by: Stella Van Lane
It doesn’t really matter if you’re an experienced fitness enthusiast or exercise novice – you’re highly likely to experience muscle soreness after an intense sweat session. Of course, it’s a completely normal thing that often can’t be avoided, which is why your muscles will need some time to properly heal and recover after a workout. There are lots of fantastic natural remedies that can speed up the process of muscle recovery, and I’ve come up with a list of three amazing ones you can start incorporating into your post-workout routine ASAP:
The most common causes of muscle soreness are stress, tension, overuse, and minor injuries, but the good news is that this type of pain is usually localized. This means that it affects only a few muscles or a small part of your body – the one(s) you’ve been focusing on during your workout. Did you know that your muscles are made from protein fibers which tend to get damaged every time you exercise? Well, that’s exactly why your body needs to recover after an intense workout, so that your muscles heal properly and get much stronger. Apart from eating the right foods and getting enough good sleep, there are also a handful of natural remedies that can speed up the process of muscle recovery. Here are three I find most useful:
The first natural remedy that deserves its rightful place on our list is magnesium, which is the fourth most abundant mineral in your body. Apart from helping maintain a healthy heartbeat, it regulates muscle contractions as well, which is crucial for muscle recovery. Basically it acts as a natural calcium blocker to help your muscles relax. If your body doesn’t have enough magnesium to compete with calcium, it’s highly likely that your muscles may contract too much, and that will inevitably result in spasms or cramps. If you’re experiencing these after a workout, you can either apply magnesium oil topically or take magnesium supplements orally. Of course, you should also incorporate foods rich in magnesium into your everyday diet, so start with almonds, sesame seeds, spinach, black beans and cocoa powder, and you’ll see a nice improvement in soreness gradually.
The stigma around marijuana is shifting slowly but surely, and we must say that an element of cannabis plays a huge role in treating inflammation and muscle soreness. Did you know that there are two natural compounds which can be found in cannabis – cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)? CBD is what we want to focus on for this topic, and is found mainly in extractions from the hemp plant. It’s sold if the form of oils, supplements, gels, extracts and more, whereas the latter one (THC) is the main psychoactive compound in marijuana. In case you weren’t aware of it, CBD is mostly used to combat a wide range of injuries, joint pain, and even anxiety, which is exactly why it's helpful during the process of muscle recovery. All you have to do is to learn what CBD really is and find out more about its main properties, and you’ll quickly realize that CBD is extremely helpful when it comes to healing and post-workout recovery.
Last but certainly not least, apple cider vinegar is another amazing treatment for the sore muscles and cramps you may experience after exercise. Similarly to magnesium, you can either drink it or rub it directly on the area where you’re experiencing soreness. The majority of people actually use it to treat leg cramps, which are sometimes caused by a lack of potassium in their body. Needless to say, apple cider vinegar is rich in potassium and it can therefore fill this nutritional gap. Besides that, it can reduce your risk of developing muscle cramps, while reducing the pain associated with pre-existing cramps at the same time. All you have to do is to mix a tablespoon or two of apple cider vinegar in a glass of water and drink it down, or even drink a full tablespoon of it straight like a shot. When picking the best apple cider vinegar, look for a glass bottle and the label that says ‘raw and organic’. If you see something a bit gross floating around the bottom – that’s actually what you’re looking for! It’s a result of fermentation and it offers healthy bacteria that will support your gut health, too. That’s what we call killing two birds with one stone!
As you can see, there are a lot of amazing natural remedies that can speed up the process of muscle recovery. Magnesium, CBD oil, and apple cider vinegar are some of the best ones out there, so make sure to give them a try and you’ll see what all the talk is about. And don’t forget - a little foam rolling can go a long way as well when seeking relief and recovery for your muscles ;)
Stella van Lane is a blogger and mental health advocate based in Sydney. She spends her free time blogging. Stella is in love with coffee, chocolate, music, books and good vibes. Her top interests are health, yoga, meditation and interior design. She enjoys helping other people by sharing her experience and knowledge. Find her on Twitter at: https://twitter.com/StellaVanLane