THE 1-2 PUNCH TO HELP KICK MUSCLE SORENESS TO THE CURB
am I the only one that low key enjoys the hurt that comes from a challenging workout? kinda makes you feel like you did somethin', know what I mean?
and while for the most part I soak up the soreness with a smile on my face, sometimes it can be a real pain in the a** (pun intended).
you know... that question whether you REALLY need to sit down, and when you're down you contemplate if you REALLY need to get up kind of hurt; or that take the elevator just to get to the second floor? yes please! because the stairs just ain't happenin' kind of hurt.
I think we can all agree that sometimes we'd rather not experience the aftermath of our workouts. luckily there's a beautiful nutrient cocktail that can help with that!
I bring you...omega-3s PLUS turmeric.
now, it's no secret that both omega-3s and turmeric offer some awesome health benefits, one of which being that they are both natural anti-inflammatories. but when these two nutrients are mixed together (or taken together) they become a powerhouse that sends aches and pains on their merry way.
now let's get a lil' nerdy with the science for a minute...
first and foremost, it's important to note that muscle soreness and stiffness are a byproducts of micro-tears caused by exercise that forms inflammation in the body.
both of these nutrients have been, and continue to be, studied as to how exactly their anti-inflammatory properties support muscle health and recovery from exercise. the thought is that omega-3s bind to and protect the cells around your muscle fibers; while turmeric blocks certain markers caused by inflammation to decrease muscle soreness.
there are three types of omega-3s out there, each are abbreviated as such, EPA, DHA, and ALA. the best food source of EPA and DHA is fatty fish like mackerel and salmon, but if you're anything like me and don't like fish, then you gotta supplement and/or focus on getting your ALA through other food sources since your body uses ALA to produce EPA and DHA.
you can find ALA in foods like chia seeds, hemp seeds, flaxseeds, and walnuts.
now, the compound in turmeric that makes it a superfood is curcumin. and with turmeric being a spice, you could just sprinkle it on a number of your dishes to absorb the goodness but, the bioavailability of curcumin in turmeric as a spice is only 3% compared to upwards of 95% in turmeric extracts. which leads me to my next point. how much of each of these nutrients do we even need for it to make a difference?
the research is all over the place in regards to dosage for turmeric, with studies using anywhere from 150-1000mg of curcumin. to put it in perspective, to get around 400mg of curcumin, that's about two teaspoons of turmeric powder, which if you've ever tasted (and smelled) how strong turmeric is, two teaspoons is a lot.
PRO TIP: when taking or eating turmeric, make sure to mix it with black pepper to up the absorbency.
when it comes to omega-3s, there is no set recommendation although, it's recommended for women to get AT LEAST 1100mg with 250-500mg of those coming from EPA and DHA, but it's safe to take upwards of 3000mg of omega-3s per day. In food terms, one dinner serving of salmon provides an average of 1800mg.
If you do decide to go the supplement route, here are two products (well, technically three) that I have personal experience with that have been super effective with recovery and keeping soreness down to a minimum:
DISCLAIMER: you should always talk with your physician and/or healthcare provider before beginning to take supplements, especially if you're taking medications for any conditions and/or are pregnant.
this is a combination that I've taken personally and was really blown away how it helped me recover, and almost NEVER get sore, from crossfit workouts.
the krill oil boasts 500mg of EPA and DHA, while the turmeric is 750mg with 95% bioavailable curcumin. I took each together every day after working out. the only days I didn't take them were rest days.
what's even more awesome is that they're pretty reasonably priced! each bottle contains 60 servings while being $30 and $33 respectively.
now this is not a supplement that I personally took but, I actually performed a mini pilot study with a small group of track athletes at my job during a three month heavy training and practice cycle. It houses 840mg of EPA and DHA, and 400mg of curcumin. I had the athletes take it every day post-workout. the only days they didn't take it were yoga day, and sunday which was a complete rest day. each athlete reported significantly decreased soreness and stiffness and felt as though they were 'fresher' for each workout.
this one goes for about $40-$45 on amazon for 30 servings, so a little bit more pricey than the ones from swolverine.
each of these have been linked for you if you'd like to read up on them and/or check them out. I am by no means sponsored or obligated to link or review them. just wanna pass along good stuff to y'all.
thanks so much for reading today! I hope you found this post helpful if you find yourself wanting to say 'adios!' to muscle soreness in your fitness journey.
feel free to hit me up if you have any questions.