Have you ever noticed that some days you feel full of energy during your workout, like you could do your regular BCSF class and stay for the next class too? But other days a push up feels like the hardest thing you’ve ever done?
While there are lot’s of factors that can contribute to this swing of energy (sleep, hormones, amount of carbohydrates, food timing, stress levels, ect.) there is a chance that it could be that you’re low on one of these specific nutrients.
We believe that with a well rounded diet, you can get most of the nutrients you need. Make sure you’re incorporating these nutrient rich foods to fight muscle soreness and fatigue.
Iron is an important nutrient for energy levels. (This is because iron is a key component of blood which helps carry oxygen to our muscles) Without enough iron we can feel tired, sore and fatigued. Including some iron rich foods in your diet can help prevent fatigue.
Heme sources: Heme sources of iron are the most absorbable and include animal products such as red meat, fish, poultry and eggs. The best source of iron is actually liver and muscle meats! (Try purchasing a high quality organic liver and mixing it in with your next meatloaf or stir fry. It’s hardly noticeable and will make for an iron rich treat)
Non heme sources: Iron can also be found in many plants, nuts and seeds. Leafy greens like spinach and chard are high in iron as well as many seeds such as pumpkin and sunflower seeds. The herbs parsley and thyme also contain a surprising amount of iron. However, non heme sources of iron are not as absorbable for our bodies.
TIP: A great post workout snack would be a leafy green smoothie or a hard boiled egg and handful of pumpkin seeds.
Magnesium is what is known as the “relaxing” mineral. It’s a natural muscle relaxant and pain killer. This makes it a great nutrient for those sore muscles (Ever heard of Epsom salt baths to relax? Epsom salts are rich in magnesium and we absorb this through our skin in the hot bath!) Many people are deficient in magnesium because we lose magnesium in our sweat.
If you are struggling with muscle cramps or any mild ache or pain, try including more magnesium rich foods in your diet.
Sea vegetables are the single food richest in magnesium. Try snacking on nori sheets or adding dulse flakes to your salad dressings or soups. Many nuts and seeds also contain magnesium.
TIP: Try a homemade magnesium rich trail mix of cashews, brazil nuts, almonds and coconut flakes (all rich in magnesium).
EPA & DHA OMEGA 3’s
Omega 3’s are a type of fat that are especially important for active people as this type of fat actually reduces inflammation. When we are very active, our body has to do a lot of work to repair and recover. If we are not able to repair and recover quick enough, we can show signs of inflammation. Anything from muscle soreness to slow recovery can be a sign of inflammation.
The best kind Omega 3’s to reduce inflammation are EPA & DHA found in fatty fish such as salmon and sardines. Walnuts, chia seeds, hemp seeds and flax also contain Omega 3’s but a different variety (called ALA).
TIP: Add salmon into your dinner rotation on a weekly basis. Try canned salmon or sardines for a quick and budget-friendly lunch.
Try some of these tips during your weeks 3-6 of bootcamp when you might be a little (extra) sore. And see if you can notice a difference (we think you will!).