and other over-the-counter pain medications are popular, and they can help, but they also come with side effects and should be used as a last resort. Sticking to natural remedies, massages are popular. Hot baths and ice packs can also do wonders. But there’s one thing that often gets overlooked when it comes to easing soreness, and that’s the food you eat.

You know food and nutrition is critical to building muscle and keeping in great shape, but did you know certain foods can also help keep DOMS at bay? Here are some great foods that have been proven effective infighting muscle soreness and promoting recovery.

Cottage cheese

Cottage cheese is an awesome source of protein. Not only is there a ton of it, but it contains both whey and casein protein. Whey protein is the one you know and love in your post-workout shakes. It helps to replenish your muscles and provide them the fuel they need to grow.

Casein, on the other hand, is absorbed much slower and helps your muscles to recover long after you eat it. Try cottage cheese before a workout, or before bed, to provide your muscles with long-lasting fuel. You can also buy casein protein powder—this can make a great shake to end the day with.


Nuts, like almonds and peanuts, are excellent foods even if your muscles aren’t sore. They are packed with Omega-3 fatty acids, which help fight inflammation and soreness, and protein, which of course is vital for muscle growth. They are also pretty calorie-dense, which makes them a great snack to help get those extra calories on a bulk. You can eat them plain, or add them to other foods as a topping.


Spinach has tons of antioxidants, which can help your body bounce back after a tough workout. It has also been shown to help promote good health in general and strengthen your muscles. And finally, it is loaded with magnesium, which helps maintain muscle and nerve function. There’s a reason this one is called a superfood. To get the most out of spinach, make it a regular part of your diet. Not everyone loves cooked spinach, but it can make a great addition to a salad or smoothie.

Dried cherries or tart cherry juice

Tart cherries have been shown to promote muscle recovery, improve performance, and help minimize post-workout muscle soreness in both runners and lifters. You can go for cherry juice if you want to liven up your beverage game, but you can also eat dried cherries for the same benefit. These can make a great post-workout snack that can help reduce muscle soreness and inflammation. You can eat them plain, or add them to other foods.


Fish is an excellent source of protein and Omega-3 fatty acids, making it a staple of any bodybuilder’s diet. Like nuts, the combination of Omega-3s and protein helps keep soreness at a minimum and your muscles’ fuel at a maximum. Salmon is a classic, but any fatty fish will provide the same benefits. Trout, mackerel, sardines, and tuna are all great choices if you’re sick of salmon. Proteins are especially good post-workout to help replenish your muscles.


Yes, coffee. Coffee as a pre-workout has been shown to dramatically reduce soreness and fatigue in the muscles, and we all know that caffeine helps boost endurance. Coffee can also make a great natural alternative to traditional pre-workouts if you want to try something new.Caffeine will also help boost the effects of pain relievers, such as ibuprofen if you do end up needing to take them.


If any of these foods are missing from your diet, add the min and see the difference they can make in reducing soreness. You’ll be surprised at the difference great, healthy foods can make.

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