How Botanicals Help Ease Sore Muscles and Reduce Recovery Time
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The World Health Organization recommends that adults engage in muscle-strengthening activities two or more days a week. There’s a reason why major health organizations only recommend weightlifting a couple of days a week — this gives your body enough time to build muscle while recovering.
But what if that isn’t enough for you? If you have some serious fitness goals to tackle, the time it takes to recover will definitely eat into your progress.
Don’t worry, there’s a natural solution. Botanicals can soothe sore muscles, reducing any pain and inflammation you felt after your previous workout. This expedites recovery time so you can get back to the gym in no time.
Here’s the science behind botanicals for fitness and which ones to take.
Relieve Sore Muscles
There are many botanicals that can aid in pain relief. They all act in their own unique ways, so be sure to identify the type of pain you’re reducing and research the best botanical for you.
In addition, some botanicals treat certain types of pain; for fitness, you’ll want to focus on muscle pain relief. Let’s take ginger as an example; studies show that both raw and heat-treated ginger reduces muscle pain by 23%-25%.
There are many ways to take these botanicals. Some are ingested while you apply others topically and even some botanicals are most effective when inhaled.
Prevents Delayed Onset of Muscle Soreness
Delayed onset of muscle soreness (DOMS) is muscle pain that doesn’t begin until a day or two after you exercise. This is different than the muscle pain you feel during a workout or immediately after.
Taking certain botanicals may potentially target this type of pain. Let’s take cannabidiol (CBD) as an example. CBD is the non-psychoactive component of the hemp and marijuana plants. It interacts with our natural endocannabinoid system (ECS), so it may provide healing on all areas of the body.
While CBD is still a recently discovered botanical, there’s limited research. However, the research that’s emerging is positive. For example, this study states that CBD can influence muscle soreness associated with DOMS.
Increased Muscle Mass
Believe it or not, there are some botanicals that may provide the same benefits as your favorite fitness supplements!
Fenugreek provides these benefits. What’s fenugreek? Fenugreek is an herb native to Mediterranean regions. It’s rich in iron and calcium, two essential vitamins that support muscle strength. Simply sprinkle some fenugreek seeds into your protein shake.
Improves Bone Health
As an athlete, your recovery isn’t only dependent on muscle function. Exercise also takes a toll on your bones and joints. When taking botanicals for fitness recovery, you should definitely remember to take supplements that aid your bones and joints.
Parsley is a perfect example. This delicious herb is rich in essential vitamins, such as potassium, vitamin K, calcium, and magnesium. All of these vitamins are essential to your bone health.
Like pain, inflammation can also interfere with your fitness goals. Muscle cell breakdown occurs as a result of strength training. Your immune system is also working to clean up the broken cells and any harmful waste, causing inflammation.
There are different ways to reduce post-workout soreness and inflammation, but taking turmeric is one of the most effective methods. Turmeric contains a substance called curcumin, which may reduce inflammation.
While you can sprinkle turmeric in your food, this herb has a very powerful taste. That’s why many prefer taking turmeric as a supplement.
Resists the Release of Stress Hormones
When talking about fitness recovery, many people forget about the impact of mental health. Your mental state can affect how long your recovery takes. This study shows that higher levels of mental stress results in longer recovery times.
There are several botanicals that can reduce your stress levels. Ashwagandha is one of them. This is a medicinal herb that has been used ever since ancient times. While ashwagandha offers many health benefits, it’s more renowned for its stress-fighting effects.
Studies confirm that ashwagandha improves an individual’s resistance to stress. Many sources say this herb prevents the release of cortisol, our fight-or-flight hormone, though there isn’t a lot of evidence to back up this claim.
In order to achieve those fitness gains, you need to have lots of energy. Fortunately, there are a plethora of botanicals that can help with this.
The most obvious solution is coffee! Coffee is a part of the family Rubiaceae, so it’s technically considered a botanical. And we’re all familiar with caffeine, the stimulant found in coffee as well as certain teas and cacao plants.
Your morning cup of coffee is enough to pump you up and prepare you for your workout. Just be sure to not add sugar or flavored sweeteners to your cup of Joe; if you hate black coffee, add some milk or vegan milk alternatives.
If you’re not a coffee drinker, you have other options. Different types of tea contain caffeine. Kratom is also a stimulant. Kratom is a tropical tree that’s native to Southeast Asia. You can drink kratom in tea or take kratom supplements.
In addition, kratom can reduce stress, enhance your mood, and reduce any pain you’re feeling. There are many kratom strains, and some make you feel more relaxed rather than energetic. Choose a strain such as red maengda, which will improve your endurance and stamina.
In addition, make sure you’re taking the right dosage. Taking too much kratom will make you feel too buzzed, ruining your workout.
Soothe Sore Muscles With These Botanicals
Are tired muscles preventing you from conquering those gains? By taking the right supplements, you can reach your goals faster.
From CBD to kratom, there are a variety of botanicals that can soothe sore muscles and aid your fitness recovery. But these botanicals aren’t your only options. There are a variety of supplements on the market as well as peptides, vitamins, and minerals.
Not sure where to get started? We offer many resources that can help you reach your fitness goals. Our supplement section covers everything from SARMs to nutritional supplements. Continue reading our blog!