When it comes to decreasing inflammation and promoting optimal recovery, I witness that most individuals lean toward protein powders, branched-chain amino acid blends, and carbohydrate loading. The thing about branched-chain amino acid blends is that they are not a “one-size-fits-all” when it comes to dosing and reducing soreness (Bernadot, 2012, p.194). It is rare to hear people discuss the role that micronutrients play in the process of recovery. A decrease in range of motion and decline in strength is not uncommon for athletes that feel soreness. This may lead to a negative impact on performance (Bernadot, 2012, p.187). Depending on my level of soreness, I try to regulate my training volume, frequency, intensity, duration, and type of session. It is typical of me to use one of my training days as a movement prep, mobility, and active recovery. From self experience, I tend to experience less inflammation at my joints when intaking fish oil and omega capsules. Fish oil, high in eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid, has shown to “buffer the inflammatory response of intense exercise” (Bernadot, 2012, p.187). Although the evidence is weak, it may even reduce delayed onset muscle soreness and inflammation by altering the release of inflammatory agents, such as 2-series prostaglandins, thromboxanes, and prostacyclins (Bernadot, 2012, p.191). When asked about supplements that I recommend, I try to preach that supplements are simply to supplement what you lack in your diet. Diet adjustments come first, but I always speak highly about fish oil and omegas. Next would be a specific vitamin that you are deficient in or a multivitamin depending on daily requirements and intake. Although there is no evidence that vitamin E and C assist with reducing inflammation (Bernadot, 2012, p.193), vitamin D can receive partial credit for the reduction of soreness associated with DOMS (Bernadot, 2012, p.192). Regardless of which vitamins you want to give credit for aiding with inflammation reduction, it is a safe bet that manipulating your diet to meet all of your micronutrient and macronutrient needs will be an efficient method.
Bernadot, D. (2012). Advanced Sports Nutrition. Human Kinetics