Maintaining an exercise regimen is tough. You make time, set attainable goals, and create a schedule of fitness-boosting routines. However, once muscle soreness sets in, it can be hard to maintain the routine, let alone move in the morning.
The pain can become unbearable, but sore muscles can be soothed without a pill. Before rifling through the medicine cabinet, try these five naturally-occurring vitamins to help speed recovery. Include them in your post-workout meal for optimal—and tasty—results.
This powerful antioxidant boosts the production of collagen—connective tissue that helps repair skin tissue, tendons and blood vessels. Vitamin C also helps flush the muscles of lactic acid.
Sources: Citrus fruits, green peppers, red peppers, raspberries, broccoli, sweet potatoes, blueberries, cabbage, cantaloupe, pineapples.
In addition to aiding in the absorption of calcium to build strong muscles and bones, vitamin D helps reduce inflammation and regulate the immune system.
Sources: Fatty fish, liver oils, fortified milk products, fortified cereals, meats, eggs, sunlight.
During strenuous exercise, a protein, creatine phosphokinase—also known as CPK—seeps into the bloodstream. Vitamin E increases blood circulation and helps rid the body of CPK more efficiently. It also protects cells from damage-causing free radicals.
Sources: Sunflower seeds, almonds, fortified cereals, wheat germ, olives, avocados
The B complex is comprised of eight vitamins, that help the body perform a variety of functions. They ease the breakdown of proteins and carbs, boost muscle repair, and assist with cell development. A lack of B vitamins can increase muscle cramps and aches.
Sources: Legumes, swiss chard, kale, dates, pomegranates, squashes, salmon, dairy, whole grains
Vitamin A is known for its vision-boosting powers, but from a recovery standpoint, it helps the immune system and major organs function properly.
Sources: Organ meats (high in cholesterol so limit consumption), salmon, dairy, pumpkin, cantaloupe, carrots, apricots