If you’ve seen me in office, you’ve heard me talk about hydration for muscle recovery. Post exercise is a prime example of an important time to rehydrate. Exercise is stress on the body, as it is a stimulus that overcomes the body’s ability to maintain homeostasis. It helps create positive change to the body and our physiological health, but it can also be negative when we see stress in the form of damage, injuries, etc.
We want to find a proper balance to be able to move our bodies regularly, improve our health, and prevent injury or overtraining. One important piece to that puzzle is taking recovery seriously. And within that, there is hydration for muscle recovery.
Below are some options that we can explore for recovery on top of just water, which we still need plenty of!
Keep these in mind for post-exercise, but also for post-treatment in the office to help attenuate any soreness.
LMNT is a brand of electrolyte and mineral powders that can be easily added to water to support post-exercise hydration. It contains sodium, potassium, and magnesium – all minerals that many people tend to be low/deficient in. Among many other benefits, these minerals can help regulate fluid balance/blood flow, support nerve impulses, and help muscles contract (all actions that are needed to support muscle recovery). For our prenatal patients, LMNT and its salt content is not something to be weary of; in fact, Dr. Sarah wrote a blog post on just that topic – Salt Is Essential During Pregnancy.
If you’d like to learn a bit more on magnesium and some whole food sources, check out my past blog post on it here.
Tart Cherry Juice
Tart cherry juice has a wide array antioxidant and anti-inflammatory polyphenol compounds. It has been shown to reduce pain levels and speed up strength recovery post-exercise. This is true for both endurance and strength training. This wonderful fruit can also increase melatonin in the body, helping sleep quality (which will also aid in muscle recovery). Tart cherry juice is safe, and even beneficial during pregnancy.
I like to pour some concentrated tart cherry juice into a glass of water in the evening to help me get ready for bed, or mix into some cooled lavender tea (delicious and calming).
Rosehip is a medicinal fruit that is more than just a good source of Vitamin C. The herbalist, Olivia Amitrano, combines Rosehip with Hawthorn into an extract to support muscle and joint health from rosehip, and vascular support from hawthorn. Both of these herbs are concentrated in antioxidants to further support a healthy inflammatory response. All of this creates a wonderful way to recover post exercise, stress, or treatment from body work.
Her extract is called “Rosehip Relief” available at Organic Olivia. This particular product is nursing safe.
Remember, hydration for muscle recovery also includes water.
And remember that hydration is not the only factor in muscle recovery. Sleep, stress management, nutrition, movement, and other lifestyle factors all need to be assessed in order to support your exercise routine, improve performance, and/or recover from injuries you might come into the office for.