The easiest way to fight muscle soreness after an intense leg workout is to pop a NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug), but people who don’t want to get into the habit of popping pills for short-term relief can choose natural options to help ease pain. When time allows, relax in a hot bath well after heavy training to increase circulation and help dispose of metabolic wastes. Massage also eases soreness and decreases inflammation to increase muscle recovery immediately after training (not immediately after your workout) session. Both these natural alternatives depend on your schedule, but if you can find the time your muscles will thank you. Supplementing with D-ribose before and/or after exercise may also help speed recovery by energising your muscles. As well, calcium and magnesium supplements act as mild muscle relaxants and help prevent muscle cramps.
High-fructose corn syrup is the principal sweetening agent in most high-sugar soft drinks. Fructose provides the sweet taste in fruits. In sedentary people, it is linked to an increased risk of the metabolic syndrome (abdominal obesity, abnormal blood fats, high blood pressure, poor blood sugar regulation, inflammation and blood-clotting abnormalities). People consume about 300 more calories per day more than they did 30 years ago, largely because of an increased intake of fructose. A report published in Current Sports Medicine Reports, stated that a high fructose intake was beneficial for athletes. Fructose stimulates the digestion and promotes carbohydrate used during exercise, which are important for optimal performance. Intense training involves high energy expenditure, which protects athletes from the negative effects of fructose experienced by sedentary people.
Polyphenols are antioxidants that neutralise destructive free radicals that are produced naturally during metabolism. Free radical damage is implicated in premature death, DNA destruction, cell membrane breakdown, cancer, heart disease, depressed immunity and inflammation. In the laboratory, polyphenols from red wine and green tea stopped the growth of cultured prostate cancer cells by interfering with a biochemical pathway involved in their replication. In living animals, red wine and green tea polyphenols slowed prostate cancer growth in mice that were genetically altered to produce human prostate cancer cells. Antioxidants found in foods such as red wine and green tea may have widespread health benefits that prevent degenerative diseases such as cancer and heart disease.