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5 food tips for sore muscles

BikesEtc
5 Sep 2016

Post-ride aches and pains? Here's some tasty advice about eating to chew over.

There are many theories about why you get sore muscles after a long ride, but a combination of muscle and connective tissue damage, coupled with inflammation are the most likely culprits.  If you don’t fancy an ice bath, and have given your personal masseur the afternoon off, you can help minimise post-ride aches and pains through your diet. Here’s how…   

1. Eat more fruit and veg

We all know all about getting our five a day in, but if you’re spending long hours in the saddle, up that to between eight and 12 portions of fruit/veg a day. Endless research backs up the idea that a diet rich in both isn’t just better for your overall health but also reduces inflammation within the body. 

2. Eat less processed food

Men carrying clipboards have also proved that a diet rich in refined, processed carbohydrates will exacerbate inflammation. So swerve products made from refined grains. These are grains that have had the fibrous and nutritious parts removed – such as white flour, which is made from refined wheat. So cut down on white flour products. And yes that does mean doughnuts!

3. Quick! Get some protein down you!

Almost as soon as you get off the bike after a long slog (anything longer than 90 minutes, essentially) get 30g of protein into your system immediately – it’ll supercharge muscle repair. If you can’t stomach the idea of a chicken breast or a couple of hard-boiled eggs (both of which contain around the right amount of protein) reach for a pre-prepared shake. 

4. Go spicy, go tropical!

There are foods that contain inflammation-easing nutrients in high enough quantities to make them worth a special mention. These include turmeric, which works in the body by helping to turn off NF-kappa B, a protein complex that triggers the process of inflammation. Pineapple, meanwhile, contains bromelain, and garlic contains sulphur compounds, both of which act as a kind of natural ibuprofen.

5. Chuck in a couple of supplements

Studies have shown that amino acids such as L-glutamine and L-arginine can speed up the exercise recovery process, so pop a couple before and after your rides (although stick to the recommended dosage, obviously). We recommend Precision Engineered L-glutamine Tablets (£14.99 for 500mg), and Precision Engineered L-arginine Capsules (£6.99 for 500mg) – hollandandbarrett.com stock both. 

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