However you choose to be active throughout the day, whether it’s a daily run, yoga, team competition or a Spartan race, once you’re done, it’s crucial to recover. What does the body need to heal and regenerate? What is the best hydration drink? We’ll review some key nutrients and foods that can restore and replenish so you’re ready for whatever comes next.
WHAT WE COVER:
Training and moving the body is one of the pillars of long-term health and wellness. But once you’ve pushed your body hard, it’s time to recover with the best hydration drink and more. Whether it be aerobic or weight training, cells in the body consume huge amounts of oxygen during activity. That process, called oxidation, can damage cell membranes and impair their ability to function. Externally, how does this manifest? We’ve all been there: muscle soreness, inflammation, and fatigue.
So how do you correct that and optimize the healing process?
I’m a big believer in food as medicine. I love going right to the source, and that’s food for nutrients. Some of these nutrients do come commercially in supplement (capsule or powder) form, but I’m going to mention the true food source as well.
Essential Nutrients You Need for Recovery (Plus the Best Recovery Drink)
First up, antioxidants like you find in green tea. One specific one to call out is quercetin, found in apples, blueberries, and herbal tea.
Next, an anti-inflammatory: Bromelain. It’s an enzyme derived from pineapple that you can get it either by drinking the juice or by eating the fruit. It’s more concentrated at the core of the pineapple. So, if you’re slicing it up to eat, don’t toss the core!
Magnesium is a mineral that aids muscle recovery and calms the brain. It's available as a supplement, but can also be found naturally in nuts (especially almonds and brazil nuts), seeds (such as pumpkin or flax), and legumes (beans, chickpeas, and lentils).
Blood Glucose Regulation
Another important factor for rapid recovery is healthy blood glucose homeostasis. Based on recent studies, cinnamon is thought to help with blood sugar control by increasing insulin sensitivity. This can allow the body to better perform tissue repair. Anywhere from about 1-6 grams of cinnamon has been used in clinical studies. How much does that equate to? Well, 1 gram of ground cinnamon is about ½ a teaspoon. So, it doesn’t take much to reap the health benefits.
Last up: Rehydrate! And what is the best hydration drink? Water. Your body is roughly 55% water for women and 60% for men, and you decrease your water stores through perspiration, cellular activity, and metabolism during intense workouts. So drink up!
5 Nutrients to Aid Body Recovery
1. Antioxidant: Quercetin
2. Anti-inflammatory: Bromelain
3. Mineral: Magnesium
4. Blood Glucose Balance: Cinnamon
5. Best Hydration Drink: Water
These easy steps will help you recover optimally post-workout or race!
Key Terms and Ideas
- During exercise, our bodies consume a lot of oxygen
- That oxygen consumption contributes to post-exercise muscle soreness, inflammation, and fatigue
- You want to support the body’s healing process and repair mechanisms
- 5 nutrients and foods that provide balanced nourishment and support recovery: antioxidants (quercetin in blueberries), anti-inflammatories (bromelain in pineapple), mineral (magnesium in nuts), blood glucose balance (cinnamon), and HYDRATE!
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Producer: Marion Abrams, Madmotion, llc.
Writer and Host: Nada Milosavljevic MD, JD