We’ve all heard this term used in the gym a time or two, right? Feeling the burn is a love-hate relationship that cross training and athletes are often too familiar with. You've pushed yourself to the point that your lungs feel like they are going to burst into flames. After the workout you find your muscles instantly starting to cramp and lockup. Sometimes symptoms don’t set in until the next day. The day after a hard workout is rough but day 2 is even worse. You find it hard to accomplish even the simplest tasks. Because your muscles are so sore you feel like it would be easier to walk down stairs backwards while holding on to the handrail. People look at you and wonder why you are walking like a 90 year old man or women. Feeling sore isn't necessarily bad and will eventually wield results. One shouldn't be so sore that you never want to work out again. There are some simple nutritional suggestions that athletes can do to help combat the effects which occur after a hard workout and that won't sacrifice intensity.
Many times these feelings are associated with lactic acid buildup. Your body needs a certain amount of lactic acid. It is used as a source of energy that your body will burn once the blood is depleted of oxygen. The problem is that extreme amounts of lactic acid build up in the bloodstream resulting in symptoms that can hinder your performance. Symptoms include: burning in the lungs, shortness of breath, muscle cramping and fatigue, and in some cases vomiting. The good news is there are certain things we can do to combat lactic acid from building up.
1. Go Bananas!
Make sure you are eating bananas daily. One banana contains 440 mg of potassium. Potassium is the most important electrolyte found in your body. Bananas have been found to lower cholesterol and blood pressure as well as prevent heart disease. They are also high in vitamin B6, vitamin C, fiber, riboflavin, magnesium, biotin and essential carbohydrates. Add them to your protein shakes, dip them in dark chocolate and freeze them for a healthy snack. You can also, slice them up and add them to your cereal or sandwich. Just go bananas!
2. Drink Soda! (Baking Soda)
Try adding a pinch of baking soda known as sodium bicarbonate to your water bottle before a workout. This will keep your electrolytes balanced and delay the effects of muscle fatigue from setting in. Sodium bicarbonate can also lower your blood pressure, so drink up!
3. "B" Energetic!
Vitamin B5 will help your body convert glucose into fuel and give you added energy. Foods rich in vitamin B5 can be found in dark greens, lean meats, eggs and dairy. So “B” smart and eat up!
4. Don’t Forget Your Nuts!
If you are a person that has to be constantly nibbling throughout the day you should pick a snack that is going to fuel your fire. Walnuts, almonds, sunflower seeds, grains and even tofu contain magnesium which is vital for the proper function of ones organs. They are also rich in protein and play an important role in the production of energy and muscle recovery. Last but not least, go nuts!