Foods and Juices That Reduce Post-Exercise Soreness

Many dieters want to exercise as a way to lose weight but are often discouraged from the muscle soreness they experience after a difficult workout.

There are two types of muscle soreness resulting from exercise.

The first occurs immediately after the workout and often lasts for a few hours on the day of the activity.

Generally, people who work out resolve this issue quite easily with traditional methods, such taking a hot shower.

The second is called delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). It occurs as your muscles start to repair themselves, and can last for several days.

If you suffer from DOMS, you may be tempted to disrupt your exercise routine by taking a few days to rest.

Resting your muscles sounds like a good idea, but it is easy to fall into a long-term pattern of inactivity after taking a long break from exercising.

It is best to find other ways to relieve the discomfort you feel after working out.

One way to relieve discomfort is by making alterations to your post-exercise diet.

Below is a list of foods and juices to reduce post-exercise soreness.

Tart Cherries or Cherry Juice

Tart cherries contain many antioxidants. They also have anti-inflammatory properties to relieve joint and muscle pain after a workout.

According to the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition and recent studies conducted in multiple countries, tart cherry juice is particularly useful for relieving muscle pain after a run.

Research suggests it provides similar benefits after lifting weights.

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Another reason eating cherries after working out is helpful is due to their potassium content. One cup of cherries contains approximately 10 percent of the daily recommended dose of potassium your body needs.

Potassium is a mineral responsible for assisting with several bodily functions.

If you have a potassium deficiency, which can occur after a workout, you must replenish your potassium supply.

Doing so can reduce post-workout soreness and help in the regulation of the following bodily functions:

  • Hydration
  • Blood pressure
  • pH balance
  • Heart rate
  • Digestive processes
  • Nerve impulses
  • Muscle recovery

There are several ways to get tart cherries in your diet after your workout. Drinking cherry juice or eating dried cherries by themselves are convenient options.

You can also add them to a post-workout meal at home, such as a salad.


When attempting to reduce your post-exercise soreness with food, blueberries are an excellent choice.

Blueberries have numerous health benefits, such as improving brain function. According to multiple studies, they also assist with:

  • Blood sugar control.
  • Blood pressure control.
  • Prevention of certain infections, including urinary tract infections.
  • Maintaining heart health.
  • Controlling cholesterol levels.

Blueberries are frequently recommended as snacks to eat while trying to lose weight.

They have few calories and taste sweet, making them a healthy substitute for sugary snacks.

Blueberries are also full of nutrients and antioxidants. Many of these features make blueberries excellent snacks before and after a workout, even if weight loss is not your goal.

During exercise, your muscles experience oxidative stress.

They can also become inflamed. Blueberries contain many fortifying nutrients to help protect your muscles against damage and stress when consumed before a workout.

According to multiple studies, including one conducted in New Zealand at Massey University, they also speed up your muscle recovery after you exercise.

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The study participants consumed blueberry smoothies before and after their workouts.

However, you do not need to drink blueberries in smoothie form to reap their health benefits. Since blueberries are versatile superfoods, you can consume them alone or add them to your meals and snacks.


Watermelon offers several health benefits to assist you during workout recovery.

It contains L-citrulline, an amino acid that regulates your heart rate.

According to one study published in the Journal of Food and Nutrition Research in 2017, L-citrulline also has the ability to relieve post-workout muscle soreness.

The study tested male runners. Overall, they experienced less muscle soreness 24 to 72 hours after running races after consuming watermelon juice high in L-citrulline.

Consuming watermelon after exercising also helps relieve muscle soreness and aid in your workout recovery in other ways.

This fruit has high potassium content, much like cherries.

By replacing the potassium lost during your workout, your body is able to function more efficiently and repair muscle damage faster.

Furthermore, watermelon, as its name suggests, is also composed primarily of water. It helps you hydrate your body after you exercise.

Although it is less versatile than blueberries or cherries, you can mix watermelon into a cold smoothie to help you cool down after a workout.

Cottage Cheese

Not all foods to help relieve muscle soreness need to be consumed right after you exercise.

Some foods are designed to provide long-lasting benefits when consumed before you exercise. One such food is cottage cheese.

The proteins in cottage cheese are excellent for muscle development. This is why cottage cheese is a popular snack for bodybuilders and exercise enthusiasts.

The two main proteins found in cottage cheese are casein and whey.  Both help your muscles recover quickly after a workout.

While whey is fast acting, casein helps with muscle building at a much slower rate. This is why consuming it before a workout is more beneficial than consuming it afterward.

There are several properties of cottage cheese that are useful for muscle building.

Some of the health benefits come from its high casein content.

Casein is absorbed slowly by your body and helps reduce the rate at which your muscles break down when you exercise.

It also affects how other amino acids are absorbed.

For instance, leucine is an amino acid that is absorbed by your body slower when casein is present.

Leucine helps your body repair and build muscle faster, which reduces the duration of your post-exercise soreness.

Cottage cheese also contains beneficial bacteria to assist with the absorption of nutrients necessary for muscle building and exercise recovery.



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