Marathon Training 101: Dealing with Inflammation

Marathon Training 101: Dealing with Inflammation

Getting stronger involves breaking down old muscle and building new ones, a process that can lead to inflammation and muscles soreness. Your body needs to stay healthy and properly fueled in order to create new muscles and recover quickly. Eating a balanced diet provides the nutrients needed to stay strong, but luckily, there are certain foods that can provide an extra boost for hard working muscles.

Here are five additional foods that can be added to the diet that are rich in antioxidants, decrease inflammation and aid in a faster recovery time.

1. Turmeric

  • Contains a potent antioxidant called curcumin, which creates glutathione in the body that decreases inflammation
  • Found to have as much anti-inflammatory properties as the medication hydrocortisone
  • Stimulates tissue repair, mainly the regeneration of muscle tissue, making turmeric particularly useful for muscle injuries
  • Available in powdered form or fresh as a root (looks like ginger)
  • Found primarily in curry dishes

2. Tart Cherry Juice

  • Two, 8oz glasses per day have been shown to decrease muscle soreness and increase muscle recovery time
  • Can decrease exercise-induced muscle damage
  • Look for juice without any added sugar, which you can add directly to Blasts

3. Omega-3 Fatty Acids

  • Essential in creating anti-inflammatory eicosanoids, which help protect the body
  • Can help decrease pain from chronic injuries like bursitis and tendonitis
  • Good animal sources include Alaskan wild salmon, trout, canned sardines
  • Highest plant source of omega-3 fatty acids are chia seeds; sprinkle into oatmeal, Blasts, yogurt, or place in water for a fun new twist on staying hydrated

4. Cacao Powder

  • Flavonoids can help improve circulation and more effectively transport oxygen to muscles during a workout
  • Increased platelet activity seen during exercise can be decreased by incorporating cacao into your diet, decreasing the overall stress placed on the heart
  • A modest amount of naturally-occuring caffeine can give you an added boost of energy
  • Use cacao nibs or raw cacao powder to receive the most health benefits
  • Can be used in stir frys, added to a Blast, or sprinkled in yogurt or oatmeal

5. Ginger

  • Gingerols are the powerful antioxidants in ginger, which help the body clear out and eliminate harmful cells
  • Contains analgesic, antihistamine and anti-toxicity properties in addition to proteolytic enzymes, all of which may be useful for athletic injury relief and repair
  • Beneficial for those with arthritis at decreasing pain when used regularly
  • Also helpful in relieving stomach discomfort and bloating
  • Can be added directly to a Blast with the skin on or off, steeped in tea or added to a stir fry

The inflammatory phase can last up to 7 days after a workout. Don’t you want to provide your body with everything it needs to decrease inflammation and recover faster? Not only are you helping your body heal and recover, you're giving it the nutrients it needs to positively impact overall health.

Try the Inflammation Soother for inflammation relief!

Registered Dietitian, Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics

Reply by dbrown69
December 22, 2015
Very helpful article for runners. Only thing that struck me was that chia was listed preferentially to help seeds, however, it's my understanding that hemp seeds contain the most essential fatty acids of all seeds or nuts as well as having the perfect 3:1 ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids. No?
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