Top 5 Foods to Combat DOMS

Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (AKA ‘DOMS’) comes hand in hand with going to the gym. Whilst it’s a good sign you’ve worked hard, it can be a frustrating thing to deal with the day after your sweat session. However, there are some things you can do, including eating certain foods, to help reduce muscle soreness. Next time you’re suffering, reach for the following Top 5 Foods to Combat DOMS.  

1.    Spices

Spices such as turmeric and ginger act as potent anti-inflammatories to help ease those aching muscles. For example, research suggests curcumin in turmeric may reduce inflammatory cytokines and promote muscle recovery for up to 2 days’ post-workout. Sure; supplements are fine, but it’s often best to get what your body needs from food itself. Drink a cup of lemon and ginger tea, or whip up a quick turmeric curry, the evening after you’ve hit the gym.   

2.    Berries

Berries are packed with vitamin C as well as polyphenols, both of which are believed to work as powerful antioxidants. Antioxidants remove harmful free radicals, which research suggests is important for reducing muscular and cellular damage, especially after exercise that involves heavy exertion. Top some plain Greek yoghurt with a handful of mixed berries for a post-workout snack that’ll help repair and rebuild muscles whilst minimising any ache. 

3.    Brazil Nuts

Selenium is another important antioxidant, yet it’s often overlooked and as a result many of us could be missing out on its DOMS-busting properties. However, brazil nuts are a great source; a small handful is enough to reach our recommended daily intake. Brazils and other nuts have the added benefit of being high in protein; an absolute essential for the growth and repair of muscles.  

4.    Seeds

Omega-3 Fatty Acids act as powerful anti-inflammatories; for example, research has suggested consuming 2 to 3g of omega-3s post-workout reduces inflammatory cytokines, and therefore the extent of DOMS. Walnuts and seeds, such as chia and flax, are great sources of omega-3s. Eat as they are, sprinkle on salads, or incorporate them into homemade birchers.

5.    Salmon

Whilst nuts and seeds are excellent options for vegans and vegetarians, salmon contains around 2.5g of omega-3 fatty acids per 100g. In addition, salmon is high in protein and contains specific omega-3 fatty acids not found in other food sources, making it a fantastic choice for those who workout regularly. 

DOMS is caused by a combination of inflammation and micro tears in muscle, as well as lactic acid build-up. However, spices, nuts and seeds, oily fish and berries are great supermarket buys that can help reduce these effects and get you ready to smash your next workout. Include at least one of these food items in your next post-workout meal and experience a faster and less painful recovery!