What are some foods that help in sore muscle recovery? I have heard that blueberries help. I am always very sore after training with Eric each week, and love to eat, so I thought I could kill to birds with one stone.
Hey Sheila...good question. First and foremost is eating as soon as you can after a hard or long run. This will speed recovery, replacing lost muscle and liver glycogen. "They" used to say the window was within two hours after, but really try to eat ASAP, as the sooner the better. You need to refuel with both protein and carbohydrates, as the carbs will replace lost glycogen and the protein will help rebuild muscle fiber. I love this for recovery drinks: frozen blueberries and raspberries, protein powder, spinach (yes spinach), teaspoon of olive oil or almonds/walnuts, and some water all mixed in a blender. Play around with portions to your liking.
Another recovery aid that really helps with muscle soreness, is self massage. Using a foam roller or your fingers on the sore areas will help break up your muscle fibers and help eleviate the build up of trigger points or muscle adhesion...which ultimately leads to tight muscles, limiting your range of motion.
In the summer, try soaking in a cold stream after a hard run...this is amazing for recovery.
I would say that any run of over an hour, you would benefit from doing some type of recovery meal/drink. If the run was not that intensity, then a drink would probably do it, mostly in the form of carbs. A good sports drink is great. If the run was intense, like your 10K, you need to have more protein with this, like the above mentioned. There is recent studies that show even chocolate milk is a great recovery aid. The most important aspect to recovery is for you to have the meal or drink as soon as possible after your run. This really makes a difference in how fast your body will recover. Something is always better than nothing and your muscles need at least 24 hours to restore lost glycogen, which is why sometimes you have an easy day after a hard day.
With the training package you are training with, you will probably be more hungry than you are used to, so even though a run might be under an hour, if it is a key run that has more intensity, you still will benefit from a recovery drink. This will help you recover from the cumulative affects that come from the consistency of your program.
Also see the BLOG on the Chia Gel. You might like this as a pre-run energy booster. You can get Chia at Whole Foods down there in Denver - E