No matter where you're at in your fitness journey, muscle soreness is bound to happen. Instead of reaching for over the counter drugs, try one of my favorite home remedies for muscle soreness.
Research at the University of Georgia suggests that drinking coffee prior to working out can reduce muscle soreness and fatigue by up to half. This is due to the blocking of adenosine, a chemical released by your body in response to injury. Be careful not to overdo it on the coffee, as too much caffeine can cause muscle spasms; two cups of coffee is recommended. And, with your cup(s) of joe, you’ve also got the added bonus of the well-documented caffeine endurance boost.
Magnesium, the primary component of epsom salts, is essential for healthy muscles and is a natural muscle relaxant. Absorption through the skin, via epsom salt baths, is more effective than taking an oral supplement, but eating foods high in magnesium, such as dark leafy greens, squash and pumpkin seeds, halibut, soy beans, and brown rice can also support reduced muscle soreness.
3. Tart Cherry Juice
A 2010 study published in the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sport identified antioxidant compounds called anthocyanins in tart cherries that are believed to work by reducing inflammation. Add the juice to a post-workout recovery drink to get the most bang for your buck. I like Trader Joe’s brand. Bonus: tart cherry juice has been found to have more antioxidants than the popular superfood pomegranate and may also help to improve sleep quality.
4. Apple Cider Vinegar
Among its many talents, apple cider vinegar is touted as a muscle reliever. ACV draws lactic acid out of muscles. If you can get beyond the smell, saturate a cloth with ACV and wrap it around the muscle for 20 minutes. Repeat every three to four hours for continued relief until the pain is gone for good.
5. Foam Rolling
Foam rolling uses a technique called self-myofascial release, which uses pressure and targeted massage to help prevent scarring of the connective tissue between your muscles (the fascia). You can pick up your own foam roller at a sporting goods store, Marshall’s/TJ Maxx, or Amazon (because you can buy anything on Amazon).
Do you have any favorite home remedies? Share them in the comments.