Three strategies to help ease post workout aches and pains
If you have pushed too hard, your muscles will let you know.† While non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) such as ibuprofen can bring relief, they are also rough on your stomach.† Try these natural approaches instead.
How about coffee as a remedy?† This is actually a pre-workout remedy as a study found that a dose of caffeine in pill form before a workout cut discomfort by about 50% compared with a 10% to 30% reduction with NSAIDS in other research.
It seems that caffeine blocks the action of a substance called adenosine, a pain-stimulating chemical found in most body tissues, including the muscles and brain.† Try one dose of caffeine (2 to 5 mg of caffeine for each kilogram of your weight Ė which is about 4 to 10 ounces of coffee for a 140 pound woman and see how it works.
Follow up with a light workout
What, we say, perform a gentle version of the same routine that left you aching?† Yes.† Thatís because studies have shown that moderate exercise releases endorphins Ė those feel-good brain chemicals that act as natural painkillers.† So whatever you were doing, repeat it in an easy way.
An additional benefit is that moving around, no matter how slow, also increases blood flow to the aching muscle, which may help to speed up the removal of pain-producing inflammatory substances.
This is an ancient Indian spice for which the important ingredient is curcumin.† Or you can supplement with curcumin pills.† Curcumin is a potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant.† Like NSAIDs, it inhibits chemicals that increase inflammation.† A recent animal study found that curcumin reduced inflammation in exercise-damaged muscles.
If you supplement, look for pills containing 95% curcumin.† Read the directions which may say dosing at 400 mg three times per day.† Warning.† Donít overdose or mix with blood thinners.
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