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Food for Thought

February 23, 2012

Here’s a great article my trainer sent me this morning. Perfect timing before this weekend, do you take any of these? I take fish oil, but should be more diligent about taking it.

Countless drinks and pills promise to soothe sore muscles and speed up your recovery time after a tough workout, but do any actually help? Here’s a rundown of four all-natural remedies that have been backed up by science.

TREATMENT: Cherry juice

THE INFO: A new study suggests this antioxidant-rich beverage (that has long been associated with reduced soreness in runners) can also speed muscle recovery after strength training.

YOUR RX: About an ounce of cherry concentrate (choosecherrish.com) right before your workout

TREATMENT: Probiotics

THE INFO: New research found that two strains of these healthy bugs, Lactobacillus rhamnosus and Lactobacillus paracasei, decreased cell damage after a month of regular intense exercise.

YOUR RX: A capsule with 1 billion to 10 billion cells, once a day

Improve your immune system with food.

TREATMENT: Lemon verbena

THE INFO: An extract made from the leaves of this shrub reduced muscle and blood cell damage in volunteers who ran for 90 minutes, but didn’t block the beneficial tissue-building effects of the workout. It’s the best of both worlds, note researchers.

YOUR RX: A one-gram supplement each day. (It’s not clear if teas and other formulas have the same effects.)

TREATMENT: Omega-3 fatty acids

THE INFO: Taking a fish-oil pill once a day reduces soreness and eases inflammation 48 hours after a strength-training workout, according to a new study in the Clinical Journal of Sports Medicine.

YOUR RX: Usually one 1.8-gram capsule (varies by brand)

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