Wednesday Resources: Inflammation
Again, you guys are so incredibly supportive. Injury scares are the WORST and I don’t even want to pretend that I am not the most accident prone athlete ever. I think it boils down to the fact that I love doing it SO MUCH that I ignore moderation. (Not recommended).
I wanted to chat today about something that every athlete deals with and although it has a bad reputation, a little bit of it is a good thing!
Inflammation actually triggers cells to clear away damaged muscle tissues which leaves room for the creation of stronger and more durable muscle fibers. Inflammation is a part of a healthy training cycle because that means your body is adapting to the training and your muscles are getting stronger and more adapted to the training load.
That is the one side and also one of the reasons why I don’t pop anti-inflammatories while training. The other side is realizing that unless we are professional athletes, we often cannot afford to be in incredible pain while our body adapts because we need to perform well at our workplace and to be healthy for our families and friends which is where it is helpful to clear out some of the inflammation in our body.
When I was racing the Equinox Traverse, my team make rolled his ankle and it instantly swelled up and it was clearly painful for him. When offered Advil, he said “No thank you, I like to know that I am in pain.”
It sounds sadistic, but understanding your limitations is important so don’t extend comfort into a crutch to overextend your athletics beyond a safe level. [A qualifying statement to say that if you are directed to take Advil or anti-inflammatory medication by your sports doctor, please listen to them over me. Every situation is unique.]
A great way to control inflammation in day to day training is food and supplements. Some of my favourite tricks are:
1. Cherry juice. Cherries are well known for their anti-inflammatory agents. I buy organic cherry syrup at my local market and mix it in my sparkling water as a way to increase my fluid intake.
2. Fish oil. I supplement every day with Genuine Health Omega 3.
3. I limit my processed foods because they are high in omega 6 fat and cause imbalance between omega 3 and 6 fats which increases inflammation.
4. I use this stuff during self massage and foam rolling when my training volume increases.
It feels incredible and decreases inflammation by 6 x. There is nothing better than going to bed with happy legs! I wrote about it here when I shared my post-marathon recovery tips but I use it throughout heavy training weeks as well. I buy it at Goodness Me! and it is an all Canadian company backed by a medical team and is the first anti-inflammatory product that works for me. Plus it smells DELICIOUS.
I love it so much that I am giving away three bottles of it. I will be announcing the winners next Wednesday.
Enter by leaving a comment on what you do to fight inflammation in training?
Inflammation – Friend or Foe? – In defense of inflammation.
Stress and Chronic Inflammation – Goodness Me This is an awesome (and FREE) online class taught by Dr. David Wang, ND.
How You Can Benefit from Proper Sports Nutrition – Genuine Health Alan Logan, ND discussed the importance of anti-inflammatory diets for athletes.
Love this post! I have ms so know how annoying any kind of inflammation can be….do you drink dairy? Id so, cutting it out during training or when you have an injury can be helpful too! =]
Sarah L. says
Hands down the best thing for me is Vega Recovery. I’d love to try the cream though…most muscle creams either don’t work for me or smell terrible!
I’m a huge Vega Recovery Accelerator user, I have seen a huge difference in my recovery since I started using it. I’m also using beet juice before bed (especially during the heavy volume weeks on the bike) to help with recovery overnight and it makes a huge difference. I love that you acknowledge that for many of us, functioning outside of sport, in places like our workplace is a necessity and we can’t all be hobbling around in pain and exhausted – although I must confess that sometimes for me, it happens :s
Jen @ Pretty Little Grub says
I see some comments about the Vega accelerator, I have a sample but haven’t tried it yet. Seems like a good option for my upcoming marathon training.
I use Omega-3’s but I like the idea of adding in cherry juice to sparkling water.
I use ice and heat and both feel really good! Some anti inflamatory creams don’t really work for me but i haven’t tried yours! (Hint, hint, 😉
Inflammation can be such a bummer but I also appreciate it as I know it is a sign of working hard and getting stronger. I actually love the feeling of sore muscles
To fight inflammation I cut back on my processed foods as well, up my water intake, and cut out processed sugars. I also do not eat dairy -for a number of reasons.
I prefer a topical anti-inflammatory as I find it targets the pain better and is easier on my body than pill form. Being a fellow Canadian I would love to try a Canadian product!
Oh I forgot I also use Vega recovery after each workout!
When I am doing longer runs I do like a cool bath after. I sometimes have shin issues so I do a lot of icing there as well. That cream does look great. I love that it is Canadian. I need to pick some up and try it soon. Thanks for the tips.
Mostly icing and stretching, but I will try to increase my Omega 3 intake going forward!
May I add curcumin to the list? 🙂
I try to eat well and stay hydrated!
SWEET MOTHER OF PEARL that Oreo PB cup looking sandwich thing has me LEGIT drooling and I guarantee that will be in the forefront of my mine for day…DAYS! To go hand in hand with the topic of this post though, IF I ate it…I would have inflammation. My body rejects lots of things these days. Womp womp. Actually it’s kind of fascinating.
Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat says
I’ve just been catching up on posts and I’m so sorry to hear about your niggling injury, but GOOD FOR YOU for playing it smart and taking a lower impact week. You are getting smarter all the time, my friend! As for inflammation, I agree with those above regarding Vega Recovery Accelerator – it totally helps! I’m also a tart cherry juice fan, take omega 3 supplements (or eat lots of omega-3 rich foods) regularly, and eat alllll the ginger!
Tis the cherry season right now. I don’t know if my frequent consumption is scaling back any inflammation, but it certainly couldn’t hurt.
I use the genuine health activrecover mix and have had night and day improvements on my recovery times. It tastes like a freakin creamsicle and works miracles.
I put turmeric and chia seeds on everything 😉 I’m also lucky that I live close to the waterfront so often I’ll run there and cool my legs in the water after my run. I try to eat clean and regularly take magnesium and potassium, the later mostly in the form of avocados and coconut water to stay balanced and hydrated. I’ve been wanting to try this product or I was going to resort to making my own muscle reliever with magnesium oil and coconut oil.