Published Jan 22, 2021
Getting fit and staying fit takes dedication and effort, but the reward for those vigorous workouts in the gym is a real sense of satisfaction, physical gains plus that unmistakable endorphin high. But once those wear off, sore muscles often follow.
Aches and pains can be an unwelcome surprise the morning after a workout. These twinges are medically termed ‘delayed onset muscle soreness’ or DOMS. They are actually caused by micro-tears in the muscle tissue, which in turn trigger inflammation – it sounds alarming but it’s quite possible to recover quickly and get back to your workouts if you know to help your body repair itself.
Nutrition plays an important role in recovery from DOMS, reducing the inflammation and providing energy to fuel the restoration of healthy muscle function. A few carefully selected supplements will soon have you back in the gym!
Here are the best nutrients and vitamins for muscle repair. They’ll help not only with banishing muscle pain but also help you build a strong body and healthy joints over time
Vitamin A deserves more attention than it gets. Although popularly associated with eye health, it also plays an important role in the metabolization of protein, a vital fuel for muscle recovery. This vitamin also builds muscle strength by stimulating bone growth.
This is a powerful ‘antioxidant’ – a substance which helps maintain cell health by absorbing excess oxygen molecules, or ‘free radicals’. CoQ10 helps to reduce inflammation and is widely used by athletes to reduce muscle strain and fatigue. The heart is perhaps the hardest-working muscle in the body and CoQ10 has also been linked to better cardiovascular health.
Omega 3 fatty acids
These vital nutrients promote bone growth and muscle repair, as well as reducing inflammation.
No, that’s not a typo: there in fact several varieties of vitamin B, and all play an important role in helping cells to release energy and metabolize protein, as well as amino acids: these important organic compounds which boost the repair of muscle micro-tears.
Vitamin C is another potent antioxidant, one that aids the production of metabolic hormones and aids in the formation of the vital connective tissue collagen. Healthy collagen allows stronger, more injury-resistant muscles.
Alongside the right vitamins and minerals, remember to:
- Get plenty of sleep: shut-eye is vital to our health and without it our bodies cannot repair themselves properly.
- Avoid the temptation to do too much too soon: moderate your workouts and build them up slowly over time – an over-vigorous approach may do more harm than good.
Written by Bev Walton, BSc Nutritional Science
I achieved a First-Class Honours degree in BSc Nutritional Science, Nutrition Sciences from the University of Reading and now have over 35 years experience in all types of cuisine, dietary plans, recipe development, health and nutrition. I have been writing for over 10 years for magazines and websites as well as ghostwriting for ebooks, Kindle and fully published books. I’m also a proud member of the Guild of Food writers.