Eat right and you’ll recover faster, feel stronger and ride harder
DO include anti-inflammatory foods
Some inflammation is normal after exercise, but excessive inflammation can lead to pain and stiffness. Including anti-inflammatory foods will help dampen down the response without putting the fire out altogether.
Omega 3 fats, found in fatty fish, inhibit pro-inflammatory hormones, helping reduce muscle soreness and ease pain. Other good sources of anti-inflammatory compounds include olive oil, ginger, turmeric, walnuts and tart cherry juice.
DON’T forget protein
Eat protein after riding because amino acids in protein-rich foods provide the raw materials your body needs to repair muscle damage. Around 20-25 grams of a good quality protein is enough to max out the response, so there’s no need to load your plate with steak.
A pint of milk, a scoop of whey, three eggs or a chicken breast will tick the box. A whey protein shake is ideal for recovery on the go — the proteins are easily digested and are shuttled into the muscles rapidly.
DO get some sunshine
Aside from positive effects on your mood, vitamin D also plays a role in bone density and muscular strength — in one study by Tyler Barker from the Orthopedic Specialty Hospital in Utah, higher vitamin D status was associated with faster recovery after muscular injury.
Dietary sources are limited to oily fish, eggs and fortified cereals, so spend rest days in the sun, and consider a supplement during the winter months — up to 1,000 micrograms a day is considered safe.