Working out is not just about what you do in the gym but also about what you do outside of it. You can’t keep pushing yourself to your limits without giving your body the means to recover, and even the most stringent workout regimens are no match for poor nutrition. It’s thus important to give your body the tools to bounce back from muscle damage, delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS), and other symptoms of muscle fatigue. Aside from rest, the right diet plus sports recovery supplements can help you.


Go Natural

Whey has long been the go-to source for muscle-building protein, but since whey protein ingredients include the leftover liquid after milk has been curdled, it isn’t an ideal option for those who are allergic or intolerant to milk.

Fortunately, there are natural supplements that deliver similar benefits to whey protein, such as pea protein. There is also a slew of other exciting natural ingredients found in pre and post workout supplements that can aid those who are serious about reaching their fitness goals.

PEA PROTEIN. Pea protein, as its name connotes, is extracted from those legumes that kids tend to shy away from. It’s comparable to whey protein, a sports nutrition favorite, with the added benefit of being friendly to those who are allergic or intolerant to dairy.

A study in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition demonstrated that pea protein may help you with your gains, stating, “In addition to an appropriate training, the supplementation with pea protein promoted a greater increase of muscle thickness compared to placebo and especially for people starting or returning to muscular strengthening.”

TURMERIC. Turmeric is a deep yellow-orange spice often used in East Asian cooking. There has been a lot of excitement over the health benefits of turmeric, particularly its main component curcumin. While turmeric is being touted by some as a miracle ingredient, critics note that curcumin isn’t easily absorbed by the body. Others argue that, like all other nutrients, curcumin works best when combined with other agents.

Some studies have demonstrated turmeric’s usefulness when it comes to sports nutrition. One such study published in 2016 notes that curcumin supplements may reduce exercise-induced muscle damage. Another study published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition found that curcumin has the potential for preventing DOMS. Further studies need to be done for more conclusive results but adding turmeric as a sports recovery supplement to a well-rounded diet may offer some benefits.

GINGER. A fragrant and spicy kitchen staple, ginger has long been used in Asia as a treatment for various conditions, from sore throat to diabetes. A study in the International Journal of Preventive Medicine explored ginger and cinnamon’s anti-inflammatory capabilities, particularly for those who engage in intense exercise.

In the six-week study of 60 healthy women, there was a significant decrease in muscle soreness for those who were given ginger and cinnamon. Another study published in Phytotherapy Research concluded that ginger supplementation may be used to speed up strength recovery after weight-lifting. Another six-week study, this time of male endurance athletes, found that using ginger over a six-week period prior to a competition may reduce inflammation, and thus limit the chances of infection and perhaps reduce fatigue.

CHIA. Chia seeds are tiny black seeds from the salvia Hispanica plant and are a favorite among health buffs. More studies are needed to prove its effects on sports nutrition, but one study in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning suggests that omega-3 chia may enhance performance for endurance events lasting more than 90 minutes.

OMEGA-3. Omega-3 is a good kind of fat commonly found in fish and that has a host of health benefits. In sports nutrition, ingesting omega-3 may be effective in easing DOMS after exercise, according to a study in the Clinical Journal of Sports Medicine.

In a 2011 study involving healthy men and women, omega-3 was found to increase muscle-building response to insulin and amino acids, both released during exercise.

Look for these ingredients in pre- and post-workout supplements if you’re looking for a more natural approach to sports nutrition. (HOS Turmeric Factors, HOS Ginger, BRM Nutritional Boosters, HOS Omega 3 once daily are all available at Healthy Options.)





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