Top 5 Foods to Combat DOMS!

Happy New Year! If you’ve made any New Year’s fitness resolutions, then knowing about this will help…Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (aka ‘DOMS’) comes hand in hand with going to the gym or training your muscles thoroughly. Whilst it’s a good sign you’ve worked hard, it can be a frustrating thing to deal with the day after your heavy metal and sweat session. However, there are some things you can do, including eating certain foods, to help reduce your muscle soreness. Next time you’re suffering, reach for these following Top 5 Foods to Combat DOMS!

1. Spices
Spices such as turmeric and ginger act as potent anti-inflammatories to help ease your aching muscles. For example, research suggests that the curcumin in turmeric may reduce inflammatory cytokines and promote muscle recovery for up to 2 days post-workout. Sure, supplements are fine, but it’s often best to get what your body needs from food itself. Drink a cup of lemon and ginger tea, or whip up a quick turmeric curry, the evening after you’ve hit the gym.

2. Berries
Berries are packed with vitamin C as well as polyphenols, both of which work as powerful antioxidants. Antioxidants remove harmful free radicals, which research suggests is important for reducing muscular and cellular damage, especially after exercise that involves exertion on the more intense side of the scale. Top some plain Greek yogurt with a handful of mixed berries for a post-workout snack that’ll help repair and rebuild your muscles whilst minimising your aches.

3. Brazil nuts
Selenium is another important antioxidant, yet it’s often overlooked and as a result, many of you could be missing out on its DOMS-busting properties. However, brazil nuts are a great source, a small handful is enough to reach your recommended daily intake. Brazils and other nuts have the added benefit of being high in protein, an absolute essential for the growth and repair of your muscles.

4. Seeds
Omega-3 Fatty Acids act as powerful anti-inflammatories, research has suggested consuming 2-3g of omega-3s post-workout reduces inflammatory cytokines, and therefore the extent of DOMS. Walnuts and seeds, such as chia and flax, are great sources of omega-3s. Eat them as they are, sprinkle on salads or incorporate them into homemade Birchers!

5. Salmon
Whilst nuts and seeds are excellent options for vegans and vegetarians, salmon contains around 2.5g of omega-3 fatty acids per 100g. In addition, salmon is high in protein and contains specific omega-3 fatty acids not found in other food sources, making it a fantastic choice for those who workout regularly.

DOMS is caused by a combination of inflammation and micro-tears in your muscles, as well as the lactic acid build-up. However, spices, nuts and seeds, oily fish and berries are great supermarket buys that can help reduce these effects and get you ready and confident to smash your next workout. Include at least one of these food items in your next post-workout meal and experience a faster and less painful recovery! What’s been your experience with DOMS, and how to deal with it? Let us know your 2018 Health & Fitness New Year’s Resolutions or goals below, join in the conversation on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Elizabeth Cole

Passionate about communicating high-quality nutrition advice, Lizzy holds an MA in Natural Sciences from the University of Cambridge and is currently completing her MSc in Nutrition at Kings College London. Alongside this, she runs her own business; Nutrition by Lizzy ( offering bespoke meal plans and diet consultations. She’s also a keen sportswoman, qualified teacher and aspiring Personal Trainer.

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