Natural exercise supplements are becoming increasingly popular among fitness fanatics. Recovering from your workouts – especially if you’re new to exercising – isn’t always easy. Sore legs, aching abs and lethargic limbs are all signs that you’ve pushed your muscles to the max. But while the saying “no pain, no gain” often rings true, there are steps you can take to help your body bounce back after a strenuous workout.
Studies show that certain supplements can help you recover after exercise, while also lowering your risk of any injuries in the process. Here’s our roundup of the top five natural exercise supplements options to help ease those sore muscles and keep you fighting fit.
Containing all eight amino acids, spirulina is the ultimate athlete’s superfood. When it comes to repairing muscle tissue, the secret to spirulina’s effectiveness lies in its impressive vitamin count. Rich in vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, F and E, a spoonful of this vibrant algae blended into a green smoothie offers the perfect post-workout lift.
B vitamins are vital in supporting processes like nutrient conversion, cell repair and ATP energy production when we exercise. But while most of us source B vitamins from foods like dairy, meat and eggs, many people will only digest a small portion of what they consume. And when it comes to post-exercise recovery, this is problematic.
Deficiencies in B vitamins, including vitamin B12 and B6, can lead to joint pains, muscle weakness, fatigue and shortness of breath. So to give your body that extra boost, try adding a B vitamin as a natural exercise supplement to your diet.
Adaptogen herbs do exactly what they say on the tin: they help your body to adapt. And when it comes to recovering from the physical stress of a workout, that’s super important.
According to a number of studies, when taken daily adaptogen herbs like ashwagandha, ginseng and astragalus can help fight fatigue, stabilize blood sugar and boost the production of key hormones.
Natural Protein Powders
Most protein powders on the market are full of sugar, additives and artificial ingredients. But that doesn’t mean you can’t find healthy alternatives. Nowadays it’s not difficult to find all-natural products offering fast post-exercise recovery without any added nasties.
Two of the best are hemp and pea protein powders. Hemp seeds boast one of the highest concentrations of protein amongst any edible seeds, as well as being rich in Omega-3 and fiber.
Additionally, pea protein powder is not just a fantastic vegan source of protein – it’s also hypoallergenic, making it super easy to digest. Just make sure that all your natural exercise supplements are organic, natural, and free of any added sugars, colors and preservatives.
Finally, our favourite superfood and natural exercise supplement, Turmeric curcumin. The ‘curcumin’ is the active element here - it’s just full of anti-inflammatory properties and has been proven to decrease delayed onset muscle soreness – in other words, the aches and pains you experience after an extra intense workout.
As nutritionist Kristen Carlucci, RD, explains: “Compounds in this spice help reduce muscle damage and inflammation, and promote muscle repair.” On top of that, turmeric can also block the effects of pro-inflammatory enzymes, reducing pain and swelling. To make the most of this superfood spice, try adding it to soups, smoothies and even ice cream.