What should I eat to soothe sore muscles?

Getty Images

Trigger foods: Red meat, cheese

Healing foods: Ginger, cherries

It’s hard to gear up for a run when your muscles are sore from your last session. To ease this after-burn, stay away from foods high in saturated fats, such as red meat and cheese. These foods, which can have an inflammatory effect, may exacerbate lingering soreness in your muscles, says registered nutritional therapist Vicki Lee.

Grating some fresh ginger into your tea or smoothie, meanwhile, may get you back to your training plan sooner. While we’ve long known that ginger is a natural stomach-soother, researchers have recently discovered that compounds in ginger called gingerols can also help fight inflammation and soothe aching muscles. A study published in The Journal of Pain found that people who consumed ginger regularly (half a teaspoon per day for 11 days) felt roughly 25 per cent less pain 24 hours after a workout than those who didn’t eat ginger.

It seems ginger doesn’t have any beneficial effect on how you feel immediately after you run, but it should help you feel ready to get back into action the next day.

Cherries are also a natural pain-zapper. The antioxidants that give cherries their deep-red colour also help block inflammation and the effects of pain enzymes, working much like over-the-counter painkillers. Several studies have found that regularly drinking tart cherry juice helps distance runners recover more quickly.