If you’re like me and push yourself at the gym regularly, then you know all about delayed onset muscle soreness. Experiencing some muscle soreness is inevitable if you want to change your body and its composition. Not to scare you away from hitting the weights hard, but there have been some occasions where I’ve been so sore from lifting weights that I had to call off work the next day!
There’s new research, which I’m personally very excited about, that shows this very common fruit Recovery Drink helps with delayed onset muscle soreness, and can speed up recovery time: the pomegranate. In the past, pomegranates have been recognized as a super antioxidant food, commonly used for making juice, and if you’ve ever seen a pomegranate you know they’re not easily eaten. A recent study done by the leading members of The Human Performance Laboratory at the University of Texas, shows us the additional health benefit pomegranates have on human performance during a post workout recovery.
In this study, 17 men were put through a series of upper and lower body eccentric resistance training exercises, and then split into two groups. One group was given a placebo, the other was supplemented with pomegranate juice twice daily, over six pre-determined time periods post-exercise. The results showed that arm strength and recovery was “significantly” higher than those who received the placebo. Lower body strength and recovery appeared to be uninfluenced.
It has been determined that the high levels of polyphenols in pomegranate, which oddly enough are also very high in red wine, are responsible for taking away those post-workout muscle aches. Polyphenols are believed to work by stabilizing cell membranes that have been damaged, like the skeletal muscle cells used during exercise, and promoting the body’s natural anti-inflammatory process.
With this new research coming to light, pomegranate supplements are hitting store shelves and being used not only as a super anti-oxidant, but for upper body muscle soreness and aches. So the next time you’re experiencing delayed onset muscle soreness, drink two 8 ounce glasses of pomegranate juice over an 8 hour period post-workout. You can also make sure you’re consuming enough protein for quicker muscle recovery. Fitness professionals recommend one gram of protein per pound of lean muscle for optimal results.
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